ATC 347: Ways To Increase Cycling Cadence, Branding Yourself on Social Media (And Overcoming Insecurities), and More

December 2, 2022



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Jeff asks:

Chronically low cadence 

Hey guys! Besides the obvious of “pedal faster” what’s the best way to increase one’s cadence while mountain biking (and on the trainer)? I always seem to fall into a 55-65 rpm range, and it seems like the better place to be is about 75-85 rpms, but when I work on this my heart rate is more like tempo in the beginning and steadily creeps up if I continue to hold that cadence range. This is the case both on the MTB and the trainer, but heart rate even higher on the MTB.
Is it ok to be a slow cadence guy or is this something I really should try to improve? What drills will help? How long until I see drills pay off by sustaining those rpms at a more Z2 effort? A little about me: I’m 39 and mainly mountain bike plus I use the indoor trainer as supplementary training, mostly when I can’t be outside or tight on time. Riding about 3-6 hours a week. Race when it interests me but not a main focus; I mostly train and do all this for the personal enjoyment, time in nature and health benefits… Also, is there any strength training that can help with this?

Hanna asks:

Next steps in running career + social media monetization 

I am wondering on how to take the next step with my running career. I consider myself with limited talent (I started after 6 years of soccer relatively late with 16 years) and did not break 5:20 in the mile (1500m: 5:00) and 18:30min in a track 5 k until I was over 18 years. However, through really awesome coaches and personal development (overcoming orthorexia, learning to live an athlete’s lifestyle, competing for Grand Valley State University, a top Division II program in the US from 2017-start of Corona Pandemic), I was able to improve steadily and quite a lot until now, this all while studying/working in quite advanced programs (Biomedicine, Master’s degree and now PhD). I am now placing in the Top 10 and even earning medals at German Championships and would be one of the top 5 distance runners in Switzerland if I was Swiss (I am training with the 2 best (and professional) Swiss runners right now in my group, Chiara Scherrer and Fabienne Schlumpf). I have just moved up to running about 60 miles a week (+ 2-4h of crosstraining on the bike/ swimming, plus core/strength work) and even with some frustrating injuries, I dropped my PBs in the last 4 years to 9:36 min (3000m), 16:25  (5000m), 34:33min (10k), 1:14,26h ( half- marathon and 3rdplace at German championships 2021) and have been selected for the German mountain running team to represent them for the first time in a major world championship. I am a quite versatile athlete I think and love everything from cross country, roads, mountains and usually, the longer the better I also have a multisports background and am decent at cycling, swimming, climbing, surfing, skiing (downhill, XC), gymnastics…). However, running is by far my favorite.
Now to my question: I am now faster/ performing better especially at championship races than some sponsored athletes here. However, I just got Instagram, I am unfortunately not super pretty, I don’t have a twin sister or am in any way “social media”-conducive. I dream of running marathons/ longer trail races and reducing my work to 50-60% after my PhD is done (probably 2-3 more years), because I really want to finally do what I am passionate about, which is competitive running and especially long- distances. I also think I have a lot more potential there as the “shorter” stuff is always harder for me than the long- intervals and long runs. I like research and work, but it is not my passion. But right now, I do not earn anything with sports, and my salary as a PhD student is also not high so I cannot save much.
Any advice? How can I make/ contribute to making a living with running.

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