Sweet Spot Progression

Hi all,

It seems that we can race again from week 24/25.

Does this affect my planning?

Week 16,17 and half 18: FTP work, with more over/unders (making ready for vo2max)
Week 19: Going to Limburg (Netherlands) and lot of volume (and can do some vo2max on short climbs).
Week 20, 21: Vo2max
Week 22: Recovery week
Week 23, 24, 25 again FTP.
Week 27 Racing

Other option:
Week 17 FTP over/unders
Week 18 Restweek
Week 19: Going to Limburg (Netherlands) volume (and can do vo2max on short climbs). The volume will be easy with my wife.
Week 20 Vo2max
Week 21 restweek
Week 22/23/24 race prep workouts like the suggestions from @jarsson (anaerobic cap, sprintwork, 30/15 and 40/20 etc)

Just more plugs here for our shared training methodology in this thread… today’s 15min MMP test:

Every all-time power PR from 8:30 to 17:05 and sustained 310W for almost 15min. 2% up from last test like this, mFTP now officially 285W, and it feels like I still have room to grow. The VO2max block followed by more sustained power has truly broken the glass ceiling I was feeling at 280W for the last 10-12 months prior training mostly with TR.

That said, when I started training consistently about three years ago (work precluded consistently training year after year), I struggled to stay over 300W for three minute intervals during workouts like Spencer +2, so TR helped, but now I’m taking things to another level from a fitness standpoint.

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Nice!

Kurt, that’s awesome to see. How much of this do you attribute to a focused VO2 block versus your SS progression? A bit of both? I recall there was a point when you were questioning your choice of doing a VO2 block as your fitness didn’t seem to increase after it, it’s really neat to see the process working.

I don’t know if I questioned doing the VO2max block. I think I questioned how fast some people (don’t think it was this thread) expected to see results. I recall during one of KM’s podcasts he said that the key was allowing ample recovery before seeing the boost. I think for me, that timeline was up to 6 weeks. I could tell an RPE and HR difference for sustained stuff right away, but wasn’t able to push bigger power until that six week point, really. Now I’m pushing consistently higher power… it’s been at least a 5W boost, now fully 10W above my prior WKO peak entering this season.

I don’t know if one or the other is more important; I think both. Pushing the time for longer SST work out vs. TR’s MV plan has made a difference, there’s no question in my mind. Doing a workout like Carson just isn’t going to push adaptation…

Now, what I’m working on is dialing in the “minimum effective dose”. I really did a ton of work November through March, and a big part of recognizing this gain has been backing slightly off… 4 hr trainer rides have become 3 hours. I’m OK with doing 15 min threshold intervals instead of 25 like WKO says I should… just finding what’s challenging but manageable - that “7” training impact score instead of always in the 8-10 range for the WKO crowd. I think getting some of that a bit more dialed is helping me too.

Gonna hit another threshold block here, then either more VO2 or start working repeatability.

Now I need to put together the racecraft…

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Nice work @kurt.braeckel thank you for sharing!

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This is what i found made the biggest difference, both in terms of progression within metrics (making all the key WKO metrics go up) but also when it comes to racing (or what is passing for racing where i am right now).
Not only being able to hold the power for extended periods, but also having the CONFIDENCE that you can makes a huge difference in terms of performance.

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Hi All,

Wondering if I could have a little bit of input from the SS Progression minds.

I’m almost finished SSBMV2 which I’ve been following a SS Progression within by swapping out one SS session and replacing it with ones discussed here. I’ll finish up this week with 2x (maybe 3 if going well) 50min at 90%, then next week is Larmarck which I was going to use to assess a realistic FTP for Build.

My question is whether I should be stressed about maintaining longer SS intervals during Build as well. Or just follow the plan and come back to my SS Progression during Base before XCM Specialty.

My A race is a 100km MTB race.

If your goal is extending TTE, do more progression. If your goal is raising FTP, I wouldn’t. I still do some SST during my FTP work, but not focused on extending time. Instead I’ll do 2x30 at 92% or higher power rather than longer time.

