Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

Sweet Spot Intervals | Indoor Training On The Passo Giau


This is a bottom of the Passo Giau in the Dolomites And you are about to join me for a sweet spot training session with some really sure and very hard intervals thrown in the mix. Ahead of us we’ve got ten kilometers of sinuous mountain road an average gradient of nine percent, and if that’s not bad enough We’re at altitude. We’re starting at 1,300 meters and finishing at 2200 meters. The good news is that we’ve got little bit of warm up to start with so let’s go Right thank you very much Dolomites. I glad to see you got your peak up just a shame You couldn’t have had a shave, but hello everyone. We are about to tackle a really good Training session now. We’ve got a lot of intervals at sweet spot. Okay, which is this kind of semi-mythical? Intensity this not super painful Incredibly effective building fitness and helping to move you on But we’re not just sitting at sweet spot and pedaling up the Passo Giau. We’re going to mix things up So you’re gonna do four minutes of sweet spot followed by a 30 second interval riding pretty darn hard then we’re gonna repeat that three times. Got a nice little bit active recovery in the middle you’ve got four at the end, so by the finish We’re gonna be pretty puffed out we’re gonna have done some really good solid hard work And it’s anything like when I was actually riding the Passo Giau the lack of oxygen and the accumulated fatigue is gonna leave us on the rivet, but as I said it is a fantastic training session and It’s one that I do quite regularly actually And I feel good about it, so here we go. This is one steep climb so you forgive me if the pace is a little bit low straight out the blocks Straight up to nine percent Now depends on what trainer you’re riding. I’m on a cyclops hammer. I’ve got the gradient set to four percent It’s a little bit less than this one, but when I was riding up there with 39 teeth in a ring and 11 to 28 set I was struggling to do the recovery So I set the gradient a little bit lower it’s still one of the climb But put this way I’m spinning gently in my easiest gear now. I’ve stood a cup of water, so the gradient is definitely there, but generally you can really attack those 30 second intervals. We don’t have too much warming up to do Well you got another minute or a strangle sweet, spot. We don’t need too much warming up because they’re not violent efforts If I can try and explain how you can Find sweet spot intensity If you’ve got a power meter it’s relatively straightforward You look for 90 percent of your FTP so that’s the theoretical power that you could sustain for an hour. Now if you don’t have a power meter you don’t need to worry. You can still find sweet spot of course. We’ll be able to talk a little bit we’ll be breathing really hard Sweating a lot, but it’s not ever gonna feel like we’re on the limit, so that’s an important point to remember Okay We’re going to be finding that intensity very soon Probably only gonna necessitate one, maybe two changes of gear from this 4% gradient Just to lift the pace ever so slightly. Okay, you ready? Here we go. Let’s start doing some hard work. Right then. Okay this is pretty low on this one. So it might feel like we’re pushing quite a high resistance So try and roughly get 80 rpm Just trying to get that power at the right point Okay here we go. This will do. 80 rpm Feels like pushing quite hard. Gotta force down though the pedals But this is probably what I’d naturally be climbing at anyway You could hear, little bit out of breath but not too bad. This is definitely one to savour. The views on the Passo Giau, absolutely incredible. You’ll see, this is opening up and you go around Getting these clean corners From starting in the forest as you can see men Just pop out into high alpine meadows and then you’ll see in a moment there’s quite a lot of fresh snowfall so the summit at this climb looks absolutely breath taking Hold on for that so much to look forward to Okay now for those of you still looking for that effort level I’m quite out of breath but breathing really nice and deeply, so controlled Feels good It’s very sustainable but I know I’m working hard The low cadence work is also going to pay dividends just teasing the resistance level a little bit When you lower your cadence You still putting out a same amount of power. Of course have to produce more force so even though we’re perhaps not taxing our cardiovascular systems quite so much. There’s sweet spot as we would do at threshold. I’m still making our legs work Pushing what’s otherwise perhaps a slightly too big a gear. pretty spitting And as I said this climb is really steep. Okay Out of the saddle for this cute little hairpin bend Now we’re not far away from the end of our first four minute interval And we’re gonna have to just take it up 30 seconds now it’s gonna take 10 out of 10 effort level so I don’t think it’s a full-blown sprint So I am going to lift my power well over threshold But still just keep it in check And I punch it There’s a whole lot of climb still to go. I don’t want to use everything I’ve got one the first couple of K, so I’m looking for about 450 watts And then I know that I can repeat that. Here we go! Go and keep that cadence high as well hundred rpm Follow my song and give it some beats out of the saddle feels free accelerate Okay, back down to sweet spot. No recovery folks I told you this could get grippy. Try and get that breathing under control as soon as you can If you’re going on feel, take a great tip If you take notice of what gears you are using and that way rather than constantly trying to think about how you’re feeling How hard you’re breating. I just know that I’m in four gears down on the cassette and an 80 rpm and that is sweet spot. Because sweet spot for power and sweet spot sensation, they’re gonna start to diverge Cause each one of these 30 sec intervals is gonna gradually chip away Increase our fatigue levels make sweet spot go harder and harder. I know I’m always in this gear And I can get back to it .. suffer through it Takes away any kind of guesswork without a power meter. Integrate a heart rate monitor as well Unfortunately you can’t trust that cause if you start warming up you’re getting hot, get a sweat on Your heart rate will drift too, so what was sweet spot heart rate for effort one Wow Just that I’m auntie Okay what I’m looking at that blue sky Thinking about why we’re training those days on the bike outside Well they’re called float days, aren’t they, where it feels effortless Whether its first day of season Where you’ve got your overshoes off the sky’s blue dancing on the pedals Those are the days you train indoors for You do the hard work in short bursts inside,
