Sweet Spot Progression

Couple a weeks ago i started with SST indoor.

week 47: 30+15min 90%
week 48 30+25min 90%
week 49: 1x65min 90%
week 50 (yesterday) 1x90min 90%

Heartrate during block stable around 94% from FTHR.
Do i need to build it further to 100-110-120min? Or is it better to move on to 95% FTP and O/U etc?
I find it mentally tough indoors when the blocks are so long. FTP and O/U are easier to maintain.

My TTE is now around 45min.

Normal answer of… “it depends” What are your targets/ goals/ events, etc? Some more context to why you did this SST block would be beneficial.

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When does your build phase start? If you still have a long way to go until build, you could try and do a short VO2-block (4 weeks for example). After that, move back to sweetspot / threshold and start building that TTE again with slightly higher power.

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You should focus on your goal (endurance and tte) not your means. If you prefer shorter time on your bike, threshold does the same as sst and even bit more, so go for it.

Personally I have a problem with pure sst because I do not see relation to threshold workouts - i can build 120min tiz sst but still find 60 min tiz in threshold hard. When I focus on threshold work it relates directly to tte in threshold and sst. It’s probably anegdotal but I observe it as a pattern. So personally I like 1 threshold workout and one sst o/u style workout. That works the best for me.

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Hopefully this is a relevant question here. A friend of mine recently shared one of his favourite workouts with me, which he calls ‘progressive sweetspot’, and it’s 20mins @c.88%, straight into 20 mins @90%, into 20 mins @92%. That struck me as (on paper) a tough but doable workout designed to improve tte and general power endurance. Has anyone seen or prescribed a workout like this before?

Seems like a reasonable workout to me, but I think this thread would say, progress duration, not power. If you can do 20 minutes at 92% after doing the prior two intervals, could you do 90 minutes at 90% instead?

Yes. I do those type of workouts all the time, a great way to warm into it.

My goals for 2023 are 3 grandfondo’s. (GF Vosges, GF Schleck and La Marmotte) So events with long and shorters climbs. For now i will raise my TTE before i move on to Vo2. That i have planned from week 3 for about 3 weeks.

Yes i will do a vo2 block for 3 weeks…but you called a short vo2 block 4 weeks? Thats quit long for vo2 in my opinion…

Yes i can handle for now 90min SST, but i now that i dont have every week the motivation to do that long blocks on the trainer. For me is it mental easier to do FTP and SST O/U.

I think it’s better to do something that is slightly less efficient but can be mentally sustained longer and to be performed more often per week than too long blocks that I will look up to.

Yes, 4 weeks is a short period. That’s about 8 vo2-workouts total. It usually takes a couple of workouts to get used to the pain and dial the intensity, so that’s more like 6 proper high-quality vo2 workouts overall. I wouldn’t go any fewer than that.

Though, I don’t know why you picked on that. This wasn’t the point.

I think one week is a long VO2 Block!!! :face_vomiting:

Ok. Normally i do 3 vo2 workouts in a week for 2-3 weeks.

But i agree with your periodisation. Thnx

what % of FTP are those SST intervals at? Generally I find that 60min TiZ threshold will always be hard, but it might be because you’re just over , like 96-98% is significantly easier. It is what it is, we’re basically walking on a tightrope there

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95-98% for threshold usually. I do all my workouts by RPE at the moment. I rather see difference when it comes to overall rpe. Even with 90-120min tte @90% first two or three threshold workouts feel hard, after that I always see quite big improvement. Recently done 4x20% at 97% and it felt as it should feel. Simply my tte at threshold improves by doing threshold (surprise surprise). I have poorly developed fast twitch fibers, poor frc and anaerobic power so threshold helps a lot along with sst with bursts. Not to mention that after threshold block I see slight bump with vo2 max power, but after steady sst - none of that. That is why I do steady sst only if I do not feel for threshold workout or I just want to wake up muscles during recovery week.

