Adaptive Training Advisor nonsense

I’ve argued that this isn’t “some degree of polarization”. It is what polarization aims to address. We don’t aim to be polarized. Polarization aims to give you a good balance of high and low intensity so you can better manage your training and avoid overtraining. The 80/20 rule helps acheive that. Rather than fitting training to 80/20, we attempt to achieve the same goals by avoiding high intensity when you’re not ready for it. This could be 80/20, 70/30 or 90/10. Depends on you and what you do.

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Agree regarding the balance of easy to hard days, and it’s a nice way of doing it :+1: Much better than other (often more expensive) apps / plans

My reference to ‘some degree’ was actually meant more about intensity of endurance workouts, and the difference between hard and easy days. Could have been clearer. Endurance workouts are almost all above what most polarised advice would consider ‘easy’… Lucy in the sky for example… most go up to and above LTP which for the vast majority would be above LT1 / putting you into zone 2 in a three zone model (if you want to follow that model - I know Xert doesn’t, but some do). Much easier and more sustainable than sweet spot, but still maybe a little too hard if you are adding a hard interval session each week. And especially hard in summer as a very long ride around or just below LTP is in reality very hard.

Easy workaround if you want more polarization (easier easy days) is of course just ride a self selected (and easy) pace on yellow days, which is my approach. Or reduce intensity by 10-15% (and ride 10-15% longer) if you want to follow a workout

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We’re working on a number of new ideas that will affect some of how all this comes together. The current methods work quite well as is but we can improve things, especially if some of the new ideas can get worked out.

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In my experience/opinion; the advisor is more of an indicator and not so much an exact measuring tool (ie the advisor is easy to influence if you don’t train exactly according to “basic training rules”).

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Maybe this is also a problem. I’ve been doing the Xert workouts in Zwift and the FTP set in Zwift doesn’t match what Xert calculates. Zwift is set to 286 and Xert says 265 watts. I probably haven’t done enough work on the trainer (my only power meter) yet for Xert to realize 265 is very likely too low. I suspect the 286 is probably more in line with where I’m at right now, maybe even higher. Kind of funny that my best TP according to Xert was 306 back when I just played with Zwift workouts for fun.

Anyway, would having the TP in Zwift set higher than Xert result in the XATA almost always saying I’m tired and recommending Endurance? I’m getting sick of Endurance work when I am supposed to be in Peak phase for a race in less than 4 weeks from now.

Rather than waste time doing yet another Endurance workout today, I’m considering doing Active Recovery for say an hour then doing one of the Breakthrough type workouts from Xert tomorrow instead to see where my actual TP is. Does this sound like a good idea or should I just continue waiting for Xert to discover this on it’s own and (hopefully) start recommending something other than Endurance?

If predicted form is tired (yellow) and you feel fresh (blue) by all means move the FF slider to the right and the recommendations will change.
I suggest you reverse the order of the active recovery ride and BT workout. BT attempts are best performed when fresh. You can always ride more afterwards.

I tried messing with that slider last year when I did a trial of Xert and didn’t find it particularly useful because I found I was a poor judge of how I felt. What would usually happen is I thought I felt fine so I adjusted the slider to get a more interesting workout only to quickly find I wasn’t as recovered as I thought soon after getting on the bike. So this time around I thought I’d just trust Xert’s judgement, at least until I better get the hang of using it in general.

I don’t feel especially fresh today, but I am sick of doing Endurance workouts and I feel like they don’t make a lot of sense less than 4 weeks out from my Goal event. Maybe I do need some rest and I’m just not used to resting enough. Maybe my recovery rides aren’t really recovery if my Zwift FTP setting is too high (although I think that FTP setting is closer to accurate than what Xert thinks right now).

When I look at the Planner right now, Xert shows Tired (3 yellow stars) for 4 more days! Should I just stay off the bike until I actually feel fresh, then try a Breakthrough type ride? Feel like I’m just spinning my wheels waiting for something interesting to happen in Xert…

Looking more at the Planner, I’m back to square one where I see nothing but nonsense. It must be due to not having enough rides with power data which I only get when on the road bike on the trainer. Roughly 50% of my rides are outdoors, on the mountain bike with no power data. I mean VERY roughly because what I ride entirely depends on the weather (often too smoky to ride outside lately), trail conditions, etc. I’m certainly not going to ride indoors on the trainer all the time when I MUCH prefer riding outdoors on the mountain bike on trails and that’s what I race as well. Road rides are just to mix it up a little and to have options to ride when the weather or trail conditions aren’t cooperating.

I had hoped the Derived stuff Xert was doing now could make this a useful platform for me but it appears this won’t be the case. Any suggestions on what I could try before I just give up on Xert again?

Yes. 20W difference can make a massive difference especially in Zwift where riding at or near TP is the norm during races.

Can you show us this “nonsense”? Screenshot and explanation what the issue is.

I suppose I could but I’m not sure where to start. When I look at my Planner right now, it shows 5 days of Tired status, including yesterday. I am a little tired today, although not excessively so, but why would the XATA predict 4 more days of Tired before predicting Fresh? I have nothing scheduled and my prior week of activity seems fairly minimal (mostly Endurance although with the consideration that FTP in Zwift rides is set higher than Xert as mentioned).

