Workout of the Week: Sweet Spot 20s

If you have a lot of races lined up this season, don’t forget to make time for some sweet spot work to maintain your high-end aerobic fitness.

Road cyclist doing sweet spot work along a rugged coastline.
Photo: Klein

This sweet spot session comes to us from coach and masters athlete Renee Eastman. As she told our hosts on episode 216 of Fast Talk, one of her favorite workouts for almost any time of year is two rounds of 20-minute sweet spot climbs.

“It’s kind of a bread-and-butter workout,” she explains. “It’s a good workout to get people back into training or a good midweek workout when you’re racing.”

RELATED: A Comparison of Polarized, Sweet Spot, and Pyramidal Training

Sweet spot 20s are great for high-end aerobic or threshold maintenance any time of the year, but especially if you have a lot of races during the season and find yourself neglecting those longer, sustained efforts. Eastman says it’s also a great workout to build from during winter preparation—upping the number of sets or extending the ride time to 30 or 45 minutes as you ramp up training.

The recovery time will depend on your terrain, and Eastman assures that the exact timing for rest will not make or break this workout. “As long as your recovery is not 45 minutes long—if it’s five minutes, 10 minutes, I don’t think that impacts the workout dramatically.”

MORE SWEET SPOT WORK—Fast Talk Episode 307: Favorite Cycling Workouts

Workout of the Week: Sweet Spot 20s


10-15 min. steady riding

Main set

2 × 20 min. climbing @ 85-95% FTP

5 min. set rest


10 min. easy pedaling