Migrate from trainerroad between base/build and other q's

Hi guys, new subscription user here. I’ve a couple of Q’s around coming from TR:

  1. I’ve recently completed their sweet-spot base 1 and 2, and then got sick so have had 2 weeks off. I’d like to resume the progressions, in terms of going through build etc. My target event date is end of March next year, which puts me into pre-build in xert. Do I:
  • Make an arbitrary closer event which puts build starting next week? or;
  • Drag the slider under training into build? (Does this do what I think it does?), or;
  • Leave as-is, set the improvement rate higher and pick more v02/anerobic/threshold workouts?
  1. Rest - I beleive xert will look at my what I’ve done, current fatigue etc. in combination with the ‘how am I feeling’ slider under goals. Do I rely on xert to aggresively or ‘predictably’ put rest days or weeks in? Or is this more up to me to figure out from an RPE and feeling perspective? If I go into build with freshness feedback at 0 or +0, I won’t get a week straight of high intensity v02 workouts right?

  2. Annotations - in TR I live by annotations in the calendar, I use them for carb intake, how my sleep was, RPE for a given workout etc. as this gives me an easy way to reflect on previous days, and if I had a good or bad day I can look at variables which impact that. Is there a way to do this, or something similar, in xert? Ontop of this, when I adjust the freshness feedback slider, is there a way to historically see when I adjusted it and what to? So for example if I set it to -50 for an entire week, can I go back and see this?

  3. SMART workouts - how can you tell if a workout was modified or adjusted on the fly using the SMART system? I just completed ‘SMART - Feeling this - 60’, and comparing what targets I had to the workout in the library I think it adjusted, but there’s no easy way to tell.

edit: 5. Full name in the forum - how do I remove this?

Anyway, thanks for your time, super keen to get into this different way of training.

Hey, welcome to Xert.

  1. If you want to pick up where you left off it’s best to set a date that has you starting the build phase now rather than sitting in pre-base for ages. The slider doesn’t affect the phase you’re in, it just gives you an idea of your focus and training hours in future weeks.

  2. Xert will look at what you’ve do and work out your training load and fatigue and prescribe workouts appropriately. Bear in mind that the freshness slider adjust your calculated freshness by the amount you specify rather than being an absolute number itself.

  3. Annotations can be added to individual workouts in the description field but you can’t see those on the calendar. One workaround is to create a custom workout with 1xxs and call it Notes and add it to your favourites. You can then add it to the planner and rename it or ad notes etc. Not great but it does work for me. There’s no historical data for the feedback slider.

  4. You’ll only really see changes in SMART workouts if your missing power targets. Different SMART features work in different ways, and I’m not to familiar with all of them but in some cases intervals may get longer or the target power start to rise.

  5. Not an obvious way as far as I can see. Perhaps you have to change it in your Xert account.


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Welcome aboard. :slight_smile:

This thread on SMART intervals should provide some insight –
SMART workout rest duration - Support - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)

Smart Intervals in Xert can have one or more of these meanings:
1. A smart interval can have specific power targets calculated for each athlete based on their Fitness Signature
2. A smart interval can have dynamic interval duration,
3. A smart interval can have dynamic power during the interval.

Dynamic duration intervals (work and rest) will shorten/lengthen depending on how closely you hit targets.
Dynamic power intervals will feel like wavering surges depending how closely you maintain target watts.
Other types are tied specifically to your fitness signature at the moment.

One thing to keep in mind is exporting a SMART workout (to run elsewhere) removes any SMART attributes and converts the workout to old-school %FTP blocks. XSS results will be similar but to retain all the benefits you’ll want to use a Xert workout player…

Many of us do not populate the Planner more than a week in advance (if at all). That is something to get used to coming from a platform that relies on a pre-populated calendar. You won’t fully appreciate how much better Xert’s “flex plan” method works until you’ve experienced training that way over a year. You can dial things up or down day-to-day and week-to- week depending on your schedule and how well you are handing the training load and intensity.

Take a look at the Planner and note the calculated freshness (ex. yellow, blue, green) as that reflects what will be recommended on those days if your freshness matches.
If you adjust the freshness slider (because you recover more or less quickly than the predictions) the recommend workout list will change accordingly.

