FasCat style Sweetspot

Hi all

Wondering what your opinion is on the FasCat style Sweetspot workout. I know he is all about outdoor rides but the principle of his style I believe is to start at the top of SS range and over the course of a long ride let it naturally fall in to high tempo.

I am on low volume build at the moment and plan to grow the duration slightly (up to 1.5 hours) and grow the intensity so it starts at 97% and reduces from there. This is a workout I will do on top of my low volume plans if and when I get the chance. The total amount of work for the week isn’t an issue, previously done high and medium volume plans.
I’d like to have this as a weekly or every other week kind of add on to push out the Sweetspot duration. I have found that in the past when I have been able to train at long intervals in the Sweetspot range it has served me well out on the road.

Reasons why this looks like a rubbish workout template welcome :grin:

I did one of his base plans, worked really well for me. Longer intervals really help to push your aerobic base out. I’ll be doing lots of 20-90 min intervals this year when I start base, less intensity as well, find that once I get part way through a TR build phase my legs are always tired, when I switch back to longer rides/intervals at lower intensities they come back, I then use races for intensity (time trials). Give it a go, you can always change it if you aren’t happy with the results.

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Yeah, if I can get out more I’d do it in the road but does the one I attached above look something like what he would prescribe?

There’s a lack of lower intensity SS in the low volume plans obviously to make up for the lack of volume. I want to be able to go to a workout when I get chance that I can build the SS duration.
Thanks

I would keep the whole interval at 90%. You could drop the intensity on the fly as you tire so it becomes more like the FasCat method. Once you can do it all at 90% then increase intensity or volume.

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I’d just do it not in erg mode. Start at 90% in resistance mode, and when you tire, just let power drop a little. Seems more like what you’d do on the road that way.

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I’d thought about that, but went with the ramp so that it is consistent. I have an issue with manually adjusting intensity too much as it can be more difficult to repeat and then improve or track on a like for like basis. Perhaps I’d find that over an hour workout I wouldn’t need to adjust the intensity :man_shrugging:t2:

Not a bad idea, I’m always in erg so never thought about trying it like this :+1:t2:
As I mentioned though I do like to have consistent workouts to track and it’s easier to do in erg as I’m forced to do it at the prescribed watts or not. In resistance it’s going to fluctuate more?
Not sure but worth a try.

Maybe focus on keeping cadence up? Once you slow down, reduce resistance so you can keep the same cadence. (Or, reduce resistance once you feel yourself moving out of sweetspot, ie HR, beathing and RPE goes to threshold).

Comparison is easy though? Just look at your power for the whole duration, if it goes up, you’re getting stronger (until you can hold it for the whole interval).

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Yes you’re right, it’s only the same as an outside ride that you do regularly but with even less variables.

Great reply. ^^^^^^

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I have the Fascat 18 weeks of sweet spot plan (combines sweet spot 1/2/3 plans), and around week 10 it starts to look like TR’s SSB-HV except Fascat plan has the really long weekend rides. The weekend rides are sweet spot group ride on Sat, and endurance on Sunday. Over the 18 weeks there are a handful of Sunday 45 and 60 min freestyle sweet spot (total time in sweet spot). At the beginning of the plan its Tue/Wed/Thur : SS/Tempo/Endurance with a lot of 60 and 90 minute workouts with intervals all under 20 minutes (a lot of 10 and 12 min intervals). You can pull up the plan on his website and see weeks 2 and 3. Checkout the blog post on weekend sweet spot group ride for details on that.

From that plan and a few Fascat podcasts I’ve listened to, my opinion is that part of the Fascat training philosophy is the 3 day mid-week block with decreasing intensity, followed by 2 long weekend rides with some sweet spot.

My preference is TrainerRoad’s SSB-MV hard days on Tue/Thur/Sat, and for me those are moved to Mon/Wed/Fri to better sync with weight training and a few other reasons. But if you do a lot of weekend rides, I can see rearranging TR MV plan to take Mon and Fri off. And to be clear - I’ve only used Fascat plan for inspiration when customizing TrainerRoad plans.

With the TR LV plan I’d suggest doing longer and longer sweet spot work on the weekend. The progression in that thread might serve you well, or at least give you some ideas on creating your own progression.

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No variation in effort - i would build it up with intervals and then reduce the number leaving yourself with the full 90’ or else your first session is pretty much like all your sessions - where do you take it after that

Frank advocates ‘fatigue dependent’ training, which is what you’re describing. Hard > Kinda Hard > Not that hard. I think this might be a better way to build CTL as it trains you body to ride in a fatigued state as you’re still doing hardish rides after a hard day. Whereas the TR approach is a bit different with the Hard > Easy > Hard approach. I think this gives up a bit of , but it’s just a different approach. Well worth trying both ways to see which builds fitness better for you.

I’ve listened to all of Overton’s stuff and I like a lot of what he says. One thing to keep in mind is that he’s training people for long road races, gravel races, or fondos where you need to smash it after 3+ hours on the bike.

I’ve tried some mid-weeks with SST-Tempo-Z1/2. I did 3x12 for SST and 4x12 for tempo. They were not hard to complete for me but they left me pretty depleted going into the weekend. I probably wasn’t fueling enough. Frank’s pressure on the pedals concept feels good.

My experiment did leave me in a philosophical crisis. I’m a big believer in polarized and it has worked really well for me in the past so I’m not sure I should stray from the path now. I was thinking that I’d do 8 weeks of polarizied base, take a break and then do a 3 or 4 week block of Overton style fatigue dependent training to further push the stress and TSS. After that I’d take a little break and then go back into polarized with the Seiler style intervals.

This reminds me of the Steve Neal style SST intervals. He sets a HR cap on the intervals of 83/84% of HRmax. You start the interval at the specified wattage but if HR drifts beyond the 83% you have to throttle back the power to keep under the HR cap. The idea is that he doesn’t want people doing sweet spot in their threshold or VO2max HR zone.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that Overton trains pros and Seiler studies pros. In terms of a polarised approached, the pros will have a very small Z2 compared to a weekend warrior. A pro’s polarised Z1 will contain Tempo and SS/Threshold power/HR; for the rest of us, it will not.

So when Overton prescribes a SS block for his elite athletes, it’s still their Seiler-style polarised Z1. Pro training does not translate precisely into Joe training.

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Bit of a random spot for this, but I was listening to the FasCat pod about long rides etc and Frank was talking about how he gets his riders up to a 350TSS ride.

Now, I already have some doubts about chasing TSS as a target, but that aside, 350TSS as your weekly long ride seems a bit nuts. It seemed a bit hyperbolic when I heard it, but figured pro’s are different animals. MVdP just posted his Ronde Van Vlaanderen file and it was 344TSS for 6.5hrs at one of the hardest races in the world.

Does anyone (other than brevet/super long multi day adventure style riders) achieve that kind of thing on a regular basis?

Or, for anyone that does do a long ride with a TSS target, what do you routinely aim for?

I did it roughly once a month leading up to big events in July 2016 and May 2017. Was shooting for once a month this year and ran into challenges.

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I don’t use TSS. My two A-races are ~10-12h events. This is about 8000 kJ of work for each race. During base I’ve built towards ~9000 kJ of work on back-to-back days.

Given my overall training volume and level, a long ride starts at ~3000 kJ work.

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You just need to stay out long enough, and the TSS will come. At least when you’re not a pro, and are always riding at some higher percentage of FTP.

I mean, even rising at 0.5 IF, 450TSS is just 9 hours…

(This is one of the reasons TSS is a bit useless, it over-emphasises duration)

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