By the end of this 6-week training plan, you'll have the opportunity to face & conquer everything from long aerobic Endurance rides to high-intensity VO2max intervals and everything in between. Sweet Spot Base plans are foundation training plans that can serve as the basis for all training to follow. Sweet Spot Base serves as annual opportunity to revisit the form work that often gets neglected as the cycling season progresses and then it helps establish the aerobic fitness foundation upon which you'll build your season's top fitness, all in as few as 4 hours each week depending on your weekly training availability. Following the initial fitness assessment (where your extract the FTP as 0.9 of your best 8 minutes effort) the Sweet Spot Base emphasizes pedal economy - via leg speed, speed endurance & varied cadence - as well as base aerobic fitness via a healthy dose of Sweet Spot training aimed at making every minute of your indoor endeavors count.
Following a total of 28 minutes of warm-up, a couple of 8-minute time trials are used to assess Functional Threshold Power (FTP) & Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR). The recovery interval between assessment efforts is 10 minutes.
Use any cadence that suits you, but if you're pedaling slower than 80rpm it's in your best interest to increase your cadence over the course of your training.
This workout can also serve as a workout in its own right and will target muscular endurance and optimal aerobic power output during the two 8-minute time trials.
This workout could also be used to improve short-duration pacing strategies for short time trials or prologues, perhaps even downhill MTB races.
This workout is 1 hour of Tempo intervals spent between 70-80% FTP with intermittent, 1 to 3-minute recoveries at 55% FTP.
Goals: Outside of the climbing goals of refining your climbing technique & familiarizing your body with the somewhat different stress of climbing, the additional aim here is to continue building aerobic power.
Try to employ realistic climbing cadences if you're simulating hill climbs. Ideally, seated climbing should be done above 80rpm and try to stay above 70rpm when standing.
But if you know the particular demands of the climbs you'll face, feel free to use suitable cadences specific to your needs.
This workout is 4x8-minute intervals between 88-94% FTP with 5-second high-power tags between 150-180% FTP.
4-minute recoveries separate the intervals.
The workouts primary goal is to improve your ability to sustain pretty high levels of your FTP for longer periods of time, i.e. increased muscular endurance.
Additionally, you can achieve increases in glycogen storage capacity, fat utilization, and your capacity for more intense workouts later on.
The workout also aims to increase your ability to generate a lot of power in a very short period of time via increases in how much muscle you can activate as well as how quickly you can do it.
These muscle-activating tags are short enough to avoid overwhelming your muscles as long as a quick cadence is utilized, so spin quickly through the bursts and then promptly return to your pre-burst cadence.
Try to keep your cadence above 85rpm during the majority of the intervals and then as fast as you can control during the bursts, ideally above 110rpm.
This workout is 30 minutes of aerobic Endurance riding spent somewhere between 65-75% FTP.
Aerobic Endurance training is primarily about cultivating a strong, wide aerobic base that includes all of the physiological adaptations inherent in long, steady, low-intensity riding, e.g. improved fat metabolism, better oxygen delivery & glycogen conservation, lower HR at higher power outputs, improved efficiency, etc.
As time-constrained as most riding schedules are though, shorter Endurance rides done consistently can make up for some of the time restrictions faced by most riders.
Try to hold your spin within an 85-95rpm range & spend ample time adapting to & modifying your position on the bike while the workload is pretty manageable.
TrainerRoad - Volunteer
This workout is 5x10-minute intervals in the Threshold power range at 95-99% FTP with 5-minute recoveries between intervals.
The workouts primary goal is quite simply to improve muscular endurance while adapting to an increasingly aerodynamic position.
Additionally, and equally as important, riders can learn to tolerate the mental discomfort inherent in maintaining high levels of Functional Threshold Power.
By spending time very close to lactate threshold while remaining just below it, riders can improve their sustainable power & muscle endurance by teaching their muscles to process high levels of lactate & acidic buildup without slowing down.
On top of all this is an emphasis on spending longer periods of time in an increasingly aero position striving to find that balance between aerodynamics and power output.
Cadence should fall in the 85-95rpm range but steady stress and target watts are more important than pedal speed so prioritize accordingly and don't worry if your cadence falls outside of this range from time to time.
TrainerRoad - Kaweah
This workout consists of 2 hours of aerobic Endurance spent between 65-75% FTP.
Optional form drills include Form Sprints, Endurance Spinning intervals, and some Single-Leg Focus drills.
Aerobic Endurance workouts are aimed at improving your aerobic (i.e. non-sugar) power producing capabilities in a low-stress manner.
By riding for increasingly longer periods of time, your endurance muscle fibers become more efficient at utilizing oxygen for fuel and sparing sugar stores for more intense efforts.
Additionally, Endurance workouts like this can improve oxygen delivery & utilization, increase muscular resistance to fatigue, improve integrity of connective tissue, and even help you improve your on-bike nutrition strategies.
Regarding the form drills, This workout targets improvements in leg speed, improved sprinting form and improvements in the application of power throughout each leg's entire pedalstroke
TrainerRoad - Gibbs
This workout consists of a total of 14 power ramps ranging from 115-150% FTP.
Each set of ramps includes different recovery durations depending on the intensity of the preceding ramps, but none are very long.
Power ramps help develop the ability to maintain power at lower cadences and they lend themselves to gradually improving joint integrity as long as proper pedaling mechanics are maintained.
These ramps top out at high power outputs and coupling this muscle/joint stress with a slower-than-usual cadence can be dangerous. So it's recommended that less experienced riders complete this workout with a normal cadence the first time and save the slow-force cadences for later passes at Keeler Needle.
In terms of priorities, Target wattage is the primary aim, low cadence comes second. Riders who have done force work in the past and feel safe turning out high wattage very slowly can spin even lower than 60rpm while most riders are better off playing it safely and completing this workout above 80rpm.
Whether you spin at 50rpm (advanced), 90rpm (safe) or anywhere in between, keep your watts climbing and pay attention to any hints of joint pain which mean you're not quite ready for such strenuous force work, at least not at such low cadences - increase cadence and/or reduce the Workout Intensity.