No credit for the warmup in Sweet Spot work?

So, I was looking at Carson this afternoon, mentally prepping for the evening’s workout. The workout description lists that the workout includes 36 minutes of sweet spot work, which doesn’t include the 2-minute interval in the warmup.

Now, I’ll admit that initially I was like “why am I not getting full credit here?”, but upon reflection I’m legitimately wondering about how sweet spot training works and whether it makes sense or not to include that warmup interval when thinking about how much work has been done. Does it not matter because it’s too short? If so, would a better use of the hour be to just jump right in and shorten the workout? I don’t really feel like a warmup is necessary for an 88% interval - could I just skip the first 10 minutes and expect equal benefit?

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Hear me out here.
You are overthinking it.


As above. :joy:

You’re getting credit for that small interval, it’s part of the workout and a primer for the forthcoming intervals. You also get TSS for it

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I totally get that. I came here for the overthinking.

The questions is sort of more basic: are short SS intervals worth anything, or do the benefits only come with longer times in zone?

When I’m mentally counting down how far I am through my work I ALWAYS count the warmup!


Me, too. Mental math is one of my favorite techniques to distract myself when an interval starts to hurt.


You are going to need a certain amount of volume to drive adaption, be that 5x8 minute intervals, or 10x4 minute intervals. As long as the recovery valleys are pretty short you should get a similar benefit from either option as far as I understand it.

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or do the benefits only come with longer times in zone?

Yes. Think about riding in your endurance zone for 15 minutes. Would you think that is affecting a change in your endurance?

The time column in Table 2 found here shows the amount of time required in each zone to have an effect on each system.

I’m sure if Chad thought anything different, we might be doing 3 minute intervals at sweet spot intensity but I think the bulk of his sweet spot workouts use intervals >=10 minutes.

EDIT after seeing Jonnyboy’s response after me typing mine: I agree with his logic too that if you have short enough rest intervals between the work intervals you probably aren’t falling out of the desired system e.g. 10 x 2 minutes at 95% with 20 second rest intervals

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I actually went off and had a quick check after typing that to make sure I wasn’t making a fool of myself!

The vast majority of SS workouts are 8/10/12 minute intervals with recovery between, there are a smaller number of workouts that have short 3/5 minute intervals with short 30s-1M recovery valleys.

I actually would have thought that 1m off for every 3m work would be too much, but there you go

What do you mean by “credit”?

The numerical measures (TSS, IF, etc.) include the whole workout.

The text talks about the workout design. In this context, the warmup is never part of the designed “real work”. Which is fair. You could make a whole weekly series of SS workout that progresses in a variety of ways (e.g., constant total work but increasing intervals length, decreasing rest length, increasing total work). You wouldn’t count the standard 15-min warmup as part of the design.

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