Sweet Spot Progression

Seems limited to the Android app. Still not showing there.

Okay on the PC app, website and iphone.

Need some advice here.

I’m starting out with SS90/4x8min how should i progress from here? I was able to get thru the 4x8min but felt like i was barely able to make it. Do I repeat that same one for my next workout or progress to a 3x9min?

Lower your FTP by btwn 5 and 10 percent and try again. 4 × 8 at 90% is barely maintenance-level workload if your FTP number is right.

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You where doing threshold+, not sst if that was the case.

Lower you FTP 10 watts and go for 3x 10 or 3x 12 and see how that goes.

Yes, as above…FTP clearly overstated if 4x8mins at 90% is hard (bear in mind that should be able to do at least 1x35mins really at FTP minimum). Drop FTP at least 10W. I’d say starter sweetspot should be something like 4 X 10 or 3 X 15 then progress quickly to longer.

Best advice I can give: don’t make the mistake I made of thinking you’ll leave the FTP high, and then train to “earn” that FTP, because somehow it feels like a failure or a setback to lower it.

If you go back to the beginning of this thread, around the 85th post, you’ll find me in August 2020 getting advice just like you’re getting now: if 4x8 sweetspot feels hard, your FTP is set too high. Drop it by 10% (not 10W) at least. Make sure you can finish a 4x10 feeling tired, but not exhausted. It should feel like pretty hard work, but not at the edge of your ability.

I fought that war for 3.5 YEARS. I’d even forgotten I was fighting it. Finally, this January I accepted that same advice from a coach. Dropped my FTP from 215W to 190W (11.7%). And everything changed. My effort in training started to produce improvement, not just fatigue. I was able to increase volume and progress my time-in-zone as I’d never been able to do before.

Today, just a hair less than 3 MONTHS later, I’m setting my FTP back to 215W. But now I can do 20 minutes at 226W (two days ago), and my last sweet-spot workout was 3x25. Now my FTP is an accurate marker of my ability which is what yours should be. Can’t wait to see what the next three years will bring, now that I’m training with a correct FTP.

You do NOT want a higher FTP: you want an FTP that reflects, as accurately as possible, your current aerobic capability. And if you can’t easily do at least 4x10 @ 90%, your FTP is not set correctly.

Don’t be the fool I used to be: do something like a 20-minute or Kolie Moore FTP test, KNOW what your FTP is today, and set it correctly. By doing so, you’ll set yourself up for success and be able to improve as quickly as possible because you’ll be training the right energy systems in the right doses.

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Your FTP is set too high.

How have you determined it?

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Thanks for the advice. I’ll drop it 10% and give a go.

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Figure out a way to systematically test your FTP rather than guessing your way through structured training.

short version:

Baseline Test, 35-45 minutes or TTE
warmup
10 minutes at 92-95 percent of target FTP
Increase to 100 percent of target FTP for 15 minutes
10-15 minutes gradual power increase until exhaustion
FTP is the average of the last 20 minutes

You do have to start with a target in mind. Even if you miss the target the first time, at worst, you’ll find that this is just a good threshold workout. And, you will have gained some information.

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Off topic but it seems like you guys are TTE and TIZ kings, what do you do for Z2 workouts? I have a pretty short training history, approaching 2 years of structured training now and ~4 months away from 3 year anniversary of when I started cycling (noodling around on a 15 year old MTB).

Decided this year to focus on building my ability to keep the pedals moving 3-4 hours at a time and to get my weekly volume >10h, did Mayon today (4.4 3h45 0.59 IF) hoping to work up to something like Log In to TrainerRoad 4H 0.65 IF but given you guys are doing 90% 4x20 and the like, your Z2 efforts must be wild.

Not necessarily. Z2 needs to be performed at a low-enough power/effort level to target the right physiological adaptations, so Z2 volume tends to fit within how much time people have available and how much they care about improving volume.

I’ll use myself as a low-level example. I am still sub-2 W/kg (decent W, too many kg) and I have a short training history, much of which wasn’t done very wisely. I can do about 6 hrs/week of cycling. Right now, based on @kurt.braeckel’s advice, I’m doing two intense workouts a week (of whatever block we’re in… SS, threshold, MAP, etc.) and two Z2 workouts a week: one that’s 60-90 minutes depending on time, and the other which I stretch out as much as I can (currently three hours, hoping to reach 4h on the trainer and 5h outside).

