Sweet Spot Progression

Iam curious that are here more people with a longer track record for the Effiency factor. Iam riding since 2015 with a powermeter and avg EF per month gives a good image about improving aerobic power.

The yellow is EF, blue is NP and red is heartrate. In 2016 and 2017 i ride less than other years and not structured. Since okt 2020 i ride more sturctured with help from this topic and webinars from WKO5.

The lowest points is normally in winter/base and highest when iam on holiday in the mountains, but you can see that the lowest and highest points get every year higher. I looking forward to 2022 to see if i can still increase.

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I like to track EF in particular types of workouts. I have done a custom charts for endurance, sst, threshold and look at trends there also. Why? Because endurance rides have always lowest EF and vo2 max the highest. So when I compartmentalise the workouts the trends are even clearer. Just saying as a “tip”.

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Yes thats a good point. Thats why i see only average EF over months or even years. So i benchmark more intensive months with each other. And see a trend that lower points getting higher and higher points also getting higher.

This is avg EF by years, where you can see that the biggest improving is in 2021, the year that i went more structured with help from this topic and WKO5 webinars.

For those that are trying their hand at the steady state “above threshold” work, say 105-108%, what time durations are you targetting for intervals and what WKO metrics might you be looking at?

I feel like the curve under the curve might be in the ballpark, ie. targetting 90% of PDC, but wondering if others have a view.

What I did was consult the PD curve and look at what the model said for 8 min. For me in the last 42 days it was 345w. For the season it said 371w, but I knew that would be too high so I targeted the 42 day model.

I did the 4x8’s @ 346, 340, 346 and 353w and I think it ended up being a really quality workout. I banked 18min @ at least 90% of HRmax.

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This is pretty good starting point. But you have to consider some other factors. For example, my 5min power is always 5min max test, as I fall of the bike after. I know my repetability and ability does not allow to repeat even 4x 90% of this effort as 90% of my 5 min power is my power I can use as baseline for 5x4min. So basically you can start with 90% but in the end you have to adjust as it goes for you. To conclude - do not think too much, just do and see what will happen. If you fail a workout - you will learn something new, if will be too easy - just go harder next time. Not very helpful, I know, but as someone said “We are learning things by doing them” :slight_smile:

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I just experimented to find a max repeatable 8 min power and do 4x8’s as hard as I can. After a fewweeks I progressed to 4x8m+4m and that covered a 6 week period nicely.

What do you mean with 105-108% from FTP? and 90% of PDC? Can you give me an exemple with power?

Well today signalled the re-start of my winter SST progression. Possibly a little earlier than planned, but a combination of horrible weather and a crazy work schedule for a few weeks means I’ve little hope of any outdoor rides during the week, so indoor SST seemed a good idea…

After a year of very large volumes of z2 and relatively little intensity, my FTP has definitely dropped a little, and I took 5 days completely off the bike this week as a mini season end break, so a bit of guesswork to find a comfortable level. Seems like I’m about 10w down on last Dec when I started this before. 4x10m with just 1 min rests to ease back into things. Looking forward to pushing out the durations again and then hitting some threshold work.


I rode a mountain bike yesterday. :scream:

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So grateful to have discovered this thread. I’ve got through one decent 8 week block of SS work - at the start, I found it a real struggle to get through 20 mins of 5mins 88% / 5 mins 93%. Learned so much through the block…mainly, TiZ trumping watts. After 8 weeks, I chucked in a mini vo2 max block, which was…different. Started off way too ambitious, then made my own mini progression that climbed up from 6 x 2 min intervals to 8 x 2.45’s @ 120% FTP. Back on the SS train last week.

First race of the season today, and after such a modest - and frankly, depressing Vo2 max block - I was really quite nervous about how my body was going to react. TLDR, I grabbed a 3rd and never really struggled.

One thing I don’t think is emphasised enough in this thread is how easy it is to plan and execute a SS progression as a self-coached athlete. Last season I did a lot of Z2, trying to work in stuff further up the food chain - Z5 and 6 - and man - I spent so much of the season feeling lost and wondering where to go next.

Target race is a 3 day stage race in early Jan. Plenty of time for another big block, and I’m pretty confident the resilience from this kind fo work is going to see me in good shape, Thanks to everyone who’s contributed their experiences.


SS progression is not difficult, but underestimated a whole season plan. When you have to go to a VO2max block, what to do when your progression is not going what you had thought beforehand. When the intensity is going up, you need to decrease the volume, but how much? A lot of selfcoached athletes doing to much…

Sweetspot kills your fast twitch fibers and makes you a diesel. i made that mistake. please be careful with it.

…never understood why people think building a big efficient diesel engine is automatically a BAD thing? Many of us have that as our #1 goal.

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well it kills your glycolytic capacity. it would be better to have an amazing glycolytic capacity and a great lactate clerance capacity.

Same. I rented one 3 weekends in a row and rode in the forest (first time ever mtb’ing). No metrics, no intervals. Nice to have a mental and physical break in the off season. Main focus is weights at the moment with a bit of Z2/Z3. Not thinking about sweetspot til November/December

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Nobody’s here’s saying not to periodize the season and do year round SST. Especially in the time before races, I’d be doing some 4/5 min VO2s and 40/20s.


You can also make sure during your SS blocks that you touch up your fast twitch muscles periodically so that you aren’t losing anything.


Maybe, but some of us don’t have much fast twitch and Sweet Spot is a terrific use of training time to build up that diesel engine.

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Or some of us have too much…

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