125: Put it in the big gear—we explore low-cadence, high-torque training with Neal Henderson

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By Chris Case and Fast Talk Labs. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

You’ve heard us talk about so-called “big gear” training on the program before. Many of you probably incorporate it into your riding, and for a variety of reasons.

What’s surprising is how little research has been done on this low-cadence, high-torque riding. Even the definition of what constitutes “low-cadence” remains hazy. And there are as many ways of incorporating this into your workouts as there are coaches. Threshold, sub-threshold, five minutes, or 20 minutes. There are many possibilities, and as many philosophies.

Today we take a closer look at big gear work. What does the research literature say about performance gains and adaptations? What have elite coaches discovered through practice? Are coaches employing something their gut tells them works, and the research has simply yet to catch up?

Our guest today is Neal Henderson, head of sport science at Wahoo, and, in his spare time, an elite coach to several WorldTour riders. Neal is one of those coaches who routinely uses big gear work with most of his athletes—from track riders to time trialists, including world champion Rohan Dennis.

We also hear from Sebastian Weber of INSCYD and Jim Miller at USA Cycling, two other highly experienced coaches who utilize big gear workouts with their athletes to great success. Finally, we hear how pro Petr Vakoc incorporates big gear work into his training.

Alright, put it in the 53x11. Let's make you fast!

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