Anyone else get the tired status on outdoor rides way more than on indoor rides?

I’m trying real hard to make outdoor workouts pretty near the recommended XSS for the day. I use trainerday to import the workout then export to trainingpeaks. That can then sync to my Wahoo Bolt and I can do a workout that is pretty close to the indoor trainer. I ride on a flat trail system and can hold the watts generally within 5-10 ± recommended and the overall XSS for the workout is usually pretty close to the recommended.

The issue comes up that on my planner I almost always get a difficult or hard workout and marked tired for the next 4 or 5 days. Even if I’m doing endurance workouts, that are supposed to put you back to the fresh status so you can do intervals again, they get marked hard as well. I’ve tried upping the freshness slider on the goals tab and that can help mitigate, but it seems like I shouldn’t really have to change that.

Hi Dennis,

Without seeing your data at all, there are 2 possibilities here that might explain the behavior:

  1. Your high/peak training loads are relatively low, meaning that any strain put on those systems keeps you in the yellow for a few days, or…
  2. You are accumulating a decent amount of high/peak strain on all activities, thus preventing those high-intensity systems from recovering (and allowing your status to switch from yellow back to blue).

It might be helpful if we’re able to look at the strain from your recent activities (say last 6 weeks or so)… Would you mind sharing a screenshot of your ‘Strain’ chart of the Progression tab? Should look something like this:

Here Is the last couple months.

So I went back through my activity history. The last time I did an indoor workout it was Apr 16 and it was an Endurance workout. It was SMART -we got this 90. Difficulty score of 76 and XSS of 116. If I check the planner I was fresh when I did the workout and stayed fresh the next days. Yesterday I had an outdoor ride that was pretty easy mostly, but had a couple steep hills. Difficulty score as 57 (rated moderate) and 143 XSS. I was fresh before the activity but now I’m rated tired again all the way till Thursday (turns to Fresh on Friday)… and I’ve bumped my freshness slider up a few since riding outdoors.

Is it because my max watts has some spikes on outdoor rides? That’s something I’m not going to get on an indoor training ride. Outside even on an easy ride I’m probably going to get some little uphill segments where I do 200% ftp or more for a bit.

Does “flat trail system” mean you are riding offroad?
It isn’t practical to compare indoor to outdoor strain scores and allocation ratios for a structured workout no matter how flat the route is. I suppose you could get close on a paved rails-to-trails course, but it will never be equivalent to continuous trainer-controlled resistance for X secs/minutes. Offroad will be more erratic.

There’s easy endurance (< LT1/LTP) and “hard” endurance (LTP to LT2/TP), plus high/peak strain efforts (>LT2/TP) on outdoor rides unless you studiously avoid that to retain a high focus duration target.
200% TP will definitely cook an “endurance” workout. :wink:
What type of titles and focus points are you ending up with on your outdoor rides?
Example, Difficult Mixed GC Specialist (8:24) versus Easy Polar Endurance Ride (28:15).

Endurance activity won’t necessarily put you back into fresh status. It also dependent on training load and settings. What is your current status stars count? What is your current ramp rate?
What about Athlete Type?
Is ATP set to Continuous?

No, typically if I do a workout it’s on my road bike. However, yesterdays ride was on MTB. It wasn’t a controlled workout but I was thinking it wasn’t something that was going to put my in the tired status for 3 days. I have witnessed the same thing where I was on my road bike and doing a structured (endurance) workout though.

Most of the ones that I don’t expect to put me in the tired status are rated moderate mixed breakaway or GC specialist. There are definitely rides that were hard/difficult/tough etc but those I’m not surprised if status goes to tired although I still feel like in those cases it stays tired for more days than it does when I had indoor rides that were rated difficult etc.

3 stars. Moderate-1, Breakaway Specialist (but I’ve done century ride, puncheur earlier, just trying something different). I’ve done continuous in the past but set it it an event for June 11 a while back since I have a race that day. That’s part of what brought on this topic… I can’t seem to get anything but endurance workouts suggested without changing the freshness feedback up a bunch because I’m always tired according to the system otherwise.

I totally get that the system is customizable/individualizable and I can just change the freshness feedback to match how I feel. I guess the root of the surprise comes from having to change it so much between indoor/outdoor. Maybe that is totally normal (for me?) and I should just bump it up a ton when I start riding outdoors and put it back when it gets cold outside again? Unless there is something else that should be looked at to make the system more normalized between the two I guess.

That there is the problem. That’s absolutely high strain territory and is why on your chart shows most rides have a lot of high strain, why your rides are rated breakaway specialist (high intensity) and why you go yellow.

So, wouldn’t see it as the system working differently indoors vs outdoors, it’s that you are riding very differently outdoors vs indoors, and actually are not following the focus recommendations of the system. (Not that the system is perfect - as @ManofSteele’s first point suggests, if your high + peak TL is very low eg after a long base, arguably Xert’s status can be conservative).

