Beginner questions

Not to diss the babbelfish, it’s pretty close. But here’s a lose translation of what I tried to say:

I really love the workouts here a lot. It feels amazing when the ERG power backs off right at the moment you start to wonder if you can do this for much longer. It’s easy to change workouts yourself or build your own with a lot more possibilities than in other systems. Just take a look the the suggested workouts in the editor and see what rules they are made of. It always shows you your own power data and reading the description you know what it should accomplish and learn a lot about structured training with scientific methods. But maybe it’s just me who thinks this is totally cool :wink:

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That is how I ended up here too. :smiley:
Wasn’t quite sure what to make of Xert when I first discovered it so I ran in parallel on a trial but continued to follow “the plan” from you-know-who. :wink:
After that plan ended in burnout during build phase – for the second season in a row – I decided the only way to truly evaluate Xert was to subscribe and go for the full 120 day phased progression cycle to see what happens.
At first I thought it was too easy compared to what I had gotten used to but my FTP results by mid-summer were as high as I had gotten following the canned plans. However, I felt stronger and had experienced no burnout while completing nearly all the recommended workouts at 100%. That was a big change for me and sold me on Xert. Now I am on my third season with Xert at a higher TP than I have ever been and I am only part way through Build. Plus the weird thing is I feel fine. :smiley:


So what is Happening here

I cant follow all the explanations, thats too fast for me.
Is that all necessary (the garmin adjustments) if i want to ride indoor with erg mode?
And if i want to Do that oudoors, can you give a link what its all about?

@ManofSteele is demonstrating how you can use Xert’s Connect IQ fields on a Garmin unit when riding outdoors with focus duration as your target.

I think you are getting ahead of yourself. :wink:
For now I suggest you stick with learning Xert by riding indoors especially since your outdoor activities are a number of weeks away.

Related post: Xert Data Fields on my Garmin


If the weather in Austria is anything like in southern Germany at the moment he wants to go outside NOW :smiley: The sun is shining and it’s getting nice and warm outside and will only get better the next few days. Strange as that seems. It’s pretty unusual for this part of the world in February :upside_down_face:

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  1. Subcriber - immediately bought into the ‘adaptive’ component after being dissatisfied with the FTP-approach from TrainerRoad and SufferFest’s kinda weird training plans/features.
  2. Saris H3 indoor trainer. None of my bikes have a power meter installed directly, but I have a Polar H10 heart rate monitor for any ride that matters
  3. I’m a young’n, early 30s
  4. Totally new. Just started in January.
  5. Recreational.
  6. Short-term, I want to do segments of the Colorado Trail. Medium-term, I want to do the Tour Divide. And long-term, I want to be healthy well into my old age.
  7. Early January.
  8. 2.5 stars
  9. Currently ‘time triallist’ but my rider profile is ‘power sprinter’
  10. Aggressive-1
  11. I was in post-event for a while but i set June 5th recently to see if that would change things

Anyway - here’s my original post question, but to recap, I’m not sure the best way to get started on Xert. My initial plan was to set the IR to Aggressive-1 and just follow the training advisor every day. My fitness numbers were going down, which spooked me. I read that setting the decay rate to “no decay” is ideal for a base phase, so I changed that up and recalculated, but that dropped my fitness even more!

Yesterday, I did a Puncheur workout that was supposed to be really hard, and it was easy for me. So I switched to Level mode and just held as much power as possible, which gave me a nice breakthrough. Based on the advice I’m reading in the forum, I’ll probably do something similar tomorrow.

The default configuration on the app seems ideal for experienced users and folks that have a lot of data in the system. It seems less good for beginners. This may be veering more into a feature request or suggestion, but perhaps new users should have an “onboarding program” that it runs through? I know the app advertises itself as “No need to ever do an FTP test again!” but it’s probably useful to establish a baseline of fitness for a week or two to see how the user adapts into training.

Tomorrow or on sunday about 15 degrees Celsius.
Thanks to our (Most hated) Wind " Föhn".
But, im still preparing for my “Event”.
Kematen - Kühtai

You definitely don’t want to ride “as long and hard as possible” to get fit. :slight_smile: That will likely lead to burnout and recovery weeks required versus a gradual TL (training load) progression that minimizes the need for rest days.
In your 30s you have much better recovery capabilities than us old folks :slight_smile: but you want to avoid trashing your legs when possible.

