Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    pedal me happy
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    149

    sweet spot training

    I have done some looking at this training method and wonderd if any one has used it and
    your thoughts on it. I am ready to start a new training year and looking to see some
    gains over last season and also am wanting somthing new in my routine. I enjoy the
    hard workouts so I think this might be what I need.

  2. #2
    FasCat Coaching
    Reputation: sprocketjockey9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,121
    Sweet Spot Training is an oft-visited Topic on these boards and probably why you're not getting a lot of responses.

    For those looking to take their training to the next level, Sweet Spot is definitely the way to get there. Here below is a few links to help you understand Sweet Spot and to gather some workouts

    Sweet Spot: Part 1

    Sweet Spot: Part Deux

    Mountain Bike Power (Sweet Spot Bursts)
    FasCat Coaching
    Personalized Coaching for All Cyclists

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Thatshowiroll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,051
    Sweet Spot: Part 1

    Sweet Spot: Part Deux

    Mountain Bike Power (Sweet Spot Bursts)

    I've looked at these exact pages before. Got them from RBR and I find it too complicated.
    Turned me off of SST and never tried it as a result.

  4. #4
    FasCat Coaching
    Reputation: sprocketjockey9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,121
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll
    Sweet Spot: Part 1

    Sweet Spot: Part Deux

    Mountain Bike Power (Sweet Spot Bursts)

    I've looked at these exact pages before. Got them from RBR and I find it too complicated.
    Turned me off of SST and never tried it as a result.
    What exactly is too complicated about Sweet Spot Training? Impulse Response...
    FasCat Coaching
    Personalized Coaching for All Cyclists

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Thatshowiroll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,051
    I'm a bit of a newb when it comes to training. Tried to read everything and looked at the graphs (which seem more complicated), and I just didn't get it. More my fault than the fault of the material.

  6. #6
    FasCat Coaching
    Reputation: sprocketjockey9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,121
    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll
    I'm a bit of a newb when it comes to training. Tried to read everything and looked at the graphs (which seem more complicated), and I just didn't get it. More my fault than the fault of the material.
    Well, what would you like to know? Ask away Be Happy to answer
    FasCat Coaching
    Personalized Coaching for All Cyclists

  7. #7
    .
    Reputation: nomit's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,117
    i've got a question which i haven't found a solid answer to yet.

    how can i determine what my 'sweet spot' is, just based on my heart rate?

    i seem to get a different answer everywhere i ask. my lthr is 173

    thanks.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    544
    Sweet Spot is a zone of sorts. This zone is centered at an IF of .90. Powermeter users will know what this means.

    I have an intimate relationship with an IF of 90.. I have spent countless hours in this range. It's hard Tempo work, the legs should be working hard, but not so hard that breathing becomes labored. The legs should have a steady load on them for as long as possible. This is Hard Work, mostly because of the extended duration.

    The perceived exertion is a 7 to start and an 8-9 towards the end of the ride. Its like a dull tooth ache, constantly letting you know its present, and occaisionally sending you stronger signals.. especially as the ride nears completion.

    I think long durations at an IF of .90 is one of the best ways to beef up sustaianble power. Why? Cause your working your butt off for a few hours riding at a pace thats exhausting.. and that kinda stuff makes yiou stronger!

    Non power users.. set out on a 2 hr (or 90min to 3hr depending on fitness) and work your butt off in blocks of 30min, 45min, 1hr, or longer. Ride strong and make sure to get in plenty of volume. You want some depeltion, pretty exhausting, a definite sensation that you just popped off a very strong ride.

    Why ride like this during base? Remeber, dial it back when breathing becomes labored. Go for duration, depeletion and a strong average speed. This is riding hard Tempo, and for riders doing less than 15hrs a week, its a good way (lots of time at an IF around .90) to build a big motor, that will hold power for a long time.

    As the seasons races start approaching add some intensity, specificity and you should be rockin'.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    679
    perryr, if memory serves me well, 90% of FTP is already treshold, low treshold...you are defining here tempo riding (83-88%). That way you could be at the time durations you mentioned.

    Also, Iīm using the A.Coggan numbers...

    sorry if I' m wrong with the numbers, I donīt have any book near me, now...but 90% seems a little more than "unconfortable".

