Doing sweetspot right. Questions

I just want to make sure i am doing sweetspot right as i am new to these workouts. My first ftp on TR bumped down my ftp which is fine with me just let the app do its thing.

But with that as i am new to structured training I want to make sure my output level is correct.

My there isn’t an easy answer to this, but should i be able to comfortably nose only breath through sweetspot? Mount field -1 was the workout. Or sure i be more at the edge of nose and mouth. I have a power meter so trying to just trust the process but wanted to see what others experience. I am low wattage too, so that might play into this as well.

thanks for any feedback.

Sweetspot should feel hard but doable. I guess it can be done with just nose breathing. I would rather categorize it by the feeling in the legs, it should not be very comfortable half way in, but then as you progress you are able to complete it after all.


Its really hard to give accurate advise over a forum I find. But Ill try and add something here that hopefully helps.

If you feel your watts are low as you say and you seem to be newer to cycling training, I’d say comfortably breathing through nose only can be good to start.

Can you do ( 3 ) 10 minute intervals at that particular level where you are breathing just only through your nose?

If you can, that’s good. Then Id suggest to up your level just a little bit. And try to get it to where you are breathing in through your nose but then out of your mouth like you mentoned. But doing it comfortably and not too rapidly. It will be a subtle change in your perceived output on the pedals. Like your cadence will only increase slightly or you may shift to one harder gear in the back and find a cadence that feels good to you.
Use this for now as a gage. Breath in through nose, and out through mouth with comfortable control and shoot for those 3 - 10 minute reps. I do believe Mount Field is 12 minute reps and if it is thats ok, but if you increase your output level a little and 12 minute seems a little too much backing back down to a 10 minute interval is ok until you are used to that.

Once you are comfortable with nose to mouth breathing at 10 or 12 minutes reps, don’t worry about higher power just yet, try and extend out your time to 12, 15 then 20 minute reps for now. And then get to 4 or 5 of those in a work out before increasing any more power for now.

So hard to explain, sorry for confusion.

In short, yes slightly increase your effort level to where you are breathing in nose and out of mouth.
And dont be afraid to back down slightly to get your breath under control if it gets too chaotic. you can back off the power a little while still in the interval to get your breathing back together and then gradually increase power slightly again. You dont have to sit at an exact precise power output. You can use it as a guide and goal but dont be timed to back down to gain control if need be.

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This is helpful thank you. Yes for the first two intervals I was very comfortable nose only holding the recommended power. The third one i decided to up it a little at a time power target was 134 and I settled in around 145-150 right on the edge of that nose to mouth but still felt in the pocket for lack of a better way to say it. Finished the interval strong i could have went longer not sure how long but felt like a good workout 60 mins total. I have the adaptations set and i bumped up .1 not sure what that means, but i figure let it do its thing. HR at 134 watts was around 140 vs the third one settled in at 150-155 BPM. I find that the nose breath line for me is right around 150 ish.


Interesting thanks for this. Yeah I think my ftp went down a little to far then. My previous test was 184 TR set it at 164 i think it might be in the middle somewhere. I might try walking it up slowly food for thought.

Yeah I was able to push more power on the third interval and legs felt great. Sounds like it was a bit to low.

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Ok great.

And to use a ( super Broad brush here ) while not really knowing you or your HR range, the broad brush would assume your HR range of 150 to 155 could be good for these intervals. Id even wager you could get it up to about 160 for your sweet spot intervals. But you also have to put time in and train your legs to operate while your HR is at 160. Id suggest next try and do that same ride while getting your HR around that 155 range then build off of that and document to yourself how you felt.

Nice ride.

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Breathing only through my nose at sweet spot sounds miserable. I tried it on a low tempo interval the other day and could do it but had to focus on it.

Curious if this scales well with FTP. The absolute amount of oxygen needed for any given zone increases (I think, anyhow, iirc cycling economy doesn’t improve drastically) and the nostrils aren’t getting any bigger.

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Sounds good. Yeah at the moment my les go before my HR. In a HIIT workout I know I hit 174 it was the zwift sevens workout roasted my legs lol. I will feel it out thanks for the help.

5min @ 85rpm, from 25 to 75% FTP
7x 30sec @ 110rpm, 120% FTP,
1min @ 85rpm, 65% FTP
2min @ 85rpm, 40% FTP
7x 30sec @ 110rpm, 120% FTP,
1min @ 85rpm, 65% FTP
2min from 50 to 25% FTP

I wonder that as well, but I used to run nose only as well unless I bumped up the pace. I was in a hell of a lot better shape then though ha.

Maybe not though we could just get more efficient to a certain degree I am assuming. Might look that up.

I won’t go into the “feeling” of Sweet Spot, everyone else has covered that, but it’s worth noting that the intervals in Mount Field -1 are Tempo - 80% FTP and much lower than most other SS workouts. I’m not really sure why it’s even categorised as an SS workout, but it works well as a gentle introduction at progression level 1.1.

Maybe see how you go as you get to higher progression levels. Hopefully depending on your AT survey responses you’ll bump up to proper SS workouts very quickly.

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I’m not sure about the breathing, but here’s my take on sweet spot - It sucks, but intervals should not ever be in doubt. I find them more mentally challenging vs physical. Mental can be harder than physical if not well motivated.


I wouldn’t forcefully keep nose breathing if it is not comfortable. In this thread it is just a way to communicate the intensity level. Sweetspot is probably at the limit of nose breathing, and could indeed vary by person and progression level.
That’s why I would rather describe the feeling in the legs. Sweetspot is by no means a walk in the park, and requires you to stay focused and thoughts of quitting might come up half way in. But it is also clearly not a painful all-out effort.

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Good point, hadn’t looked up Mount field -1 , but indeed the 80% intervals are much lower than what has been described as Sweetspot in this thread and would normally correspond to long intervals between 88%-94% FTP.

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When I started TrainerRoad, I was looking for something like this. Especially in the beginning, when you have no clue if your FTP is in the right ballpark, its difficult to assess if you’re actually doing Sweetspot.

Besides the metrics to measure for me Sweetspot feels though, but achievable. The moment the interval ramps up, I’m thinking I’m not gonna do this for 20mins. Then after 5 mins, I’m thinking it’s not so bad. After 10mins, I think I’m not gonna make the whole interval. And in the end I’m feeling like it wasn’t that bad, at least until the next interval ramps the power up again. So with Sweetspot you’re working, but you’re never really going all-out or digging really deep like one would with threshold.

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This is all very helpful! I am time crunched, so I just want to get the most I can out of the workouts.

I will hold where I am at until I hit one of the SS that is in the 90% range then gauge it from there. Seems like the adaptions are going to to the adjustments for me as well, so might just let that work for the moment. I find that holding power below threshold for me is something I am better at, so see how this goes. The lower power levels are ok for me, but I run into a brick wall of lactic acid when I push over lol.

Thanks everyone for you input!

Feeling for this tipping point, especially once you start doing some over/under intervals, will also help you get a feel for how SS feels and whether your FTP is in the right ballpark. Enjoy!

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since you know the feeling of threshold intervals from other previous FTP assessments, it should feel easier than that. Steady HR, heavy but not ragged breathing, uncomfortable but not burning legs etc.

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Did the stretch workout and got bumped up this was a good workout. Mono

What is the bump number referring to IF or something else?

Thanks everyone.

It’s on the forum somewhere but PLs take a lot more into account than just IF and TSS.

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Awesome thanks