Now that you have moved your TED (target event date) you are in Base phase which will be endurance level workouts (slow and steady builds your base). Since you have set type to Time Trialist the intervals will be much longer than say a Climber. GC Specialist is often the recommended type to start with but in base it’s all endurance regardless. You can jump around if you get bored. :grin:

BTW: In pre-base or post-event there is no specific guidance used for the focus of your training and the advisor simply offers a wider variety of workouts near your Athlete Type. XATA comes into play once you enter Base phase with higher intensity workouts appearing in the mix at some point during Build.

Many of us are converts from other platforms and have months or even years of data to import into Xert. I agree you are at disadvantage without historical power data to load into Xert. No doubt the algorithms are struggling to determine an accurate signature, but a few BT (breakthrough) workouts will help dial that in. It is maximal efforts that Xert is looking for to determine your signature values. IE, how well you perform while fatigued.
The best time to tackle a BT workout is when you are feeling especially fresh such as after a rest day following low intensity rides. Doing them successively is not recommended since when done properly you likely can’t match your performance from the day prior. Try them in Slope mode using gears and cadence to hit targets and exceed them if up to the challenge. The most important section is the wind up to the sprint effort as MPA is drawn down. Right before you are about to collapse, stand and spin to high rpm and try to go all out for 5-7secs or longer.

Ideally you are going to want a power meter for your bike so start thinking about those options. Indoor power recording is different from outdoors due to the stop and go nature of riding outdoors and constant terrain changes. You want all workouts/rides recorded to best utilize XATA. That’s not to say you can’t ride without power but those rides won’t contribute to your training load stats and that will adversely affect XATA.

Hopefully you gleaned some tips in my long winded reply to Wolfgang at the beginning of this thread and it was not TL;DR. :wink:
My intent was to encourage newbies to experiment and consider the suggestions as lessons. There are some new learning options due out soon for both newbies and advanced users. Stay tuned… :slight_smile:


I use iPhone. But I will check it out. Did I read somewhere that the iPhone version has some feature/s missing? Cyclemeter is a very good app

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No outdoor ride support with the iOS app –
Best way to record outdoor ride on ios? - General - Xert Community Forum (

I used Cyclemeter on my Pixel 2 phone for a time before moving to the Xert Mobile app and now Xert EBC on a small Android phone.

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Same for me. Will try ebc now on an old Android phone. If it’s really nice might ghet a cheap second phone for the bike ;). Cyclemeter was my pick for iphone too, but of course no xert datafields or rainbow thing :wink:

@SecretSquirrel makes some very important points in their post. Worth reading twice. :wink:

In case it helps someone decide between the trial and starting a subscription –

Differences between 30 day trial versus a subscription:

  • 90 days is the limit for historical data import. Once you subscribe you can load as much data as you want. More than a year is not necessary but you may want to see how Xert interprets the old data. Data without power is of minimal value to load.
  • The trial includes a subset of workouts from the library with a wide variety of focus, duration, and intensities. Recommended workouts will be drawn from that subset.
  • You can test the Workout Designer to see how it works, but not create any custom/coach workouts.

As I have mentioned elsewhere if you set a TED (target event date) that puts you in pre-base or post-event phase there is no specific guidance used for the focus of your training and the advisor (XATA) simply offers a wider variety of workouts near your Athlete Type.

Reference: Compare Plans – Xert (

Used ebc for an outdoor ride today. Works like a charm! Battery left was around 73% after 2 hours, but expect it to last longer when playing a bit less with the toy :joy::joy:

Wondering a little hoe to interpret/use the pink line around de rainbow. Ideas welcome :+1:t2:

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  1. 30 day trial
  2. Training indoors exclusively on smart trainer +HR belt
  3. I’m 36
  4. Used to train via HR - I’m newish to power training
  5. Looking to get back to racing 2022 after a 6-year break (having 2 kids during the break :slight_smile: )
  6. Half Distance Ironman Jan 2022 in under 6h (a rough course with strong winds and a lot of climbing)
  7. 2 months
  8. 2.5 stars
  9. Triathlete
  10. Low improvement rate
  11. Pre base (Jan 2022)

I can’t find where I can type in a workout manually :confused:
Also - Is there a way Zwift can upload a workout directly to Xert?

Thanks so much!

Is there a way to ask Xert for a specific training model? such as Polarized 80/20?

