Interval target, workout goal, difficulty rating: which one is most important when creating a custom workout?

In my attempt to create some custom sessions in the XERT workout designer, I am wondering which metric (interval target, workout goal, difficulty rating) would be the most important value to “keep an eye on” when building a daily workout?

Basically, is there an “order of importance” to these values when building an optimized workout session for a particular day / week?

Hi Ken,

Really great question.

We’ve done a LOT of work over the years to develop and introduce well-designed workouts into the main Xert library that cover all focus durations, as well as cover a wide range of XSS targets & difficulty ratings with the goal of reducing the need for users to create their own workouts. However, there are many users that still like to try their hand at creating workouts, either for fun, for themselves, or many times for many of coaches who write special workouts for their users.

With respect to what’s most important… I’ll take the easy answer of “It Depends”. What’s the purpose of the session? Are you training for something in particular, or just for fun? How close to the TED are you? What’s your training load? These are just some factors to think about.

I think an argument could be made that Focus is the most important factor, since it encompasses how the accumulated XSS needs to be divided. So generally when I start working through a new workout, my first thought covers “what is the focus of this workout?”. I.e. will I be aiming to push up TP by accumulating low XSS, or will I be trying to pull up TP with some Rouleur ride? That’s usually how I start by creating the main sets. The focus of the workout will also affect which types of intervals I use (i.e. MMP/XSSR or simple %LTP).

Following the main idea/sets & repetitions of the workout, I usually create a couple different variations of that same workout, either by time (i.e. - 60/90/120) or by difficulty (i.e. 2.5/3.0/etc).

Slightly mentioned it above, but something that I keep in the back of my mind while designing a workout is the overall difficulty of the ride. It’s very, very easy to create workouts that are :diamonds::diamonds::diamonds:+ difficulty in the system. However, once you start riding them, those workouts can be very difficult to complete. So it’s always important to keep in mind the overall difficulty of a custom workout, especially when the focus duration is lower.

Hope this is a good starting point for the discussion!

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