You might consider using the Continuous option until ready to set your TED and when you do that adjust the date to start in Build depending on your progression level at that point in the year.

You are in charge of rest days (allocate your weekly hours) and recovery weeks (ex. adjust IR down for a week) but realize with Xert that you can potentially train continuously by moderating TL and intensity rather than following the old-school 3/1 pattern of specific weekly workouts followed by a recovery week.

Xert is hybrid polarized model which will feel easier than SSB/SST, but you can select more SS workouts if you are time crunched and respond well to that approach. But if you can handle more hours per week most cyclists experience longer-term benefits from accumulating polar/pyramid endurance hours. (Getting faster/fitter by going slower over time.)

Base phase has an endurance focus. Higher intensity workouts won’t come into play until latter half of build and especially when freshness goes to blue/green and you’re up to 3 stars or higher. However, you can jump the gun whenever you’re up for it and tackle something harder (Load More list will have more variety or use the Filter options).
You are also in charge of selecting a BT workout on occasion if your signature goes stale and your outdoor rides aren’t generating any BT events.

BTW: My first/last name under XO, Account Setting is Ridge/Rider2. :wink:

Other useful threads/articles –
Fitnes planner suggesting same workout constantly - Support - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)

Beginner questions - Support - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)

Fitness Improvement and Day-to-day Variation – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

Program Type – Xert (baronbiosys.com)


Thanks Mike for the reply, I took that advice and set an arbitrary date in the future that has me in build. I still need to do a couple of weeks catch-up so the weekly deficit evens out. Reason I’m keen for this is I have a crit in 3 weeks and haven’t done a single second of above SST for like 3.5 months so keen to do that for a couple of weeks.

  • Noted about annotations, would be a great feature request

  • Also noted about smart stuff

  • Re. name, I change it in my profile but it’s stuck here. Would be great to have an option to ‘not display full name’

ridgerider, thanks for your indepth reply.

Re. planning in advance, this is the main thing that bought me across from TR, the fact I won’t feel like I’ve failed my plan entirely if I miss a day or need rest or whatever, and I love so far the fact that it adapts immediately given previous work and the freshness scale. Likewise when you modify the date to suit and it adjusts, super cool. I also like the more polarized approach and focus on Z2/LTP stuff, which is great.

I’m testing things in-doors so I can ride some outdoor rides, too. Under my XATA window (section?), do I have to have a specific ‘focus’ to have the ‘focus’ field on my garmin populate? Reason I ask is that I was in pre-build, so had no focus at all undet my profile, and my garmin ‘focus and difficulty’ fields were blank while riding and after about 5 mins turns into the xert logo. …I’ve since switched my IR, TED etc. so currently I’m in end of build phase, with now have some focus ‘settings’ prescribes on endurance for 3hrs (?) so will see what it says. Good to know how this works on the garmin for when I ride outside though, as I’d like to do this a fair bit.

I do respond extremely well to SST, and have seen huge gains on TR, however I am committed to trusting the XATA process and letting it do it’s thing, just need my fitness profile etc. is dialled in. So I am just going to roll with whatver workouts it prescribes, and focus targets and types for outside or zwift rides, but as above need to understand it a bit more, the doco doesn’t quiet explain it in plain english what it means and how to ride it.

Re. the freshness scale, is there a recommended amount you move it and for what? E.g. if I wake up today having had a poor sleep, do I move it to -10 and click apply? or -40? Or is -40/-50 when I have actually rested in peace and passes away (lmao)? Or is that up to me, to adjust it and see what XATA does?

And it gets adjusted on a daily basis? So is the process to:

  • Wake up each day and see how you feel
  • Adjust the slider an amount (lots, tiny bit? as above)
  • Click apply
  • See what XATA recommends

Thanks again for your time, appreciate it.

You shouldn’t necessarily need to adjust Freshness Feedback on a regular basis but there may be times during your progression where sliding in one direction or the other makes sense.
It’s a way to tell XATA how well you are recovering from the recommended training load and intensity versus the calculated prediction. Everyone is different based on their physiology, age, health, and years riding a bike.
I adjusted mine towards the right (+10) during Base phase and part of Build but have been back to neutral (0) since. If I feel “off” I’m going to adjust it and see what changes.
I look at it more as a way to micro-adjust IR intensity when required. For me (decades of riding) it was slide to the right for a bit. A beginning cyclist may need to slide to the left if their recovery takes longer than predicted. Then move back to neutral as fitness improves.
You can always experiment to see what it does and move back to neutral if you agree.

