Z2 vs sweet spot (in this specific case)


I am quite time crunched, balancing a busy job, three kids, and training. I follow the low volume plans, so three rides a week, as prescribed in the plans. I add an additional 30-45 minutes of Z2 immediately after every main workout, to get some more volume in. I now have one evening a week where I could squeeze in an additional short 30 minute trainer ride between getting home from work and putting the kids in bed. Which would be more beneficial: Z2 or sweet spot? Would sweet spot be too demanding (that would be 4 more or less “intense” workouts a week)? But on the other hand, would 30 minutes of Z2 on its own create any additional adaptation or would it be a waste of precious time?
Your thoughts/experiences, please.

I’d make it Sweet Spot

Both would be beneficial, why not mix it up? On weeks when you’re feeling strong, hit some SS; weeks when you are a bit more fatigued then some Z2.

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I wouldn’t stress over 30 minutes if I’m honest. If you really must ride then make it Z2.

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Here’s another option - make it 30 minutes of sweet spot or threshold, but then take one of your regular rides (which I assume are 90 -105 minutes) and make it Z2. So, you get about the same amount of intensity you had before but you are adding in a longer steady z2 ride.

Just do whatever. Don’t over-think it. It’s hard to jeopardize a 3 day per week program with a 30 minute ride. And honestly, if you only have 30 minutes, it’s hard to do it all threshold or sweetspot. At a bare minimum you probably need a 5 minute warmup.

If you are stressed out, spend the time with your kids. There is not enough of a stimulus that justifies the additional stress.
If you could add another 5min, you could use the 35min for a bit of warming up and up to 3x10x30/30 (or 40/20) VO2max (120-140% of your FTP), alternatively 4x4.
As Chapman recommended, you could then make one of your 90-120min rides easier.
Depending on your fitness level and your goals, 30min z2 won’t do anything. Maybe 30min of only Sweetspot, but that’s not really fun…

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Yep. I also think trying to squeeze this into a very tight window of getting home and 30 minutes later putting kids to bed, is really going to stress you out as well as traffic messing up your day. I would do the workout after putting the kids to bed and not pencil in things to the minute.

I would actually do a Zwift ride, TBH. Latch onto on of the pace bots and go.