How to Develop a Faster Cadence, Part 3: More Drills and 6 Profiles to Improve Cadence

In part 2 of our series on developing a faster cadence, we covered four considerations that should be addressed before attempting to pedal more quickly. These include foundational drills to help improve your pedal stroke. It’s tough to improve cadence if you’re not turning the pedals in a biomechanically sound way.

We also discussed ways to improve riders’ focus through visualization and mind-body exercises. That is because leg-speed drills need to be done on a very conscious level in order to ingrain the movement into your muscular patterns. (I always hesitate to use the term “muscle memory” because it’s not really even a “thing.” However, if that helps you understand this concept better, so be it.)

What is happening is that repeated patterns create adaptations in the muscles. This occurs both on a metabolic level where muscle fiber usage is impacted (please see the profile Betwitched, which discusses muscle fiber types) as well as a neuromuscular level. These beneficial adaptations are aided by being set up on the bike properly, pedaling with less tension in the body, and concentrated focus.

Now let’s look at even more specific drills to improve cadence.

Other articles in this series: 

How to Develop a Faster Cadence, Part 1: Why Cadence Matters
How to Develop a Faster Cadence, Part 2: Four Considerations for Training Leg Speed
How to Develop a Faster Cadence, Part 3: More Drills and 6 Profiles to Improve Cadence
How to Develop a Faster Cadence, Part 4: Video Tips for Quicker Pedaling

4 Responses to “How to Develop a Faster Cadence, Part 3: More Drills and 6 Profiles to Improve Cadence”

  1. MeghanMoore says:

    Thank you for this series on how to develop faster cadence! I have been using it in one of my more focused classes for the last several weeks and used the cause and effect ride this past Saturday. I found it a very challenging ride as I also need to improve higher cadence work. It may not be difficult to reach higher cadences (95 or better) but it was difficult for my class and myself to maintain with adequate resistance and challenge for efforts >1 min. We now have some areas to work! Thanks for the great ideas for coaching and drills to really dial in the technique. I have found it very effective to use the face of a clock drill during recovery with eyes closed to really focus on the mind-body connection and visualization. Then I like playing “find the time” as a good association/dissociation during sustained, challenging efforts.

    • You are so welcome Meghan! I’m so glad the drills and profile have helped. I love how you use the “find the time” drill as a way to highlight association and dissociation. Great idea!

  2. LisaDahl says:

    Thanks for this focus. It is something I need to work on doing more in my classes! Question – many people in my classes can’t hit as high of cadences standing as they can seated, even with a touch more resistance. Most top out in the low 80’s. I was reading the Cadence Ladder profile and see where it goes to standing at higher cadences. There are some coaching cues on the playlist for standing but it would be great if you could address coaching higher speed while standing in particular in your series! Thanks!

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