High Workout Goal XSS on normally a day off


Normally my daily suggested Workout goal is around 100 XSS, yet today I get this:

is it because I normally take my rest day on this day?

Mine is super wonky today, too.

An hour ago it told me I was VERY TIRED and should consider a light recovery workout. Now it is telling me I am FRESH and should hit a hard workout.

I mean I had a good breakfast, but…

What’s going on guys?

I’ve noticed some wild variations over the last day or so too.

We haven’t changed anything on our end here. Strange!

This is very common. Remember that your form is always increasing (slowly) as you’re off the bike. If you’re right on the border of Very Tired/Fresh, it’s possible to see the morning recommendations as active recovery (while your status is red), while the recommendations change to HIIT in the afternoon (when your form goes to blue).

See how you actually feel and use the FF Slider to adjust things, if needed - slide left a bit if you’re tired, slide right a bit if you’re fresh.

Yeah mine is off as well. Had zero deficit yesterday after a ride. Today I have -177XS. In Base phase on moderate improvement rate. Seems too much.

All of this begs a question for me:

Do your analytics and algorithms take into account age?

I’m 47 years old, and my body does not recover as quickly from workouts as it used to. Despite feeling a little leggy, I decided to go with the workout recommendation today, and after an hour my legs were blowing up and I could feel my hamstrings tightening up so I pulled the plug before I injured myself.

If I had finished the workout that would given me over 6 hours of training in 3 STRAIGHT DAYS when Xert is also saying that on my moderate 1 schedule THIS WEEK only requires 5.3 hours of training. This seems bizarre. What’s with the discrepancy? 6 hours in three days, but I only need 5.3 hours over 7 days?

I want to trust the program, but it feels like I am being treated like a 25 year old track star, and I’ve watched enough videos to know that overtraining is not good.

And before you tell me to slide the slider to let Xert know I’m tired, I’ve already slid it as far as possible to the left, and I can see from the dial that Xert thinks I should be training tomorrow and I can tell you right now that I definitely need a day off. At least.

All these are perfectly normal. Rob - check the average ride length on Fridays in the past 6 weeks. Jordan - check out the Glossary on Training Status. Very tired status right after a long endurance ride normal but moves you to Fresh once recovered because high/peak intensity systems are ready to go. Jon - Check your rides from a week ago. Deficits move with your previous riding pattern, not linearly. Jordan - Most people only have so much time to train. If you have more time than what Moderate IR suggests, then you can increase your IR but you will likely get more training that you’re accustomed. Xert will always offer you training, even when you have a surplus. It is up to you to decide if you have the time to do it and pay attention to the recommendations. Use the Freshness Feedback to have it back it off if you find it too much for your given circumstances. Many older riders can ride as much as younger riders and Xert doesn’t use any age related logic at this time.

Thank you!

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Sorry for butting into the conversation but I was under the impression that the xert system DID take age into consideration in its algorithm. I obviously mistakenly assumed this as AGE is one of the key questions the system asks you when setting up and creating your profile. So it doesn’t use this information in its calculations? Why is it asked for then?

What about the years you have been cycling? Is this not used either?

I was under the impression that xert took all of this into account when doing its calculations.

Age is used by the system to put your data in the correct bucket for the Ranking tab.


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Yes I was aware of that Mike, but it’s not used (as far as I can see) for the training algorithm when calculating fitness status, workouts etc. So there’s not really intelligence built in.

Sorry, it was just the way you asked why they needed it that lead me to believe you weren’t aware of that.


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I don’t know if there is clear research on the effect of aging on recovery from endurance exercise. One could argue that since the demand for food doesn’t increase with age and since recovery is often a function of carbohydrate replacement, that there isn’t likely to be an age difference in recovering from endurance exercise. Some have suggested that the recovery time constants in the Impulse Response model differ but unfortunately the math doesn’t work that way. Increasing time constants lengthens the period but also lowers the demand for recovery. This is one reason why we have freshness feedback rather than a change in time constants as a means to account for fatigue not captured in training loads.

Having read Joe Friels book Fast After 50 in which he’s read numerous peer reviewed papers over a number of year and quotes these youmight want to reassess that thought. Especially with regards to increased protein demands as we age, increased recovery time and numerous other factors.

You also might want to have a look at the trainerroad forum as TR are coming under massive pressure from the over 50s to introduce some ability to adjust programs for the ageing athletes within their new plan Builder.

Thanks George. We have Freshness Feedback for this purpose. I would be interested in finding out if there are clear distinctions by age. “It depends” is often the challenge and doing things programmatically by age may not yield corrects results. Variation between individuals is too high. Hence you provide tools to help adjust things with feedback into the process.

