Sweet spot vs Threshold


#1

New to TR. I haven’t really the time to commit to a training plan in the Aussie summer, so kinda cherry picking workouts to slice between outdoor rides and crossfit-ish training. I hear sweet spot training can improve FTP while imposing a lighter training load. So, I am kinda wondering when I should choose a threshold workout over a sweet spot one. What are the advantages of doing a threshold workout over sweet spot when the recovery time may be extended or it may be more difficult to complete effectively if I am fatigued from other training?


#2

You answered your own question…

If you know you have ample time to recover (i.e. a day off after it) or are coming into the workout fresh (i.e. easy day before it) then Threshold work is super effective… but with Sweetspot you can complete workouts at prescribed power multiple times back to back/per week. Consistency is king, so I find SS plans work great for me.

SS on this chart - high z3 to 4…

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#3

How you recover is the issue. Regardless, if you have more time to recover maybe a threshold session would be better. It does everything SST does just a little more but, the tradeoff is more recovery. If you are short on recovery or more fatigued from other stuff perhaps SST will elicit a better training response. Simply, the more TSS/week=higher CTL=better if you can recover.

For me and I think for most SST is easier to get a lot more time in the zone compared to threshold so SST get’s my vote nearly every time. If I am getting ready for an ITT then it’s important to push threshold.


#4

It’s my understand that Threshold and VO2 Max workouts/intervals will give you more bang-for-buck if you’re time crunched.

As you’re not intending to follow or complete a whole plan, I’d say you’d benefit more from sessions in the Threshold and VO2 Max zones.


#5

As others have indicated so much of this depends on information about your recovery and your other riding as well as what you are currently targeting (both from a calendar and an event perspective).

Given that you’re doing crossfit in addition to your cycling I presume being a faster cyclist is not your primary goal (if it is, you should strongly considering dropping crossfit).

As such, I conclude that you’re simply looking to be fit during the heart of your riding season and aren’t interested (yet) in following a plan. Therefore, I would suggest enjoying the fitness you currently have in the way you like most - presumably this is your outdoor riding. Any indoor training you do should be used to supplement this and you should focus on your primary goal at this time of the season. So…long way of saying - do sweet spot since it is less likely to burn out your legs and ruin your outdoor riding


#6

Cheers. I am competitive, so I am always looking to go faster on the bike - but I have limted time and other commitments. I’ve made some significant gains in the few years I’ve been an enthusiast, but seem to be at a plateau. Interested in your thoughts on crossfit/weight training and why you think it should be removed from my training? I’d understand muscle bulk (especially upper body) can slow you and then the added fatigue taking away from ability to focus solely on the cycling, but interested on any other thoughts on why you think I should “consider dropping crossfit”.


#7

There are several reasons, a few of which you’ve detailed but they all essentially boil down to specificity. If you want to be good at cycling you should be putting both your physical and recovery time into cycling.

Cross fit (and really anything like it, this isn’t specific to cross fit) will get you to be good at cross fit. By doing both cycling and cross fit you end up healthier and stronger, but not as fast on the bike.

Think of it this way - you do a hard interval session on your bike on Tuesday and have an off day from cycling on Wednesday and do cross fit instead. Instead of your body putting itself to work repairing the damage to your muscles you’re fatiguing yourself elsewhere. This means your next interval session on Thursday will be somewhat limited. Basically you’re putting extra stress on your body.

As you mentioned - this stress will build muscle bulk that doesn’t help you with cycling and thus hurts your power to weight ratio.

Bottom line would be that if you want to focus on being as fast as you can be on the bike you need to focus your (presumably limited) training and recovery time on the bike

There was a podcast on this a while back, I think this is the relevant one but I’m not positive


CrossFit, Orange Theory, HIT, Strength Training?
#8

Thanks mate! Great info and I’ll be sure to give it a listen!!