Trying to understand Sweet Spot

“Uptempo” is what it has been called in the running world at least 30-ish years (well, that’s when I first heard it in high school anyways).


That’s funny. I’m sure that phrase was buried deep in my memory since I also ran a lot in senior school in the 90s. It either sounds familiar or my memory is putting words into my old coaches mouth.

One of those times you think you’ve thought of something then realize you heard it somewhere else before.

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At least 50 (I was a runner in the early 1970s).


Hey all, I last checked this thread at about post number 17, can someone summarize for me? Would appreciate it, kthxbye!

Sweet Spot is the hardest easy pace, or the easiest hard pace. Just a smidge more than “Uptempo” (I always wanted some Nike Uptempo!)

Is it still Sweet Spot if the HR, sensations, and Power are all at the right place but you can do it for two to three hours? I think so :man_shrugging:.

There’s a whole raft of what is FTP also, but that could be copy and pasted from any thread, except this one has the man who created it being told why he’s wrong.


I think uptempo may also be in some translations of ancient scriptures/stories. Some use sweet spot.

“Pheidippides was hitherto sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to proclaim that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon. He was instructed to run at a light-footed pace between a hunters trot and a devils dance; the sweet spot between pleasure and pain. Therefore his message would be delivered as swiftly as a dog shats its dinner.”


So, even before the 70s.

If you are old enough, or were a Beatles fan, my version of this song will explain it

with appropriate substitutions (swap God for Sweet Spot, pain for threshold/FTP, etc.).

I find it harder to do that with U2’s God Part II. HTH!

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It is odd how you will fight to the end over a word choice on an Internet forum, but when a well-known resource apparently misrepresents your actual work…a company with whom you have relationships and could correct it….you just shrug your shoulders and basically say “well, what are you gonna do?”

Have a great night.

Go to the top of the thread and press the summarise button.

Summarizing is easy with help of ChatGPT:

  1. Sweet Spot Definition: The discussion revolves around understanding the concept of the “Sweet Spot” in cycling training, which refers to the intensity range just below the threshold where sustained high power output is possible.

  2. Training Benefits: Participants discuss the advantages of incorporating Sweet Spot training, including improved endurance, lactate threshold, and overall fitness. It is noted that Sweet Spot workouts are efficient in terms of time and energy expenditure.

  3. Implementation and Integration: The conversation explores how to determine the appropriate intensity for Sweet Spot training, with suggestions such as using power meters, heart rate monitoring, or subjective measures like Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). The integration of Sweet Spot workouts with other training zones and the importance of individualization and progression are also discussed.

But extracting key takeaways for practical application is hard, I would not even try and rather just follow whatever TR prescribes :slight_smile:

You think that’s an accurate summary of this thread?

Yes, that summary of topic as such.
No, it is not summary of takeaways. And if you propose one, there are definitely popping up bunch of other participants, questioning some details of your summary.

You’d think that I might have some sway with the folks at TP, but ours was always very much an arm’s length relationship, and I preferred it that way (in part based on knowing what Hunter and Kevin had to deal with with the CEO at the time). The few times I let it be known that they had made a mistake (e.g., labeling them “zones” instead of “levels”, or incorrectly listing me as “Dr. Andy Coggan, PhD”), they just shrugged their shoulders and did nothing. IMO life is too short to deal with such incompetencies, especially when you’re talking about your hobby and not your job. I have enough on my plate as it is (mostly chasing grant money to pay my and other salaries).

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If you’re the real coggan who I presume works at University of Indiana. Why are you up at 6am EST on a Saturday arguing about what sweet spot is ? :rofl:


I’m sorry, I fixed it.
But again, why are you up at 6 AM talking about what Sweetspot is?

Actually, no, you haven’t. It’s “Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis” (soon to be just “Indiana University Indianapolis”), not “University of Indiana”. :slightly_smiling_face:

As for being up at this hour, there is work to be done (and a swim practice to get to).

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I’m impressed by your dedication to the sport and the pleasure is all mine.
I’m also impressed that you have time to reply to people like me being a man of your stature. My brother is an also a professor in a different field at a top Ivy League school. He barely has time to reply to my text messages, especially this time of the year.
I’m honored you took time out of your busy schedule to address my comments at 6am on a Saturday.

Just to clarify, if you were referring to me, I personally wasn’t trying to argue with @The_Cog or dispute anything he is saying/has said. Quite the opposite, actually. I am just trying to get clarity around something that is obviously both so broadly misunderstood yet extensively used by all of us.

And to be fair, as an exercise physiologist myself, I do have a reasonably sound understanding of the topics we’re discussing. I just was trying to get a better understanding around FTP testing vs FTP performance. Kind of like how when we cyclist talk about VO2, we might say “yeah, that’s the power you can hold for approximately 5 minutes” when in fact that’s not what VO2 actually is at all.