Sweet spot question

Hi there I have a question regarding sweet spot which has probably been covered 1000 times before.
I have been training/racing triathlon for over 25 years and done pretty well, but I recently purchased a TR program in the hope of qualifying for the world age groups. I enjoy the programming and have found i am responding well to the training; however, when it comes to sweet spot I find myself a little concerned. Sweet spot is suppose to be hard but doable and not a lot of fun, right? But I find myself really enjoying these efforts and not feeling at all beat up and wanting to get off the bike ASAP. So my question is, am I doing this training wrong? I can do three x 20 minutes SS sets and get off the bike wanting to do it all agin tomorrow. Is this how it should feel?

Everybody is different but for me SS funness depends where I am in base block.
During indoor SSBHV1+2 around 10th week my motivation starts falling and I am really waiting for next phase. Outdoor workouts are fun all time and any shape :slight_smile:

With 25 years of triathlon, I’d say your muscular endurance is probably going to be pretty darn good.

If you used the Ramp Test to set your FTP, then you might want to think about using a longer test that uses less of an anaerobic contribution. Might even be worth doing one of the Kolie Moore tests:

Another test would under overs. Do you feel suitably taxed with the over part?


I am not sure we are supposed to feel that way. I usually don’t mind getting off the bike, but it’s not the end of the world…

You could always raise the percentage a notch or two in order to nudge up the effort. If you are always doing that, you could just manually raise your FTP an equivalent amount.

I haven’t been doing indoor training since the spring, so I find it tough, mentally tough, that is, boring. But I know it will pay off through the winter so I have decided to hang in there, even if I do the other way around. I drop mine a tad.

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Believe or not I actually did a hour max test. I wanted to see how dad it actually was so I went to the local velodrome and tortured myself.
With regards to overs/unders, again I find them really enjoyable. Hard work but again when I see them programmed I look forward to them.
Don’t get me wrong. I know these workouts are working, it just when I watch vogs about people doing these workouts they talk about being in dark places during the work efforts, and I just don’t feel it, so maybe I’m doing it wrong.

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I’d say they’re not easy, more like comfortably hard. At the moment my fitness isn’t great, but when I was in shape I would regularly do over an hour without needing a rest interval. I’ve never been in a dark place doing them that’s for sure.

On the otherhand, I do find 12 min over unders difficult, where the overs are 2 mins. The last set is particularly difficult. :dizzy_face:


This is exaxtly SST around 90% of FTP should feel, especially looking at your training experience. 3x20 at SST is not hard workout by any means if your TTE is around 60 min. From your description and doing workouts with ease I suppose you:

  1. Have high mental capacity so dark place for one is another day in the office your you.
  2. Your FTP is set correctly.
  3. You have very long TTE so many TR default workouts have too short intervals and too long brakes for you. Especially when it comes to under FTP workouts.
  4. With such a long training history you know your body and how it should behave - so if something does not feel right - change it :slight_smile:

There’s loads of info about SS in this thread

Also, if you’re finding it easy then extend the time you’re spending at SS.

Isn’t it always said that people like to train in Seiler’s “no go” zone exactly because it is “comfortably hard”? Seems that’s how you’re feeling it.

What part of the training plan are you in? If you’re in the first week or 2 of a plan it’s easy to think “this is too easy” and increase the intensity, only for the increasing difficulty of the plan to catch up with you further down the road. I’ve fallen victim to this before and now I only manually adjust if I’m feeling totally amazing just before the last interval of a workout. Otherwise I play the long game and just reap the rewards of finishing a workout a bit fresher than usual.

I also think there are different kinds of “hard”. I, like yourself, look forward to over unders. What I’m really bad at is zone 2 workouts on the trainer, so I opt to do them outside. Physically they shouldn’t be that demanding but I find them a lot harder than they should be. It’s probably a mental constraint there.

Sweet spot can fall in the middle of these two (OUs and Z2) for me. The intensity is high enough to be fatiguing over the course of a few intervals but low enough that I don’t always give it the respect it deserves, or attack it with the same attitude as I would for V02 max work.

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My guess is that these workouts are playing to your strengths as a cyclist, and that, for you, the short-power workouts would be far more challenging.

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I think there’s a general misunderstanding of how SS should feel.

My perception of it is that it should be demanding, but not brutally so. The whole idea behind it is that it’s a productive training zone that maximizes repeatability while minimizing fatigue. I would say if anything, the length of the sessions is demanding in terms of mental energy more than the required power output.

I also suspect that some of the « SS is brutal » crowd are the same people who smash themselves for town sign sprints on weekends.

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over-unders are horrible haha