Is This Sweet Spot Training?

I am a new customer (own the 18 week SS plan). I ride in very rolling terrain where nothing is flat and nothing goes up (or down) for very long. In the four county area where I ride, the lowest place I have ever encountered is 275 feet above sea level, and the highest is around 700 feet. And 1000 feet of climbing every 20-25 miles is the norm. I am a strictly solo rider, BTW.

In a recent 90’ish minute ride with no particular goals other than I was coming off a rest day so was feeling fresh and strong (by my standards) I ended up with the following power data (as a percent of my best estimate of ftp - should not be far off).

11 mins below 56%
18 minutes up to 76%
10 minutes up to 84%
19 minutes up to 97% (Sweet Spot)
10 minutes up to 106%
13 minutes up to 121%
13 minutes above 121%

So is this a 'Sweet Spot Ride"? If so how much SS riding was there? It is 135 TSS points with a NP of 94% of ftp. At the point of this ride I didn’t even own the plan, so I was not trying to meet any plan objectives. I am just trying to get a feel for what a “sweet spot ride” is in the context of how I typically ride (where after a day or 2 of this, you would ‘naturally’ be seeing power levels a good bit lower).



Hi @Daveleenc - welcome to sweet spot training.

Use normalized power and manual analysis (8-20+ minutes segments) for rolling terrain. Left click drag n drop on your power data to analyze various segments of your ride. If that normalized power falls between 84 -97% of your FTP then yes, that was sweet spot.

So was it a sweet spot ride? Perhaps but rarely are you going to stay in your sweet spot watts for the entire ride especially the longer it gets.

As for the amount of sweet spot work - similarly analyze the sections manually with normalized power, add them up and poof, that’s how much sweet spot you did.

For more on normalized power check out this podcast and video:

Thanks for the quick response, Frank. A couple of follow up questions.

Assume a ride with (for example) five 8 minute (separate) segments where NP is in the sweetspot range. And the rest is below SS for a total of 90 minutes. Then assume another ride with the same five 8 minutes SS segments but four more 8 minute segments above SS (the rest are below SS). These two 90 minute rides with 40 minutes of SS riding seem very different but have the ‘same SS-ness’. Just trying to understand. I am assuming that the very different TSS is the differentiator here and this is the parameter that also needs monitoring and differentiates these rides.

This example is far more convoluted. A ride with 15 seconds of coasting and then 15 seconds of 1.8 x ftp and repeat 180 times will yield a ‘perfect 90 minute SS ride’ where avg and NP will be 90% of ftp. Of course nobody rides like this and I assume this falls into the same category as “this plan also does not work when riding your bike on the moon”. But in case there are other considerations that I am missing here …

Thanks again.


Hmmmm - I am having a hard time answering without any data to analyze, sorry. When it comes to power data I do so much better looking at the data than reading about it :sunglasses:. That said from reading what you are wondering about I can point out:

a) Time spent in sweet spot is a different adaptation than time spent over sweet spot.

b) 15 sec ON 15 sec Off is not a sweet spot ride even if the normalized data falls within sweet spot.

If you are interested we do offer power data analysis in our coaching subscriptions and of course one on one coaching, both of which you can read more about here and here:

Thanks, Frank. That did clarify things for me.

It is possible that the coaching option will be right for me. But there are other variables at play here that are best put in a different thread (probably at a different time).