Today I joined up with the BikeRadar FasCat group workout. Figured I'd have some motivation workout with others and be there to help answer any questions between the suffering as I coach with FasCat.
One of the biggest questions was what range was sweet spot. Sweet Spot is 84 - 97% of your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). You can find many articles related to this on the FasCat Website.
Of course you will want to make sure you have an accurate FTP to get the most out of your workout.
Along with that question was what is the ideal range of that to ride in. Well many factors can go into this. First off all you don't want to ride too hard in the first few minutes or intervals to where you can complete the whole workout. That also goes to over doing one day and not being able to recover for the next days workout. Start with riding in the middle and go from there. As you get fitter you will be able to ride at the upper end. One of the many benefits of riding at sweet spot is the ability to recover from it.
Another good question that came across was asking why we were doing the burst every 2 minutes. Well the reason is cycling is a very dynamic sport. Rarely are you every just sitting at one power zone steady. In a race or ride you will always find yourself making acceleration. The are meant to help emulate the stochastic nature of bike rides, when you have to give it some 'gas'/hard efforts to get up a steep hill, out of a corner or close a gap to a wheel. These burst typically range from 5 second to as much as 60 seconds in length.
The last 1 minute efforts we did on the day are where races are won! Why do efforts after being tired and a workout. Because that is when teach yourself how to suffer and win. A lot of times I like to give athletes long endurance rides that finish with intervals. One of my favorite workouts is a race winning move simulation which replicates this.
Here is the the workout from today:
I'm not exactly sure where my FTP since I have had some time away from riding, but believe I am not far off from the 285 it is currently set at. Quite a bit lower than just a year ago. Overall this workout yielded a 75 TSS in an hour which is a great workload for in an hour time. I was pretty consistent with my efforts which which was nice to see. When I look at a file like this one thing I like to see is if they let the power slip after the burst. See how well they recover on the fly. I did ok, you can still see some dips after a few burst. Another thing I can see is my cadence never dipped which is actually pretty good which means I didn't just try to muscle the bike and was staying smooth.
Already looking forward to next weeks workout! Hope to see you there!