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    544
    Quote Originally Posted by fran
    perryr, if memory serves me well, 90% of FTP is already treshold, low treshold...you are defining here tempo riding (83-88%). That way you could be at the time durations you mentioned.
    I used the term "hard Tempo", which for me is right at the top of Tempo, bottom of Threshold. .90.

    I spend a lot of time at 90-94%. In September I was finishing up a base/build for CX and worked up to a 2-day block (consecutive days) where I did 2x1hr intervals each day ranging from .90-.92. Of course I worked up to that, but I seen it on the schedule from weeks out and everyday I would look at what was left for the training month and see those 2x1hr on consecutive days.. I'd say to myself.. "glad thats not today!" But the day did come, and after all the hours I had spent at that power, I was able to pull it off, in fact day 2 power was better than the first day.

    What always strikes me with this kind of focused Sub LT training is how efforts ABOVE LT start to feel. Go above LT and the legs turn to stone, I guess thats why we add short intervals, to open the top.

    Heres Coggans definition of Sweet Spot:
    http://www.freewebs.com/velodynamics2/loadeffect.pdf

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Thatshowiroll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,051
    Quote Originally Posted by sprocketjockey9
    Well, what would you like to know? Ask away Be Happy to answer
    Thanks for offering but it all looks too much like MATH to me.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    544
    ya, add powermeter data and everything gets diced, sliced, and catagorized into fractions of a threshold. Its information overload, but some geeks like it... and I guess I'm pretty geeky that way.

    I don't use SST really, I will keep my efforts within a tighter range. But using the charts, and intensity factors, its pretty EZ to determine what SST is all about. Its a hard ride with sustained efforts at a pace just under 1hour Time Trial Pace. If you are breathing hard.. the SST effort is to vigorous. If you are not pushing fairly hard on the pedals.. you are under SST. Its really a hard, long, somewhat steady effort that will empty your legs. When the legs are empty, push on for a while.. and you are done. Depleted, tired, and ready for food.

    Basically, you need to keep the effort out of the heavy breathing zones. And you need to stay above the EZ/LSD zones. Its like a 2-3hr race pace. In the explanations of the effect, its Glycogen depleting and generates high TSS. This is really a good old fashioned hard ride, with a limit as to how hard you push, and a limit as to how much you go EZ. Keep the hammer down, work hard, and build that cruising speed (aerobic power).

    As far as implementing into a training plan, you can determine before hand how much time you want to spend (within the training ride) at this intensity. It could be 30min, 45min, 1hr, 2hr.. etc. Design the plan to progressively increase your time spent at this intensity. Work up to an hour or maybe 2 depending on fitness. The key is sustaining the effort, and building the amount of time that you can sustain the effort.

    heres more:
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...d.php?t=112091

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    590
    Quote Originally Posted by eatsleepbikes
    I have done some looking at this training method and wonderd if any one has used it and
    your thoughts on it. I am ready to start a new training year and looking to see some
    gains over last season and also am wanting somthing new in my routine. I enjoy the
    hard workouts so I think this might be what I need.

    If you are a competitive cyclist and you ever ride alone, then you are probably doing plenty of sweet spot training. I assume that most competitive cyclist, when faced with a long, solo, weekday ride, will attempt to complete the ride as fast as possible --given how they feel that day --by riding at or very near the sweat spot with a few burst/coasts here and there. I'd be willing to bet that what most of you all are calling base training is closer to SST.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    846
    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam
    If you are a competitive cyclist and you ever ride alone, then you are probably doing plenty of sweet spot training. I assume that most competitive cyclist, when faced with a long, solo, weekday ride, will attempt to complete the ride as fast as possible --given how they feel that day --by riding at or very near the sweet spot with a few burst/coasts here and there. I'd be willing to bet that what most of you all are calling base training is closer to SST.
    Especially those of us with jobs and kids!

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    92

    Aerobic Threshold vs. SST

    Does this relate to aerobic threshold? I am using the term as defined by Friel, here is the reference: [URL="http://www.trainingbible.com/resources.aspx"
    http://www.trainingbible.com/resources.aspx[/URL]
    See the article, "AeT_Training."

    In a nutshell, it says that AeT is a pace a bit higher than LSD, and can be approximated by using 20 bpm less than LTHR. That sound like a hard tempo pace to me!

    When training at the aerobic threshold all
    of the key aerobic systems are stressed and the stress can be maintained for
    relatively long periods of time just as one must be able to do in an endurance
    race.
    Sound basically similar to the Sweet Spot Training.

