How to use xert to determine my limiter?

I’ve tried using Xert several times to monitor my fitness…
I wanted to try to analyze my past data to find out what it was that i needed to be better at in order to stay in the race. (besides a better head on my shoulders and NEVER getting on the front which i definitely did during this race.)
picture from my A race in 2019: the focus for the entire event was 5 minutes.

If you can’t guess the moment i got dropped, it was right close to that point when my MPA finally goes back to a plateau.

I don’t quite see which metric i needed to improve such that my MPA wouldn’t constantly be less than 100% because I know that I simply ran out of energy from spending too much time in a partially MPA depleted state. I needed to be able to find enough “rest” to let my MPA get close to fully restored more often.
Apparently a higher HIE is what would allow my MPA to return to 100% more quickly during my short periods of time spent below TP.

My TL was 65 in 2019 at the time of this race. when i target this race again in 2021, I’m really not sure what metric to follow in Xert that might be saying that i’m going to do better next time in this race. If i have a TL of 110 in 2021, would this be the best indicator that i will end up having a better chance of being with the peloton at the finish line?

You can try using the ‘advanced MPA’ tab, then go below that chart and change the various parameters eg increase TP, HIE etc. to see what would happen.

Increasing TP will mean you are less often, and to a lesser extent, in the red (drawing down MPA) so I’d start there. Increasing HIE also helps for those efforts above TP, so you don’t want to solely focus on TP… that said, HiE is ‘easier’ to build closer to an event, hence I would (and Xert training advisor suggests) starting with base and improving TP.

And yes, increasing TL is generally seen as a key way (with right intensity mix over time… or focus in Xert speak) to improve fitness signature, especially TP

Not sure about increasing TL means increasing TP. That depends on other factors, like age, or other physical limiters. And, as pointed out, by how you increase it.

At any rate, at my age (60) I know that I will simply not be able to substantially improve my TP, but I have built up my TL to 200.

And while my TP compares, my HIE is about half of yours. If I’m not mistaken, this is also (mainly?) because I have an equally lousy sprint power (which is your MPA) of just under 1,000 Watts.

Admittedly, I could do a bit better, but not by much and I don’t care. I do need to adjust my signature every now and then, because my MPA will slip (if you don’t use it, you lose it) and my TP will go up unrealistically as a result.

So, are your parameters (MPA, TP and HIE) correct? They line up if you look at the comparison graph, so probably they are.

I think you should aim for workouts that require you to do (near) max effort intervals past the hour mark. I’m attaching one I did last week.

And increasing your TL is either done by putting in more hours, or by increasing intensity.

The latter is only sustainable for so long/much, so you should put in more hours and build durability/sustainability. For races like the one you’re showing, you may want to try pursuit or breakaway specialist?

Great questions Isaac.

There are 3 aspects to glean from a ride: what your signature was and how well you managed MPA, how much difficulty you were able to reach and how well you were able to manage your glycogen stores during the race. The first two can be read from the ride data directly and you can see that you had some really hard efforts without reaching your limit. Your difficulty score reached nearly 140 and that’s also a very positive sign. What likely got in the way for you was simply running out of glycogen at the 1:20 mark. Riding all the way with that much intensity requires a lot of carbohydrates and thus you’ll find that bringing MPA down deeper into rides with lots of intensity much more difficult. You did very well in spite of that.

In preparation for this race, there are a few things you can do. With a TL of 65, that’s likely your biggest opportunity. Your TL is directly proportional to your signature. As TL changes, so does your signature. This is pretty much true for every athlete on Xert. Note however that your TL is made up of three components: Low TL, High TL and Peak TL which influence TP, HIE and PP, respectively. So to increase your TP, you should increase Low TL, for example. WIth a TL of 65, you have a lot of room to increase your TP, HIE and PP, assuming you can invest more time into your training. On a rough scale, you need more than 7 hours of weekly training for 60 points of TL. The faster you want to get there, the more hours you need. So to get to 110, expect to be putting in roughly 14 hours a week or more during your Training Program. One can expect to see TP vary between 0.5 and 1W for each point in Low TL.

Having a better signature would definitely allow you to reduce the overall strain you need to handle for this race. You can experiment with your data: use the Advanced tab on the Activity Details page and enter a higher TP, HIE and/or PP and hit Refresh to see what it would look like with a higher signature. You’ll see MPA move up and will also see your Difficulty Score come down and your fat and carbs usage change.

In terms of which system to improve: TP, HIE or PP, this will depend on the nature of the race. The race file above is not likely the best since you were dropped but ideally you would examine the Focus Duration / Athlete Type for the ride to get a general idea though. Most road races, particularly those that last 2 hours or so, have a Focus Athlete Type somewhere near Breakaway Specialist. This means that you should be training towards improving your 5 minute power to identify the right combination of training for low, high and peak (TP, HIE and PP). 5 minute power is mostly about improving your TP, also improving your HIE to good degree and with a smaller improvement needed for PP.

It appears you can handle a good deal of Difficulty so don’t see this as a limiter. You may want to look into your nutrition during your race. Fuel early and frequently to ensure you can lay down the watts at the 2 hour mark. Practice this during other rides/races leading up to this. Having a higher TP (LTP more precisely) should reduce the impact on your carb stores.

Good luck! Lots of room to improve.


Thank you everyone for the very wonderful feedback and answers!!! your insight really helped me to examine my 2020 data and see if what i was doing (with a coach’s guidance) was in fact helping me to do well next time i approach this style of road race.
perhaps the biggest challenge of 2020 was working to improve this without racing and without

You may want to look into your nutrition during your race. Fuel early and frequently to ensure you can lay down the watts at the 2 hour mark. Practice this during other rides/races leading up to this. Having a higher TP (LTP more precisely) should reduce the impact on your carb stores.

I think this is what I identified as the number 1… and i worked very hard on this in 2020… I always eat 60g carbs per hour now for any ride of intensity or duration over 90’

similarly, i did some truely LEGENDARY type rides in 2020 to try to really push myself in glycogen storage…
I did this one in march… and i bonked completely, helped me establish how important it is to eat…

I did about 4 rides like this where i pushed myself repetitively over the same repeated hilly segment as a method of training. and the focus of these workouts was in the 5’-6’ range…

these two rides: 1 maximal test effort specifically on non flat multi hill segment and this mixed ride… both in september were really great affirmation of how far i’ve come.

I also worked very hard on my TL using RPE only based endurance in 2020 thanks to the quarantine. I don’t know how much i possibly left on the table by not trying to specifically approach my “LTP” or LT1 during my endurance?

I even did a true time-trialist style hour of power type FTP test where i did eat 60g per hour including continuing to drink liquid containing carbs.