Sweet Spot Progression

I have a ride partner that I do a pretty steady 3-4hrs with each Sunday, and often a few hours on Saturdays as well. I’ve been finding that helpful but I’m inconsistent on the weekdays. I’ll benefit from some structure Tues-Thurs and also making sure I manage recovery a little better.

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Wowee that is a lot of Sweet Spot work in a session once you get up the categories!

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As a 70.3 athlete, this chart is recommending 180 minutes of SS per ride in my build phase. As much as I’d love to work up to that, it seems like quite a feat! Do you think that recommendation is aimed at the top tier of triathletes?


Honestly I would treat this chart only as a rough guide. I do not see how I would fit these duration into training especially when working on other zones alongside.

As far as I have seen there isn’t so much SST in FastCat’s training plans so it is a little contradition:slight_smile:

I would take only the information how long SST session has to be in terms of TiZ, when doing SST session. The FastCat definition of SS is as far as I remember overlaping with high tempo (85% FTP). I am no triathlete but the idea is that you spend most of the time in this zone.

As the alternative this is great video that explains more in detail a lot of things, when it comes to sessions and TiZ: https://youtu.be/Er0R2nNybXg


Thanks for the feedback and clarification! I also appreciate the reminder of FastCat’s definition of SS.

I’ll definitely check out the video.

I’ve largely taken a break from indoor training over the summer as I’ve been riding outside. My outside rides include a lot of climbing, so a lot of SS hours.

Yesterday I rode 2x25 mins at 90% inside. Being curious, I compared this ride to the same 2x25 workout I did in April, and compared my HR for the 2nd interval between the two rides.

April: Average HR for 2nd 25 min SS interval 165

September: Average HR 147

Also, my RPE yesterday was lower relative to past efforts.

In this time, my FTP has pretty much stayed flat (measured based on my pace up one of my local go-to climbs that I ride frequently).

The takeaway for me is that all the SS work lowers my RPE for long sustained efforts - even if my FTP has not moved much.


I would guess that your TTE has also increased, despite your FTP staying relatively flat. Driving TTE out is awesome.


This Sweet Spot progression is working wonders!

Did a 60 minute interval @ 92% today. Challenging, but by no means my max for TTE.
Power PR on everything from 22 to 60 minutes :slight_smile:

Not sure why, but my cadence naturally drops during these kind of intervals. Somehow it feels easier going at low 80s or high 70s for RPM outside. Legs do feel a bit fatigued afterwards, but nothing crazy.


Congrats! 60min interval feels just too long for me to hold concentration mentally. I just started the following progression: 4x10, 3x15, 4x12, 2x25, 3x18, 4x15, 3x20, 2x30, 2x35, 3x25, 2x40, 3x30 at a target power of 280 watts, first workout is ticked off if I am able to reach 3x30 min at that power I will be super happy.


@eduardo23 Your progression looks like something I want to add into SSB2 for a extra SS ride with the LV plan. I have 5 days to ride, but not enough time to do the 90 minute 2nd ride in the MV plan. So figure adding in one more SS workout at 60 minutes would be nice.

Are you using specific TR workouts or creating your own? I have around 60 minutes and it looks like your first 5 workouts can be done in 60, maybe 75 min.

I am using @agingcannon 's workouts he created in the More Sweet Spot! Team inside Trainerroad.

Edit: check Sweet Spot Progression


Question for the people that have done this. Do you progress each workout from say 4x10 to 3x15 the next workout in the same week? Or do you do the 4x10 twice in a week then the next week 3x15? Is there any other metric aside from HR to measure to see if this is working? Should I test after a few weeks and start over? I know there is more than one way to go about this, asking to see how others are doing it.

My problem is physical: after a half-hour, the center of my underside (literally, center front-back and left-right between all the important parts) starts getting numb and painful and I need a break, or some sort of position adjustment.

Progression: Everyone is different, but the point is to do what you can do well and within your limits (of time, energy, good recovery, etc). I need to do each workout at least twice before progressing to the next… sometimes more. The jump from 3x15 to 2x25 was hard for me (since each interval is much longer), so I had to do 2x25 4 times before I felt ready to take the next step. But each time it got easier!

Testing: test as often as you like, knowing this will change your plan. If you really need to push your power curve “out” as much as possible (greater endurance), then just keep pushing longer and longer workouts. Remember to take a recovery week every few weeks (every 4 weeks for me). You’ll see your HR go down, you’ll see your decoupling decrease, and you’ll see your RPE decrease. You move to a longer workout when you feel you can complete it.

You can also retest every few weeks (6-8 would be typical TR cycles). Your FTP may have increased – mine went up 13W (7%) the last cycle – and then 90% of your new FTP may mean you have to take a step or two back in your sweet-spot progression. I was doing 2x25 @ 179W quite comfortably… then my FTP jumped and I haven’t completed 3x15 @ 190W successfully yet. :joy:

Depends where you are wirh progression. With 4x10 and 3x15 definitely next workout as these are almost exaxtly the same workouts in terms of TiZ. With something closer to your capabilities (for example 2x45) it all depends how you felt during the workout and relation to your TTE. But anything upto 3x30 I would go workout by workout and check how you feel during and how you recover.


Progression: Everyone is different, but the point is to do what you can do well and within your limits (of time, energy, good recovery, etc). I need to do each workout at least twice before progressing to the next… sometimes more. The jump from 3x15 to 2x25 was hard for me (since each interval is much longer), so I had to do 2x25 4 times before I felt ready to take the next step. But each time it got easier!

This is what I started doing as well. My limit is time so my workouts have to be within 1.5 hours. I workout T-TH-SAT with SS and do a long slow ride for Sun. T-TH will be the same type of workout like say 4x15 with Tues at 88% FTP and TH at 90% FTP. Sat will be the same but I add a 30sec V02 at the end of every 5 minutes. The last workout though I mistakingly made the VO2 interval 1 min but still had the title saying 30 sec. Yeah, that was a surprise. I was wondering why I had placed the V02 intervals for this workout every 10 minutes instead of 5. :slight_smile:

When I did my SS progression, the minimum duration interval I did was 20 mins (I started with 2x20). My logic was that I wanted to build endurance and TTE, so longer intervals better than shorter.

My goal for the intervals was also to keep my average HR no higher than 83% of max (based on guidance from the coach Steve Neal).

I started with 20 mins at 85%, and pretty soon was doing 20 mins at 90%.


Can you add a little detail on this, or link to a source? I’m interested in learning more about it.

I like to set a TiZ goal for each week. So for example, let’s say this week I’m looking to perform 2 Sweet Spot rides and I want to do 60 minutes of Sweet Spot within each workout.

Workout 1 would be: 3x20
Workout 2 would be: 2x30

I don’t progress TiZ in one week, I maintain the same TiZ, but I change the LENGTH of each interval. Does that make sense?


I don’t remember exactly, but you were doing high-tempo? 85% of FTP? I’m curious how he has arrived at 83% of max. Can you elaborate?

I realize we’re different, but for me, 83% of max would put me at 160-162 BPM (195 max, 175 LTHR), which I could hold for at least 2 hrs straight…given that, it wouldn’t be Sweet Spot, but more like a tempo ride for me.

Side question: Around what percentage of your max heart rate is lactate threshold heart rate? Roughly 90% of max? Totally individual?