How do I know if I have a strong base?

For sure. I did 2x20 last week at cadence in the low 80s, and HR was about 5 bpm lower vs the same workout I did earlier in the year with cadence in the low 90s. Decoupling % was the same between both however.

A good test requires no specific recovery. It’s just part of training. A proper 30 - 45 minute test is actually easier than a lot of workouts.

the goal should be way beyond that, and higher %. 3 x 30m at 93-94% would be great, or if you’re at 90% FTP, at least 60 minutes continuous, depending on level of cyclist



sick work. The key is that you’ve only been riding 1.5 years. You have so much room to grow aerobically. Zone 2 work will help you, especially on rides where it starts to feel hard and you keep pushing it (as long as HR doesn’t creep up towards z3). Once that happens you can back off a bit, or get a bit of tempo in, but don’t do too much; it’s sneakily fatiguing over the long haul.

keep riding and having fun!!!


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Will share a “test” I have found useful over time.

Warm up and do 8 min all out. For me, 85% of that number is historically very close to FTP.

That is the first step of the test. Second step is to recover for 5-10 minutes then ride 20-30 min at 80-85% of your 8 min value.

If you can’t ride for 20-30 min at your “FTP” then whatever number you are using is not your FTP and you probably don’t have a good foundation established and need to work on that.

For me, I would typically hit 280-295 on the 8 min test and then ride the half hour at 240. 40km TT averages when in that type of condition would be 235-240w AP with times in the 56-58 range.

For cycling, you really can’t have too much base or foundation. It takes years of consistent riding to accumulate a true deep and durable “base”.

As a young rider, Consistency over time is what you are after.




Cheers. At the moment my fitness has decreased after taking two weeks completely off the bike. I am currently lifting weights and doing some unstructured riding (I don’t want to do too much too soon as the season is long). I feel like my FTP has decreased to 270 or so but I am confident that I can get it back soon.

I will be choosing a low volume plan as I have completed century LV this fall and I was able to stick to it despite having 15 hours per week to train. The rest of the rides were all endurance(z2+z3) group rides.
A slight change will be to maintain the strength which I have gained by going to the gym once a week.
So my plan which I built through the plan builder will be SSB LV1 > SSB LV2 > Sustained Power Build LV . I am not really sure if I want to do the specialty phase as I have never followed a complete base-build-specialty cycle and it seems like base training makes a huge difference.

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Good plan. Have fun with it. If you have opportunity to go long on weekends go for it. Developing group ride skills can be a good use of that time too.

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The specialty plans are good just to mix it up and do some new workouts if nothing else. Century is going to be pretty similar to base, so that’ll be good if you’re just interested in building general fitness. You also might look at doing traditional base if you have 15 hours a week to train. Depends on your schedule, if you can swing 2 hour workouts mid week.

As for avoiding burnout and the mental side of it, it’s going to be a personal journey to figure out what works for you. But as someone who’s dealt with it, I can offer some pieces of general advice.

  1. Have a goal. Doesn’t have to be a race, but should be more specific than ‘I want to get faster’. Quantify what getting faster means to you, and track that progression. Hitting goals along the way to a larger overall goal can be massively motivating.

  2. Have fun. Remember why you’re on the trainer, or riding outside for that matter. When an activity becomes robotic it’s easy to keep going it can be a double edged sword.

  3. Be excited to train. I woke up Tuesday before my first ramp test like a kid on Christmas. That early excitement is the most fleeting, and to have those other motivators helps push through when the workouts get hard.

I think for every day you start training too early or without the best mental configuration that works for you, it’s a snowball effect down the road, and you’ll miss days or even weeks in the middle of your plan, which is much harder to recover from than if you just took another couple days off early.


Thanks for the advice. I pretty much want to make myself relatively comfortable outdoors. My cardiac drift is terrible and I have measured it to be 14% on a 6 hour outdoor ride having not done any structured training.

After completing the century LV plan I measured the decoupling on a 2.5h indoor endurance ride and it was down to 7%. My HR on average is 5 beats lower indoors on a zone 2 ride than outdoors as my cadence is lower. I haven’t looked at any events yet but will start looking soon!

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Hi folks,

I now finished sweet spot base low volume 1 and low volume 2. I just started short power build as there are a lot of climbs which are pretty short(30s to 1 min) where I live and I want to get better at that.

Coming to the results:
SSB LV 1 - 273W (did some workouts @ 300W FTP setting as I did the 20 minute FTP test instead of the ramp test)
SSB LV 2 - 293W (ramp test)
at the start of SPB- 286W (ramp test)

I don’t notice a big difference after base training anyways but I do notice that my heart rate is not rapidly rising like before. When I did any effort close to FTP prior to base training, my HR would spike up to 170. Now when I do any effort close to FTP my HR gradually rises and does not go over 170 that easily.

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Isn’t the very definition of sweetspot something that can be done repeatedly? Seems to me he’s WAY over that.

Since anything is repeatable, no. The guy who came up with SST, Frank Overton, wrote that it is simply 84-97% FTP.

Frank also states that Sweet spot training is a balanced amount of intensity and volume that increases an athlete’s functional threshold power (FTP) which is in line with @old_but_not_dead_yet’s claim. You might say that you’re both correct in a sense.

I thought Overton only came up with the name?

Who ever linked sweetspot to HR or fat burning? I have never seen that?

Maybe you are confusing the inverted Fatmax curve with sweetspot?

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He did coin the term. But he was also knee deep in the overall development taking place at that time (with Coggan, Allen, etc.), and helped shape the range of SS through his very own training and related data analysis.


Whether heart rate or power SST is an intensity.

SST is an intensity zone. I’m just stating what he wrote. Nothing more. Here is Frank’s entire quote for more context:

Sweet spot training is a balanced amount of intensity and volume that increases an athlete’s functional threshold power (FTP). In the figure below, the “sweet spot” occurs between a high level/zone 2 and level/zone 4 or 84-97% of one’s FTP. Between these ranges athletes will generate large Training Stress Scores (TSS), increase their Chronic Training Load (CTL) and simultaneously increase power at threshold. More bang for your buck, and thus the nickname, “sweet spot.”

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Yes i know, it is from this article. I’m not arguing, only pointing to why he claims 84-97% of FTP. In the table he also show that by reducing the intensity from threshold slightly you can still acquire most of the adaptions without putting all that stress on your body in order to recover faster or just do more work.

84-97% of FTP is the answer to how, the article I linked tells us why.

Edit: I just realized that he has updated his tips with a bunch of new articles since the last time I paid him a visit.