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Careful with the n=1 stuff. I just did 13 VO2max sessions in 17 days with 36 hours of total volume in that time. Not everything is constructed the same.

The type of block he’s planning on doing is one I’ve done several times in the past, nine workouts in a 3-week block, and the types of intervals he plans to do are constructed to minimize leg fatigue and allow you to do more total sets and overall volume at maximal breathing rate/near max HR. He picked on that because it’s different than what he planned, and when you’re doing intensive VO2max work like he has planned, you’re going to need to stop at 2-3 weeks. The thought of going to 4 weeks in that construct is, well, daunting… so when you call 4 weeks “short”, that jumps out. It jumped out to me too.

So when you’re trying to plan these things out, this stuff does matter. If you can’t tolerate LONG sweet spot or long sessions on the trainer, then don’t do them! Do some threshold stuff instead and the sessions can be shorter or shorter intensity w/ some easy endurance after.

Couple things:

  • The only people I’ve had doing more than 90 min SST TiZ are guys like marathon MTBers or people doing 6+ hour events with significant climbing. And even then, I’m stopping at 2 hours.
  • Rather than the long intervals, you can do sustained sweet spot as part of your long rides. So you go for a 4-hour ride, and you spend 2 hours between 88-94%, so if you’ve got a route with a lot of climbing, you go out, do that route, SST the climbs, call it a day. Not every session needs to be 4x30 minutes on with 5 minutes of rest or whatever perfectly strucutred. Go do a Zwift ride on one of those ridiculously long routes and do 90% on all the climbs, e.g. That might be more tolerable and more sustainable for you.
  • Last, for most people, once I get into the 75min+ TiZ sets, I’ll back off to one SST workout per week, and then I might push some tempo sets, especially lower cadence stuff, into those weeks instead of more SST. So if I’m pushing someone to 2hrs (in those limited cases), their first block progression might have 2x workouts per week up to 3x25. Their second block might have 1x SST per week, or maybe 4 sets in 3 weeks… capping out at 4x30 or 2x60 or (most often) “go ride for 3+ hours and do 2 hours at ~90%.”
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This is what I’ve been doing this winter after hammering SST (on the TR HV plan) last winter. One SST workout per week, more tempo, and Z2. Something I’ll progress to is longer SST intervals because I haven’t done much of that. Ultimately, I’ll get to 1x90 I think.

I’m also planning on doing a VO2 block and maybe a threshold block this winter. Threshold has always been hardest for me.

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Are there any guidelines for using TTE from a Kolie Moore Baseline test to get a TTE for SST/Tempo work? I just averaged 244w for ~52 minutes for the baseline test (made for a nice Alpe du Zwift PR), so I know I could use that TTE to design threshold workouts. However, I’d like to do 1-2 months of SST/Tempo work first. Would TTE for these be maybe 1.5x for SST and 2x for tempo? So around 90 minutes and 2 hrs for me?

Apologies for not reading 2700 posts…

Good rule of thumb is to try and target 200% of TTE for SST.
That;s a goal to build towards. Generally it has you doing anywhere from 90-120min of SST TiZ in a workout.
SST TiZ for a week shouldn;t exceed more than 20-25%, so as your workouts get longer that’s why you see people dropping to one workout a week of SST and filling in the additional time/rides with tempo or z2 work.

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@RONDAL Thanks, that helps. Looks like that would be around 90 minutes sweet spot for me, so probably one big workout and then I’ll probably add in some tempo to a long ride on the weekend.

I think that when you manage to hold sweet spot for long period at a high percetage of FTP, you need to focus more on sub-threshold work(and then endurance) to extend ftp and come.back to SSpot afterwards.
Otherwise you’ll never be able to win then race despite being in the breakaway.
It also advisable for triathlete hopping to push a step forward

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It all depends where you are in your training season.
I dont think most of the contributors to this thread are suggesting that SST progression is all you need to be doing to win a race. But this is a step towards building your aerobic engine during the base season ahead of more intense training as you start to sharpen things up for race season

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