Just how Smart are SMART rides?

I was looking for a 2hr session today so went for a Suggestion and it gave me “The Outsider - 120”. Wow, I failed on almost every hard effort in the first 25mins despite knocking down intensity to 98% then 95%.

I thought the SMART sessions would detect my inability to complete intervals and knock down the targets of subsequent efforts. Have I misunderstood?

After 25mins I stopped the sessions and flipped over to “Spinning Walls” (a totally different type of workout but one I knew I could easily complete)

How up-to-date is your fitness signature?

SMART workouts scale to your fitness signature and include many possible interval types not based on %FTP blocks.
In general, when your signature is dialed in, form is fresh (blue/green), and status star count matches diamond difficulty count, HIT workouts will be achievable without adjusting intensity.
To avoid bailing on a tough workout I’ll also try switching to Slope mode so I can control the target watts and RIBs. I may skip some intervals, but the end result is an activity that achieves the intended strain goal for the day.

What is your current status stars count?
When was your last BT? (shown on XO home page)
How many BTs are listed on your XPMC chart during the last 6 months?
What are your current Program dialog box settings?

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I am not entirely sure what you mean by fitness signature.

I have been using XERT since May 2nd and had 6 activities in there since then. I have also uploaded 4 months of Activiities from Strava.

I dual recored my activities so at the end of a session I will have a Garmin watch recorded activity and the Xert Session. I delete the duplicate and I can see that Xert is reevaluating my workload. I assume that is not a problem

What is a “RIB”?

I’m answering these questions the following day so not quite the same

What is your current status stars count?

1 and a tiny bit on the second Recreational - Tired. It was Tired yesterday too

When was your last BT? (shown on XO home page)

Last breathrough was Wednesday during a Zwift race

How many BTs are listed on your XPMC chart during the last 6 months?


What are your current Program dialog box settings?

Not exactly sure what you mean here.

  • FF 0
  • ER 2
  • MW 8
  • PL 4:1
  • PL 2.5%
  • PD 100

This is what it is telling me today

With a suggested ride of “Takin’ Care of Business 120” or “Song 2” as the second in the list

This is a misunderstanding actually - here is more detail (and a forum search will show that there are many with question re: smart workouts)

TLDR - there are different types, but even those are dynamic do not adjust down if you fail an interval… actually if you are not achieving the targets, it may extend or raise the target of an interval so you still get the same training effect as intended

I think the other posts are aimed at helping figure out why you failed, and it’s usually a combination of too much ‘difficulty’ (too high difficulty score), signature errors, and fatigue. That workout (outsider 120) is actually a very difficult workout (101 difficulty) relative to your training load. And depending on how accurate your signature is, that could add to the challenge - support can check that, or you can read this to start

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In the case for this Sunday there are no 1-diamond difficulty endurance workouts ~155 XSS with 100% low strain (155, 0, 0). Closest match on file is Song 2 or Takin Care of Business, both of which are 2 hours long but at 3-diamond difficulty (beyond your current status level).

If none of the suggestions are suitable for the day run Autogen to generate a matching workout.
Or follow the advice to free ride outdoors (or indoors) at an easy pace (~60 XSS/hr) until you accumulate ~83 XSS (return to Noon position on Pacer) up to ~155 XSS (similar to what you have ridden in past on Sundays).

By Program settings I meant your Program type which I can see now is Continuous, Rouluer, Moderate-2 rate.
That’s going to give you a a variety of workouts around the selected Focus Duration point (pending suitability match found) based on calculated form. When Tired/Yellow you’ll see endurance recommended. When Fresh/Blue-Green you’ll see HIT workouts.
Workout selections expand as you reach 2 stars. In the meantime, consider Autogen to generate a more suitable match or follow the free ride advice outdoors or indoors.

RIB = rest-in-between intervals which can also be defined with a SMART option.

Glossary: Fitness Signature – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
Details: Your Fitness Signature – Xert (baronbiosys.com)


Thank you that’s been really helpful