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Sorry wrong reply button. I will reply to your post soon. :wink:

Age is irrelevant other than the fact most older athletes schedule additional rest days and recovery weeks as needed which is something you are responsible to do.
XATA determines weekly load and points based on your current settings and phase you are in, but you’re in charge of allocation, selection, focus, and adjustments. .
My guess is your historical data is skewed and your settings are incorrect for what you want to accomplish (or for XATA to work correctly).

Consider the following posts as clues –

“I suspect that is because most of my data has been garnered from 1 hour efforts where I was in Zone 5? (Zwift zones) the entire time, my heart rate totally maxed out, and so I have never put in any big sprint efforts.”

“I’m starting from such poor fitness, that my focus has just been building a base with those “races””

“I’ve already slid [freshness feedback] as far as possible to the left,”

“Xert is telling me I’m fresh, and I know that I am definitely not. In fact, I’m completely cooked and have plateaued in the last 10 days with my legs screaming at me. I’m coming off of virtually no fitness and have been pushing myself pretty hard for 6 weeks with one rest week in my 4th week”

“So I checked out the chart (thanks), and my peak power is way below my high intensity energy.”

All of those statements indicate you are off track especially for the proper level of base training. You mentioned Zwift, RGT, and Sufferfest. Did you complete any cookie-cutter plans on those platforms or have you only dabbled with structured workouts in full tilt boogie mode? :slight_smile:
Keep in mind “no pain, no gain” is contrary to how a phased structured training program works.

You also said trainer control was not in FTMS mode initially plus you prefer all workouts in slope mode at 2% with a cadence range of 84-92 rpm. Many cyclists have a sweet spot cadence dependent upon watts, but is that a range you strive for no matter what the effort?
I cannot imagine owning a smart trainer and using it as a dumb trainer for every single workout. There are lots of things easier to practice in ERG mode. Cadence drills for one. Or take things to the next level with AUTO mode in Xert. :slight_smile:

It appears you want to do things a bit differently but at some point outlier data or the contrarian approach could mean Xert is not the best fit for you.
To try and get you on the right track I suggest you file a support request with support@xertonline.com and they’ll evaluate your history and current signature and make adjustments as necessary.

Yes, but recovery is under your control regardless of your age and other factors like nutrition or weight training for older athletes are outside the scope of what Xert does.
While some features could be added to address age-specific issues or recreational versus competitive cycling goals, I don’t think the core algorithms need to change based upon age.
The same principals apply whether you are young or old and whether you are an aspiring elite competitor or a recreational cyclist preparing to ride your first gran fondo or century event. Or simply want to get fit riding a bike at any age.

Hi RR,

I’ll ignore the assumptions you’ve made in your post, (and the slightly condescending tone) and try to explain myself fully.

I really don’t want to do things differently, I think that’s the point.

I’m like many middle-aged people seeking better fitness, improved performance, all while being able to have fun.

I got a trainer at Christmas and since then I have been trying to get up to speed, taking in all the information and trying out all the available apps. It’s pretty dizzying, really, and given how new this world is, all the programs and apps are elbowing and scrambling to get a toe hold. At least that’s what it looks like to my eye. This is my off-season for work so I have had a ton of time to take it all in and try things out, and here are my thoughts after 9 weeks of pretty intensive “study”, if you care:

Zwift is the obvious big boy on the block, and frontrunner. But honestly, I have never come across a more infuriating User Interface in my life. It’s bizarre, bubbly, counter-intuitive, and awful. There are so many simple ways it could be improved, but from perusing the forums it’s clear that they don’t really care about feedback, or giving people the simple things they’ve been asking for, for years. (A simple entire route elevation profile for instance.) I also am not interested in the “social” aspect of it, nor do I love the Mario Kart-ization with power-ups, badges, special bikes and kits, beeps and boops etc, and all that other nonsense. The training programs/workouts aren’t great or are cookie-cutter as you suggest. What I did like about it was how stable the platform is, the competitive aspect, being able to race and have plenty of people at your fitness level to compete against. That for me is its big appeal. However, at $20/month (which is the number I’m willing to invest per month in trainer cycling) it doesn’t leave me any room to add a structured training program/app.

Enter RGT. RGT seems (at this point) to be the most likely alternative to Zwift’s domination. The UI is much better than Zwift’s, and the racing dynamics are more realistic. I can actually race for free at this point, although the platform isn’t very stable. But they are working hard, constantly updating things and listening to users. And for $10/month I can get access to everything. The big drawback is there aren’t that many people on it, so there aren’t that many people around my fitness level, which makes it less fun. To this point its core users seem to be amateur and competitive racers.

