Did Ronnestad. My Signature did not Budge an inch

Hi, I did Ronnestad on Tuesday.
The comments in the Ronnestad workout that it should change my signature significantly. Unfortunately, it did not. During the workout, and during the breaks between the intervals, I had to take 2 poop breaks (Lol, ate something bad), but I took no breaks during the intervals.
Is that why my signature did not change?

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Very likely, as these breaks count as rest, so you started pulling mpa down later than you should have.

Gotchat. Thanks Robert. :slight_smile:

As @Cyclopaat notes you must complete the workout in one session assuming you don’t run out of gas part way through and that brings us to the next issue.
From the looks if it you ran the workout in ERG mode and had no issues completing the sets. Breakthrough workouts should hurt and challenge you.
If your signature is off to begin with the workout won’t generate any signature changes because the power levels in ERG mode weren’t hard enough based on your current settings.
Next time run the workout in resistance mode and force those efforts to occur.
If the first set after warm-up isn’t difficult, make the second set even harder (above prescribed power levels as necessary). Make the last set even harder as fatigue sets in or as hard as your second set if you are struggling to hold on. Also try to blast things wide open (out of the saddle) during those last two spikes.
Now sit back (or rest your arms on handlebars in a sweaty heap) and watch for those signature changes. :slight_smile:
This is the same procedure you should use for any BT (breakthrough) workout. Make it hurt.
No pain, no change. :clown_face:

Agree with comments re: too long rests, and ERG mode limiting breakthrough potential (unless the workout is designed for it), however don’t think the case here is driven by incorrect signature, since workouts are relative to your signature, and the workout was completed (aside from the toilet breaks!)

Other thing I’d add is that depending on signature, even if you follow Ronnestad exactly you may not have a breakthrough e.g. if you have very high HIE. Did the workout designer actually predict a breakthrough for you?

The other thing I’ve found with ERG mode in general is that it takes the (at least my) trainer time to settle on the right power level for big interval jumps. There is both a lag, and some under/overshoot for a bit. At the end of the interval it also takes time to get the ‘right’ lower power level, but the low is so low that it has little impact on MPA. The net effect is less MPA drawdown than predicted. Not major in longer intervals but quite relevant for shorter ones.

There is also another effect of the stochastic nature of power in general, which could also be relevant here. All Xert workout assume perfect constant power, however in reality (also ERG mode) it fluctuates, and it seems MPA drawdown is not linear with power, meaning that even if you hold the right average power for an interval, you won’t exactly match the predicted MPA at the end. The effect is most obvious for intervals just a bit above TP (so fluctuating between 98% and say 108%). By definition, every second below TP is helping recover MPA, so you’ll draw down MPA slower than a constant 103% effort.

That’s a good reason to do Smart workouts, but also a reason they very rarely take as long as predicted, particularly those with efforts just above TP!

Overall, not a major issue, but perhaps an improvement for the workout designer would be to include some power volatility in the MPA prediction? So have a constant target power (like today), but predict draw down of MPA based on real world stochastic power (with some assumptions of course)?

Using ERG mode is fine, IF you have the trainer for it. My Neo has a (near) real-time response and for a 30 second 130% interval, not having to bother if I’m hitting my target, is better, at least for me. It also saves me from overshooting it and buckling later on.

You can (also) see that Kaushal was trying to get the BT during the last two intervals - I don’t know if that was done by upping the target manually, or by just forcing it doing an increase in RPM and/or shifting gears. I can do that on the Neo, but it will be hard to overshoot for 30 seconds that way.

@ridgerider2 Yes, I was indeed running the workout in Erg mode. I have a 2017 Kickr at my place. It takes about 4-5 seconds for it to ramp up. For some reason the resistance mode on this Kickr is very hard that I can barely turn the pedals. I have to look into it. I have never used Resistance mode before. I do have the latest Kickr as well but it is at my Mom’s place 2000 miles away in California. That Kickr is much more responsive. To your point, the workout did not seem to be that difficult. Thank you for your feedback.

@wescaine Yes, I understand now that the rests matter (or rather, not resting lol). This training was an anomaly in that I had gastric distress (also UPS guy was at the door). I think my HIE 22 is relatively high compared to my Low TP. Agreed regarding the stochastic nature of power even if in Erg mode. I will look into Slope mode or Resistance modes.

@Cyclopaat You are correct, during the last to intervals of the third set, I manually bumped up the power by repeatedly hitting the + button until I got to 125%. I was looking at my MPA and it did not look like I would get a breakthrough causing me to bump it up.

