Impact of age on recovery rates

We keep getting told that we recover slower as we get older, does Xert take any account of that or does it assume that if we can produce the training load then we’ll recover as it expects? I do a few other non-cycling activities - at this time of year gym and yoga, over winter, hockey - so always hard to know what any additional impact of these other activities has and whether that fully explains the generally feeling slightly more tired than Xert thinks or whether some of it is age.

Hi Mick. Review the glossary on Freshness Feedback. This is helpful to adjust for the effects of other factors that influence your recovery.

Hi Armando. I totally get that I can override the system on the Freshness Feedback. I’m just curious as well as looking to use the recovery details built in to the fitness planner to some planning. For example, the planner has me going green on Friday after having done a tough sportive on Saturday that pushed me briefly into red. Next Saturday I’m probably going to be climbing Ventoux, today I’m going to be deciding whether to do a reasonably gentle endurance type ride, if the planner is accurate then it’s probably a good thing to do, if it overestimates my recovery due to me being well past my prime then I would be better off continuing to rest.

In reality, every athlete has unique training and recovery load constants (which are what affect how fast you gain/lose fitness), just like everyone has a unique fitness signature. The constants that we use in the software are similar to those used in the scientific literature and are designed to represent most athletes. And we haven’t even discussed other factors that affect recovery (additional life stress, sleep, etc…). Attempting to determine each individual’s training/recovery load constants would be a mathematical challenge (but potentially something that we could do by tracking how your fitness signature increases/decays with training & recovery). As Armando mentioned, we recommend using the freshness feedback slider for now.

Thanks Scott, getting an individual totally right would require extensive and repeated measurement of that individual, however, I would say that tweaking the training and recovery constants would make the most sense if something more was discovered about that individual (e.g. age!) and the freshness slider should be reserved for events like a bad night’s sleep, illness, wild night out, non-cycling stress etc. None of this is criticism, just trying to improve my ability to use the tool properly and to get the most out of the ageing body!

Oh definitely! It’s more difficult than it seems, but I think its a question that we can (eventually) answer with our platform.

Although you may have read that changing time constants is a way to address differences between individuals, it doesn’t quite work as simple as that. Decreasing a time constant, increases its associated training/recovery load after completed activities which isn’t necessarily desirable. As an example, if you think extending your recovery (acute) time constant is a way to indicate additional time needed for recovery, if you extend it to the same value as your training load (chronic) time constant, your form will never go negative.

When changing a time constant, you’ll need to adjust other factors. Hence, we have Freshness Feedback which adjusts all of these factors in a linear fashion.