Running Equivalent to Sweet Spot Interval


Continuing the discussion from Quality over Quantity vs. 80/20 (or Chad vs. Matt ;)):

What would you say is the “running equivalent” of a Sweet Spot interval session (say 1 hr)? How would you describe it to a runner who does not cycle? It’s some sort of “tempo run”, but as @trianta points out in that thread, “tempo run” is such an ill-defined term. “90% of maximum and feel comfortably hard” seems like a TR threshold type pace.

Cruise interval? Marathon-pace run? It’s too bad there aren’t any triathletes on these forums to help me out <wink, wink> :wink:

(didn’t want to hijack the other thread so hopefully this is good forum etiquette)



For one hour(?) – somewhere between half marathon and full marathon pace.


I’d say marathon pace if you are a good runner. Lydiard used 1 h @ marathon pace.
Having been running them and riding sweet spot I’d say they are similar


To do what? As a prescribed workout? During what phase? (yes, I’m familiar with Lydiard…just don’t know what you meant here)


Yes, as a workout twice a week during base



Running pace (albeit not for trail) is a pretty objective output metric, in the sense that on flat courses there are barely any other constraints (i.e. aerodynamics, gravity, rolling resistance, etc.). So perhaps a good percentage (~85-95%) of personal hour best?

Good question though


I’m curious of those guys with a footpod have measured if there’s a linear relationship between power and pace, as I don’t think there is.

When I started calculating running TSS, I found out I was running routinely at 85% of my 1 hour pace, but still usually 20 beats below threshold HR. For me, 30 s/mile faster than my normal pace is what i’d call tempo. i’ve never run an open marathon, but would guess that as my MP if I had enough miles in me to actually race one. There’s a big difference in running vs racing a marathon.


assuming the “power pod” works consistently (internally so) the relationship between power and pace is most probably more linear for running than it is for riding (due to more dynamic factors of resistance, such as aerodynamics, wind, rolling and transmission resistance). I think


I find that running IF/zones does not compare well with equivalent cycling IF/zones. An hour long upper endurance zone run shows 0.85 IF for me (10s per km play until tempo). Whereas, 0.85 IF on the bike is right in the heart of zone 3/tempo (same methodology used).

That said, I generally struggle significantly to have any type of correlation between pace and heart rate zones for running (cycling is not a problem). Even on a flat course, it’s not uncommon to get a significant %HR in tempo/threshold (all things being equal).

I’ve only been training regularly for running over the last year so perhaps that’s part of it. I’m still sorting out if (at least for base) I should train to heart rate zone for running, and move to pace later on.

I get the general rule to ignore heart rate in favor of power on the bike (generally speaking), I just wonder if the same holds true in pace/heart for running…


yes, probably more linear, just curious to see if there’s a breaking point in order to get really fast. Although I have said that there is roughly a similarity in M/s pace and W/kg


Remember, though, that while a cycling power meter generally measures force contributing directly to the forward motion of the bicycle (that is, somewhere along the drivetrain), devices like the Stryd foot pod estimate all forces involved as you run - whether they contribute to forward motion or not. One of the differences with running power meters is that you can identify how much power you are generating that doesn’t make you go faster.

Your efficiency at different paces is different (and in different circumstances, like elevation change, whether you are running off the bike or not, etc.), so while the nonlinearity of running power isn’t coming so much from aerodynamic drag (and doesn’t graph the same), that doesn’t mean that it will be linear.


I created a dynamic running schedule which i have been using last a couple of years.
First as a “ftp” test, i run my best 5k then i calculate the paces as the percentages are shown below or you can use you VDot value if you know what that is.
I’m not saying this right, but it works for me.

Recovery: 74-82%
Long run: 82-90%
Tempo: 90-95%
Sweet Spot: 95-99%
Threshold: 100-104%
Speed: 106-112%


@onur what does your average (or canonical) week look like with these runs?


I usually run 3 times of the week and have one of the runs.
Week1: tempo, threshold, long run
Week2: recovery or hill, sweetspot, speed

Also, i do them as intervals of course. Depending on the season, the priority and lenght and rest of the interval changes. It looks more or less like this

Tempo: 3x15m 3m rest
Sweetspot: 4x10m 4m rest
Threshold: 4-5x8m 3-4m rest
Speed: 6-8x3m 3m rest


@onur Are you saying that your threshold equals your 5k race pace?


Correct. Your 5k pace equals to 100% based on the % that i provided on the previous post.


Vdot provides paces based on race times of various lengths. As with any field test, they get better as the distance increases.