Limits to SMART workouts?

Two observations:

  1. When I do endurance workouts (like Lucy In the Sky with diamonds) that does not have en MPA target, the interval length is not affected by my effort.
  2. During a BT test (- Under Pressure) there was an MPA target for a recovery interval. However, the next interval started before that MPA value was reached. In other occasions it was clear that intervals were shortened.
    So I am wondering when the SMART principle apply. For the relatively low intensity workouts, I guess it doesn’t make a difference, but the higher effort the bigger.

Is it described somewhere when it comes into effect?

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Episode 3 of the podcast covers SMART intervals and probably provides the answer. If not I am sure it will enlighten you in other areas.

In one of the blog posts it talks about smart intervals and says that there is a limit of (I think) 10% in the time stretching either way. The way that I read it was that if you are training under the level of the interval then the time would lengthen within the 10% limit and if you are training above the level the time would shorten down to the 10% limit. If you were training under the level of the interval then it will give you extra time up to the 10% limit and then it will change to the next interval whether you have reached the target or not. I am new to Xert and I don’t completely understand it all myself and I have read so much on the website in the last week that I can’t remember where I read this but it is on the website somewhere.

Nice first post @Carl_Hinde.

I must admit I take the view that I am normally doing my best during an interval and if I cannot give enough I do not need the time extending.
Although on the other hand I do most sessions in erg mode indoors so SMART never gets chance to make an intervention.

As a new user I do recommend you listen to the podcasts. There are now 10 of them, the podcast link I posted above has not been updated to show them all.

Thanks for the input. I am a relatively new user myself and is following the podcasts as well. Been a while since I listened to no3, so maybe I should revisit.
I am using a non-electronic trainer (Kinetic Roadmachine) for my workouts, so my effort fluctuates somewhat, which is why the SMART principle is brilliant for me.
But again, with the LTP based workouts it probably doesn’t make a difference.

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What I thought was a blog post about the duration of smart intervals was actually in the FAQ’s

It’s under the ‘improve’ heading called:

I just did a workout and some of the intervals were shorter/longer than what was defined in the workout. Why?

Thanks. I will listen to the podcasts but I am more of a visual learner so I tend to read as much as I can about the things that interest me.

I used a road machine for my training, we recently got a smart trainer, but after trying ERG mode for a while I’ve changed to resistance or slope mode, as you say the Smart workouts are fantastic for this and you get to use different gears and cadence just as you would outside. I think it’s much better.

The blogpost describes how it works in relation MPA. For the endurance workouts where MPA stays at max, I can not see how the SMART concept applies. The various intervals are kept at the exact, planned length, eventhough my average power output for the particular interval, is different from what is prescribed.
I don’t think it matters a whole lot for the workouts around LTP (provided that I am not far off target), but it would be great if some Xert staff (@xertedbrain) could shed some light on this

I concur. I have never tried the electronic models, but is not attracted to the idea, that a machine determines how I pedal (cadence is free though). I really like the feeling of “driving” the bike myself.
Xert is obviously a computer telling me what to do, but still me who decides what to do, every second of the workout.

You’re correct. The SMART concept applies to efforts that are used to deplete or replenish MPA. If the interval starts and ends with MPA at 100% MPAR (i.e. the interval is performed entirely below TP while fresh), there is no effect of the SMART workouts.

Thanks Scott, for the confirmation. But wouldn’t it be more correct not to preface those workouts “smart”?

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The reason they still have the SMART tag is because there are two aspects that can make a workout SMART: variable duration intervals & fitness signature specific intervals - including XSSR, MMP, %LTP, etc. This also means that these workouts stay at the appropriate intensity as your train and detrain throughout the year.

Hope that makes sense!