Suddenly starting to struggle with sweetspot base

Hey everyone, in the past few weeks I have transitioned from running and cycling with the intent of doing a triathlon, to only focusing on cycling, and I’ve hit a bit of a wall in my training. Before switching to only cycling, I was doing 60 mpw of running with ~10 hours on the bike (low volume triathlon TR plan but only following the bike plan, adding in 60 min Z2 rides on days with nothing scheduled), but am now doing ~15 hours on the bike without any running. Given that I was doing about 1500 TSS per week, I decided to do the high volume TR cycling plan. I have only been seriously training on the bike for 3 months.

Things started out pretty well on the high volume plan, and I tested my FTP at 280 (I tested at 279W two weeks earlier so I feel confident in this number). I handled the first week of training in control, even throwing in a 130 mile ride (10k feet of climbing, average power of 200W) on Sunday before my day off. Coming into the second week of SSB, I feel as though I’ve really hit a wall. Yesterday my workout was Monitor +1 and I had to bail after 4 of the 7 reps of 10 min @ sweetspot with my legs totally spent and my HR reaching 170 bpm (the highest I’ve seen my HR is around 182), and my sweetspot workout today was a similar story. I do all my workouts indoors and this week has been very hot and humid, but I have 2 high velocity fans pointed at me so I feel that heat shouldn’t be affecting me that much.

Given my recent struggles with the high volume SSB, should I switch to a lower volume plan? I felt confident in my ability to handle the high volume plan after how much volume I was doing when I was also running, but this is making me have second thoughts. If anyone has any advice I’d greatly appreciate it as I’m still relatively new to structured bike training.

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It sounds like the problem is you rode 130 miles…that is going to leave a dent. I’d try taking a few days off/easy then try going back into the plan.

High volume MIGHT be too much…but a 130 mile ride 2 days before failing a workout strikes me as a huge, blinking, flashing red flag.


I just looked back and actually had my days last week mixed up. I rode the 130 miles last Friday. Still could be a contributor given it was my longest ride since I’ve started training though

Going from low volume to high volume is a huge increase in intense workouts.

Dropping the running doesn’t have to mean those hours have to be replaced. You might get much stronger on the bike on the same volume, just by virtue of coming into each workout that much fresher.

If you’re going the workouts in the prescribed order, you faced Antelope +2 the day before. That’s a solid Sweet Spot workout. The pervious week saw you take on Wright Peak -2 which is also a solid effort.

It could well be that your body isn’t yet accustomed to shedding this level of accumulated fatigue. You might also be asking your body to work for long-ish periods of time in zones to which it isn’t used to just yet.

Why not give yourself a couple of days of easy Z2 leg spinning or maybe even a Lazy Mountain or two? See if you can right the ship and move this week down your calendar. If that doesn’t help, it might be worth considering a reduction in overall volume.


Depends how hot and humid it was. When the warm weather started my HR skyrocketed on every workout. (My 1h power has become 15 min power with HR 95% mac). And I also have 2 blower fans. After two weeks of Z2 and some SS my body accustomed a little bit so now HR is only elevated couple of beats or in norm. Try some easy Z2 rides and check how your HR is - it can be simple heat.

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I had this experience. Start using to see how “fatigued” you are. I train for endurance, so I do mid volume plans and swap out Sundays and resting weeks for long rides (100+ miles). Sometimes, I overdo it and I need an extra rest day. This is particularly bad, considering my Tuesday workouts are typically VO2Max intervals, which are very taxing for me.

One concrete example was a couple of weeks ago. I took an extra rest day in preparation of riding 200km in zone 2-3. That ride self was amazing. Legs were fresh, when I got off the bike I still felt fresh. Success.

Day after, I thought I could do 40-50 km “recovery” in zone 1-2. Even though I slept well, I wasn’t recovered enough to do that and it was sore legs all along. And that was all zone 1-2!

So I learned my lesson that long zone 2/3 rides still need recovery, even though during the ride it feels like “you are doing nothing”, especially compared to threshold like McAdie +1.

I did an hour in Z2 yesterday and found my HR was averaging 10 bpm higher than usual. This leads me to believe the heat may be a factor here.

Thanks for the advice! I did two days of Z2 work and planning to try SS again today. Hopefully the two easy days have given me some time to adequately recover

Sounds like we have similar schedules. I have been trying to ride anywhere from 80-120 miles on my Sunday rides to break up all the time spent on the trainer during the week. I definitely need to focus on recovery more. My SS workout 2 days after a 130 mile ride may have been the tipping point this week.