Many users freeride outdoors with a nod to XATA as far as intensity goes.
The Focus recommendation (point on power curve) and watts target tell you what range and interval intensity to consider during your ride.
3 hour power means a low intensity endurance ride, but terrain will affect the ending Focus calculation. However, consider anything with polar specificity as endurance based including recommended indoor workouts which may not look like endurance at first glance but their net effect is.

Focus updates from your signature to the Garmin should be automatic, but only paired to your phone through Garmin Connect at least during the update process.


How do I install, configure, & update the Xert Garmin ConnectIQ Apps? – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

Focus and Difficulty - Xert | Garmin Connect IQ

My spider chart mod: https://forum.xertonline.com/uploads/default/original/2X/c/c0ec161bade3b8ea693e60a746b5e4428c1c8d4c.jpeg

Scott’s ride to Focus example: Ride to Xert’s Focus Metric with Scott - YouTube

Thanks Ridgerider, that all makes sense, I think I’ve an understanding on the focus outside ride concept. To summarise, is this right?

  • Find the focus duration and type (type sorta helps to keep in your head I guess, what ride do you have to do) and XSS. In an example, focus could be 5mins, type could be breakaway specialist and XSS could be 140. This means I need to target my 5min power, and hit 140xss for the day.
  • Find the recommended watts, will align with the focus duration in terms of max powercurve. Could be 300w.
  • When riding outside, I’d aim to be either under LTP or hitting 300w (not inbetween or hugely over), with intervals which are up to me. Could be 1min, could be 4min etc.
  • The aim being to get focus to 5min??? Riding at 300w where possible, or under LTP
  • Once focus hits 5min (???), complete the ride as I chose to hit the recommended XSS.
  • Finish the ride

Only part I need to test is why my fields were blank then went away, but that’s up to me to figure out.

Would be great if you can please confirm the above plain-english understanding and correct where so. Appreciate it! Thanks again.

Hi Tristan,

Welcome to Xert! Good to hear you’re taking the plunge to see what Xert is all about!

You have the general idea correct. Xert’s measure of Focus is a marker of intensity, not duration. So first of all, checking the recommended Focus is a good start to see what types of intervals you’ll want to be doing on your free-style outdoor workout. For example, check the workout library and view the types of intervals that are performed in a Road Sprinter workout with the intervals found in a GC Specialist workout. Once you know what the recommended focus is (and roughly your power output at the target focus), you have enough data to try and freestyle your ride.

As you warm up (below TP), you’ll find that focus will be at a very long duration (3+ hr power), but as you start to do some short sprints/openers, the focus value will start decreasing.

When you’re ready to start working (a long, flat road or a moderate climb that can be traversed while doing intervals), start riding at/around the recommended focus duration. The longer you hold the effort, the more XSS you’ll accumulate at the appropriate Focus, but the more challenging the workout will become - this is why I don’t recommend trying to do 5 min long intervals at your 5 min power. You can use the TTE data field on your Garmin to get a better idea about how much longer you can sustain that effort to have an idea of when to ease off and begin recovering. For example, hold 300 W until TTE is 1:30 before easing up and letting MPA recover while you pedal below LTP. As you do more efforts around 300 W, Focus will start to approach 5:00 (and the color of the focus data field will shift from Black to Blue to Green - this indicates that the specificity of your focus is increasing… increased specificity = more time spent at/near your 5:00 target).

More or less, yes! Cool down and finish up the ride.

If you’re having troubles with the data fields, send a note to support - someone will be happy to assist you there.

Note that you dont have to follow XATA exactly like outlined above if you don’t want to. These are general tips/best practices, but as we talk about in Episode 24 of our podcast series, there are many ways to get good high intensity training that aren’t formal structured or free-styled workouts. Group rides with friends (assuming there are attacks/hard efforts & not just coffee stops :wink: ) are a great example of riding that is fun and can be highly beneficial for HIIT training.

Hope this helps a bit! Cheers!