    The interesting thing is that if you have a power measuring device (I don't ) then certain ratios can be calculated by dividing the Avg. Power by Avg. HR for both the first and second halves of the ride. Then figure the percent change in that ratio, which he calls "Cardiac Drift" and signals a de-coupling of HR to Power production. When this ratio is less than 5% for the target workout duration you are Aerobically ready to move on from BASE to BUILD.

    Pretty cool idea.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: millennium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    332
    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam
    If you are a competitive cyclist and you ever ride alone, then you are probably doing plenty of sweet spot training. I assume that most competitive cyclist, when faced with a long, solo, weekday ride, will attempt to complete the ride as fast as possible --given how they feel that day --by riding at or very near the sweat spot with a few burst/coasts here and there. I'd be willing to bet that what most of you all are calling base training is closer to SST.
    I would say that SST is a little bit more intense than a competitive rider usually rides on a long solo ride. I just pulled up a bunch of SRM files for some former clients of mine--both Cat 1 road cyclists, and their unstructured 3-4 hour rides had very little time in the sweet spot (maybe 4%)--they spent most of their time in the middle of zone 2--below what we typically think of as the sweet spot (see http://www.freewebs.com/velodynamics2/loadeffect.pdf for where sweet spot is found). On a couple of their unstructured road rides of around 2.5 hours, they spent more time in the sweet spot, but even then, most of their time was near the top of zone2 and bottom of zone 3.

    Based on this cursory review of some power files and what I've seen in power files over the years, I would say that a typical long solo road ride for a competitive rdier has a lot of time at the top of zone 2 and maybe bottom of zone 3 (not at the sweet spot--which is more centered at the top of zone 3--see http://www.freewebs.com/velodynamics2/loadeffect.pdf for where sweet spot is found). In my experience, you have to really focus on keeping the intensity in the upper part of zone 3 on a longer road ride, at least for any extended period--it doesn't happen naturally for most people for extended periods, at least in my experience.
    Last edited by millennium; 12-10-2009 at 11:13 AM.
    -

    Addictive website!

    TwoWheelTweets.com

    All of cycling's twitter tweets in one place!

    -

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: millennium's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    332
    BTW -- I just have to laugh a bit at this whole "sweet spot" concept, because 10-15 years ago, many (maybe most?) cycling coaches were calling this same level of intensity the "No Man's Land" telling people it is not a useful place to train and saying stuff like "But avoid training in the no man's land or mediocre middle at 80-85% of MHR where it's too difficult to maintain the pace for the long rides needed to build endurance and allow some recovery time, but not hard enough to significantly improve your aerobic performance and increase your lactate threshold." See http://www.cptips.com/hrmntr.htm (Note that the HR training zones prescribed on this page don't even include HR between 80-84% of MHR--between zones 3 and 4--i.e. the sweet spot.) I'm not necessarily criticizing the idea that sometimes a particular rider would be better served riding a little harder or a little easier and not so much in the middle. I merely think it's interesting to see, and participate in, the evolution of training concepts.
    -

    Addictive website!

    TwoWheelTweets.com

    All of cycling's twitter tweets in one place!

    -

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    637
    Quote Originally Posted by NC2WA
    Does this relate to aerobic threshold? [...]
    In a nutshell, it says that AeT is a pace a bit higher than LSD, and can be approximated by using 20 bpm less than LTHR. That sound like a hard tempo pace to me!
    Nope, Friel defines AeT as 55-75% of functional threshold power. In comparison Frank Overton (who coined the term) specifies SST as 83-97% of FTP. Friel's AeT is traditional LSD base training. Honestly, I think he just started calling it aerobic threshold training because LSD has gotten such a bad rap across interweb forums over the past several years.


    Quote Originally Posted by NC2WA

    The interesting thing is that if you have a power measuring device (I don't ) then certain ratios can be calculated by dividing the Avg. Power by Avg. HR for both the first and second halves of the ride. Then figure the percent change in that ratio, which he calls "Cardiac Drift" and signals a de-coupling of HR to Power production. When this ratio is less than 5% for the target workout duration you are Aerobically ready to move on from BASE to BUILD.

