Sweetspot training is a very useful training intensity as it’s a great tool to increase your power at anaerobic (lactate) threshold.
Remember, anaerobic threshold is your functional threshold power (FTP) if you use a power meter, or the maximum heart rate you can sustain for one hour. It’s at this point that the amount of lactate in the blood is elevated but still under control. So, sweetspot training will increase the amount of lactic acid that can be processed as fuel in your muscles and, therefore, your anaerobic threshold should increase.
But what does this mean in the real world? Well, the power or the speed you can ride for between 15 and 45 minutes will improve. Therefore, sweetspot training is perfect if you are targeting 10-mile time trials or long alpine climbs.
An additional spin-off is that riding at intensities lower than lactate threshold should also start to feel easier. For example, if your anaerobic threshold is 250 watts then when riding along on your local club run at 200 watts you are exercising at 80 per cent of your anaerobic threshold. However, if after a period of sweetspot training you have increased your anaerobic threshold to 275w, then riding in the same group requires only 73 per cent of your anaerobic power. Not only will to feel easier but it will also be more sustainable
Sounds great, right? Well, it’s not all ‘sweet’…