Bigpikle wrote:The old story of Z2 only for building a 'base' has been largely dispelled as a total myth unless you train >15-20 hrs a week and couldnt ride any harder with burying yourself. If you're riding less hours then ride harder. Z3 & Z4 in appropriate amounts build aerobic performance brilliantly and do much more to build your FTP, which is the key determinant of cycling performance.
Indeed, its supposed that sessions of 2 x 20 at sweetspot is one of the better (best?) ways to raise your FTP
Sorry but this is wrong and illustrates a misunderstanding of what the sweet spot is and how training and intervals work, that's also relevant to the OP.
- Sweetspot power is less than your FTP.
- Your FTP is the power you can sustain for a full 60 minutes.
- Training works by putting stress on your system, recovery from this stress makes you fitter as you body adapts to meet the new needs being put on it.
- If you do 20 minutes at sweetspot you are riding under your FTP, putting relatively little stress on your system and wasting training time/effort.
- You should be doing 20 minute intervals at FTP or above.
- This is a general rule. If you are capable of doing X watts/intensity for Y minutes
>>> then for any interval of duration A: If A<Y then watts/intensity should be > X.
- This is not to say there is no benefit in doing sweetspot training. It certainly has its uses.
> If training indoors/ or got limited time it can be done for solid non-stop 60-90 minute sessions when it provides a good aerobic workout that can be done day after day with little ongoing cumulative fatigue. If your objective is to burn max calories/hour and only have an hour or so a day to train its probably the best you can do (so OP aim to do this).
> For longer sessions 2-3 hours with 80-90% of time done at sweetspot will be just as good/better than spending 4-5 hours at lower "zone 2" training.
> If you are training for an etape or similar event that involves climbs that will take more than an hour it is especially worth spending some focused time on this intensity since it is the one you should be using during the event itself.
>>OP also may be worth getting this book. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/193403083X
Its author sucks but the advice and training plans in the book are very good, especially if, like most people, time is the main limiting factor in training.