Xert is a hybrid polarized system based on the 3 zone model –

Sweet Spot, Threshold and Polarized Training … By the Numbers – Xert (

Xert is not strictly 80/20 but is also flexible and you can bend it to your will – if that is what you want to do. I think the default design will work well for most cyclists since you are in charge of allocating your week and more. You are not blindly following a cookie-cutter plan that doesn’t know how you feel day to day or how well you recover from prescribed workouts. You can also dial your TL (training load) intensity up and down during your phased progression. That is a huge difference right there.

Beginner’s Guide: Improvement Rate – Xert (

Xert is an adaptive training system rather than a pre-populated plan.
It is a paradigm shift compared to other platforms and canned plans.

Since you are new to power training I don’t think you can go wrong here. You won’t have to shed dogma learned elsewhere (aka reading too many books on the subject :smiley: ).
I consider Xert the next evolution in how to train with power. There is a learning curve no doubt and it can be two to three months in before you may understand all the concepts and how they work together, but the results will speak for themselves. :slight_smile: :chart_with_upwards_trend:
The new Xert Academy sessions will help you learn quickly – Xert - Sessions (

As a triathlete you can also ask for a free separate running account when you subscribe if you want to track that training progression as well.

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Since you are in pre-base phase on a 30 day trial you are in “float” stage with a variety of workouts to play with using a subset of workouts from the Xert library.
You can experiment with Xert’s phased progression changes by setting a TED (target event date) 120 days from now which will start in you Base phase. Then shorten that date by 45 days to place you into the next phase (Build) and 45 more to the next (Peak). (45+45+30 = full 120 day phased cycle)

Program Phases – Xert (

When you subscribe you will have access to all workouts as well as ability to create your own using the Workout Designer.

You can export workouts from Xert to ride in Zwift but not vice versa. But don’t worry, you aren’t going to want to do that once you have full access to the library and understand the differences in SMART workouts available with Xert using their player (iOS or Android).
SMART workouts are not traditional FTP block intervals but utilize several other options. There are FTP based workouts in the library as well and you can easily create your own FTP based or SMART workouts with the Workout Designer by copying a workout and tweaking it to meet your needs. Those workouts will list under your Personal folder and will be included in recommended lists when appropriate.

Data-wise you are going to want a power meter on you bike to track your outdoor activities even if plan to free ride by feel (RPE) outdoors.

As to riding Xert SMART workouts using their player while also connected to Zwift, see this article –
The Ultimate Guide to Training with Xert and Zwift – Xert (

While you could export SMART workouts into ZWO format that will convert them to FTP blocks and then they are not so smart anymore. :frowning_face:

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Wow thanks so much for the info!

Just had my first workout and I pulled it to Zwift where my FTP is probably off but it was OK.

Does this mean I broke the algorithm? It says my actual effort surpassed the maximal it had for me.

This means that Xert hadn’t detected enough power curve points in your current data to establish your starting fitness signature. Don’t worry, you’ll get there. :slight_smile:
Xert zeroes in on your fitness level by monitoring your ability to perform under fatigue using your MPA (maximum power available) as the main indicator.
In your case your PP (peak power) was too low compared to what you are capable of so you popped above MPA for a number of minutes and it flatlined since technically MPA is your max available power moment to moment.

Since you already have some base hours riding, the fastest way to validate your signature is to ride a BT (breakthrough) workout.
Search the workout library for “breakthrough”. I am not sure how many are shown in the trial but the shorter 30 minute one should do fine. Ride it in slope mode on your trainer with the Xert mobile app, relying on gears and cadence to hit watt targets. Adjust slope % down if needed to find a comfortable range for the resistance required.
Don’t worry about hitting everything exactly on your first try. It takes practice to learn what a BT event means during a workout/ride.
When you get to the section where MPA has drawn down and you are running out of steam, stand up for the sprint, spin up, and go as hard and fast as you can for 5-7 secs, longer if you can take it. :grimacing:

When you have breakthroughs (like the one you just experienced) your signature will update and you can view the details under Activities. A BT activity will show a badge icon next to the title which indicates one change (bronze), two changes (silver), or three changes (gold) to your fitness signature. Values include PP (peak power), HIE (high intensity energy), and TP (threshold power) which is Xert’s equivalent to FTP although may not be the same number as a traditional FTP test result.
All three numbers will fluctuate over time as your fitness changes.
As your fitness signature gets dialed in the recommended workouts will fall into place with their intended strain and intensity.

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Check for an email follow-up from the support team! Hopefully we’ve clarified things up a bit there (and even made an adjustment on your signature to bring it more in line with your Zwift ramp test).

@ridgerider2 is also a great source of information here on the online Forum!