Accept tp, try again soon, go with no decay?

Hey guys,
I need a bit of advice. Mid May I performed a very (very very good) 20 minute climb. I topped out at 184bpm which is my absolut max and gasped at the top for 30seconds, thinking the end was near. The breakthrough gave me a 255 ftp. I switched to no decay and didn’t bother for 6 weeks.
Today I switched to optimal decay, did a little shorter test (was harder to pace as well as it had some steeper slopes thrown in) and topped out at 178 bpm. I knew I could do more work but just wasn’t able to dig that little much deeper. Breakthrough gave me 247.
I will admit that I have a little (not too much thogh) life stress.
What do I do? Accept it as is? Or take the number from no decay? Should be 260 now.
Thanks for any advice :slight_smile:

Personally I would go for Optimal Decay and actual TP. If you’r still that good you will hit 260 again sooner or later. If not then you’r not that good (anymore) :slight_smile: . Xert is a very honest system in which you constantly have to proof yourself. That way your TP is an actual reflection of your form and not something from the past which you might or might not be able to achieve again somewhere in the future.

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Agreed on the honest reflection of my form as of today. I just wasn’t able to go deeper. The “very good” in May was related to the performance (not necessarily the outcome; which, is however for my background “good” as well). So if I know 184bpm is my max heart rate for an 20min-ish all out effort at and I don’t get above 178bpm the next time … is it fair to say I didn’t give everything I had to give? I will try to do another “test” soon, I mean come on … an all out effort is a test and no fun :slight_smile:

Right at tp and especially at ltp the old numbers feel fine and at 3 stars (i’m at almost 3) workouts feel very doable.
I don’t want to train on low numbers but I also don’t want my ego (which is not small to be honest :slight_smile: ) to get in the way.

I would stick to the training at the current numbers until life/training gives you a good window to freshen up for a couple of days and then go for another breakthrough attempt. You’ll still benefit from the training in the interim, and maybe up the volume a bit if you find the intensity is manageable.

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Max heartrate isn’t something you can always reach by willpower or force.
Sometimes it doesn’t reach it max rate for variety of reasons. I wouldn’t punish myself by telling myself that I didn’t give everything I had to give.

As far as tough testing concerns. Xert advertises that you don’t have to do an FTP test anymore but they don’t tell you that you have to reach Breaktroughs on a regular base to keep your fitness signature up2date :slight_smile:. So one way or the other you have to suffer to determine your max effort. I guess it is just an unavoidable part of the game.

I found that doing Zwift races make you reach tough efforts/BT’s much easier then trough workouts. In workouts I always get focused on time remaining while in racing I just get caught up in the game and therefor sustain high efforts much longer without giving it to much thoughts.

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I’ve been wondering about that. What is important, is that you maintain your values, i.e. you’ll have to put in max efforts once in a while.

It’s more like: ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it’ - if you never do a max sprint, your PP/MPA will slip and your TP may rise as a result. Or any other combination and depending on decay setting.

I don’t worry too much about BT’s, as much as I do about keeping decisive parameters up-to-date. At any rate, depending on willingness, age and other stuff, there comes a point where you will no longer be able to raise TP.

Agreed. You have to do max efforts on a regular base to “defeat” decay.
This might or might not result in breaktroughs every now and then.
I guess it also depends on the volatility of your training troughout the year.
If you have periods in which you hardly train (winter season?) and periods in which you train increasingly harder you can expect breaktroughs.
On the other hand if you keep your training more or less on the same level you will probably experience very little breaktroughs.
But at the end the point is the same. Decay is like gravity. You constantly must act upon to prevent it is taking you down.

sounds like the proper way to go about it. 2 question though:
what are “decisive” parameters? pp, ltp, tp hie?
if so, HOW do you keep them up-to-date? by max efforts of different durations?

Moreover: How do you guys define a “max effort”? A really really hard effort or a “i-want-to-die” " i-will-never-be-able-to-replicate-this" effort?

Decisive parameters depends on your Athlete Type setting I would think
The beauty of Xert is that it will suggest workouts according your Athlete Type setting and point in time of your training plan (base, build, peak). So theoretical you dont have to worry about the parameters like TP, HiE and PP yourself. Just do your best during the prescribed workouts :-). And if you do anything besides the prescribed workout (like a race or something) Xert will integrate these results also in your actual fitness signature.

About max efforts. Two things pop:

  1. MPA (
    the closer your MPA reaches your current power the more your effort reached the max.

  2. Difficulty score (
    This is more about your hardness as a rider (is also trainable).
    The Difficulty Rating you get on every workout is related (

Exactly. I once hit 202 bpm during a hard, all out ~15 min time trial, but it was only because I was dehydrated and over-caffeinated. Other than that day, my max HR is usually around 192-194bpm. HR can be helpful for seeing how your body responds to exercise, but it’s susceptible to change from a whole variety of factors.

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I would say accumulating as much time as close to MPA as possible is the best to ensure an accurate signature. We report something called maximal effort time when you are spending time with MPA pulled low & close to your power output. Generally, the larger the max effort time, the better/more accurate the resulting FS will be. For example, the resulting FS from this activity is really, really accurate (3:18 maximal effort time):

While they can also be maximal/BT activities, FTP tests or ramp tests only have a very few short seconds where MPA is close to your Power output (maximal effort time on this was only 0:32):

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This all makes perfect sense to me and I decided to go with the lower tp as seilers words resound: “most (amateur) cyclists overestimate their lt1/lt2”

One or two thoughts about max effort time:
So you’re saying the best way to get an accurate fitness signature is to accumulate as much time as possible at map. This can be done by 30/30s, ronnestad’s or anything like that (which is in my eyes a specific test protocol as well …) . I’m fine with that :slight_smile:

“not having to test” is riding on the road for me, which (again: for me!) typically doesn’t involve drawing down map for a longer time:
resetting/confirming PP is by the very nature of a (townsign)sprint a short affair
When I try to set a new pr on a long-ish (15-25min) climb I try to pace myself as good as possible. I’m very conservative (in that regard :stuck_out_tongue: ) and will always prefer a negative split.-> Resulting in 30-60 seconds max effort time.
If I’m about to be dropped in a fast group ride, I ease up to plan my comeback and try to not blow up completely and therefore don’t reach map at all.

That being said, I’m perfectly fine with my FS and think it is as close as possible. (I also have 2 years of good consistent data though …)