Endurance riding, unable to get breakthrough


I’m pretty new to Xert and power-based training in general. I’m a semi-competitive endurance rider doing 100km rides to multi-day events, mostly on the road, often hilly. As I’ve never trained seriously I don’t really know how much I might improve.

Since switching from Climber athlete type to Triathlon, Xert seems to be recommending mostly Endurance rides, which makes sense, I guess. However, I think it has somehow overestimated my 3Hrs+ power at 254W. I feel like I can’t maintain more than 210W over that time. I don’t think I’m anywhere close to a breakthrough on longer rides. For example, I was trying pretty hard on this one. Even in the first half, where I probably tried too hard, my Equiv Power is 236W.


A possibly-related issue is that when I’m doing harder Endurance workouts like today’s “SMART - Higher Ground - 3” on the wattbike, I often get stuck. The wattbike has gears, but they don’t work when using Xert, so as my power drops in a long interval it tries to increase resistance until I my cadence is <20rpm and I can barely turn the pedals! I have to spin backwards until I recover a bit.

I would try some type of BT ride to ID your signature. I would do the BT test in Slope Mode if possible along with any future trainer workouts.

I think you are going to get advice to change Athlete Type to something more aggressive than Triathlete.

Thanks @TwoBigWheels. I will try the Slope mode on my next indoor training session.

I did manage to get a BT outdoors towards the end of a 5 hour ride by chasing someone up a hill for 5 minutes. This was good fun, but I feel I probably shouldn’t be trying this hard on an “endurance” ride, but pacing myself more consistently if I want the best overall time.

I’ve read read this thread which seems to be describing the same problem. So I guess my question is more how to get the best out of Xert for multi-day race training?

I’ve been trying to figure that out myself, but so far, I have not found a clear way of dealing with that.

The only thing you can do is set a specific target date, which will guide you to your best possible shape for that day, but not the next.

I did extreme amounts of sweet spot training to build up the stamina required to repeat ‘race day’ multiple times in a row (11 in my case).

You could probably pick a more aggressive IR, to increase your form beyond what you would need for one day and then build on that the other days…

I should probably add that this means ignoring XATA most of the time, which kinda defies the purpose of using Xert. I just keep an eye on my XSS target and aim for a BT every now and then.

I use TTE on my Garmin Edge for that, sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes, pull down MPA and then sprint until I’m about to faint…

We have plenty of users who may or may not be strictly following XATA. Many coaches and athletes instead use Xert to track their weekly progressions (XSS/day, TL, etc.) while following their own programs, racing virtually on Zwift, etc.

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I guess I’m doing it right then :sunglasses:

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For multi-day events or very long events, you can pay more attention to how your Training Status will change throughout the event and use that for planning. For many of these events, you’re limited by the time you have available. The training prescription is actually pretty straightforward. What the challenge for the athlete becomes is how to pack in as much training as possible whilst managing a sustainable progressive overload strategy that doesn’t burn you out.

XATA doesn’t tell you when to train. You train when you can and the more time you have available, the faster you can improve and the higher training status you can attain.

As we talk about in our last podcast, even for grand tours, some athletes get fitter as they complete stages, so long as there is sufficient recovery level intensities interspersed during the race.

Review the target daily XSS for your race if it’s a stage race, aim to have your Training Status before the start of the race to a sufficient level that doesn’t leave you in the red day-after-day. If that’s the case, it may be too much for you.



My Giro, which was 11 days of mountain stages, which I extended with three days of hard rides in the hilly south of my country to ‘cool down’. My TL was ~210 when I departed for Italy…


Incredible. Great to see you reach blue and keep it for over a week.


I’m lazy like that :joy:

If you want to have a good laugh at my efforts: https://www.bikerebel.com/2020/08/giro-ditalia-2020-report/

Cheers :beers:


Looking forward to reading this! Thanks for sharing


If you’re happy to share your progression, am curious what’s happened to your fitness signature (especially TP and LTP) with 1) all that sweet spot training and increasing TL and 2) during and after the actual event… are you seeing much better numbers, or is it more that repeatability / endurance has increased with the same broad signature levels…?


I have had to manually (re)set my signature, as I did not do any all out sprints. As a result, my PP/MPA dropped and my TP increased unrealistically.

I also had two cataract surgeries (Feb./Aug. but after my Giro) which forced me off the bike for a while.

The only thing that I’ve been looking at otherwise, is my TL.


Thanks - massive workload (and ramp up)!

Thanks for sharing this excellent effort! Great photos too. Really impressed you kept going when riding solo. This is certainly food for thought.

If you manually set your signature, how did you know how much you were improving?

Also in your Planner, what are the Moderate Polar Endurance, Moderate Pure Endurance, etc? Are those workouts you created yourself?