Build a Big Base with Sweet Spot Training

Hopefully what I’m asking makes sense. I know in the past Frank has said, which I’ve read before from other sources too, if you have a 4 hour ride planned you really should try to make it a 4 hour ride because you don’t get the same physiological gains from breaking it up into a 2 hr morning session and 2 hr later in the day session. I also thought I’ve read in the past that was really important for the Z2 rides especially.

Does the same logic apply to the ~4 hr SS sessions I have on the weekends in the SS plan I’m doing? Or with SS, is it really just building the CTL and not so much about the physiological gains your trying to get with a strictly Z2 ride.

Hopefully that makes sense.

Ideally you don’t wan to break up any ride into two rides. Doing zone 2 or sweet spot after 150 TSS or 2400 kjs is different than doing it fresh. Once you stop riding your are immediately letting your muscles recover so you are not getting the same adaptations if you were riding in one ride. Yes you will still get the CTL to go up and overall TSS but not in the same fashion.

Ideally you work your schedule out where you can get your longer rides in on days you have the time. Then the other days are shorter and quality rides. You can split up if you absolutely have to, but best to find time to fit these longer rides in, especially if your goal events are 4+ hours.

Ok, that’s what I thought but wanted to make sure with the SS specific long rides. I haven’t split any of them up, so so far so good.


Hi, When I’m doing a SS group ride (currently on Zwift but also when I ride outside), I often find I need to go above SS at times to stay with the group if we’re going uphill or someone puts in a dig or whatever. Should I count the time I’m riding above SS toward my total SS goal time?

If so, should I modify my Z4 zone settings in Training Peaks to start it at 98% of FTP or essentially a watt just above the top of my SS zone (84%-97%)? Otherwise, I’ll double count the time when I’m doing essentially the upper half of SS which is the lower half of Z4

Also, why doesn’t Training Peaks provide an option to auto-calculate zones in their “method” pull-down that includes a SS zone? I’d have thought SS was so well accepted at this point that it would be in the Cogan or another method option. Thanks!

You don’t need to modify your zone 4 settings. You are right you will have some tim overlap with zone 3, sweet spot and zone 4.

When you do these sweet spot group rides you are really looking at getting in the TSS numbers and having the TSS come from time spent under your FTP. Is it ok to have time over, of course. Like you mentioned you maybe climbing and need to go harder to stay with the group. On the flip side chances are your power is lower as you descend. Your overall overall average will be sweet spot.

It is good to have that sweet spot bin in your training peaks zones so you know exactly how much ‘sweet spot’ time you are getting. I guess one reason training peaks does not put it in would be that there are a few different ideas of what sweet spot is. In reality sweet spot is anything above zone 2 and below your FTP. We hone in that target a bit to 84 - 97% of your FTP. Even on interval days we may even go as much as 88 - 95%.

But just remember with these sweet spot rides it is about the amount of work, in TSS, that you are getting.