20 min power test frequency

I purchased the 18 week sweet spot training plan and am nearing the end of the 1st 6 weeks. Should I perform an new 20 minute power test? If so, should I do this after every 6 weeks or a different time frame?

Thanks in advance.

You shouldn’t need to test every 6 weeks. Just follow the plan. You can test at the end of the 18 week plan.

Also this depends on your recent training. Going from nothing to consistently training you will most likely see an increase sooner which may require before the end of the 18 weeks. But really only need to if you feel there has been a significant increase and workouts seem too easy when using heart rate and perceived exertion compared to power.

But you can also use power from weekend group rides to help determine FTP.

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This is correct - you don’t need to waste valuable training time testing - the plan specifies when to test - once at the beginning to establish a baseline and determine your zones and once at the end to measure your improvement and update your zones. #FtFP! :muscle:

OK, there is really good info in that video but now I have even more questions.

1 - I don’t have a group to ride with, all my rides are solo due to my schedule. If I am unable to do group rides how can I get this effect?

2 - According to the training plan for group ride day…“Its OK if your power and HR is above or below Sweet Spot for short periods of time (< 60 seconds). What’s most important is Normalized Power for entire group ride or length of time the group got going.” I am not sure how to achieve enough time to get notifications of FTP increase on TP when I am not supposed to exceed 60 seconds. Am I misinterpreting this? Is it ok for me to go out ad crush some rides and hills but when doing sweet spot work, for that ride, adhere to the 60 second rule. For example, I go out and try to get large chunks of sweet spot (10 min or 15min at a time) to total 45-60 min in that zone, but when not doing the specific sweet spot I am just going through the motions. Should I instead go hard most of the time, get some recovery as if I am tucked in, and also try to get my 45-60 min cumulative (10 min or 15 min at a time) in the specific sweet spot area? This sounds a whole lot more fun than what I have been doing based on my interpretation. I don’t live in a flat area and have been tailoring my rides to that interpretation…It is no fun doing climbs and trying to avoid going over 240 watts.


So it’s best to get a mix of everything you are explaining. Early on in the training you would like to stick to the sweet spot and ride most of the climbs in that range. Not going too hard. Going out and riding full gas for each ride isn’t going to make you faster.

As you progress through the training plan feel free to hit some of the climbs harder and go over the range. Treat it like a group ride. We all know how group rides go and hardly any riders have the same sweet spot range. We all go out there and test ourselves and each other. So do that in your rides! If you are doing a 2 - 3 hour sweet spot group ride come back with an intensity factor of .80 - .85 for the entirety of the ride. That is a hard ride. In that ride you can look at your peak 60 minute norm power and see how it compares to your FTP. Is it more than your current set FTP, then you can raise it. Like explained in that podcast.

Best time for rides like this are just before a rest week. This way it won’t directly effect the upcoming training as you will be recovering.

Some of these harder, more intense group rides, which we refer to “attack interval - esque” is the time when you really would do the ride you are describing and want to do! Letting go and not holding back to under 240 watts. Right now it is more about that sweet spot, building that base and aerobic engine. Sweet spot riding allows you to get the most physiological gains all the while being able to recover easier day to day compared to these more full gas efforts.

So long story short stick to mostly sweet spot riding .88 - .97 intensity factor on the efforts, but you can treat a couple of your weekend group rides as freestyle throw down keeping the pressure on for the majority of the ride.

HI Jake,

Is there a straightforward way to view peak 60 minute NP in TrainingPeaks? I seem to only be able to view peak 60 min avg power. Or, is it likely that my peak 60 minute NP will have occurred during my peak 60 min avg power?

Should I aim to have hit a peak 60 min NP that is equal to or greater than my FTP during sweet spot group rides?


Your peak norm power for 60 minutes more than likely should fall in your peak 60 minute power.

During sweet spot rides you really should hold under FTP. Your goal should be between 83% to 97% of FTP for these sweet spot rides. If your normalized power for an hour comes over your FTP you need to adjust your FTP.

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Thanks Jake. My sweet spot rides usually come in with an NP in the 83-97% range, though normally 20 TSS or so above the recommendation. Maybe that’s just a result of my rolling terrain or something.

Is there any kind of recommendation of what percent of FTP our overall NP should be for a given duration of SST ride?

For example:
2 hr SST ride - NP of 95% FTP
3 hr SST ride - NP of 90% FTP
4 hr SST ride - NP of 85% of FTP

Or should we be guided primarily by the recommended IF and TSS?

Should just focus on TSS. Also look at what type of events you are focusing on and what and where you need to be good as.

So you can either do a ride where you are just trying those the highest pace you can for the duration. Some gravel racing will start off hard where you are doing 95% in the first hour but in the last hour are doing like 75% in a 4 hour event.

Or you may just focus on putting in shorter higher intense efforts mix in the 4 hour ride. Such as if you have some 10 - 20 minute climbs on your route and you just focus on hitting the climbs at 90 - 95% of FTP and the rest of the ride zone 2. Even if you don’t have climbs like that you can focus on doing efforts like that. Mix in some early and some late. Later efforts will be harder, but can be great endurance training. Nutrition and hydration become even more important.

With these sweet spot rides it is about building a huge aerobic engine with the workload. Workload is measured by using TSS. So that is why ultimately it is about getting the TSS. That is the work you do. You can get in more work in these ‘shorter’ rides by doing more sweet spot. So instead of a 200 TSS day for 4 hours zone 2 you can get in 240 - 260 TSS with a 4 hour sweet spot ride.

Thanks Jake. This is good advice and it helps to know I need to adhere to the TSS. That will help me approach the rides and use my head unit a little better. I’ll keep all this bookmarked for when I have events on my calendar to prep for. I’m 36 and have only been riding and training for a few years now, so my goals are really focused on building a good base and pushing my FTP upward. I’m still only at about 3.25 w/kg. Living in the Washington DC metro area is not ideal for getting in 10-20 minute sustained efforts. Between the rolling terrain and traffic lights - it makes for a pretty on/off riding experience. If that makes any sense. There are still some descents that are gradual enough to keep it in the SS zone though. Long story short, it’ll just take some trial and error, but this advice will help reduce the error part.

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