Goals and settings for Cyclocross

I’m fairly new to Xert and the Cyclocross season is already in full swing. At the moment I have my goals and setting set to continuous, athlete type set to Puncheur and improvement rate set to moderate 2.

However, I’m not sure that is a good setting.

After a race on Sunday, the planner says I’m tired which is correct but I don’t become fresh for harder work until Friday.

I like to do a very hard CX 2 hour practice session Tuesday or Wednesday evening after which Xert will recommend more endurance work going into the weekend.

I tried putting the Sunday race as a goal and improvement rate to taper but think Xert needs more time to make that work properly.

I just wondered what other CX racers or XC racers use as their goals and settings when in-season.

Or should I just ignore it and do my own thing.


David J

I believe recent episodes of the Fast Talk Labs Podcast have addressed training for Cyclocross. Might be worth checking those out.

TED is for triggering a phased progression over time as you surmised, so it wouldn’t be useful for an event a week away. You could set a TED to place you in particular phase though such as mid-Build (50 days from now) or beginning of Peak (30 days from now).

Taper would be used to scale back your TL after a period of training or prior to an event a week or so away.
Sounds like you want to jack things up quickly so Aggressive or even Extreme could be used for a short block. IR affects both hours and intensity.

You can alternately use the Freshness Feedback slider to nudge your recovery form in one direction or another. In this case slide to the right say 10 pts (fresher) and watch what happens to the recommendations and form predictions on the Planner.

Don’t hesitate to experiment with the settings. You can always change things back depending on how well you respond to the differences in TL.
Also note that XATA recognizes a weekly pattern so if you establish a 2 hour CX practice session on Tuesdays the following week XATA will note that in the text (“Advice based on what you recently performed on Tuesdays”). You still have the choice to change things up as your schedule and form dictates.

Since I don’t compete I will refer to others as to what may be the best approach for CXers.
Looks like lots of pain and bike handling skills are required. :slight_smile:

Reference –
Improvement Rate – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

Beginner’s Guide: Improvement Rate – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

Personalizing Xert’s Training Algorithms by using Freshness Feedback – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

Program Phases – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

Thank you. I will listen to the podcasts and review the links. I noticed today’s recommended workout is based on last weeks CX training. Clever stuff!

David J

1 Like

Interesting question! For me it’s also my first CX season training with Xert. I’m going to try to use Xert to prevent ‘burning out’ and keep an eye on my form and freshness during the CX season. Last years I basically only did hard workouts during the week without knowing exactly what this means for form and freshness, resulting in (probably) a not so fresh form during the race and a burnt out feeling towards the end of the season.

If I understand it correctly, high intensity workouts will impact form and freshness depending on training load. If the training load is low or your improvement rate is high, you’ll need more time to recover and makes it more difficult to be fresh after a race. So I spent some time before CX season building up my training load with more endurance than usual and will dial back the high intensity workouts between the races a bit, but will try to keep my training load high (maintenance improvement rate).

You can always use the freshness feedback slider to ‘force’ the advisor to suggest more high intensity workouts. After all, it’s CX season and only doing endurance workouts isn’t going to do the trick :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

You understand it perfectly! :nerd_face: Good luck with your CX season!

1 Like