Athlete type: the right choice?

I want to ride in july 2020 a granfondo (140km / 4000 height). I choose as athlete type ‘century ride’. Is this a good choice? Or do I choose another type and change this type during the months of preparation?

I would think this depends on the course. Where does the elevation difference come from? Rolling terrain or longer climbs? If the latter, I would probably chose GC Specialist…

I have a similar question - a 225Km/4000m sportive at the end of April, with one long climb then lots of rolling, and I think GC specialist will be best with some long outside rides to deal with the distance. Profile is uploaded, if it works.

I generally tell people to avoid the Time-Trialist, Century Rider, and Triathlete athlete types. The training for these athletes types will be almost exclusively endurance rides. You will want to add in a little intensity to your training, so I would recommend something like GC Specialist or Climber, even for events like these. Remember that athlete type is only half the equation when it comes to prepping for an event - the other factor is training load. If you know what the approximate XSS of the event will be, you want to aim to have ~1/4 to 1/3 of that XSS in your training load (i.e. if the event will be approximately 300 XSS, you should aim for a TL of approximately 100. HTH


Is there a way to “approximate” a course XSS in prepping for a race you’ve never ridden?

No, unless you’ve done something similar. Depending on your goal, both time and expected intensity, you could estimate. Probably take LTP intensity, giving x XSS per hour, multiplied by duration. Something like that…

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Best Bike Split lets you create a power plan for any course and get a Training Stress Score, which may be pretty close to XSS - good enough for what you want.

In theory you should be able to export that power plan as a workout and then import it into Xert but I couldn’t get it to work as expected.


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Not really. Even the same course can have different XSS/Focus, depending on how you ride it. For longer endurance rides, somewhere around 75-85 XSSR would be a good average intensity to start with.

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For the questions further on:
You can update the time of the activity (use the pencil beside the time) and be sure enter in the duration, XSS, Focus and Specificity Rating. For guidelines on how these should be entered:

  1. Duration is the how long the activity was. Nothing special to note.
  2. XSS is how much XSS you accumulated. Generally you’ll accumulate 40-50XSS per hour for easy riding and 90-110XSS per hour for extreme, high-intensity riding. Mostly, you’ll be somewhere in the middle.
  3. For Focus , if was low intensity, use Endurance . If you had long efforts just above Threshold Power, choose Climber or GC Specialist . If you had been doing sprinting or short hard efforts, choose Road Sprinter to Puncheur .
  4. For Specificity Rating , it should normally be set to Mixed .

BBS’s estimate / calculation is only as good as the accuracy of your data allows it to be. I have found it extremely difficult to come up with an accurate bike profile, greatly influencing CdA, RR and ML. This can make a difference of up to an hour on a course like this…

That’s the same with all tools of that nature. Just an option for planning.

My own experience is with gravel racing (9-10 hours) and it takes a bit a playing around to get something sensible.


Agreed, but adding BBS in the mix may cause more confusion, plus it also tries to factor in historical weather data, which may prove worthless on race day. The free model will probably give you what you need, otherwise its an extra cost if you want to use it to its full potential.

Btw, if I recall correctly, the power data will work fine when transported to a head unit, to be used as a guide for race day. Can’t remember if that goes for both Wahoo and Garmin or just either of those…