Have I made my sweet spot workouts too hard?

So over the Christmas period I have done a week or two of longer sweet spot sessions than what was in the plan. So 1.5hrs instead of 1hr on the low volume sweet spot base (I think it’s called). This has got me up to a progression level of around 8.

I have now changed my plan to a custom plan leading into an event in April. My FTP changed by 4 watts (increase) and so my progression levels barely changed. With the first few weeks of the plan containing a 1 hr sweet spot session, the only way TR seems to be able to provide a 1hr sweet spot session at work out level 8+ is for it to add in some stupidly tough (for me) 30 second spikes (e.g. 150% FTP) amongst the sustained sweet spot interval.

I’ve just failed half way through at Redondo +2. Despite feedback that it was too tough, TR doesn’t seem to be adapting the sweet spot session in my plan for the following week. Redondo+3 (9.2) is planned! Which no matter how fresh I am, I will not manage.

Feels like I’m stuck with either manually swapping back in 1.5 hr sessions to do sweet spot sessions that are achievable for me (i.e. all sweet spot, no spikes, extending time in zone) with a workout level of around 8 or looking forward to failing the next few 1hr sweet spots until TR figures that they’re too tough. And no doubt this will play (possibly adversely) into any AI FTP detection at the next check?

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What FTP are you? I just did Redondo (SS 7.3) and it was easy but I’m only at FTP 119. TR has me scheduled for Redondo +2 (SS 8.6) both Tuesday and Thursday next week which seems strange.

Can you readjust your FTP down and see if that helps?

Is your cadence comfortable? Mine seems to be creeping up above 100 but no problems holding power or position.

If your progression level is that high, I think your only option is to do > 1hr workouts to keep them productive.

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Seems strange its not adapting down, have you tried contacting support to gather advice and perhaps trigger the appropriate adaption. support@trainerroad.com

@Topcat5 So up to Redondo +1 it is “just” big chunks of sweet spot with small/micro recovery intervals. You will see Redondo +2 chucks in some big 30 second spikes (poss 150% FTP?) and for me that is the killer. It’s like it fills my legs with concrete on the first one and then I’m done for.

If I reduce down my FTP, then the actual sweet spot bits would be too easy - as I’m confident based on the 1.5hr sessions I’ve done, that I could nail Redondo +1. Or indeed anything else that was purely sweet spot.

Maybe TR thinks I should be able to achieve it next week if I follow the plan and stick to a rest day before rather than putting in an extra hour of endurance work out the day before like I did this week?

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SS with spikes doesn’t really make sense. If you are limited to an hour I’d just do one big block with maybe a short warmup/cooldown. So 1x50 at 90-95% ftp


@redlude97 Exactly! I have done that before years ago. I think you might be right for the 1hr session, swap it for a solid long block and not worry too much about the workout level.


Yep, you already know what you are capable of and your goals, don’t need a workout level to tell you this.


The definition of sweet spot is also not set in stone. In TR it’s up to 94%. For Fascat, it’s up to 97%. I have one Dylan Johnson program and he has long intervals at 98%. I think you’d be working the same energy systems by choosing some TR “theshold” workouts that include intervals at 95-98%.

You might want to look at the “more sweetspot” team - this has a more ‘structured’ set of sweetspot workouts, all at 90%, with varying interval lengths. You can easily adjust the difficulty up/down a bit if you want then harder/easier.
These aren’t as ‘interesting’ as all the various hand-made workouts that TR has by default, but for following progressions I find these types of workouts much more useful.
Since these are custom I don’t know if the workout levels are correct yet.
Also, as others noted there is a limit on the PL you will get for a 1 hour workout at SS (and lower intensities), as there is only so much difficulty you can pack into 1 hour without raising the intensity.

One of my go-to SS workouts is 1x60 at 90%

Who needs who needs rest intervals anyway :slight_smile:


Thanks guys, you’ve kind of confirmed what I think I already knew, but nothing like a failed session for making you question everything and doubt yourself :wink: Before I started using Trainerroad, my typical winters focussing on ss would often be progressive weeks of 2x15min, 1x30min, 2x20min, 1x40min, 2x30min and 1x60.

