Intensity spikes within sweetspot workouts?

Simple one.

Why are there big power surges slap bang in the middle and sometimes beginning and end of regular sweetspot workouts?

Looking at you specifically, Chicoma.

I’ve always thought if I’m doing a certain zone then that’s what I’m doing, with some z1 rest mixed in between. I’ve never understood how throwing a splash of brief but extreme effort would help me work in the zones I am targeting.

Per the workout info itself:

Description
Chicoma is 4x12-minute muscle-endurance efforts that hover at the high end of Sweet Spot and include 3x15-second bursts at 150% FTP, just to keep things interesting.

Very short, 30-seconds recoveries fall between each interval.

So, “just for fun” seems to be the reason in this case.

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Thanks Chad I’m aware thats what the workout brief says, which is why I’m asking the question.

‘just for fun’ is about the worst explanation I can think of :sweat_smile:

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Well, you didn’t mention that in your OP, so I figured it was worth stating. Plenty of people overlook the Descriptions and other info in the workout that explain some of the reasons behind workouts, at least in some cases.

To a broader question of why to mix efforts, the reasons vary. Sometimes they are meant to replicate some efforts expected outside. Some are simply to break up an otherwise monotonous workout, and there are likely other reasons. In those more more intentional cases, the info in the workout does give a clue, that is more than the particular instance you mentioned.

As ever, these “efforts/drills” are potentially up to each rider to include or ignore. Might take some effort from people riding in ERG, to swap to RES to allow “skipping” of efforts like this if they choose to do so.

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Brake monotony is one thing, but it also activates more muscle mass, increases the load on muscles, it is more race specific and also helps with repetability and with longer spikes (around 30s) helps with lactate clearance.

Little more about that: Complete Cycling Interval Workout Guide | EVOQ.BIKE

This is very popular format used by many coaches, and it works pretty well I must admit.

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The goals of the workout explain it to, my interpretation its preparing you for sudden changes in resistance which you want to power through without blowing up; or my own thoughts, surges in road races too without being dropped.

Goals

"The primary aim of Sweet Spot work is to improve your ability to resist fatigue at reasonably high power outputs over substantial lengths of time.

In other words, workouts like this are all about increasing your muscular endurance.

In doing so, you can improve your ability to climb faster and longer, face stiff winds without fading and time trial more consistently over the entire course of an event."

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My coach has me doing 3 or 4x20’ at 92-94% with 15" at 120% every 5’ regularly, it does break up the workout a bit making it better manageable mentally even though it does make it a lot harder physically. The main reason is also because it further depletes my anaerobic contribution, since I’m going for 70.3’s in triathlon but I’m of the sprinter phenotype.

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