It’s generally advised to do Z2 in the middle of the range (60-65% of FTP) because you get most of the adaptations with less fatigue than if you push .70IF or .75IF. So most people’s Z2 efforts should look boring as hell, but as much Z2 volume as you can comfortably build into your schedule is a really key part of the training process.

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I’m using TR AI FTP which has been accurate for me. To be fair, i’ve been sick on and off for the past 90 days, therefore, my training has been inconsistent to say the least.

I’d get some virus, be down for about a week. Get back on the bike for a week and do some easy endurance rides for a week. (~3 sessions for a week each 1 hour in length). Then i’d get something else. rinse, lather repeat.

With all this being said, i should lower my FTP by 10% and build from there.

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Personally, I kind of use long sweet spot as a replacement for long Z2. Not saying this is correct in any way, but its a great way to get the CTL up.

Trying to raise my weekly hours and CTL this year but have been focusing on doing it through the Z2 rather than my intensity workouts. For example Andromeda x2 and Mayon x1 in a week gives me 263 TSS, my intensity workouts this week are SS90/44 4x11 and Kennedy all together should be ~434 TSS.
Want to ramp up to ~500 TSS per week average but also starting May 19th I race 6 of 7 weekends with my A race on June 30th. So don’t want to burn myself out ramping up to quickly.

I just wanted to echo what others have said about lowering your AIFTP. I too lowered my FTP by 10 watts after struggling with a SS workout. After lowering, I was able to work my way up to 5x20 at 90% which was inconceivable before. It was work but never a struggle. Good luck.

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I’d point out here that raw watts matter, too, as does looking at things like HR and such (after the fact, not so much during). So if you get a big FTP bump, you don’t just move your endurance riding up 25W at once. Step it up in terms of time, and then once you’re kind of at your limit of time, you can start to move power up or add intervals of higher power (70-75% up to tempo).

That said, once you’re into race prep or really working hard or higher volume, your longest rides probably just stick at relatively low power and become endurance maintenance sessions.

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Yeah, I’d start at 10% and work your way back up. If it was correct before, it’ll come back pretty quickly, but definitely don’t leave it and fail workouts on your way back up. Do some work at lower power and you’ll be surprised how quickly it comes around.

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Thanks! Appreciate the advice.

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Just wanted to give a big thank you to all the folks who contributed to this thread! I’ve been doing alot of bigger sweetspot rides this winter and have made huge gains. AI FTP had me at 320W at the end of 2023 (with a peak of 340W in Aug but overstated IMO because I couldn’t get through a 2x20). Now, AI FTP has me at 360W, I recently comfortably did a 2x20 @ 360W and just completed 3x40 @ 325W (90%).

The general advice seems to be build out your TTE then do a VO2 max block if you have the time before your events. My A event is VT Grand Fondo at the end of June, but I have 3 events over 4 weekends (with the first in 2 weeks). With timing of work stuff, this ended up being a rest week. My next events are hilly gravel fondos in the 40-75 mile range.

What would you do for the next few weeks? My event on 4/20 is a 50 mile gravel ride and only C priority. I kinda want to see if I can average 300W for 3 hours…any harm in another big sweetspot ride next Sat (maybe 3x45 or something?).

Thanks all!!

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Impressive numbers! I belatedly did a semi-serious SST progression the last month and wish I had started earlier. Intervals.icu and JOIN both have me at 294 (which is pretty good for this time of year) based on max-ish efforts. I very comfortably did a 3x20 at 90% with 3 minute rests this morning, so I suspect it’s a bit higher.

My big push this winter was for volume, but I think I could’ve added a secondary focus on a solid SST progression without blowing anything up.

I’m doing a 3+ endurance ride on the trainer tomorrow morning, then getting ready for Rasputitsa in two weeks with Muddy Onion the following weekend.

Then I think I’ll focus on an SST progression outdoors for a while to lead me into VT Overland, my summer A event. Just following a straight-forward progression increasing TTE really seems to pay huge dividends and yet so few pre-made plans actually focus on that. I just checked Fascat and some other plans and it doesn’t look like anyone does more than 48 minutes out of the box.

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