Have I made my sweet spot workouts too hard?

Sure i know people do them, i guess ive always thought its easier to just progress straight into over unders, but im also replacing SS work with longer endurance rides by that point in my season with more polarization. I was more in the mindset of they should have a particular purpose other than simpky increasing progression levels because you’re time limited in terms of making sense.

@cartsman so when I say custom plan I mean one that Trainerroad has compiled for me by putting in my “A” event in April and the type of event etc. It adapted on this basis when I used this custom feature last year.

So far as sweetspot with bursts, I’ve done tempo with bursts before now, and those were on the achievable side of turning the legs to concrete. Though probably never with such violent bursts.

I can get back to 1hr 15 or even 1 hr 30 sweet spot if I have to. The other two sessions of the week (threshold and VO2 sessions) are still progressing, so it probably doesn’t matter too much what sweet spot looks like on the work out level front so long as I complete some quality work?

I’m finding over unders much more achievable as the ‘over’ bit is only a fraction over threshold. Redondo+2 has spikes of 150% rather than say 105-110% you might see in an over under.

I’d say if the other two days are already high intensity, then it actually matters a lot what the SS looks like, in this case it seems to be a replacement for endurance so work over threshold should be carefully added. Do you do well with 3 days of intensity in a week?

I don’t know if there is research to back it up, but my understanding is one of the theoretical benefits of a burst type workout is the higher power of the burst causes more motor units / muscle fibers to be recruited than a steady state interval. This might be useful for certain ‘muscular endurance’ type workouts as instead of slowly recruiting more fibers as the in-use ones slowly fatigue during the interval, the bursts get that to happen faster.

Because steady sst is something I use only when I am too tired for threshold. Like I said I personally do not get anything from steady sst. But doing sst with bursts (different style - 30s or 1 min) I get much more benefit. One does not exclude other. Just saying that steady sst is not only way to go, and bursts are very valuable workut. When you are time crunched way more effective than steady sst. You also fatigue fast twitch muscle fibers quite effective and doing 60min sst with bursts is faster than doing 120 flat sst. And to answer in reverse - why do flat sst and not bursts? Everything has its place and time.

And I must admit I do not referring to any TR workout from the base - i have set of custom workouts that have different over frequency and duration. And my answer is about general type of workouts.

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@redlude97 So my overall plan is very similar to what I have done for the last year with Trainerroad, and similar to what I have done for the last ~7 or 8 years.

Since with Trainerroad, I have done the 3 sessions on their low volume plans (typically a sweetspot base or build type plan most of the year round) plus a longer 3hr+ aerobic ride outdoors at the weekend. Currently I’m also doing 2 weights sessions per week of which one of those is on the same day as one of the turbo sessions but at the other end of the day. Always 1 complete rest day per week.

In race season, I will swap out one of the intensity work outs with a crit or a 10mile TT, or the longer ride with a road race.

Having been riding all my life, now in my 40s, having trained vaguely properly for the last 10years, I don’t foresee any big bumps in fitness but am always hopeful :wink:

In my later 40s now and I see myself gaining 250w, when I buy that ebike that is :wink:

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Ah, I misunderstood what you meant by custom plan! Yes, if you’re doing threshold and VO2 workouts as well then I think doing “Achievable” SS workouts is fine, if anything should leave your fresher to really nail those higher intensity workouts which should hopefully raise your FTP.

I mostly use them to do 30-90 minute climbs up mountains, and I get the satisfaction of reaching the summit a lot faster than if I did endurance!!!

this is the FasCat boilerplate description for Sweet Spot w/bursts, this is for 2-minutes at SS with a 5-sec burst (rinse and repeat):

Bursts are meant to help emulate the stochastic nature of bike rides, where you have to give it some ‘gas’/hard efforts to get up a steep section, out of a corner or close a gap to a wheel.

My bursty power is naturally strong, so all I have to do is stand up and push a bit to do 200% for 5-seconds, so for me its only moves the HR needle a few bpm even when I’m feeling good and doing the sweet spot at threshold of around 95%.

My favorite is significantly over / long unders, most recent was 1-min at 112+% and 9-min at 95+%. Like a x10-min basic threshold workout where you start with a strong acceleration and then settle in just under threshold. Pure gold for me.

Using vs training. Agree that ability to hold sst is useful, no doubt about this. But I do not belive that steady sst is the one way to go. Train everything, mix steady with o/u and tailor to your needs and weekeneses. That’s all I have meant the whole time.

I would love to have 30-90min climbs around me :slight_smile:

Hey there @mtbtomo! Looks like a great discussion on Sweet Spot training here!

Regarding SST and Adaptive Training in this case:

Essentially, the parameters set by your training plan triggers Adaptive Training to look for a specific type of Sweet Spot workout at a duration of 60 minutes, and we’re hitting the upper limits of workouts that are available since a 60-minute Sweet Spot session can only get so hard.

What we’d recommend doing in this case is using Workout Alternates and looking for 75-minute Sweet Spot workouts. That will allow for AT to find workouts with a bit more time in zone, so your Sweet Spot workouts will progress in difficulty that way rather than by having bursts added to your workout.

We’re working on improving Adaptive Training for when we run into cases like this in the future, and the solution we’re working on should help us avoid running into situations like this down the line.

Feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions!


No warm up :hot_face:

The first 5 mins are the warmup :slight_smile:

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@ZackeryWeimer Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I was possibly being lazy in my own thinking - as you and the others have said, only so much sweetspot you can fit into an hour.

Previously - last winter - I think my FTP got a bigger bump up whilst also my sweet spot progression level was lower and less close to having maxed out the 1hour true sweet spot sessions. So the FTP increase reduced my progression levels further away from the maximal sweet spot in an hour. And then when my FTP changed another couple of months on it didn’t matter, as I was in race season and wasn’t doing sweet spot anyway.

I should be able to find 1hr 15 :slightly_smiling_face:

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I had the same problem the past few weeks.
The 1hr sweet spot are tougher than the 90 min workouts.
I did Antelope +3 (90 min, 6.9 PL, 6x10min with 2,5min recovery 88-94% ) and it is for me easier than Venado (1h, 6.9 PL, 3x16min at 94%, only 30 seconds recovery)

I think that the PL are not equals for the workout duration in reality

Always going to be the way isn’t it, I suppose it comes back to doing work outs that you can actually complete and then keeping an eye on how the progressive overload is administered. Whether thats extending time in zone or upping the wattage marginally. From what I read extending time in zone is better from the perspective of ensuring you are more likely still stressing the correct physiological system but when you limit the time that a workout can take then sometimes the only way is up :wink:

Sweet spot this morning for me, ohh what fun I will have

Running into this problem myself on a plan builder generated LV plan. Currently in SSB LV2 having just completed a build phase. Seeing small FTP increases but my sweet spot PLs have been steadily increasing. Completed Redondo 2 weeks ago and Redondo +1 last week. Scheduled for Redondo +2 this week, Redondo +3 next week, ending the block on Chicoma +2 the week after, which is a 9.5. Managed the previous workouts ok but don’t think I’ll be able to complete the upcoming ones, all which have bursts.

Glad I read this post as wouldn’t have considered using 75 min alternates to avoid the bursts!

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I hate the bursts, I dont feel like they do anything for me.