There is no reason you shouldn’t get endurance focus riding outdoors, if that’s your intention. You just need to stay below TP (and ideally well below for an easy day). Takes discipline and acceptance you’ll go slow, but even riding up hills below TP or even LTP is possible. At least that’s true on road - technical MTB climbs are another matter… and it’s also easier riding solo than in a group ride, as they are bound to get competitive (a reason group rides are not great for easier endurance rides).

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Super good info thanks. I’ll watch strain more on days that I’m marked tired and want to recover. In the mean time though, it seems then, if strain is the cause of my tired status, but I don’t feel tired, then doing as I’m doing (just adjust the freshness slider) is the correct approach.

Just be fully clear, it’s high and peak strain (ie that above TP) rather than strain in general that’s causing the yellow tired status.

But to answer your question, the fitness slider is ok to use in that way, assuming you feel like you are recovering week to week. I would still try adding some intensity discipline to your endurance rides (stay below TP and ideally LTP) to prevent getting ‘tired’ / yellow unnecessarily in the first place. That way you’ll also be fresher and able to ride even harder on the hard days. There are also benefits to riding easy, both physical and mental

Still struggling with this, but having both extremes.

  1. Had a race Saturday. As far as perceived effort, It was in the top hardest races I’ve ever done. I was destroyed. Didn’t feel super, heart rate too high and couldn’t get it down through the entire race. 6.4 hours to do 50 miles rough single track MTB race. 6000 ft of climbing. I didn’t have my Heart rate monitor because somehow I didn’t notice it wasn’t in my stuff when I left for the race. Anyhow, I got rated “Difficult Mixed Climber”, 301 XSS difficulty 76. End result. I got tired status for the day of the race and next day back to fresh on the planner. Hmm… how much does HR data affect strain score? IDK if having that data would have shown I was struggling. From the power output alone it kind of looks like I was just putzing along.

  2. Tuesday did a couple laps on the MTB around local hill trails. Felt fine. Ride rated “Difficult Mixed Puncheur”. 135 XSS, difficulty of 87. End result… tired status for two days on the planner.

So the race is exactly opposite what I expected after previous results but the Tuesday ride sort of falls inline. I wasn’t making any attempt to ride under TP, just went out and rode for fun that day.

If you have a power meter, HR is not used for strain and therefore not for status.

I’m also assuming you always use the same power meter, and that it doesn’t have issues with errors / spikes.

Helpful if you post some screen shots and ride details (chart of power and MPA, avg power and XEP) for both rides, or even better post the links to the activities and make them public (assuming you’re comfortable with that from a privacy perspective)

My guess without seeing the details, but seeing that it’s climber focus, is that your hard race was actually a very tough ride around but mostly below TP with not a lot of time above threshold (especially if you were having a bad day). That can feel very very hard but not draw MPA down and so not impact high and peak strain. That doesn’t mean you won’t be tired in reality, just that Xert thinks you didn’t drain your above-TP reserves significantly. Whether you are in fact ready for intervals two days later is debatable and you should also consider how you feel.

I think accounting for the difficulty of hard, just below TP efforts (as opposed to well below LTP efforts) is one area where Xert’s status could be improved (and think they may be looking at it from some posts I’ve seen)

The difference between MTB and road cycling power data was briefly discussed on our Facebook group (post here: Xert Users | Any advise on how to enable Xert analysing MTB activities better | Facebook)

As one of our users mentioned, Heart rate (and RPE) should be higher on a MTB route due to use of accessory muscles, especially the upper body and core. These muscles are doing ‘non-functional’ work (e.g. they don’t actually turn the cranks). So a smaller % of VO2 is actually producing power at the pedal compared to a road bike effort on smooth tarmac.

Strictly from the power data, the estimates of fatigue might be a bit low on MTB activities, so this would be a good case use of the Freshness Feedback slider.

Yes, this is an area that we hope to improve in future iterations of the Xert model :slight_smile:

Here is my race that destroyed me:

And here is my difficult rated but felt fine to me shorter ride that had more tired status afterward:

It looks like you didn’t really spend sustained time above TP to drawdown MPA and generate high / peak strain after the first 30 minutes in the race, while you did a lot more in the shorter ride ( a couple of sustained drawdowns vs one in the race). Hard to quantify from the activity, but you can look at the low vs high vs peak strain for each ride in the progression → strain chart

That explains how long you were yellow for (yellow only means high / peak form is negative - it is not part way between blue and red for example - and the time to return to blue just reflects how negative you were) but the feeling of fatigue is also due to doing a tough 6 hour ride when not feeling good, starting hard then struggling to maintain power for another 5 hours when already tired etc. Not sure how that effort compares to your TL but it’s a huge effort, so little wonder you were tired. I think @ManofSteele’s point that MTB is more fatiguing than power implies, given the greater use of upper body, makes sense too