For variety, I decided to do my 5 x 10 min Sweet Spot session outside today but I can’t sustain them exactly in the Sweet Spot zone and they fluctuate between Zone 1 and Zone 6 but average roughly what I am attempting…also I did one 30 min interval and overall I completed the session but when I looked at my zones I actually spent:
- 18 min Tempo
- 9 mins Sweet Spot
- 14 min Threshold
- 8 mins VO2 Max
- 16 mins Anaerobic
Do I still get the adaptations which these Sweet Spot sessions are aiming for or am I just better off doing them inside in ERG mode?
Outside intervals are easier for me as I don’t find myself struggling to sustain the effort because outside when I am flagging, I just stand up and pedal harder and my watts just increase again to the desired average.
I am guessing you already know the answer yourself.
The ss session was designed for a specific training benefit and also to allow an easier recovery for the next day.
The session you did had 9 minutes in the correct zone as against the target of 50 and you had 38 minutes at threshold or higher.
So a mid level session has turned into a hard workout.
Not terrible and undoubtedly it has provided some training benefit but probably not in line with your weekly plan.
This is likely because the inside work is harder and unrelenting. You are getting micro-breaks and able to apply standing as a crutch to push past and finish the efforts. The pure variability you shared is the whole reason these are often best done inside.
You can do them outside, but you have to be willing to recognize that they will not be perfect like you can do inside. It sounds like a mix of motivation and some “cheats” that you are doing outside vs learning how to knock them out inside. I feel that you would gain better payback for the time inside, but people have varying priorities and needs.
I have done my scheduled sessions outside before but never checked the zones previously but when I checked this one I was shocked how little time I actually spent in the sweetspot zone.
I have keawah next week and I was thinking how I’d much prefer to do it outside because I know now I will be unable to do it fully on the trainer…looks too hard. If I did it outside I’d get the average watts needed but there’d be little sweetspot done.