BKool seems alright, but for whatever reason it seemed to require more bandwidth, and my computer couldn’t deliver the frame rate. Weird, cause it’s fine on Zwift/RGT.

Which brings me to the more structured training focused apps.

Trainer Road seems to be the biggest, right now. Their podcast is very solid, slick, and they are, for the most part, good communicators. However, it feels very corporate… which is not to my liking. Truthfully, they don’t look or sound like the kind of dudes I’d want to hang around with. (Although the woman that shows up regularly seems cool.) They seem to focus their programs on “Sweet Spot” training, to give the most bang for your buck. What I mean is the science suggests the best training is 80/20, but most people don’t have time for that, so they push SS. In the end, TR feels like the Starbucks of training apps. Kind of corporate slick and gives lots of people what they want (without having to think too much) for twice what it’s really worth. I’m just not willing to spend $20/month on a dedicated training app, and contribute to making that douchey CEO guy rich.

Sufferfest or WahooSuff as it has been rebranded, was interesting. I really enjoyed their workout videos overlayed on racing footage. Very motivating. Decent UI for the most part. But culturally speaking, it was a bit too RAH RAH for me, appealing to a demographic I usually steer clear of. Also at $15/month it meant adding Zwift for racing was out. I could add free RGT Racing to it, but to be honest I was looking for a simpler, cleaner structured training option to pair with racing.

Enter Xert. At $10/month, that is a comfortable price point for me. I like the UI for the most part. It seems fairly intuitive. It’s an underdog to TR, which suits me. It seems to have Canadian people involved, which for me is appealing. I’m a “localist”. And I like the science-based/algorithm approach that wants to tailor things in “real time” to how fatigued you are. I like being able to upload my rides on RGT. That’s very simple and intuitive. There seem to be plenty of good workouts to choose from. The forum has been good, and people respond quickly, which I really appreciate. So for the most part, it’s been a really good experience.

However, there is bound to be some problems or limitations with metrics/algorithms. In some sense, Xert is only as valuable as it’s algorithms are effective. And so when I have chosen the lowest improvement setting and I get three straight days of 2 hour workout recommendations, and it is recommending I train even after I have adjusted the slider as far as possible to exhausted, my trust in the algorithm falters, and I wonder whether the value of what I am paying for is simply the SMART workouts available. Again, if the algorithms only work when I “allocate, select, focus, and adjust”, how effective is the algorithm? I gave it 6 weeks of .fit data to work with. What am I paying for? If it’s just the workouts, which I am responsible for choosing to effectively create my own training plan, then I can do that on Zwift or RGT, and get racing in the bargain. Heck, I can go on ZWOFactory and build my own simple workouts and upload them to Zwift or RGT and use Training Peaks or, gasp, a real physical calendar and write in all in by hand.

I’ve paid for a month of Xert, so I’m going to give it the old college try and see whether I can make it work for me. (BTW, the Xert podcast doesn’t work properly. All my other podcasts stream or download fine, but the Xert one either cuts out streaming constantly, or won’t download.)

But again, what I want is quite simple. A basic training plan at around 6 hours a week that allows me to “race” at least once a week. If things don’t work here, I’ll probably bite the bullet and buy Dylan Johnson’s 6 hour/week base program, and then his 6 hour/week build program, and use them in and alongside RGT. It’s more money than I want to spend, but they’re simple (largely four one hour blocks with a fifth two hour block per week), science-based, and Dylan is flat-out the best communicator in cycling training. His YouTube channel is pure gold. “Everything you need, and nothing you don’t”. Also, he seems like the kind of dude I’d wanna hang around with.

Anyways, I want Xert to work. There are many things I think it is doing well. I think it’s a great idea/approach to using technology and science to make training “SMART”. However, so far, it’s falling into the category I mentioned in another post… something I am wondering whether I can do better myself, for cheaper.

:v: Peace out

P.S. There are many reasons to love smart trainers that don’t involve ERG or AUTO training modes. Yes, they’re valuable training tools, however riding in virtual worlds on virtual roads with great feel and getting total data feedback is definitely number one. Cadence drills in ERG mode is nice, but definitely down the list. Also I have done many recovery and endurance rides at varying cadences. Also spinup drills. But yes, at 6’2" my preferred cadence is between 75-85.

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Jordan have you checked out FulGaz? Its yet another app which I like. You can also use it in workout (erg) mode.

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