How easy/hard should SSB be?

As a 55+, my leg strength and cardio don’t match up; my cardio gives up when my legs still have plenty to give. My resting HR is 58 and I max out at 191, so it’s not as if I’m not trying.
Because of this, my tested FTP results are always lower than my legs can handle, and I inch it up when my cardio can handle it.
But SSB is therefore easy on my legs, I feel like I don’t get that much of a leg workout. When Chad “says” hang in there, I know it’s hard!!", I’m thinking, huh?
But I also know that SweetSpot shouldn’t be very hard.
So…how easy/hard should it be??? How to quantifiy this??

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That’s a great question Sophie! In short, sweet spot work should be uncomfortable but doable. You should feel your legs burning but not the kind of burning that makes your legs give out. You should be able to get through the intervals and be tired at the end but also be able to repeat multiple intervals like it.

Thanks! So, sweet spot isn’t any different than the build or specialties, in that it should be as hard as you can go while being able to finish the workout? I thought SSB was about training your body to burn fat vs sugars (ie - muscular endurance)

I did 50 minutes at Sweet Spot yesterday. My heart rate stayed pretty steady and I had to focus on breathing but I was not panting or gasping for air. I definitely noticed my legs getting a workout. I felt a dull burning after about 30 minutes in.

If you don’t think that you are working hard enough, bump up the wattage target 10% and give that a shot.

I’ve heard mixed results. I thought SSB mid workouts were easy. But many say they are hard. I had to reduce the intensity on the very first workout but every one after that was very manageable. Maybe I was fatigued from the week before. Now I’m on Short Power Build and “Pierce” is impossible to get through without rest.

Sounds like me. Base is extremely do-able, but as soon as I get into Build, they are almost impossible to do without a break.

I did Hunter-1 yesterday, a typical sweet spot base workout (60 total minutes spread out over two total hours, divided into 6 10 minute segments

Basically as the workout progresses I go from feeling like they are challenging but easy to finish to eventually feeling very heavy leg fatigue and counting down the minutes

Your results may vary but generally speaking anything with an IF under 0.93 is completeable without breaks for me, and above 0.93 starts to depend on the type of interval and how my rest and recovery are going

Like Sophie_B, I find the SSB workouts to be easy while the hard days in the build plans are brutal. For me I think it’s partly mental and partly physiological.

From the mental side, I know the 88%-94% ftp may become uncomfortable, but I also know it is very doable, so I have zero stress about it. As a result, I have no fear or sense of struggling, so I can stay relaxed and just pedal. Conversely, in a 3 minute VO2max interval at 120%, I know it will push me close to failure, so it adds a mental weight which definitely makes it harder.

On the physical side, I think the relative ease of one type of workout versus another reflects better muscular endurance than high-end fitness. So, when I start my next build phase I am going to really focus on short power, but I may just step down the IF of every single VO2max day until I am 100% confident I can do them.

Endurance rides are the “sweet spot” for training your body to burn fat — but you have to do about 15+ hours a week.

The further you move away from Endurance rides, that is, the higher the intensity, the more your body moves toward burning sugars.

Sweet Spot rides burn a bit of both. TR recommends SS mostly because it gives the most bang for the buck all around. SS will adapt your body to burning fat for fuel but to a lesser extent than Endurance level workouts.