Extensive block of sweet spot intervals

Ya, prior to TR am very familiar with sweet spot and extending out duration while also doing Wed night worlds. The long z2 rides are on Sunday morning. Basically I’m putting up a Mon/Fri SS “fence” around Wed night group ride, and then whatever z2 I can do on weekends based on home/family obligations and how I feel.


Cool, I’m interested to see the specifics and how it works for you.

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I just did something somewhat similar after I realized I needed more of this in my training based on my upcoming goal event. Odd timing as it’s mid-season for me in AZ but at this point I’m just looking ahead to next year and trying to get some new learnings.

Worked quickly up from 20 minute SS workouts to basically just 30 minute SS & O/U workouts.

Ramp test on Monday after a recovery week, will let you know how it goes!

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the outside ones in the afternoon (=wind) quickly turn into threshold/OU workouts! I’m noodling on how to start on the trainer and ladder up, maybe starting 3x, and then longer 2x, then longer 1x, and then starting ladder over again and probably taking outside up to 2 hours total.

Can you post up the workouts and progression? What’s the TSS ramp? You’ll definitely raise your CTL. Sounds fun!

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is the Wed Night group ride with folks of the same skill level? Would love to see those files in WKO4; group rides can make you tired but not always faster


can dial in any workout I want for Wed flat and usually windy ride. When fitness is high I can have crit like power distribution (20-35% supra threshold) by chasing the cat2/3s. Fitness is down now, so lately I’ve been dropping off the back and doing SS/threshold intervals by myself, or pulling into wind for smaller riders with less absolute power.

I’m thinking of grabbing a progression from SSB1/2 and then cherry pick workouts from library to extend the interval length. Looking at the Wed progression on SSB1-HV plan, something like this for my Mondays:

  • 3x12-3 Geiger (3-min rest between)
  • 7x6 Monitor+1 (1-min rest between)
  • 3x15 Tallac (3-min rest between)
  • 2x25
  • 1x50 (Echo -1, or customize Dardanelles,

The only 2x25 choice in library is Tempo (Spruce Knob -1), so either use Workout Creator to bump up power, or customize the 3x25 SS choices (Eclipse+1, Logan-2, Tray Mountain+1)

Just starting to think it through…

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I’m a big fan of SS O/U for longer interval sessions using 5min@95% x 5min@85% as the basis for work intervals.

My go to is three intervals: 30min, 30min, 40min with 5min rest blocks broken into 3min@50%, 1min@110%, and 1min@50% between sets. The 1min surge actually makes jumping back into the next SS interval feel easier.

I wouldn’t use this workout as a starting point but something to work towards.

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Or maybe call it above/below SS? Your work intervals are vaguely similar to Chocorua and Golgotha with just a little bit of tweaking in Workout Creator.

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Below is a progression I worked up. The notation “3x12-3” means 3 sets of 12 minute intervals with 3 min RBI.

  • 3x12-3 Geiger
  • 3x15-3 Tallac
  • 2x25-5 Eclipse +1 (customized in Workout Creator)
  • 1x50 Echo -1
  • 4x15-6 Tallac +2
  • 3x20-7 Eclipse
  • 2x30-5 Wright Peak (customized in Workout Creator)
  • 1x60 White +3
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Out of curiosity, how long did that progression? Was that literally 1 of each of those workouts taking about 2 weeks, or did you do each workout 2-3 times then move to next one? How many rides per week etc? Just doing these rides or other ones thrown in?

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Haven’t done this yet, looking to go back to base and do some modifications. I’ll update this thread after analyzing and making some decisions.

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yes, not a huge fan of those because it’s really high SS and then mid range tempo; I’d choose one or the other

cool thank MWF sounds good, with the two weekend rides. enjoy! Let us know how it goes

After thinking about it last week, with all the effort to fix knee issues, the “hero bar” in WKO4 has become the anti-hero bar :man_shrugging: On the flip side, serious feeling of accomplishment about posterior chain improvements :clap: Not too shabby at my age to go from “can’t even bodyweight squat” to doing deads/squats with weight so that is something to cheer about. Priorities.

I’m finishing this block of short power build and going back to SSB. My biggest limiter right now is ftp, and in parallel bring down my weight while incorporating 2x/week strength training (deadlifts, etc). And yesterday doing a 3+ hour ride in zone 2, checking on aerobic decoupling after the ride was just another reminder that aerobic engine is in serious need of a tuneup. All signs point to a return to base.

Coming full circle to original topic of extending out SS intervals, at least in SSB-MV-1 there is some low hanging fruit on the first 3 Thursdays workouts (click pic to expand and see all 3 weeks):

Starting with 3x12 Mount Field (tempo) with 3-min rest between, the progression is basically 36 minutes of sweet spot with decreasing rest between. Pretty natural to substitute the 2nd and 3rd Thursday with something like:

  • week 1: 3x12 Mount Field as per plan
  • week 2: substitute with 2x18 (versus plan’s 6x5-7 with 2-min rest between)
  • week 3: substitute with 1x36 (versus plan’s 7x6 with 1-min rest between)

The Sunday workout is also an easy target for substitution, using that as basis for increasingly longer SS intervals followed by aerobic ride.

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@bbarrera I think your plan sounds solid, looking forward to hearing updates as you move through!

I just took my latest Ramp Test this morning after my 4-week block of SS & O/U workouts and I moved up from 256 to 269. About 3.83 w/kg at the moment. Super pleased with the improvement and definitely validating my decision to go back to more extensive sweet spot work like you’re doing now. I’ve been stagnant for quite some time around 254 - 256 so jumping up to essentially my highest FTP ever (was 270 year and a half ago) and I’m super pleased.

Averaged 475 TSS throughout the four weeks.

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Good on you to recognize the heart-rate decoupling and admit to yourself that more time is needed to develop your base. This is something I have ignored, or have been to impatient to realize in the past. I can be competitive in 2-3 hour races, but add in an extra hour or two and things go south quickly. Your post made me realize that I too need to ease into VO2 and supra-threshold work and tune the aerobic engine for another 4-6 weeks. It’s hard to hold back!

Going back to the basics with sweet spot work will hopefully allow your body to cope with the added stress of strength-training. I did a block of this in December and January and I found that I couldn’t ride above threshold for an interval longer than say 5 min, that strength training really saps the ability to make watts. You’ll be better off in the long run though.

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my next A event is early 2020 and already have a full base/build/specialty on the calendar. That makes it easy to return to base, knowing a strong foundation was in place in November but has now slipped away and needs to be reestablished. The joys of ‘use it or lose it’ in the second half of life :slight_smile:

Thanks for the update! My previous jump from 250s to low 280s was two years ago, after extending sweet spot / threshold work out to 40-60 minute intervals on a two hour ride (twice a week). That plus long weekend rides and some vo2 work. I’d call it “semi-structured plan” as it was loosely based on Strava plans.

@bbarrera another thread on v02 reminded me about this one. How’s this block turn out for you?

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been an interesting year, unfortunately unfolding a bit like last year. After writing about going back to a sweet spot block on Monday 8 April, later that week had bad allergies and they cleared up in time to start the block on Monday 15 April. That first Saturday (the 20th) had a crash 0.5 miles from home after 50 mile ride :cry: with a lot of road rash and 3 weeks later my thumb is slowly recovering.

Soooo, took two weeks off for body to heal, although I did test readiness with 1 ride each week. This week just ramping back up starting with Pettit -1 on Tuesday, then Dans, Mills -5, and Antelope -4. A lot of work to do going forward! :biking_man:

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