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@toyman I had no idea there was such thing as teams! Just looked, wow, that’s more like the stuff I’ve done before TR and looks a good resource :-). Cheers!

I’ve fallen into this trap sometimes before…with always trying to push up progression levels (PL) even when higher levels (especially for sweetspot) on 60 min workoits don’t really make as much sense for my own personal desired progression. I’ve learn to use PL as a guide…but not to be bound by them.

To be honest my best seasons (and what I try to follow now) is big block of sweetspot for base but not pushing above 90% power and instead pushing out the duration (eg 4x15min, 2x30, 1x50, 1x60, 2x35 etc usually up to couple of weeks doing 2x45 - I never have time to do much more than 90min workout.

Basically do your own progression with sweetspot and let the PL be whatever they are!!!

Could you do 75 min workouts, or are you limited to 60 minutes? At the end of my SSBMV1 I kind of got into the same mess as you. The plan had me doing Picuris +2 (PL 8.4). Even with scoring ATH power numbers on this wo I listed it as moderate. I.e. my SS is quite good at the moment. Follow up was a 60 min SS, and the planned wo was Redondo +2. The sprints kill me! Not being my strong side even normally, and now I’m in base so it’s even worse. Got through it, but rated it as “very hard” so now all my SSBMV2 SS workouts (all achievable) are downrated. Problem is these are 90 min sessions, i.e. no sprints :slight_smile: And I see the same for 75 minute workouts. They are only SS even at high PLs.

I’ll have my first tomorrow and I foresee this to be fairly “easy”.

PS. I know SS in SSBMV2 is supposed to be “easier” since the VO2 + 2xthreshold will surely be taxing enough. It’s just that “sprints” are actually “downgrading” my future SS workouts, not my ability to actually do SS workouts.

Seems like a gap in the system that users are filling with custom workouts.

I think this is why the plan isn’t adapting, because it’s not a TR plan. Wouldn’t make sense for TR to automatically start changing a plan that you put together, since it doesn’t know what the purpose of that plan is.

Agree with what others have said above, there’s only so far you can progress SS with 1 hour sessions. And I don’t see much point doing SS with 150% bursts sprinkled in either! If you can’t go longer I would do some different workout types like threshold, over unders or VO2. Get those up towards PL of 8 as well and I think you’d get a decent FTP bump to give you some headroom for more progression within those 1 hour sessions.

Why? I find this extremely useful type of workout. You generate and clear lactate so you teach your body to do this, you increase the stimuli when you are time-limited and I find this a great workout for specificity - attack/follow, hold and repeat. For me, this was the type of workout that gave me a lot benefits. I can hold 90% for 120 min and usually get no benefit from steady sst, burst is my way to go and steady power is reserved for threshold work. So this type of workout has it’s place. And as OP it was killing me at first. As always - it all depends. I cannot discuss the AI part of the progression, because I do not use it but from the type of workout point of view, those are very good workouts.


Isnt this what over unders are for? If the goal is lactate clearance shouldnt that be repeated at a higher frequency to maximize the generation of lactate and subsequently the ability to ckear it? Yes the under portion is at SS intensity but i dont really consider that a SS workout any more. If you’re maxing out duration of SS at 120 mins then i why not increase to 95%, or do threshold progressions instead? I primarily think of SS as a time efficient muscular endurance workout

So do I. I find it more relevant to the real world. There’s probably a few examples but the one that springs to mind is a strong chaingang (paceline for the rest of the world) where I’m clinging on in the SS and I have bursts when its my turn to go to the front. Ideally for me though a chaingang (paceline) is a Tempo effort with bursts :joy:


Google ‘sweetspot burst’. Plenty of coaches proscribe tempo / sweetspot burst workouts. I guess the philosophical question is: at what point does a tempo/sweetspot burst workout become and over/under workout? and vice versa? :rofl:

I like them as they are more applicable to my regular riding than long steady state intervals. The are also a nice step up workout from longer steady state intervals before going into full blown O/Us.