Sweet Spot Session
Perfect place for a Sweet Spot Session
Chris Stephens ~ riding through Flanders in the spring.
When & Why?
These sessions can be used at different times of the year to elicit different outcomes. The main reason I use them, is as a mid-week CTL (Chronic Training Load) top-up. They are a good way of adding load, without adding extra fatigue, because the intensity is kept low.
Our "main" training inducement sessions are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Doing these on a Wednesday will help flush the legs from Tuesdays intense session and loosen them for the intense session to come on Thursday!
So don't "smash 'em"!
Sweet Spot Sessions can be ridden on the road or turbo. As always, you get better consistency on the turbo, but when the weather's good, who wants to be indoors?
If outdoors, just find a steady, flat, "protected" road or circuit. If it's an exposed route that's windy, try to undertake the majority of your ride with a tail wind.
Remember, the outcome of these sessions is to add training load, it's not necessarily a de-facto "training session"
Take a gentle ten minute warm-up to loosen the legs, bring the heart rate up and get yourself firing on all cylinders.
When you're ready, ease yourself in to the session by taking a minute to slowly ramp up to around 85-90% of FTP (Functional Threshold Power).
The effort should be brisk, but not race pace and breathing should remain shallow and regular. You should feel you have an extra gear available should you want to; but for this session, you don't want to.
Just hold that level for twenty minutes, then cool down and go home.
This is a perfect power
(yellow) and heart (red) trace for a sweet spot session
green is cadence
The chart above shows the sweet spot effort only, there is no warm up or cool down. As you can see, everything remains as calm as can be. This is a "nice" session.
You should be at the top end of your tempo power/speed without straying in to threshold territory. remember, this is ridden at 85-90% of your sixty-minute, threshold effort.
Warm up, twenty minutes effort, cool down. Sorted...
Here's a little more info on this session.
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