Sweet spot: first few intervals much harder then last few

It always feels like the first interval is the hardest, followed by the next interval but the ones at the end aren’t so hard. Doesn’t feel like I’m worn out, just burning/soreness in my muscles that slowly goes away.

Any thoughts as to why this is? Is this normal? I have to lower the resistance level in TR for the first half of TR workout and raise it up for the end. Using a kicker 2018 and a pioneer full left/right power meter so I know the intervals are done at the same power output and cadence.

It’s basically the result of endorphins (or potentially other things) being released similar (the same as perhaps) to a runner’s high.


“After a nice long bout of aerobic exercise, some people experience what’s known as a “runner’s high”: a feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain. For decades, scientists have associated this phenomenon with an increased level in the blood of β-endorphins, opioid peptides thought to elevate mood.”

I frequently have to remind myself that this feeling is around the corner if I can hang in there for the first couple of intervals.

This I’m less sure about as other variables come into play but seems like an hour long Z2 workout (Bald Knob, this morning) leaves my legs feeling more sore after the an hour sweet spot workout (Carson, last night)

But I can’t really keep pedaling using erg mode unless I lower the intensity so can’t just be a lessened amount of pain

More warm-up?


You’re not alone. Sometimes the body takes awhile to get going.

First, you should find a warmup routine that works for you. You can get creative. For example, extend the warmup and then go into resistance mode. Do what you need to do to wake up those legs. Or, choose a longer workout variation (+15 min or +30min) and turn the intensity way down for the first 15-30 minutes.

Second, pay attention to fueling, caffeine, and meals before the workout. Fueling and caffeine help a lot, and an ill-timed meal can screw you up.

I usually find the warmup and first interval to be pretty brutal but gets progressively easier until it doesn’t. I’ve thought about adding more of a warmup but too lazy, and I know I can make it through the workouts so I just suffer through.

wow, im jealous…I wish this was the case for me. I’m the exact opposite. First couple I feel like I could hold it all day no problem. Then the end ones and I feel like theres no way im going to be able to hold it for 20 mins, lots of times I have to bump the % down to keep my HR under LT

I experienced this too, today. I extended the warm up so definitely try that. Also getting the cadence and smooth pedalling good ,as you loosen up could be part of it. I`m new to TR, and only trained with a HR monitor, which is a far less accurate tool than using power, and it is easy to start too hard ,then fade , believing you are still going as hard,because of the delay in HR rise. I find it works best if you are sticking to the power that’s on screen . If you spin up harder than that the erg mode seems to kick in and maybe give a false wattage??

So if I turn the intensity down for the first bit and do the end at 100 then I’m good? Seems like adding a warmup wouldn’t have that much of an advantage as I’m only losing 5% of the first half. Or is there an advantage to warming up at some level of effort, returning to a low rest power and then going hard?

Thinking if I decide to give the workouts that much of my time by extending the warm up I may as well switch from mid volume SSB to high volume with the start being at a decreased level. (thinking more optimize the training benefit for the time I put in and not how to optimize those intervals to give the most benefit)

While I measure my hr, I don’t care what it is. Also don’t really care what my power is. With erg mode I just aim for the cadence I let the trainer set the right resistance. (Well with long intervals like sweet spot)

How do you extend the warmup?

I’ve never seen the option (android) but the extended cool down option is definitely there.

I experience this too. Did Antelope at the weekend (5x10 min sweetspot) and the first two were really tough, despite being at a lower power target. 3rd and 4th ones, despite having a higher power target, definitely felt easier and the last one was a doddle.

Are you using a dumb or smart trainer? I think I struggle because I’m currently on a dumb trainer so spend the first couple of intervals trying to dial in which cadence/gear I need to use and I generally end up 5-10w over the power target over the duration of the interval. That probably doesn’t help!

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It should appear in exactly the same way as the extend cool down. It’s only visible while for the first low power level section, as soon as it steps up for the first “interval” of the warm up it will go. I’m an Android too for what it’s worth.

Either you are warming up or your turbo is! :rofl:


what kind of warm up do you utilize?

any interval day for me, esp as I’ve gotten older, is the following:

15-20m z1-2
4m 90% FTP
2-4m cruise
4m 93-95% FTP
30-90s 105-120% FTP
recover about 10m then start.

Good luck!


The warmup usually feels pretty bad for me but the first SS interval normally feels okay. If that feels bad for me I know it’s going to be a tough day. That does happen.

I think it was mentioned before but try extending the warm up. Some of the final intervals are tough to hang on too.

Same! ;-D During longer workouts that keep power above tempo w/o any rest (think Polar Bear, Pioneer, Gibraltor) I’ve noted on this forum that my HR kind of peaks at the 35-45 minute range…then descends for the next 90 to 120 minutes…then starts to edge back up. So there is something going on there. Definitely more warm up time mitigates the feeling.

Another thing I discovered while fiddling around with muscle NIRS sensors…blood/oxygen flow into my leg muscles was not maximized by the usual 10-15 minute warmup at the beginning of most sweet spot workouts. So I often do a custom warm up before the regular TR canned workout.

@Brennus Which muscle oxygen sensor?