Saturday, October 21, 2017
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Nothing terribly exciting to report this week, except that I am now less than two weeks away from my first triathlon of the year - the Eton half-distance, which is a qualifier for the ITU World Age Group Sprint Triathlon Championships in Beijing.

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Posted by on in General Blog Posts

ChartAsk many cycling experts what the ideal cycling cadence is, and they will state confidently that it’s 80-90 revolutions per minute (RPM).  But does everyone keep to that advice?  And should we anyway?

According to my very unscientific poll conducted on Twitter, it seems that around half (51%) of all triathletes questioned fall naturally into a cycling cadence of 80-90 rpm.  The next most popular category with 31% was a slightly faster 90-100rpm.  Only 15% of respondents naturally ride at 80 or lower and only 3% at more than 100rpm.

So why is 80-90 rpm often considered the optimal cadence for cycling?

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Reading some triathlon magazines, a sprint or standard distance triathlete might be forgiven for thinking they are part of some sort of triathlon 'under-class'.  Every month, I seem to find some article which suggests that "anyone can do a triathlon" and that the only real test of physical and mental strength is to go the full hog and finish an Ironman.

Now, I am full of respect of for anyone who completes an Ironman race, whether they do it in nine hours or 16:59.  But I have to admit I take issue with the viewpoint that triathletes that concentrate on shorter distances are somehow 'inferior' to Ironman finishers in the grand pecking order of life.  Although completing an Ironman (and being as competitive as I can be) is definitely on my to-do list before I reach the end of my triathlon journey, right now I see a far greater challenge in becoming a true 'competor' at shorter distance triathlons than becoming an Ironman 'completor'.

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