Sweet Spot Base 2: 4 weeks from 6 without a sweetspot workout 🤷🏼‍♂️

I am currently enthusiastically training the Sweetspot Basis Plan 1 and 2 Plan.
In Base 2, weeks 3, 4 and 5 of the 6 weeks are without a single sweet spot unit. (Week 6 is a regeneration week). Instead, it is exclusively VO2max and Threshold workouts. I wonder if that’s right, the plan is called Sweet Spot Base …

What volume are you referring to?

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My bet is Low Volume. As such, there is little actual SS in there, due to the very limited training time.

There are SS Sundays as default in the Mid Vol, and High Vol is almost exclusively SS.

I get his overall point, and have made similar comments in the past, with respect to plan naming.

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Low Volume II

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i checked the different volume on my current plan now:

Sweet Spot Base 2:

  • Low Volume I:
    Week 4: 2xSweetspot 1xThreshold
    Week 5: 2xSweetspot 1xThreshold

  • Low Volume II:
    Week 4: 1xVO2max 2xThreshold
    Week 5: 1xVO2max 2xThreshold

  • Medium Volume I:
    Week 4: 3xSweetspot 1xThreshold 1xEndurance
    Week 5: 3xSweetspot 1xThreshold 1xEndurance

  • Medium Volume II:
    Week 4: 1xSweetspot 2xThreshold 1xVO2max 1xEndurance
    Week 5: 1xSweetspot 2xThreshold 1xVO2max 1xEndurance

It seems like the “Part II” has less or no Sweet Spot Workouts in weeks 3,4 and 5, even if the name of this Block is Sweet Spot Base

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A couple of things in Chad’s defense…

  1. Workouts like Taylor and Bluebell might be VO2/Anaerobic Power but they’re not VO2 heart rate. Looking at the last few rides of Taylor-1 for instance, all the recent people that have completed it with heart rate have had heart rates in the 150-160 range for the intervals (starting at the low end and rising) which is entirely consistent with Sweet Spot, but due to the added power requirement probably also giving more benefits.

  2. The low, and arguably mid volume plans are always going to be a trade off due to the time limitations. Low volume especially, for anyone but a beginner would be tough to get a good training stimulus just riding sweet spot workouts IMO.

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That’s why I do a hybrid of MV and HV in the winter for my base. I lengthen the SS workouts during the week and keep the o/u at the weekend during SSB1 and then keep the VO2 max and o/u in SSB2 and bin the threshold stuff from the Thursday and keep a longer SS session - I also use the gym once a week during Oct - Feb. I consider it to early in the training cycle for threshold like Lamarck but VO2 and o/u are not done by me in the spring so I keep them in.

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@alexgold123’s second point is probably the more important of the two. There’s a minimum effective training stimulus so if you reduce the volume then you need to up the intensity to reach it.

I’d add …

  1. You shouldn’t view each plan in isolation. The latter weeks of SSB increase intensity in preparation for the Build phase.

Interesting that there was a long (and occasionally heated) thread on here when someone said there was too much emphasis on sweet spot in the plans!

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My take on it is that, if I do a ramp test at the beginning of the plan phase I, then by the time I get to Lamarck/Mary Austin/Leconte, I’m a bit fitter and those threshold workouts feel more like Sweet Spot. I know the plan has a ramp test at the beginning of phase II, but I don’t retest then (don’t tell anyone I said that though…).

I don’t think I could complete Mary Austin or Leconte if I retested just before I did them. They are really tough workouts

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I just found my new favourite workout tactic!

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I rarely do Leconte anyway…and Mary Austin comes in the same boat…they are to much like races IMO to be done in winter and burn to many mental matches. I can cope with McAdie/Warlow/Fang Mountain/Avalanche spire and Carpathian Peak(if you put a gun to my head!) and their variations - anything worse than that I would need a number on my arse. Same with VO2 max - Dade+1 - fair enough - Spencer+2 er…no! :laughing:

I also think it’s important to keep in mind that the people who came up with the concept of sweet spot training (FasCat’s Frank Overton, Dr Andrew Coggin, etc.) not only applied the term to a certain power zone but also to the overall training stress in a training phase.

Sweet spot training in the macro sense was about finding the ‘sweet spot’ or balance for intensity vs duration for a time crunched athlete during the base phase. Essentially the finding a way to pack the most TSS into your training to maximize your CTL while managing fatigue.

These two articles do a pretty good job describing how sweet spot workouts have their place in the overall training structure.

Though they are from a different coach than @chad, they can still give you some insight into the methodology behind creating training plans.

TL;DR With time crunched athletes that have a strict(ish) amount of time they can devote to training, at some point, the only way to increase your training volume is to increase intensity.

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Timely podcast that is worth a listen on this SS topic, and other issues:

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That was an excellent listen and gives a lot of background on the development of SS and just general training.

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Spencer +2 is brutal. I just it again on Tuesday and it was a not so nice reminder how tough it is. I think that may be my least favorite workout

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Thank you for the many very interesting articles about Sweet Spot Training. My question was why Sweet Spot Base 2 doesn’t contain a single sweet spot training in 3 weeks. I am now thinking about sticking to Low Volume II and adding a fourth workout (sweet spot) or increasing to Medium Volume and occasionally deleting the fifth session when I don’t have enough time

And it was answered:

The short time leads to more intensity, which means little to no actual “Sweet Spot” work. Hence the reason I mentioned the naming issue and linked to the prior discussion on the same topic.

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