Do I just need to give Xert more information? If so, what is the best way at this point to accomplish that? Do I really need that much more rest/Endurance? I don’t want to waste the next 4 days doing more Endurance rides when I’m supposedly in Peak. I’m pretty sure Endurance is already my strength and that I should be working on my weaknesses…

It seems like Xert always wants me to do yet another Endurance ride so that’s what I do. Is the 20 watt difference in Zwift enough to make Xert think I’m not doing an Endurance ride so it thinks I’m Tired all the time? I thought it would have adapted by now but maybe I simply haven’t fed it enough rides with real power data (vs. derived).

Maybe I need to reset my Xert Fitness Signature with some sort of Breakthrough inducing type ride on the trainer (my only power meter). If so, what workout is best for this (getting the most complete accurate fitness signature ASAP) and when should I do it?

I’m not doing any Zwift races.

Are you saying that it’s important that I adjust the Zwift FTP slider to match the current Xert predicted TP each time before I ride on the trainer with Zwift and that this could explain why the XATA says I’m Tired all the time and continuously recommends Endurance workouts? In other words, XATA sees that I’m working close or even above what it thinks my TP currently is (even though I think it is incorrect and should have adapted by now)? In this case, what is the best quick fix? Should I manually Reset my Fitness Signature and then do a BT type workout? If so, which one and when?

Since I can and need to ride today, I’ll simply follow the Xert XATA recommendation for yet another Endurance ride but I’ll set the power in Zwift to match the current TP from Xert and see what happens next. I assume the Xert Planner should show Fresh form sooner than the current 4 days then or will I have to Reset and do an FTP test?

PS. Sorry, I’m just getting really frustrated because I get to the point where I’m ready to do an indoor workout (my only power meter) and then can’t make sense of what XATA is telling me. It feels like I’m wasting time doing nothing but Endurance. It doesn’t help that I have a race in about 3 weeks and that I’m hopelessly impatient.

What I’d recommend is first set your signature decay method to No Decay or Small Decay. Then go back to an activity a few months ago or more and flag it (not a breakthrough preferably). Your current signature will go up and your status with become more blue or even green. You’ll then get a very different workout and it will likely be a lot harder to complete. Also I’d recommend Breakaway Specialist or similar as your athlete type.

A week prior to your event, ensure you’re just blue on that date. You’ll have to work backwards the week of to taper perfectly.


So I did my workout before I read your reply because that was the time window I had. I did the recommended workout (Oreo Cookie Blues) in Zwift with the FTP set to TP from Xert. I found out I was indeed more tired than I thought (so Xert Planner may be right on predicting Tired the next 4 days) and also quite sore. I probably wouldn’t have been able to complete the workout at the prior FTP setting I was using in Zwift (21 watts higher than Xert TP).

Regarding the settings, I currently have Decay set to Optimal (the default I believe) and Athlete Type as Puncheur (only because I read something somewhere about that suiting MTB XCO type racers). I’ve been racing exclusively singlespeed on my mountain bike for about 15 years but have dabbled in local virtual (Strava) road races during the pandemic. I’m shopping for a geared MTB again (it’s been a long time since I’ve had one) and do plan to race XCO or Marathon type events that seem to match my current strengths (or at least interests) most. I believe I did have Athlete type set to Breakaway Specialist initially (was it the default?) but changed it to Puncheur.

Short term goal (3 weeks out) is to beat my previous time at that SS MTB race. So I don’t want to do anything to reduce my chances of accomplishing that and can wait until after that event before experimenting too much with changing Xert settings if doing so would risk confusing me even more.

So, do your recommendations still stand or should I just leave things alone?

You should be able to make those changes and reverse them if things don’t look right. I doubt we’d end up with a TP over 280 but it could be possible if you haven’t had a good breakthrough in many months. Not ideal to go without regular breakthroughs on the Optimal Decay setting.

If you prefer, reach out to support and ask for help on this.

Puncheur is a great choice for MTB. I’d leave it there. Just adjust the decay setting to get your Training Load and Fitness Signature a bit better on track. The small improvement might give you that little extra boost for your event.

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I haven’t made any Xert configuration changes yet but here is a screenshot of what I see today and, again, I just can’t see how this makes any sense to anyone. If I’m Tired (and I am) and have a Training Surplus of 10 XSS, why would it recommend a workout with 226 XSS? I’m doing a quick 30 minute recovery ride because I know from experience that makes the most sense.

Try this - Adjust your freshness setting to reflect your fatigue level (play with it and see how that changes the training recommendation). Adjust your freshness level into the red. The program appears to need this manual user input otherwise it just guesses at how you feel……we all need feedback, that includes computer Algorithms….

Maybe a next generation program that taps into continuous input from wearable or embedded (LOL) biometric sensors will eliminate the need to tell the program how you are feeling once in a while.

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Because on Fridays you do longer rides. Doesn’t make any sense to recommend a short ride when you normally do longer rides. If you don’t wish to ride that much or don’t have the time, adjust the filter for a shorter workout.

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Perhaps another thing to point out is that ‘Tired’ doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t train!

Yellow simply means that your high intensity systems are fatigued, but your low intensity system is still good to go. Yellow status is a great opportunity to top up on low XSS, so free-ride and aim to keep the intensity low - could be below LTP, could be using DFAa1, etc.