Intensity recovery intervals Sweet Spot

Dear TR forum,

currently, I am following the high volume SS Base Volume II. The recovery intervals between the sweet spot intervals are very low intensity, e.g. 120 watts. Is there any advantage or disadvantage to riding at 170-180 watts? My reasoning for riding at slightly higher intensity is race specificity. When climbing or taking a pull you will almost never revert to 120 watts, but rather 180-200 when riding in the draft, etc. …

I did find the following article, but did not find it very useful for my question:

Thanks for your response,


The recovery intervals are so that you can perform the next work interval to the best of your ability not to simulate race conditions, though there are workouts that do that. From the blog post you link to then specifically for Sweet Spot intervals the example given states:

Monitor is 6×6 minutes of riding between 88-94% FTP. Aimed at increasing muscular endurance with an pretty even split between aerobic and anaerobic stress, the recovery intervals last 2 minutes at 40% FTP to further the body’s ability to clear metabolic buildup, replenish energy stores, and break from the rigors of higher-intensity work intervals.

It’s about improving the effectiveness of the workout, nothing more.

The focus in the base phase is the work portion itself and doing the low intensity recovery helps you achieve hitting he interval properly.

Once you get into the build and particularly the speciality phase, the intervals and recovery portions will start to mimic race conditions more closely. In short, you are in the base phase, so don’t worry about trying to simulate race conditions now - this will come later.

Through SSB1 I skipped a lot of the very low intensity sections, or cut down drastically. At that point I didn’t feel like they were of any benefit at all. On threshold and upwards workouts then I keep them, again not always needed and not ‘race realistic’ but they are generally shorter and it’s a faff to skip forward on mobile app.

Interested to know if I have impacted the training outcomes - expect not.

Thanks for your responses. I agree that in base I do not need to focus on race specificity. However, as I am able to hit the sweet spot intensity without any issues I will continue riding a slightly higher intensity during the recovery intervals. With threshold work I will most likely not do this as I expect it to impair the quality of work…

@elvis, as long a you are sufficiently recovered to perform the next interval bumping up the rest period intensity a little is at worst ‘ok’.

Taking this idea to its extreme, just do Polar Bear +1. Or Echo+2 or Leavitt+3 or Phoenix +1 or Phoenix +3. I especially like hte Polar Bear and Phoenix workout series.

Yeah, if you are hitting the work portion without any issue, then it’s not a big deal to do the recovery higher than prescribed.

When I went through SSB in the winter, there were many workouts that I omitted the rest completely and just combined the SS intervals, thus extending the work portion. In fact sometimes I’d do 70 minutes straight of SS work once I had adapted to the sustained efforts.