Physiological Benefits of Sweet Spot Training
The physiological benefits of sweet spot training are illustrated in the table below:
As you can see, there are more x's in the sweet spot column than there are in zone 2 and tempo columns for several key physiological adaptations** that are fundamental to endurance cycling performance. Therefore, athletes accomplish more with one hour of sweet spot training than they do with one hour of zone 2 training.
Sweet Spot Training produces more benefits than lower intensity aerobic training 6 physiological ways:
Increased Plasma Volume
Increased Mitochondrial Enzymes
Increased Lactate Threshold
Increased muscle glycogen stores
Increased Stroke Volume
Increased VO2 Max
Listen to our Physiological Benefits of Sweet Spot Training Podcast:
The proportion of sweet spot training to stimulate those 6 physiological benefits above to the rest of your training hours is described in a "How Much Sweet Spot Should Your Do" training tip and podcast
That's why a well design aerobic endurance building training plan has plenty of zone 2 in addition to sweet spot (see example training calendar👇 ) This is the Pyramidal Training Approach as opposed to the Polarized Approach. And why Sweet Spot versus Polarized is a false debate as Coach Christian discussed in his August 2021 podcast.
A 2 week training plan example with both sweet spot and zone 2 (and tempo in the middle):
In this 2-week training plan example the athlete rides sweet spot 2 - 3 times per week and zone 2 twice weekly at the end of a workout block when they are tired. This is what we call fatigue dependent training plan design.
Incorporate sweet spot training into your base training to build a bigger aerobic engine that's capable of generating higher threshold power. Build a big base for 12-16 weeks but don't forget to do your intervals after! That's what we call Switching From Base to Race.
Read more about sweet spot training:
Sweet Spot Training - the original, 2005
How to Sweet Spot on a Group Ride, Jan 2017
Sweet Spot Training Plan Design, June 2020
Copyright 2022, FasCat CoachingFrank Overton is the owner, founder and head coach at FasCat Coaching, a cycling coaching company in Boulder, CO. To talk with Frank or a FasCat Coach about sweet spot and fatigue dependent training plan design fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation. Additionally, check out the Sweet Spot Plans starting at $49 that Frank designed!
Foundation : 3 Weeks
- Perfect for all cyclists beginning off season training
- Raise your CTL and the all-important muscle tension intervals
Phil Gaimon's FONDO
- Complete similar workouts to what Phil does to prepare for all his KOM's
- Sweet Spot training, threshold intervals, and some anaerobic work