Sweet Spot Progression

It’s about progressing TiZ. There’s little practical difference between 3x20, 2x30, 1x60… it’s a mental thing. So the progression is 50min TiZ to 60min TiZ.

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I generally subscribe to this as well. 2x35 with a 3minute recovery in between vs 1x70…i’ll take the former. 1) because mentally it is far less daunting and i know i can finish. 2) getting the TiZ and training stress is more important to me than being able to sustain 90% for 1+hrs


My brain knows 3x is more than 2x is more than 1x so I just ignore the duration and tell myself it is less intervals, that way it is not mentally any harder.

I often find 1x easier because I actually struggle to ‘get going’ again.

A good example the weekend was it was 2x 45 minutes but it was cold, -4C, so I left the session as it was but just rode through the recovery minutes. Ended up being a straight 95 minutes at 90%, no way was I going take the recovery and freeze. I know if I had there would have been a good chance that I wouldn’t have done the 2nd 45 minutes.

Not a physical thing as has been said, just mental. So just tell yourself whatever you need too to make it easier.


This happens to me too, especially when I’m doing over under work. The first part of a set feels harder, once get through the “over”, I am usually good for it.

There is psychological benefit to doing a 1x90, for example, but physiologically doing 3x30 on short rest is very close. I did my 1x90, but don’t plan to repeat it any time soon, opting for same TiZ with the breaks when I get back to doing long SST as maintenance.


First off than you everyone for this thread. I feel like the sweet spot progression I got out of here is going to really pay off. I’ve been doing sweet spot Tuesday/saturday, tempo Wednesday, endurance thursday/Sunday (Sunday being a longer ride). I’ve got a few weeks left in this sweet spot block that I’ve got planned that’ll hopefully culminate with a 2x45 or 1x90.

My question is where should I got next? I was toying with trying out a 3-4 week vo2 block, something like Chad has talked about on the forum and podcast. Or would doing some threshold work be more sound?

But i did allready 2x25 and 1x30 with 3min rest. That is 80min TiZ. When i go to 1x50 i do 30min TiZ less. How can i progress to longer blocks with not loosing to much TiZ?

Do 2x40, 2x50 and 2x60. There is probably no point in going longer in training but rather go for more training density.

I mean, your intervals don’t have to be equal length. So if you want to do at least 80min TiZ and a 50min interval you can add a 20min and a 10min interval or any other combination. I feel all the standard 2x and 3x are equal because that is easiest to make quickly, but there is no rule they should be like that.

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I think i will do (2x40), (1x50,1x30), (1x60,1x30)
After that is will watch my sequel…

I do this once every week.

I been doing 3 SST sessions a week.

As an example for the week I did three sessions with a TiZ90’ I did,
2x 45 (which I turned into 1x 95 when I actually rode itl

Mon Recovery
Tue 2hr Endurance Z2 (first 45 minutes Z2/Z3 edge)
Wed 2hr SST TiZ90 - 3x 30’
Thur 2hr SST TiZ90 - 40’, 30’, 20’
Fri 48 minutes recovery
Sat 3hr SST TiZ90 - 2x 45’ (but rode the recovery period at 90%, so 90 minutes plus SST) remaining time Z2 up to 3 hrs
Sun 2.5 hr Endurance with 6x 20s sprints

That seems like a clever progression that one could create for multiple TiZ’s.
Week 1: 60 TiZ

  • 3x20
  • 25+20+15
  • 2x30
    or alternativily
    Week 1: 60 TiZ
  • 3x20
  • 2x30
  • 40+20

or some variations on that, depending how far along the progression you are and if you are ready for long 1x’s for example.

Exactly, I use the same formula / theory for each TIZ from 48 to 120 minutes

My TiZ60 is

3x 20’
2x 30’ or 1x 60 if I’m feeling it.

I wasn’t speaking about your case personally. It was a general progression case. If you’re able to do 80 minutes, then go to 90. I’d recommend 3x30. If you want to do a 1x90, do it. It’s debateable whether it’s really worth it, but there is some mental benefit to knowing you can hold 90% for 90min.

How far you go in your progression depends on a lot of things.

That’s not really much of a progression.

2x25 + 1x30 -> 2x40 -> 1x50 + 1x30 -> 1x60+1x30 is dragging things out.

If 80 min TiZ is really, really hard for you and takes you a couple of days to recover from, then maybe go this route. Personally, I’d just push you to 3x30 right now, or perhaps just 2x40 -> 3x30.


The progression in terms of blocks is

  1. Extensive - push the curve out to the right (this is mainly the SST work being discussed)
  2. Intensive - lift the curve up (this is more threshold, O/U related work for shorter duration)
  3. Max Aerobic - hammer vo2 max

Thanks @kurt.braeckel

I think you are right! I did the SST on Tuesday 2x25 and 1x30, on wednesday i did in the morning strength and 1.5hour workout on Zwift with FTP and Vo2max blocks and thursday (yesterday) 3.5h endurance. So i think that 3x30 is good to go!

Thanks for your help!

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Been working on this now for two weeks and already noticing massive difference as i work through progressions.
Overall HR has come down dramatically from my first 2x20 ride 10 days ago, to the point now its sitting in the range of where it would be when i used to do tempo while i do a 2x30. RPE dramatically down as well.
Also appreciate the few of you saying 3min recoveries between intervals starts to become unnecessary. Certainly still need something for the mental break, but it has no physical impact really. Certainly builds a lot of confidence.

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I only do 4-5weeks SST progression before i go FTP work. SST is great to make you ready for FTP work, but it have not being a goal for itself.

I started following the progression @empiricalcycling described in his podcast and worked my way up to 2x30 min pretty quickly. I have a question, however:

  1. At what point should you simply stop pushing the curve further to the right and focus on something else? Lets say I build my progression up to 1x60 (my next step), 4x20, 3x30 etc. up to 2 hours… when is it “enough”? At some point, one simply can’t progress any more, if not from other reasons, because of time constraints.
  2. When you get to that point, where to next? Test FTP, recalibrate and repeat? Start FTP block basically the same way, e.g. 3x10, 2x20, 3x15 …?

BTW: I’m looking to complete a full IM but am currently not training for a race, my primary target is to increase FTP.

Yesterday i did 2x40min 92% with 4min rest in between. I will work to 90min SST with the next steps:

2x45min rest 3min
1x60min 1x30min 3min rest
1x70min 1x20min 3 min rest