you reap the rewards outside Sweet spot is of course fantastic at building your threshold power so Effectively how fast you can climb long hills how fast you can ride extended periods on the flat It also boosts your endurance You Ryder 40K an hour on the flat we’ll have to go ride longer .. All linking about what the target of this kind of training super effective Okay everyone. We’ve got another interval 30 seconds I’m gonna follow the lead Dolemite Simon get out of the saddle. Ready? Go! Try attack the gradient Keep the power up keep that cadence up And then back to threshold Find that gear we talked about Four down from the top for me 80 rpm As I said this doesn’t feel like sweet spot, but it is. It allowed exit elevated All right give me one minute, gonna get some oxygen in. Okay I’m back with ya. It’s taking a minute to start feeling a bit like normal. .. to drink Still well out of breath just make sure we stay on top of our fluid intake Incredibly important on an intense session like this one. You may not sweat quite as much as me
you will still be losing plenty of fluid Okay very nice, right Okay the end of this one you then got a bit recovery say You got your trainer set like I have with this Hammer to a gradient you might struggle to get much recovery, but You only got 4 blocks till we finish up so not quite halfway there yet But hopefully you’re still feeling good Big deep breaths Think about body position, keeping it smooth. You’re pushing this big gear slowly Try resting your hands lightly on the bar. Ensures that your upper body is as relaxed as it can be How is everyone doing? Ready for one last thirty second blast before we got a bit of recovery I certainly am twenty seconds to go I’m gonna follow the lead on the screen. Make it a surge so don’t kick too hard just wind it down, knock it up a couple of gears. Ready? Two, one here we go! All right check it out. We got some people in our sights. There’s a little bit of inspiration for ya Let’s drop those mountain bikers And ready? Go on and knock it off, okay? Four minutes Keep the gears light Try and recover You don’t have zero resistance on. It’s important that you still put a bit of work in We are of course still riding up a climb. We’re quite halfway up the Passo Giau So recover the best you can. Get more fluids in Look at that, one of the tunnels. Back into blue sky. I can’t tell you how nice this climb is in real life. If you get the opportunity I thoroughly recommend it. It’s absolutely brilliant. The higher you go, better it gets. Rumour has it, there’s a fantastic hot chocolate on the top, as well. But that’s just a rumour. Can’t confirm it. Okay how’s your recovery going? I’m feeling okay. You feeling okay? That’s good. You can tell I’m still breathing. It’s not full recovery. I’m in my easiest gear, doing what I can. I put the gradient. Still keeping a bit of effort on there. So that’s cool. It’s all about gradually building up. No super hard efforts on this it’s all about accumulated fatigue level. Spending a load of time at the right intensities, putting out the right power at the right cadences You know gloves are coming off We’ve got four Sweet spot intervals to go. It’s four lots of of four minutes or four lots of thirty seconds big efforts not sprints just picture yourself surging up the climb Get out of the saddle for a couple of hairpin bends change down a couple of gears It’s not often when you get to ride at above your threshold on climbs like that. It’s always enjoyable when you do Even better when you’re doing it for purpose. Like this training session. So picture that We’re nearly back on it. Just 40 seconds left of our recovery But the time is ticking down nicely. We’re nearly halfway there guys. Keep focused. One last bit. .. down me Run carb-free in my bottles and electrolytes You also get flavor. Replenish those salts. Okay, are you ready for some sweet spot? Remember that gear you were in before That was four down the cassette, I think. 80 rpm there we go Feels quite tough It’s that Ever-so-slightly Artificially slow cadence When you’re asked to ride at that cadence it doesn’t come naturally. Really messes with your head, but just try and get into a rhythm You find your rythm yet? I think I have. What you’re hearing, I’m breathing really deeply Okay everyone, well over half way now, great work. It’s gonna go really quickly now. This is a long climb of course, it’s a steep climb Hence why it is taking us 41 minutes to get up it. We’re making really good progress Okay everyone. We got one minute of sweet spot, we’ve got to surge out of the saddle again Okay start thinking about that gear choice Knock it down one, one gear harder, out the saddle, accelerate hard Think about dropping your riding companion. Ready, one and go! Back in the saddle for the last 10 seconds Two, one okay Back to sweet spot, find that gear you were in It’s gonna feel hard We’ve broken the back of this session now How’s your breathing? Getting it back? Still not quite there yet, don’t worry Which is always a plan Starts to hurt And each time you go back to sweet spot, it’s gonna hurt a little bit more But this is gonna stop us, from slower and slower, when you go through bike rides. ….. Do you like the psychic frustrated Maintain that intensity Maintain that output Look