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This week’s One-Hour Workout comes from cycling coach and bike fit guru Matt Bottrill. It features three rounds of 10-minute intervals at sweet spot power, which is the name given to working at ~88-95% of your FTP (Functional Threshold Power). For those not using a power meter and training by feel, this equates to about 7/10 RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion). In short, work done at this intensity should help to boost your power without incurring too much fatigue. Bottrill said it can be done on a road or tri bike, indoors or out on the road.
You can find out more about the benefits of riding with power—and more detailed advice from Bottrill—in this article, Riding with a Power Meter Will Supercharge Your Training.
Bottrill said: “This workout helps to build endurance and sustainable power. Remember that training at this intensity burns a lot of calories, so refueling should be carried out straight after exercise.”
You’ll begin with a 10-minute easy warm-up, riding at 56-75% of FTP (or RPE 4/10). Keep your cadence high, close to 100 RPM ideally, Bottrill said.
The main set involves three rounds of 10-minute intervals at sweet spot (88-95% FTP) or RPE 7/10, with five minutes recovery between each (riding at less than 55% of FTP or RPE 4/10). Ride at your optimal cadence with best power and smoothest pedaling.
Wrap up the session with a five-minute cooldown—or longer if time permits. Keep your cadence high throughout (RPM 90+). If you’re looking to extend this session, add time to both the warm-up and cooldown and, over time, gradually increase the number of sweet spot intervals.
Bottrill added: “Compare and contrast your power and heart rate data each time you do this workout—you should start seeing improvements, i.e. your power going up and heart rate coming down.”
One-Hour Workout: Matt Bottrill’s Sweet Spot Bike Intervals
10 min. easy @ 55-75% FTP or RPE 4/10 @ 100 RPM
3 x 10 min. @ sweet spot (88-95% FTP or RPE 7/10) with 5 min. recovery (<55% FTP)
5 min. @ 55-75% FTP or RPE 4/10 @ 90+RPM