How much has Sweet Spot changed over the years?

This winter I’ve come back here after a couple of seasons of trying a different app. I’m not racing and my ftpW/kg is 2.8 which puts me mid-pack among the people I ride with. My question is who is the target audience for Sweet Spot? People who need to win a race or people who just want to become a slightly better cyclist? Going from memory, it seems a lot more intense now. I never had to consider pausing or bailing before but I do now. The only thing that’s different is that I’m running in the little ring (erg mode). Yes I know that subject has been discussed already but is that the only reason it feels so much harder? I question the long-term health value of pushing that hard. The roads I ride have plenty of punchy climbs and longer climbs ranging anywhere from 6-24% so I get plenty of suffering as it is lol. So what’s the answer? Do I manually lower my FTP 2-3% to compensate for my goals not matching up to winning a race? I don’t feel like the Traditional Base is a solution because it backs off the intensity too far and is frankly boooorrring on a trainer. Happy Holidays folks!

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@scbottom To answer the question in the title, and presuming you are in one of the base plans, in years past the first phase of periodization (Base) was just long slow miles. The theory was that you need to build an aerobic base before moving on to any more intense efforts. Lots of research and years later, Base period training as part of a periodization plan includes high intensity efforts, such as sweet spot.

As to your question as to whether you can “dial it down” and get improvement, the answer is yes providing that the dialed down level is of greater intensity than what you were doing previously. Through super-compensation (stress then recover) you will become a stronger rider.

As to your racing comments, the goal of TR is to make you a faster cyclist. The programs are geared toward allowing you to really push yourself. I don’t know that Nate has ever produced #s that show the # racers vs non-racers (I don’t think he collects that data), but judging by the forum comments, the % of racers is substantially in the minority (i.e. you are not alone). But what the TR program will do for you, even scaled down, is to help you climb that 6-24% grade easier (and/or faster).

Assuming you are following the TR plan progression the sweet spot work should not feel totally unmanageable. How recently did you last calculate your FTP? And was it with the same equipment you are using for TrainerRoad(ex: your smart trainer may read differently than your power meter)? Sounds like it could be set too high.

This might give TR even more reason to develop a two tier platform, e.g. Fitness and Performance.

The Fitness level being exactly what TR currently offers; the Performance level utilizing more AI/ML analytics to adjust/personalize plans/workouts, as well as being priced higher.

Good question. To add to the picture: I am on the same trainer for all this time. A Kickr Snap. Same bike, same tire pressure, same turns on the roller, consistent spin down times in the middle of Wahoo’s recommendation. Even the same cassette cog. Only difference is running the little ring 34T vs 50T. I just tested my FTP four weeks ago. I hit 15 watts lower than almost two years ago using the 8 minute vs the new ramp test. I really think I over-tested that time before though.

I guess a more succinct way to ask my question is: Compared to Sweet Spot of previous years, has the accumulated TSS per phase increased or stayed the same?

I like the way you think :wink:

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The changes to Sweet Spot Base vary depending on whether we are talking about SSB I or 2, if we’re talking about Low, Medium, or High Volume, etc.

In recent memory, the High Volume Plans increased their TSS with an update a few years ago and cut back the intensity. We swtiched the HV plans over to a strictly Sweet Spot approach with no VO2 efforts of any kind, and increased the overall volume to compensate.

As for the Mid and Low, looking back at our original legacy plans, the new plans are lower in stress than the older ones. The Legacy MV Plans had 6 rides per week instead of 5 , with regularly scheduled Friday recovery rides that increased the overall weekly TSS. Also, the newer plans swap out long 2-3 hour Sunday Rides for more indoor-managable Sweet Spot work.

If you’d like to get a full view of what the plans used to look like, you can view them in the Plans section of the TrainerRoad Legacy Application.

You can donwload it here:



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Thank you! Those links will help me figure out what I’m up against!

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