So good at Sweet Spot it is actually Threshold? Is that good or bad? (Sweet Spot Base 1 Low Volume)

I just started a block of sweet spot base low volume a week ago. I’ve been using TrainerRoad since December 2022 and have an FTP of about 300. In late July / early August I took a week-long vacation and did no riding. When I got back TR bumped my FTP down to 288 (from 302), which I reluctantly accepted. In general I’m more of an anaerobic rider so I set my training program to climbing with the intention of working on longer efforts as that is my weak spot. Sweet spot rides here I come!

It started me off with Truchas+2 (PL 6.6). I’m on the low volume plan but changing the workouts to be a little longer when I have the time and energy. Last Friday I changed the scheduled 1hr sweet spot workout to Tray Mountain +2 (2hrs Sweet spot PL 7.4) and somehow blasted through it. Today I edited my scheduled 1hr SS workout at PL 7.9 to Brewery (1.5hs sweet spot PL 7.9) and make it through fine; I rated it ‘hard’ as the 4th & final interval took a little mental fortitude). Now in my schedule I have Redondo +2 (1hr sweet spot PL 8.6) and Redondo +4 (1hr sweet spot PL 9.8).

How in the world is Redondo +2 even a sweet spot workout? The intensity factor is 0.99. This would be totally balls out, if I could even complete it. I mean just look at this thing. Even without those spikes I think I’d be hard pressed to actually ride at my FTP for an hour. Would this not just be straight up Threshold, not sweet spot? Raising my FTP wouldn’t seem right if I can’t actually ride at 290+ for an hour, right? Am I shortchanging my training by riding Threshold 3x a week during the base phase? Should I be going easier during the base phase or do I just slam it on each workout? I’m on the low volume plan and recovering fine between workouts.

1 Like

SS is defined as 84-97% FTP. Redondo +2 is mostly 94%. Don’t get me wrong, that workout looks brutal to me, but if you’re already doing SS 7.9, with an IF of .86 (Brewery), then the jump to a SS 8.6 with an IF of .96 (Redondo +2) is a big jump, but not necessarily a MASSIVE one. Hope you crush it!

1 Like

Its 94% so yeah that is sweetspot. The high intensity bursts are what make it 0.99 and those will make it feel more like threshold during a lot of it but the main intervals are 94%. Its really sweetspot + anaerobic, but TR doesn’t classify workouts per more than one zone. Its a ton of duration at high sweetspot and very little rest which makes sense for such a high level workout. When the workouts get close to level 10 they do end up being more like the next zone up.

Just go back to 302 FTP, one week won’t change FTP. Recently I was sick and had 3 weeks off with very little riding. I kept the same FTP, struggled for the first week back and after that was back to normal completing all workouts. You’re in a much better situation with only a week off.

Regarding “Raising my FTP wouldn’t seem right if I can’t actually ride at 290+ for an hour, right?” Sample size of one but I use an “FTP” setting higher than what I can do for an hour to make the TR workouts harder. FTP setting in TR is effectively just a workout intensity setting that you can put where you desire. If I used a lower FTP setting then I’d just be doing harder level workouts so its all relatively the same, just accumulating the desired stimulus as the end result.


2 thoughts here. Sweet spot shouldn’t really feel hard. Requiring mental fortitude just to keep pushing through that dull, building sensation sounds about right but if it’s starting to feel like you are really having to battle to keep the intensity up you’re probably riding closer to threshold.

IF is done by normalised power and those spikes and little recovery mean it would be a very tough workout, and that’s why the IF is so high, but it is predominantly still riding at 0.94. High, but not soul crushing. Really if you’re getting to the point of doing those sorts of workouts and you’re still md-base I’d personally be trying to find time to get longer workouts with longer intervals.

It’s a limitation of the system of trying to progressively increase the load within your constraints.


Sweet spot is such a large range, I am not sure a blanket statement such as this is appropriate. If it does not require mental fortitude to pedal at 97% for a long time, maybe that just means one is really bad above or at threshold?

Looks hard, but do-able, although those spikes don’t seem useful at this stage of your program. It looks more like a specialty phase type of workout. Also, you scaled up your PL so fast this might be a little intense right now as opposed if you had a more gradual build, but you never know until you try. Let us know how it goes.

To be perfectly honest with you, I think that is Threshold.

The only real place for 97% being SS is if you haven’t tested your FTP, or as a lower level Threshold session.

I subscribe to the @empiricalcycling line of thinking these days where you’re better off riding just below, it gives largely the same benefits. (I hope I’ve paraphrased that ok Kolie?)


IMO, if you do a ride that is at a steady 97% of threshold then that’s a threshold interval/workout.

I’m pretty sure that when Frank Overton says SS is 84-97% that he means to go out and ride within that zone for extended periods. So down to 84%, venturing up to 97% everyone in a while, but kinda averaging around 90ish%.


At the end of the day, you’re running into a time constraint. Effective sweetspot training needs extend your total time at sweetspot in a session. These one hour murder sessions are edge cases where they aren’t really meeting the goal of a sweetspot plan and progression. Look into 75 or 90 minute alternatives.


I agree with @mailman and would consider this a threshold workout.

It doesn’t look fun but would be the kind of ride that would help in something like Leadville where you are on the gas trying to Climb for 60 - 90 min going up Columbine.

Hey there! Nice work on the sweet spot progression! :muscle:

Since you’ve gotten into the higher Workout Level training sessions, the workouts Adaptive Training will serve to you may be quite difficult if they are constrained by the 1-hour duration parameter set by our Low Volume plans (this is something we are working on improving for the future!).

If you have more than an hour to train on a given day, we’d recommend using Workout Alternates and expanding your search to workouts that are longer than 60 minutes. That should give you more options to extend the time in zone you’re spending on your sweet spot sessions without hard bursts of power added in (which are more often seen in workouts that are 60 minutes or less with higher Workout Levels).

As others have already stated, Redondo +2 is a sweet spot workout because the majority of the workout is spent riding at sweet spot power. The bursts of power increase the IF, but the zone you’d spend the most time in is still sweet spot.

Workouts like Redondo +2 can be great depending on what you’re training for – such as a road race where you’d have to sustain a high percentage of FTP while also putting out bursts of power above FTP and then settling back in – but if you’re working on your base at the moment, you may not be too concerned about developing that kind of power during this phase of your training cycle.

Since you’re already crushing workouts into Levels 8 and 9, it does also sound like your FTP may be bouncing back up pretty quickly from your time off! If you used AI FTP Detection within the last 28 days, you won’t be able to use it until the time gate unlocks it again – but you could do a Ramp Test or even just bump up your FTP 2-3% manually if you’d like. With the increased power targets brought by a higher FTP, your Progression Levels would be knocked down a bit so your workouts would remain appropriately challenging.

Hope this helps! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.


FTP being an imprecise number, I’m pretty sure that this 94% workout could be considerate as SS or Threshold, depending if your FTP is 5w too low or too high.

1 Like