Sweet Spot Group Ride Duration

I’m looking for a little clarification on the amount of sweet spot to incorporate into the weekend group/solo rides for the Sweet Spot plans I purchased. So far, I’ve just made temporary dummy workouts to figure out minutes in the Sweet Spot zones versus Endurance to match up the suggested TSS for the Sweet Spot plans. I did read the “How to Sweet Spot During a Group Ride” and “How Much Sweet Spot Training Should You Do” articles to gain more insight. While I’m sure it’s completely unintentional, this did put three different thoughts in my head as to what total Sweet Spot time should be for workouts.

  1. Shoot for X minutes in Sweet Spot and Y minutes in Endurance to match planned TSS.

  2. Start with some Sweet Spot interval length and slowly ramp amount of time in Sweet Spot as the plan progresses. An example might be to do 3 x 15 minutes week one, 3 x 20 minutes week two, 3 x 25 minutes week three, etc.

  3. Complete X minutes in Sweet Spot based on rider level in the chart and complete remainder of planned time with Y minutes in Endurance.

Does one of the three lay out the best approach?

1 Like

It’s kind of a mix of all of that. So you just slowly want to increase the amount of sweet spot you do each week in a weekend ride. Can start with a total of 40 minutes and work up to 90 minutes or even 120 minutes based on your goals and ability.

If you live somewhere with lots of climbs, ride the climbs at sweet spot which is a great way to do it! Just going from bottom to top so you don’t have to look at the time. Like in the training tip on how to sweet spot in a group ride take longer pulls, stay on the front, or off too the side so you are riding at sweet spot.

If the group ride is slower and you are mostly zone 1,2 during it and you don’t want to disrupt it one thing I would do is a 15 - 20 minute sweet spot effort before and or after. Just to make sure I would get my sweet spot training in.

The idea behind the group sweet spot is not having to look at your timer and being a drone. Some people get burnt out so easily on specific training repeatedly so nice to have this little break and using a group to get the efforts in. Look at the TSS and try to match up with that.

Also during the group ride look to have an intensity factory of .84 - .96 That would be a sweet spot average overall.


Yea and to echo what Coach @Jake - don’t think of it like intervals. If we wanted you to do 3 x 12 we would have prescribed it.

This is your chance to have FUN and ride how YOU want. 12 minutes > 9 minutes, 3 minutes> 20 minutes - it does not matter. You can be spontaneous and ride per the terrain and also to how you are feeling.

This is the essence of TSS rides https://fascatcoaching.com/tips/tss-training/

Like American Express: Don’t come home without it


Thank you @FRANK and @Jake

This helps clear it up a bit for me. I mainly ride alone…small town limitations. Very hilly terrain, although short, so breaking things up more freely will certainly make things easier, perhaps more fun as well. Driftless area of SW Wisconsin.

Sweet spot from the bottom to the top of your hills and american express the prescribed TSS and I think you’ll have alotta fun and get hella faster.

1 Like

Ahh, I’ve been pondering the same thing. We currently can’t have group rides where I live in the UK due to Covid restrictions, am I correct in thinking that I should warm up, press the lap button and try and keep roughly in sweetspot, accumulate as much TSS in the .84-.96 range, until I’m or my legs are done , end the lap then zone 2 home until I match the prescribed TSS for the workout?

Hopefully as the weeks go by I should be able to hold longer durations at sweetspot. Therefore gaining more TSS in the range? I’m thinking I can set my Wahoo to display 3 second power, time, intensity factor and TSS for the lap and then just ride until I’m in the ballpark.


You are correct @lancs.roadie!
If you keep #FtFP’ing too, theres no doubt you’ll improve your aerobic engine and be able to hold SS for longer.

Also, here is a great podcast of ours on how to sweet spot in group rides that you might find helpful!

1 Like

I’m having similar concerns. I’ve prioritised the prescribed time in the saddle with the weekend rides with the sweetspot 1-3 plan but I’ve then found that (particularly when doing such rides indoors) that I overshoot the prescribed TSS target by 5-10%. Do I prioritise the time prescribed for such sessions or the prescribed TSS target ?

You should always prioritize TSS. That is the actual amount of work you do on a given ride. If you want more time ride slightly easier if you want less time you will have to ride slightly harder. With the freestyle sweet spot rides you want to maintain time in 84 - 97% of FTP. So you don’t want to go above this as that would no longer be an aerobic effort. But if you are riding more sweet spot than zone 2 you would get to a TSS target sooner.

Thanks for that. I purposely didn’t go above the 97% at any point but I think the freestyle nature can mean we get faced with the choice of having to climb off having worked too well (but still within the zones) vs getting the raw time in the saddle. I wondered how the coaches felt about this dilemma at this time of the year (‘quality of quantity’ vs ‘quantity of quality’ when doing mid winter base work.).

Some other questions though.

  1. It’s worth noting that this problem gets exaggerated if you do as I did and do some of them indoors on virtual platforms as the efficiency of not having any coasting periods or turns means you will hit such TSS targets a lot faster than the sessions estimations (probably 10 mins faster per hour roughly when compared to outdoors).

  2. I also think the freestyle nature can get tricky if you’re too controlled about it (for example, in the sweetspot group rides at the weekend, I was happy to sit on the front of a group, crank out 40 mins SS in one go at 95% FTP and then pulled off and sat in at an endurance pace for the rest).

  3. How do you recommend progression in such sessions week to week aside from the prescribed time ? I’d be inclined to consciously try and extend the amount of SS work within it but that will obviously affect the session length too. Again, it comes back to my point with would you treat these sessions differently depending on the time of year.

Either way, it did encourage me to ensure my Garmin has the TSS counter showing on the main screen !

  1. Hitting the target indoors sooner is fine. We actually prefer that athletes cut the indoor riders shorter by adding more sweet spot. Get on the trainer and get off. Don’t spend too much time on it.

  2. Yeah you don’t want to think too much about the freesytle sweet spot rides. That takes the fun out of it. But it can be good to take some longer pulls. I’d probably mix them throughout the ride as opposed to just the beginning. But again these rides are about doing a certain workload. We believe you will get more work out of a ride if you do sweet spot than just zone 2 alone.

  3. I would just FtFP. Don’t over think it. Just follow the plan. The plans have a progression. In the long run whether you do 40 minutes of sweet spot or 60 minutes in a ride that yields 200 TSS it is still a 200 TSS ride. That is the workload it was.


Thanks Jake. That’s helpful and clarifies things a lot.


My approach on a 2 hour, 115 TSS sweet spot group ride is to hit about 50 TSS in the first hour and 65 TSS in the second hour. I keep the TSS metric displayed on one of my Garmin screens and check it during the ride. Based on the questions and responses, I think I am #FtFPing. Right?

I am starting 18 weeks of sweet spot again in late December. The plan worked well for me this year despite having few events to attend.

1 Like

Yes - measuring TSS in realtime is the ticket - this way it helps you know how far you’ve come and how much left you have to go as I demonstrated here:


I just watched this 8-minute video again. Good refresher for freeform sweet spot rides. Forgot I took your advice a year ago and added cumulative TSS to my Garmin. Thanks, Frank.