at that timer counting down everyone, it’s a welcome sight. It’s some 15 minutes to go Don’t forget Putting it up warm down as well or cool down Warm up cool down Don’t let that thought distract you from the job at hand Keep that cadence in the right place keep that gear in the same place Okay, we got one minute to our next surge Right everyone brace yourselves 30 seconds left of sweet spot befor the next 30 seconds surge out of the saddle Give it some beans, really lean on those gears Bear in mind, we are about to sweet spot again So don’t go ballistic. You know the drill by now Three, two, one here we go! Now my legs are hurting Gonna sit down for the last 10 seconds. Trying to keep that cadence high Okay Not long to go now Keep drinking those fluids That cadence is hurting Try not let your body rock like I’m doing. Focus on form again remember I know it’s hard Nothing else Good to at least Look like you’re composed Even if inside you’re hurting. You never know when that comes in handy If you’re in a race when someone decides not to attack of fear that you’re gonna crush them even though you’re on a rivet or during that sportive And You’ve got people looking around for help Set the pace and do your turn and make it look easy. always feels good Right come on Richardson, concentrate. I’m letting my cadence drop a bit. I’m in that magic gear, remember? Fall down at the back; 4% on the hammer Wahoo is telling me I’m on 78 rpm, so Nearly there, look. You see we’re above the snowline now You can hear my breathing rate has picked up And assure you, the power output is the same but The fatigue is really creeping up I know I can hang in there. I know you can to Not got long left Less than a minute, then we’re surging Again focus on your body position. Find it hard, you can tell Okay you ready for surge Right down the gut a bit let’s go Back in the saddle. Raise that cadence Okay time for sweet spot Find that cadence boy, it’s gonna feel hard now and Then where you’re at I know you’re ticking every box committing to the sprints Come on everyone three minutes of sweet spot left Let’s hear those deep breaths We’re not gonna be ragged when we finish this. I’m gonna crest the top of a Passo Giau the epitome of composure even though, as you can see, we’ve gone really deep Just important As much as anything it’s your mind that, what you just done is super achievable the next time Let you go harder Sounds a bit fluffy aybe but believe you me, it’s a really important component of training buying into what you’re doing Tell your mind you can take a little more, so it lets you
do it. Maybe sound a bit New Age but trust me it really works. Get your head in gear, and your legs will follow Should write that down, right? Okay everyone, well done. Not long left. Look at that. Five minutes fifteen, that’s including our warm down Say a minute 39 of sweet spot still Just doing that magic gear from the beginning then fair play to you, you’ve nailed this session This does not feel like sweet spot anymore. There’s nothing sweet about it It’s just a spot Spot training, that’s what this is It’s gonna feel sweet in the end, I guarantee it You’re nearly there Yeah Right don’t forget everyone we have one last sting in the tail. We can’t do a sweet spot interval without doing an out the saddle max surge. The good news is, this one’s for the finish line So get ready 25 seconds this is going to be for the finish line on the Passo Giau. Then we got a victorious cooldown to take the summit Are you ready everyone? 10, see it off. Come on, see this session through Three, two, one here we go! Ten! And we’re done Try not to follow my lead by stopping pedaling It’s important to keep your legs turning of course nothing else is in the real world We just stopped No point in doing that I’m still gonna get to this summit just a couple of hundred meters away ah Ah Now I know I said it wasn’t gonna hurt that much It did a little bit, didn’t it? But that’s okay because That’s what it’s about and that is one seriously potent training session. Like I said sweet spot is nearly mythical But it’s not it’s just the kind of effort you can sustain for a good amount of time But still has this amazing effect that riding at threshold does But it won’t leave you totally cooked for your next session today if you’re ambitious or tomorrow and a couple of days Also is a real good one to get ready for an event. You got an event on Sunday? Do this in a controlled fashion on Thursday Day off Friday. Gentle spin Saturday if you’re anything like me your legs will be feeling good on that Sunday morning It’s cool down. Feels good doesn’t it? We’re nearly at the summit Keep those legs spinning over. You might feel you wanna spin a little bit longer, I don’t blame you If you’ve got a bit more time it certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea taking a few minutes of just gentle spinning take the resistance off your trainer, so you can let those legs run free Just make sure you see the climb through,
before you do that You know it’s been a good session when your cool down feels as long as an interval Make sure you give us some feedback in the comment section underneath, let us know how you find the session Which of the training sessions you like the most or fear the most, which ones work the best When you got a bit of that sweat on you can write on your keyboard or on your phone screen, let us know what you think 10 .. 5 .. Well done everyone that was a killer session, make sure you hold big thumbs up Big thumbs up as well for Matt for writing such a killer session again You also if you’ve got control over your finger still, you haven’t blacked out yet make sure you subscribe to GCN it’s completely free to do so. Got loads of training sessions You can click follow and suffer your way through. In fact if you want a shortcut to a couple more Maybe not for now but to get wet your appetite for next time is two just down there shortcuts for ya unlike the training we’ve just done.

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