Sweet Spot Progression

I think a key point is also that even if the surges are anaerobic, the recovery from them is aerobic. If you aerobic engine isn’t big enough, you can’t recover quick enough.

I think the only cycling discipline that doesn’t benefit that much from aerobic training is track sprint. That is usually a single effort, not really lonv enough to make it aerobic, and lots of recovery before the next round.

Yep, and pretty much all efforts have some aerobic component, even the highly anaerobic ones. The real question maybe for this thread is whether you can just use SS to optimize your aerobic engine. I think it can take you a long way, especially on limited hours, but you need to come from the bottom as well to optimize it. At least that’s my understanding, but I’m no expert.

This goes to that chart that always get thrown up which shows the benefits of each of the training zones. Yes you can do it with long z2, you can also do it with SST. Both have their place and benefits, but as you pointed out with time being the biggest constraint for most amateur cyclists, SST is a great place to spend some quality time.

That’s a good question. Spontanously I’d say that the way to improve your aerobic engine is long endurance and vo2max work, and threshold and sweetspot work builds the muscular endurance to actually make use of it.

So maybe for a crit racer or a pure hill climber, they wouldn’t need much sweetspot/threshold work.

However the other aspect is that whilst doing long sweetspot intervals, you are also getting a good dose of aerobic training,as you can’t decouple the two. So if you don’t have time for a lot of long endurance, and only race short events, substituting with sweetspot might work better.

as a crit racer…i strongly disagree.

you guys are conflating a specialization with proper periodized training.

1 Like

Ok, so maybe crits are a bad example. I deliberately didn’t say cx, because I know from experience that I actually spend quite lot of time at threshold.

Most of my racing is crits right now. Did well last season with 90min TiZ during my SST work. Most of my crits were 50min or less. My point was more a Cat 3 crit racer doing 60min crits doesn’t need to build their SST out to three hours. They’d be a monster if they did, but there are other issues that can arise from THAT much time.

I planned to build out to 2 hours but COVID derailed that. I need to get into my other training so maybe I’ll try and push past 90min. In reality, as a 3 hoping to ride up to 2, 90 is probably enough provided other systems are tuned and firing.

I will definitely try and do one these regularly as ftp gets back to normal levels. It would be cool to see if I can do 280w+ for three hours


Props for being able to do such a long effort. What did you do for 3 hours? Just curious, because I normally listen to music, but haven’t taken my times past a 3x30min ride. I keep thinking what am I going to do if I try an hour?

Watched Ozark. Netflix is essential to long trainer rides


Another minimum effective dose post. This is not about pushing out fatigue resistance to very long durations, which I agree with many on this thread that chasing involves doing some level of 90-min sweet spot intervals. My target events are weekly worlds and 1-3 hour climbs, and late fifties and need more recovery.

Back to minimum effective dose. Based on 2017 my thesis is that 1 long 60-90 minute effort a month will help mentally and possibly physically with developing higher fatigue resistance for my target events. Had a long off-season due to C19 during September 2021. Then in October and November my coach had me do a very easy tempo (about 85%) progression from 48-min to 72-min PER WEEK, adding in bursts in November. Overall volume about 9 hours/week during Oct-Nov. Then December criss-cross intervals and some threshold and above threshold work, haven’t finished looking but at a glance tempo+threshold weekly work was holding around 60-min/week as intensity increased. Right now average volume for the 3.5 months is 8.5 hours/week.

Two weeks ago I did a 10-min pacing effort to establish pace for a field test. Yesterday went out and easily finished a 32-min threshold effort. Could have gone longer but I ran out of daylight and road (had to turn home because of sunset). Didn’t prove it yesterday but based on previous long 50-70 minute efforts it felt like I could have easily done 45 or 60 minutes. Woke up this morning and legs are fine, and this is the end of a 3 week build. Fatigue this week has definitely been building up, and I’m looking forward to a rest week.

Next month I’ll target 50-70 minutes at threshold. Then in March I’ll be back out during weekly worlds and will report back on how well this minimum dose approach ends up supporting those 90 minutes hammerfests.


My 3 week sweet spot progression is done. Went from 2x30min to 90min + 30min intervals. Almost 4hrs tiz this last week.

Last one today was a tough one, last 10min was a struggle.

Interesting that during this block decoupling on my long rides 4½hrs has gone down from about 6% to 2-3%.


question for @4ibanez @kurt.braeckel and others who have done VO2 blocks;
I threw this in this thread as ties into some of the other WKO discussions we’ve all been having

Currently 120 days out from first A race (two peak season 10 weeks apart), just wrapping up a pretty heavy aerobic block with a ton of SST and threshold, pushing my SST out to 120min which is 400% of TTE, and threshold to 60min which is 200% of TTE.

My Vo2 as % of mftp is 86.8% which is the highest I’ve ever had it, so its clearly time to hammer on the VO2.

Timing wise, where I sit in relation to key race, is this too early?
Was going to take a rest week, do a half week of power testing to update the model (residuals) and then was thinking of doing a focused two weeks block of VO2 work similar to what was recently discussed in the other thread. Basically ever other day VO2, z2 filler in between, and run as hard start extensive intervals.

Thoughts? Ideas?


I’m aiming for an early June peak and starting my VO2 block Feb 7th. Last year I peaked between 3 and 4 months after. Figure three weeks for the block, ten days or two weeks recovery. Aerobic build - high power work - peak/race. Seems like good timing to me.

Based on my TIS impulse chart this lines up. I’ll make sure I have more aerobic work this time, and a better sense of how to sharpen the blade, but seems good.

perfect sounds like timing wise we are on similar schedules and planning aligns.

1 Like

And what are you planning to do after these 2 vo2 focused weeks?

My focus for the last 12 weeks has really been extensive work. Extensive aerobic, long SST, extensive threshold (3x20, 3x25). If I do the block as I’m currently planning it I would be finished (including rest week) 2nd week of march. That basically gives me 8 weeks to peak and really start hammering the more intensive work.
So focus would be then on intensive threshold (raise FTP) by hopefully taking advantage of the new headroom VO2 block creates, and then start sharpening the blade with the shorter more punchy anaerobic/sprint stuff

1 Like

I’m still in my offseason for at least 5 weeks more, but I want to start with one session of Tempo with HR limiter ala Steve Neal…I don’t know what my FTP is at the moment, so HR seems a good guide. 83% of HR max is the limit. Will start with 2 x 30. Will be very happy if power is around 85-88 of old FTP. Will report back.

Does anybody else use HR limiters in these progressions?


Just remember that 83% SN talks about is meant very much as a limit and not a target. Be interesting to see how you get on. I couldn’t keep 90% FTP quite under that limit but got close when I was fresh. I was more focused on the 90% than anything else, but kinda wish I hadn’t done that now as it burned me out somewhat. This winter I’ve been outdoors and doing longer outdoor tempo at 85% and am feeling much better and more hungry for the next phase of intensity than I was after extending SST @90%. I probably wont do a 90% build again.

1 Like

What would you recommend for next block after sweet spot progression?

I’ve done 3 blocks of base so far (pure Z2, tempo progression, sweet spot progression). I was thinking of doing 4th block of base and keep progressing in the gym. What would you do? Tempo/sweet spot bursts, over-unders?

I was also thinking of doing 2 long rides per week (4-5hrs) instead of one, would this still be helpful in late base?