Sustained Power HV Sweet Spot workouts - can I sub these for endurance rides or will I lose too much benefit?

Was thinking I could sub these 2 hour sweet spot rides for 3 to 3.5 hour early morning endurance rides. Bit more convenient for me as I can get up really early at the weekend, have a quick, small breakfast and just ride at endurance outside for a few hours. No need for making sure I’m well fuelled to nail intervals etc. I can play catch up calorie wise for the day and next day so I’m back on track for the hard stuff. Also means I can ride outside without making indoor trainer noise for a couple of hours and burn a bit more belly.

What sort of potential FTP loss/gain would you be looking at if you subbed the sweet spot workouts for endurance rides? If the hit would be too big then I’ll just suck it up and try to do the sweet spot intervals outside early in the morning. Will just be a bit tougher as it’s hard to nail big long intervals when you’re half asleep!

“Not all TSS is equal” BUT, some is more equal than others. I’ll be interested to hear others’ opinions on this as well. My personal opinion is, if done right, occasionally substituting longer endurance rides of equal or greater TSS can be beneficial.

However, an endurance ride has to be an endurance ride and not a typical club ride where you smash the uphills, coast the downhills and noodle the flats. It has to be steady effort where your power profile looks more like Baxter where you have slight power variances without a lot of coasting. Aim to be in active recovery or coasting less than 10% of the time and put an upper limit on the watts you put down, so, don’t go murder yourself for a random KOM or chase your friends up hills.

Make sure the TSS completed is at least what was prescribed. You can pack more on if you’re capable of recovering and doing the following days’ workouts.

I’ll also add that being able to do sweet spot intervals outside is an important skill to have, so, don’t ignore the benefit of doing that, too!


I did SSB HV and did just this, substituting weekend Sweet spot rides for endurance. Especially if i was coming into the weekend already feeling flat, it was easier on my body, accumulated a similar amount of TSS, but felt ready to smash it when tuesday rolled around. I think there’s big benefits in taking this approach, because it varies the stress of your program (which is one of the drawbacks of HV, all the workouts are similar) and helps develop the muscle endurance you build in sweet spot intervals into long <70% efforts. One of the primary reasons coach Chad has cited as to why the weekends are Sweet spot workouts, and not long endurance workouts, is the difficulty in getting people on the trainer for 3+ hours. But if your outdoor rides allow you to stay in an endurance zone, then go for it.


Definitely yes, I’d be making a proper effort to keep all the nonsense in check! Really want to commit to 8 weeks of power building. I’ve made a proper mess of it before, cracked and had to take a long period off.

Did you get the sort of FTP boost you were expecting? Curious how integral the sweet spot efforts are to the plan, but if Chad is saying that those efforts are just indoor subs for endurance rides then I guess it’s kosher!

went from 292 to 315 in SSBHV1, then 315 to 340 in SSBHV2. Had trouble getting more gains in the build phase, with gains beings harder the higher you go, and with the interruption of the flue half way through. only went from 340 to 345.

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I think Sweet spot is the main driving force of fast improvements to FTP. But, after 2-4 sessions, you start seeing diminished returns. Just like how above threshold sessions you see diminishing returns after 1-2 sessions. There’s also other elements to our fitness besides FTP, and long endurance rides are a big part of building that. And because its a different pathway for adaptation (endurance and sweet spot) it helps the body to have multiple forms of stress pushing it to adapt, rather than only doing endurance rides, or only sweet spot. But if you’re ever time crunched, or lacking motivation for long hours of riding: doing 30-120 minutes of sweet spot on the trainer on the weekends is infinitely better than doing nothing.


50 watts during base… not surprised you didn’t get a bump in build! Well done though, that’s a massive power boost!

I’ve been doing a lot of endurance riding for the past few months and hope I’ve built a nice base… would like to keep it as much as possible. I think they say one long ride every two weeks is enough? Not sure on the science behind all that though or what time you need to ride to keep what amount of base etc…

Yeah, i’ve heard that too. The fitness you have in your endurance is supposed to take the longest to diminish, so a long ride every two weeks should be enough for maintenance whilst building FTP via sweet spot.

I would say it depends where you are already. If you are already someone who can handle sweet spot fairly easily i don’t think it really budges your ftp like doing vo2 and threshold work.

Ive bagged my medium intensity weekend workouts for endurance rides and am really happy with the results. I try to get in about the same tss and get less fatigue and have done better at my weekday workouts. It just takes more time to rack up that impulse.


If you are going to sub a 2 hour indoor SS workout for an endurance ride, it will probably need to be closer to 5 hours outside at a pretty consistent pace to get any sort of equivalent benefit.

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Is there any way to calculate this sort of thing? Don’t mind a 5 hour ride if it’s a beautiful morning and I can get up early enough, but not every weekend. Rather hit a 3x20 sweet spot outdoors instead!

Lol did you make that up on the spot?

There isn’t a good way to calculate it partially because you get different benefits from each type of workout. IMO the answer to this really depends on the type of event you are training for, your own personal weaknesses, the type of training you’ve done prior, etc.

Example: if you have not done any longer rides up to this point, a 3-4 hour endurance ride might help you a lot.

Purely from a TSS perspective, endurance riding creates less strain even at an equivalent TSS level (a 130 TSS endurance ride is pretty easy comparatively speaking) so if you want to create stimulus, you are going to have to ride longer.

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No, it’s based on a number of different data sources and papers I’ve read, as well as my own personal experience, as well as the TSS calculations between Sweetspot and Endurance work along with the expected physiological benefits.

Admittedly I should have explained more in depth rather than dropping a vague comment like that, but I need more coffee on a Monday :sweat_smile:


I’d be interested in your sources. As being 2.5x as effective does sound a bit of a stretch.

Endurance with long tempo blocks is another option, particularly if you’re in a “build CTL” phase. When I’m in a “raise FTP or extend TTE phase”, I keep Threshold/Sweet Spot intervals out of endurance work as much as possible. They get dedicated days.


Ill collect the sources later today, but some quick math and commentary:

Endurance work roughly 35-40TSS per hour
SS work roughly 65-70TSS per hour

Just to replace the TSS of Eclipse+3 (4x20 SS) means you are going from a 2 hour continuous workout to a 3.5-4 hour workout. If you want to ride that outside in an endurance zone, with stops you have to tack on at least an extra half hour. So we are at 4.5 hours before even talking about the physiological benefits.

Endurance work will create a much lesser demand for lactate shuttling, but will be better at fatiguing more fiber types and increasing VO2max provided you ride for a long enough period of time. But it takes a really long time to wear out those slow twitch fibers and start to recruit the fast twitch.

In reality though, SS and endurance work do different things for different systems and ultimately you aren’t doing the same type of workout even if you ride for a very long time to replace the TSS and strain you would be putting your body under.


I like the old “chain tight” tempo ride. Just keep pedalling and don’t soft-pedal if you can possibly avoid it. Stay in Z3 wherever possible but whatever you do, don’t coast. 3 hours of that with a 15min warm up and cool down either side should do a power of good.

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