@Cyclopaat You have become such an invaluable resource on this forum. Thank you. You respond practically to every post with your amazing insight and knowledge. Xert should consider hiring you. :slight_smile:

Thank you all for your feedback. Helps a lot. :slight_smile: This is a great community.

Description for the 5 diamond Ronnestad workout –
This is a really challenging workout (see the extremely high Difficulty Score) that is almost guaranteed to gain you a medal and reset your Fitness Signature. This is especially true for Fitness Signatures with a relatively high TP and low HIE/PP components. This workout is taken from a Ronnestad et al. study on front-load periodization that used this workout to greatly increase VO2max. The short 15 s of recovery between each interval are extremely short, but they will get you ready for the repeated surges out of every corner.

Here’s what it should look like when you are done (compare to your results) –
The fact you didn’t get there – on any of the three sets – is a likely indicator your signature is off. Or you timed those potty and UPS breaks perfectly. :slight_smile:
My advice is to ride Ronnestad and any BT workout in resistance mode. Make it hard to complete with some serious pain along the way.
In resistance mode the interval spikes will be uneven and watts higher depending on how hard you can push things. The MPA drops will be apparent and painful.
If no change in signature your values are currently dialed in.
If something jumps up (or down) your signature needed adjustment.
Once your signature is dialed in you might ride Ronnestad in ERG mode and finish it with difficulty (no breaks) and not generate a BT. However, a 5 diamond workout should feel like hell. :fire: :smiley:

As @wescaine mentions trainer response can be a factor with short efforts. Switch to resistance mode and force the intervals to be hard and you’ll get different results. Just like riding a Zwift race or group ride where you decide to hammer and push things at various points versus sitting in the pack the entire ride. Same ride, different results.
All I am advocating here is resistance mode is a solution when ERG mode fails to generate a BT when expected.

I’m not sure how a Kickr works but you may need to run the native Kickr app to set the default resistance to something manageable then switch to the Xert app. Otherwise you should be able to adjust resistance level in the Xert app similar to how you changed intensity % in ERG mode. Once set to something manageable you can up watts by increasing cadence or switching gears (if not in top gear already). If resistance mode is a bust with that model Kickr try upping the ERG intensity at the beginning of the workout so you hit the MPA wall on the first set and the second and third are pure terror. :anguished:

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@ridgerider2 WOW! Thank you again for such a detailed response. :slight_smile: Yeah, its a major change from my ride. I didn’t think about the native Kickr app. I will change to Resistance mode there as opposed to within Xert.

That’s how it looks for me according to the workout designer - super tough but no BT if done ‘properly’, which I suspect is even more of a problem with Kaushal’s signature. Worth having a look in your own workout designer to check…

And if you want a BT either further increase the intensity throughout, or do it in resistance mode as already suggested. Personally prefer the Xert fitness test for breakthroughs number 3 (with extended final intervals to avoid ERG reducing intensity before I’m at my limit)

Thanks @ktimesk - I’m trying anyway. I do not always have the (correct) answer, sometimes my guess is as good as anyone’s, but yes, I do take an interest in trying to respond whenever I can…

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My picture for Rønnestadt also looks like this, without any break through.

What could be wrong or different about my fitness signature?

A bit of background: I’ve broken my hip in August (bike ride, slipped over gravel, didn’t fall too hard, but hip badly broken) and am now on my way back up. I’m capable of doing LTP, TP and even VO2max work, but cannot do any real max work yet, as that gives me pain (during and after the ride). The wrong kind of pain that is. Could not being able to do any max efforts have anything to do with it?

Don’t think it’s a matter of right and wrong, just different profiles. If you have relatively HIE compared to TP you can do more high intensity intervals before exhausting yourself. There is a chart somewhere in the Xert support pages with normal ranges for each TP, in case you are worried and want to check. They are fairly wide ranges.

Also don’t think it’s because of your training restrictions… actually think it would be the opposite in case you are not doing high intensity training. If you want to reduce HIE you need to do relatively more low intensity training (long steady distance… LTP focused workouts) which it sounds like you are doing already. Whether you want to do that depends on your goals / intended focus / athlete type

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Thanks Wesley! I’ll lookup that chart.

I’m not doing any real long LTP rides yet. Of course there’s the Corona virus right now, which keeps me from doing long rides. Combined with the fact that I have not ridden my road bike yet since my accident and do not want to ride solo at the moment, I’m stuck on the trainer for the time being.

The fact that I do not want to ride solo is mostly due to being unsure if everything will go alright. I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis (at 43 years old) so there’s a bit of risk. Long story short, not up for my beloved 4 hour LTP rides yet… Some day!

Anyway, I’ll see those charts to get a bit more information.

This is the link I meant…

But good idea to take it easy, and hope the recovery continues to go well!