So the answer is, “it depends.”

I think for an XCM type goal, you could really go either way, but if you’re doing 2x50 at 90% already, I would err on the side of increasing power or follow your plan.

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When I did this in early 2017, I only did 1 or 2 long interval sessions a month. And a lot of 1-min anaerobic capacity work. By end of March I was crushing Wed night worlds and best numbers ever including 60+ min TTE.

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I would not try to maintain longer SS intervals during build. Focus on pushing up your FTP as much as possible. Also remember that this is all on a spectrum, not light switches. Just because you focus on shorter FTP sessions does not mean you won’t be able to do longer SS. In fact, you could do a vo2 max block for 4-6 weeks and come back and do the same SS intervals you were doing, if not better.

Congrats on doing 2x50min at 90%. That’s a lot of work!

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Thanks Kurt. This makes a lot of sense.

2*30 @92 would work well as my Saturday ride as needed.

I tended to cook my legs before my VO2 session on the Monday last year. I’m going to try make an effort to nail them this season.

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Thanks, this really gives me confidence to try and lift my FTP. It’d be pretty great if I can increase and come back to long efforts at 90% of the new FTP :crossed_fingers:

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Thanks Dschlag. That’s true. Hopefully spending more time at/just above FTP will mean I maintain a decent chunk of my muscular endurance gains.

I have a really weird looking relative power curve at the moment :joy:.

My build back then was a lot of shorter threshold and anaerobic work. Then 1 or 2 long threshold-ish efforts a month.

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This is what I’m planning soon… not sure when yet. Feel like I have room under the ceiling yet, and long term pushing FTP up is the best outcome even though I need the repeatability for current racing.

I’ll polarize anaerobic work and throw a long SST/Threshold session in once or twice per month.

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I’ve been working through a sweet spot progression to improve my muscular endurance. I ended up at 2x30 @ 90%, which I was really happy with. I wasn’t following a TR program, just my own plan that consisted of sweet spot and threshhold o/u progressions plus a 2 hour endurance trainer ride.

I too wanted to switch back to building FTP but I’m not entirely sure where to go? Training time wise I can afford up to 3 2-hour blocks/weeks.

Should I just go back to a TR plan? I’ve looked at LV (MV/HV have too many days) and the variation in workouts looks great but they seem very short compared to the amount of time I’ve put in recently during sweet spot progression.

Alternatively, is there an equivalent FTP progression approach similar to sweet spot?

I’ve also found, being in the masters category, that 2 days of intensity/week coupled with an endurance ride is way better for recovery than 3 days of intensity/week.

There is a “threshold progression” thread that has just been started, but there is also lots about threshold progression in this thread.

From what I can tell, most people in here don’t follow a TR plan, but some pick TR workouts that build up to the progression they want. Threshold intervals can be shorter than sweetspot ones, so its probably easier to find the right workouts (and TR seem to have added longer-interval workouts to the library recently).

I’m at a similar point, going into a threshold progression - my current plan is to do two threshold workouts per week, one with progressively more TiZ, and one with the same-length intervals, but with bursts/over-unders. I’ll probably drop the power slightly for that one.

I do fancy trying the “add a bit of power and do the progression again” approach - so far, I have never managed to increase my FTP, not with TR plans and not with the “training all zones and it’ll go up” approach, so maybe I can force it up, hah! I really struggled in the past with supra-threshold intervals though, so not sure how that will go.

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Two hours is about as long of a training session as I reasonably have time for, so I slate Sunday as “two hours hard” – Saturday is, depending on the progression, either a 2 x 20 or a 5 x 5 day.

Two hours hard starts at 85% FTP in Nov. By Jan-Feb it’s at 90%. I’ve been able to raise it as high as 95% at the end July, when I’ve done a couple of rounds of 5 x 5.

TTE Proverb:

There is no “happy hard.” Do it for long enough, it becomes unhappy.

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