Sweet spot endurance training: 30-minute indoor cycling workout

Manon Lloyd leads the way in this half-hour HIIT workout, designed to work the sweet spot training zone with some sprint intervals included at the end

ClockUpdated 16:00, Tuesday 16th April 2024. Published 11:16, Thursday 19th October 2023

Build your endurance with this 30-minute interval training session. GCN's Manon Lloyd leads a workout that alternates between mid-intensity and mid-to-high-intensity efforts, with a couple of sprints included at the end.

For this session, you will need an indoor bike, smart trainer or exercise bike, a bottle of water, and ideally, a fan to keep you cool and a towel to collect any sweat.

Read more: How to get set up for indoor training

What is the sweet spot training zone?

The 'sweet spot' is a training zone between 86-95% of your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). That means that your sweet spot is the kind of intensity you'd be able to sustain for over an hour, but only just.

It's a really important training zone for cyclists to work on, and it's even more important for riders who want to push hard for a long time, such as in a time trial or when leading a group ride.

Read more: What are power and heart rate zones and what do they mean for cyclists?

What are the benefits of sweet spot training?

Training in the sweet spot allows you to push yourself without creating too much muscle damage, so it's great for riders who are looking for value-packed training, without having to spend a long time recovering.

As this study from the National Centre for Biotechnical Information shows, sweet spot training is a crucial component of a rounded training plan, and offers a number of benefits. It enhances aerobic capacity, endurance, and threshold power. It helps cyclists build strength efficiently, improve race performance, and minimise overtraining risks.

Another sweet spot session to try: Conor Dunne's 30-minute sweet spot session

Indoor cycling workout details

  • GCN instructor: Manon Lloyd
  • Indoor workout duration: 30 minutes
  • Indoor training type: Sweet spot training with sprint intervals at the end
  • Fitness difficulty: This is a relatively tough workout that is suitable for every type of cyclist who wants to build their aerobic base
  • Benefits of this indoor cycling workout: Improving your aerobic capacity, endurance and threshold power

Explore GCN's best indoor cycling workouts

Warm up for six minutes on your indoor trainer or exercise bike

Warm up for six minutes on your indoor trainer or exercise bike

This session starts with a six-minute warm up on your turbo trainer. Start by spinning the legs gently, then gradually up the intensity, minute by minute. Once we've hit a 4/10 intensity, we'll bring it back down to 3/10, so we're fresh for the main part of the session.

The main sweet spot training session begins

The main sweet spot training session begins

It's time for the main part of the session. Follow Manon's lead as she guides you through a range of different efforts. We'll start by alternating between 7/10 and 5/10, increasing the time spent in each intensity gradually.

Then, we'll up the intensity of the efforts and bring down the intensity of the recovery. The session ends with some 8/10 and 9/10 efforts, which should feel pretty tough!

Spin down the legs on your indoor bike

Spin down the legs on your indoor bike

Stay on the bike for a couple of minutes longer for a gentle cool down. Spin gently on your bike for as long as you need to loosen up your legs and shake out your muscles. If you feel like two minutes isn't enough, keep spinning gently.

Alternatively, if you think you can take on another, have a look at this quick sprinting session.

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