    Pretty cool idea.
    Unfortunately the basis behind the Hr:Pwr decoupling to determine whether you have "enough base" is completely flawed. The resultant cardiac drift is significantly influenced by how you warm-up, how much you warm-up, and whether the warmup period is included in the calculation. And that is ignoring the other factors that affect the Hr:Pwr relationship.
    It is also dependent on whatever arbitrary wattage within Friel's AeT range you perform the workout. I can do 2 hours at 60% of FTP with less than 2% cardiac drift, or 2 hours at 75% FTP with >5% drift. So does that mean I have enough base, or not? I have workouts on file that show negative Pwr:Hr decoupling. Does that mean I have too much base and need to spend a month on the couch drinking beer?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally Posted by strader
    Nope, Friel defines AeT as 55-75% of functional threshold power.
    Oh! My bad... Where did you find that? I have the Cyclist's Training Bible here and the Zone 2 (Aerobic) is defined as 82-88% of LTHR (not FTP), whereas Zone 3 (Tempo) is defined as 89-93% of LTHR. Even accounting for the semantic differences and different zone numbering systems the SST zone centered around 90% FTP is more intense than I assumed.

    Quote Originally Posted by strader
    I think he just started calling it aerobic threshold training because LSD has gotten such a bad rap across interweb forums over the past several years.
    Yeah, re-branding confuses me!

    Quote Originally Posted by strader
    Unfortunately the basis behind the Hr:Pwr decoupling to determine whether you have "enough base" is completely flawed. The resultant cardiac drift is significantly influenced by how you warm-up, how much you warm-up, and whether the warmup period is included in the calculation. And that is ignoring the other factors that affect the Hr:Pwr relationship.
    OK, I'll buy that there are a lot of assumptions that go into the comparison. I wouldn't call it completely flawed as a metric or a rule-of-thumb (even though I hate them). If you take out warm-up and cool-down (reasonable as we all do that with intervals) then workout for say 2x45 minutes staying within the high tempo HR range does my power (or speed) decrease in the second rep? Or is my HR greater for the same power (or speed) during the second rep? This would need to be done on the same loop if avg. speed was to be meaningful.

    Quote Originally Posted by strader
    It is also dependent on whatever arbitrary wattage within Friel's AeT range you perform the workout. I can do 2 hours at 60% of FTP with less than 2% cardiac drift, or 2 hours at 75% FTP with >5% drift. So does that mean I have enough base, or not? I have workouts on file that show negative Pwr:Hr decoupling. Does that mean I have too much base and need to spend a month on the couch drinking beer?
    You're right, we've all had rides where we get stronger toward the end, but it seems more common that we fade! And I do not advocate a month of beer intervals! But a negative decoupling might mean that you're adequately prepared for the aerobic demands of your event = time to start BUILD.
    The power level at which to complete the workout is beyond me (no power meter yet) but maybe it should be variable, also isn't power on the MTB spiky anyways? So maybe during the workout you'd need to rely on PE, and look at the avg. (or normalized) power afterwards...

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    637
    Quote Originally Posted by NC2WA
    Oh! My bad... Where did you find that?
    Friel's AeT definition in the 4th and 5th paragraphs here: http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articl...joe-friel.aspx
    Frank Overton's SST range is in the spreadsheet here: http://www.fascatcoaching.com/wattagezones.html
    Hunter Allen describes SST as something like 88-94% of FTP in his book, while Dr Coggan describes it as somewhere between the top of his L2 and middle of L4 zones. Everyone talks about doing SST but it's hard to say what they're really doing.


    Quote Originally Posted by NC2WA
    But a negative decoupling might mean that you're adequately prepared for the aerobic demands of your event = time to start BUILD.
    The negative pwr:hr coupling value was from an all out 60 minute FTP test on a Computrainer. From other endurance rides last year on the computrainer, I had pwr:hr values ranging from about 1.5% up to about 5%. What I had done the days before seemed to have more effect on cardiac drift than where I was in the training season, i.e. 1.2% cardiac drift in November @ 227 watts, 3.3% @ 230 watts in february. Indoor rides varied between about 1 and 3%, but I didn't see any general trend, other than lower hr and cardiac drift if I was at the end of a training block.
    I did a outdoor L2 ride today that showed 7.5% cardiac drift if I exclude the warmup and cool down periods (otherwise >10%). Way too hard to keep wattage or conditions stable to draw any conclusions from this metric outdoors, IMO.
    Last edited by strader; 12-10-2009 at 09:46 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •