Completely new to power-based training, where to start?

I just got my first power-meter a few days ago. I’ve never done any structured bike training, but want to start with indoor training on a “dumb” trainer. I set up a xert account, but since I didn’t have any rides with power data, I assume xert used some sort of default values. I tried doing a workout yesterday, but it was way to hard. I then lowered the peak power and treshold power (more or less randomly, I don’t know the real values here, obviously) in my profile and chose an easier workout, and was able to complete it ok (i was still under the target most of the time). Will xert adapt on it’s own, if I continue like this? Or should I do a ftp test once, to get an idea of what might be appropriate values to enter in my profile? Should I just do some freeform rides at varying efforts? I’m honestly a little lost.
xert also claims I already have quite a training deficit. I this just because I’ve been ‘training’ for less than a week, or is this another indication that something might be off with my settings?
Also, it seems like the garmin app is not available for the F orerunner 945. That’s unfortunate, since I’ve been using that as a makeshift bike computer so far. It does connect to my power meter and all, so I’m not sure I understand why I can’t use it with xert.
I have now instead been using xert player on the iPad. That works with the powermeter just fine, unfortunately I can’t connect my HRM strap without an ANT+ dongle. Once I get heartrate data in my workout as well, will this help xert adapt faster?
All help is greatly appreciated!

Maybe a short summary question: The Beginners guide says “Step 1: Import a minimum of 3 months of power data”. I don’t have 3 months of power data. What do I do now?

Hi Dominik, Since you are lacking training data to feed into Xert, I would get started with opening up the Planner and in the calendar select the icon that looks like a gauge and allow it to automatically generate a workout for you for each day for the first week and at the end of that week for each of the following weeks and so on. Maybe until you’ve done a few weeks. This will then work out the FTP for you and also you will have some starting data to work from. That’s how I would do it.

Hi Dominik,

Excellent question. You may actually have an easier time learning Xert than others who may be more familiar with traditional power training metrics & methods. If you still have time to ride outdoors, I’d say that its best to simply start riding unstructured for a bit before trying to understand the data. If that’s not an option, we’ll want to figure out an accurate signature for you by forcing a “breakthrough” on an activity (i.e. push yourself all the way to the limit and let Xert determine your fitness). You can try one of the fitness tests in the workout library for this purpose. Once your fitness signature is more accurate, you’ll find that the workouts will be at a sufficient difficulty level. For now, I wouldn’t concern yourself with the training pacer & XSS surplus/deficit - just focus on riding by feel & as time permits. As you add more data to Xert, the recommendations will become more meaningful.

The Xert workout player for Garmin is too memory intensive for smaller devices, like watches. The iOS app only connects to BLE devices currently, so you could use a BLE HR monitor or an ANT+ bridging device like CABLE by North Pole Engineering. Having HR data won’t help all that much faster, but we do allow for estimation of XSS and Focus for rides without power that are uploaded to Xert.

While you’re starting to accumulate data into Xert, I’d recommend starting to work through the “Learn” section of the Xert Support Page. You can also check out our podcasts, which we designed to be at a level of understanding for athletes who are newer to training with power, or are switching to Xert from more traditional training methods.

Hope this is a helpful start! Cheers!

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Thanks, that actually helps a lot.

Riding outdoors is unlikely to happen any more this year, but I’ll just do some trainer workouts then and not stress about the numbers in xert so much until it has some data to settle in.

I solved the heartrate thing by recording the workout on my Garmin Forerunner (connecting power and hr via ant), while at the same time having the workout with only power on the ipad (connected via Bluetooth).
That also made me realize that the power reported on the xert app was only half of the actual power - I’m using an Assioma Uno Powermeter, so its relatively obvious why it can be off by a factor of 2. I already found an appropriate setting for the Powermeter, so that should be fixed for the next workout.
That also explains why the first workouts I did where that hard, and incidentally meant I already got my first breaktrough after importing todays workout with correct power data.