Having trouble with long tempo and sweet spot intervals

Clearly you haven’t found a bridge strong enough to get you over it. Hanging onto stuff you cannot change keeps you anchored whereas you could be well ahead in a different space offering a lot more better things.

It’s not that they don’t help get you fit or that you shouldn’t be doing them. Just don’t attribute the “train lactate clearance” outcome to it. Just do the work. And lower it enough that you can actually DO it.

Strongly agree with the advice to do “Significantly Over / Longer Under” intervals. And don’t sweat exactly where the long tempo part of the interval is relative to FTP. It’s a fairly wide range. Be “under” as much as .75-.80 IF (which you would have observed AFTER the ride).

The overall theme is there really is no need to dork around with your FTP protocol if you just lower the tempo (under) part of the interval so that you can do it for 20-30mins (for a single interval…otherwise it’s not really tempo…or you’re tired…blah blah, you get it)

  • Lowering an effort that is based off another value by lowing the value that it’s based off of
  • Lowering the effort

^^^ literally the same thing ^^^


I find them fun, more like a pace line. For example a 4 person pace line - do a 1 minute acceleration and then 3 minutes somewhere between endurance and threshold. If you listen to some other podcasts you’ll hear coaches say they deliver results at a lower ‘cost’ (versus pure threshold intervals). I’ve absolutely found that true for myself, but it may not for you.

Like @tshortt said, no need to change your ftp, just lower the power on your work between endurance and threshold (“sweet spot” or “tempo”). I’m with him on 20-30 minute single interval for tempo/SS work.

And similar to what @KWcycling said above, which I translate for you (using 228W ftp) into 3 weeks of intervals 2-4x15-min or 2-3x20-min at 195W. Then a rest week and another 3 weeks at 205W. Repeat and raise power to say 220. Something like that. Adjust power as needed, do some work.

Thats what I would do for myself.

That third interval is easier but your HR is higher than the first two and still climbing at the end.

Not sure exactly what this tells us (probably anything between 1 and 12 of 15 different things) but it’s interesting.

looks like lower power on that 3rd 15-min interval, but to my eyes HR levels off around 12 minutes in:

You’re right … now that I’ve zoomed in. Still higher than in the previous intervals despite the lower power, though.

Cooling/hydration? :man_shrugging:t2:

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Too hard to say on 1 workout. Nothing looks wrong with that pic.

Personally I’d want to look for patterns across workouts, and consider other things like cadence, hydration, temperature, training load, TSB when workout was done, etc.

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Thanks for the reminder. I was feeling a bit hard pressed by then and I lowered the power. I think the first two were at 98% FTP, third was at 95 or 96%.

I don’t believe it was hydration or energy. It’s definitely possible it was cooling. Right now, I feel like there isn’t much I can do about my apartment being a bit warm, but I could get another fan.

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FWIW around here we embrace the (dry) heat and see gains (there is science behind that). I absolutely see higher HR on longer intervals, but I don’t worry about it and if I get really hot will cut 15-20 intervals down to 5-8 minutes. Take a 15 minute interval and make it 3x5-minute with short 30-60 second recoveries to cool off.

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I will keep this in mind.

Heh. Don’t worry, I will never stop reminding people of your/Wahoo’s/Henderson’s outrageously unethical behavior.

Great place to start. Long tempo should be fairly easy. Sweet spot shouldn’t be that hard either. But if you trying to nudge up to 97% of FTP and FTP is set too high then you can see where that leads.

Yawn :yawning_face:

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I did start with some over under work. I’m now able to complete 2x20 or 3x15 at threshold without major issue. I think a lot of the problem was mental, some of it was thermal, and possibly some of it was that my FTP was overestimated a bit. Whatever the case, I’ve been riding very strongly outdoors, which was the goal.