Advice on recording other sports

I’m in the middle of a training block with a target of the end of March for a training camp, but, in the meantime, I’m also playing field hockey once a week. I enter a rough number of XSS points based on tracking the effort involved, uploading to Strava and then scaling by the Strava stress score to Xert XSS that I get from bike rides. So far so good, although given the DOMS involved I suspect I’m under recording the XSS score. However, my real question is what is best to put in as the focus and specifity type of the manual entry I have to add to Xert to best represent the effort involved. I’m usually running between 4 and 5 miles with a mixture of jogging about, sudden accelerations and sprints from 5 yards to about 50. Thanks!

Hi Mick, with DOMS you’re getting a sense for the Recovery Load induced by your field hockey and running. We don’t recommend that you add XSS/Specificity/Focus for non-cycling activities in your cycling account, because this applies both Recovery Load (fatigue) AND Training Load (fitness) to your cycling Fitness Signature. However, the recovery load impact from one sport to another differs widely (imagine how a hard run vs a hard swim would impact your ability to perform on the bike the next day), as does the Training Load (i.e. 3 hours of cycling will improve your cycling ability by X, but 3 hours of running will not improve your cycling ability by the same amount). Best practice is to use the Freshness Feedback feature in Xert to help the Advisor adjust its recommendations based on your fatigue. For your other activities, you can add the activity to your Fitness Planner without these three metrics so that you have a record of what you’ve done. Does that make sense?

I totally get that the effect on the body is different but doesn’t doing what you suggest just assume that my hockey has had zero benefit to my cycling? If I use the freshness feedback feature I see that I push the recommendations towards recovery mode but aren’t I just deferring the need to obtain more XSS points when I put the freshness feedback to neutral? That will then cause the advisor to recommend more frequent and harder workouts that because I did actually genuinely generate XSS points, will be difficult to achieve? I suppose what I’m asking about is that I know anything I put in is likely to be inaccurate but I’m looking for some help on what would be the least inaccurate choice. What you suggest is definitely wrong - in that it effectively assumes that the running has no cycling benefit but that I’m still too tired to follow the recommendations. To get rid of the XSS deficit I would then have to play with my goals. So, it looks like lots of tweaks to Xert levers when what would be best is some intelligent estimate of the equivalent cycling event to the hockey and leave Xert to run as it is supposed to. Just to emphasise, I’m not complaining about Xert here, just looking for help in getting the best out of it when it is pushed beyond what it is designed for. The good news is that it is a winter sport and will be over by the time I go on my training camp!

Hi Mick - Your hockey will indeed have some benefits for your riding related to hip strength and anaerobic power, but it will have less benefit on your aerobic engine and specific muscle activation patterns specific to cycling. Same for running, though it likely has a greater positive impact on your aerobic engine than hockey due to the aerobic demands being closer to cycling. And that’s the crux of the issue - it depends on the sport. Nordic skiing appears to be one of the closest in terms of benefits to cycling, but even it does not transfer 100%. So, though we don’t recommend it, if you’d like to add some XSS from one sport to your cycling fitness (by way of assigning XSS to a manually entered activity), perhaps enter no more than one-third of the training load (XSS). However, know that if you enter enough cross training (though it would have to be a lot), the system could eventually think that you’re more fit on the bike than you actually are, and the workou ts could become too hard complete. Your Recover Load from these other sports can be handled by using the Freshness Feedback feature.

OK Jamie. I’ll do as you suggest.

Thank you!