MPA doesn't match my legs/brain?

SO I did this workout last night. It hurt, it sucked - but I think I am confused about MPA. The first (and a little of the second) “Ellis” I would agree with the MPA dropping, things look pretty much like I was destroying myself. It then goes back up - and is happy/high, but I am dead and struggling - as you see me not hitting the interval targets and suffering. The power simply was NOT available.

Do I suck? do I not really understand MPA? It seems that as I get more tired - there would be less available?

And having read a few post …

  1. Are you running the 30 day trial or are you a subscriber?
    Yes - 30 day trial but paid with code to load more than 90 days. Unsure if I will pay long term.

  2. What equipment do you have for training indoors and outdoors?
    Dedicated trainer bike, on Kickr, w/Climb. Have Assioma as well, but not on that bike. I have everything I could possibly want/need … except room for a 55" TV so I could see better without glasses.

  3. Are you young (20-30s), older (60+), or in the middle?
    53 …

  4. How experienced are you with training by power?
    Spent the last almost 2 years training with coach, with power, understand most of TrainingPeaks - get a little confused on Form and/or Fatigue calculation, but basically “get it”

  5. Are you a recreational rider or competitive racer?
    I compete with my own PRs, but I do not race. I’m a USAC Official, and watch bike races for a “weekend job”

  6. What are your goals?
    I have a hard time saying a specific one because it’s not “3rd in This race” - continued improvement and learning, getting stronger.

  7. How many weeks or months of recent power data have you loaded into Xert?
    Almost 2 years.

  8. What is your current star status?
    4 Stars

  9. What Athlete type did you select?

  10. Which Improvement Rate (IR) did you select? (hours/week training load & ramp rate)
    Moderate 2

  11. What TED (target event date) did you enter?
    Currently set to an event in early March, but been playing a lot…

What you’re experiencing is very typical of many athletes. Being able to dig really deep more than once in a single bout of exercise is something that is difficult to do and one that distinguishes a good athlete from an exceptional one. MPA is a reflection of what your maximum capacity could be and doesn’t attempt to account for everything they may be impeding your ability to reach your max. If you’re yellow or red training status, for example, you may not be rested enough to attempt a challenging longer ride.
There are many variables that are not captured in your power data. Things like lack of sleep, soreness, food intake, GI, aches, etc. or perhaps you’re not one of those athletes that can dig really deep later into rides. Reaching a 150 Difficulty Score is reserved for few. Getting to 200 is elite level.

What you describe here makes me question the whole system. MPA = Power I could produce if I didn’t fatigue? or “in a perfect world”?

I recognize I am FAR from an exceptional athlete. I get that, but most people would say “Scott knows how to suffer.” I gave that last effort my all … There was nothing left. Yes, it was day 3 in a row of training, but who can produce the same power @ 10 minutes, 1 hour, 6 hours, beyond?

How far have you gotten in watching the academy videos or XBL podcasts?
What you are describing is a common misperception about what MPA does in the model and how it’s used.
The more time you spend with Xert the more “aha” moments will follow.
IMO and IME the 30-day trial gives you enough time to see what’s different about Xert but not truly experience what those differences mean over time.

I have watched over an hour of videos - have I gotten lost and distracted? My ADHD brain isn’t good for 1 hour power point watching …

Glad you asked! There are certainly individuals (professional or not) who are capable! :slight_smile:

MVDP hitting MPA 6.5 hours into Amstel Gold Race 2019 :slight_smile:

MVDP hitting MPA 3:30 & 4:45 into 2021 Strade Bianche

However, it’s not always possible to reach MPA late in a ride - for a wide number of factors (many listed above).

Here is Ben O’Connor, Stage 6 TdF 2021 - probably hit MPA early in the ride trying to help Van Avermaet on his early break (I believe he was a part of that break, anyways). He would’ve hit 112 difficulty before the 45 min mark, but never really pushed nearly as hard for the remainder of the stage.

Tom Van Asbroeck at last year’s Paris Roubaix (8th place). Difficulty score never really surpassed 100 - I’m almost certain that the cobbles plays a factor in their performance, even though that can’t possibly be factored into the calculations for MPA.

I’m going to combine a few responses - to save space.

@ManofSteele - good examples, but wouldn’t we need to compare MVDP say 1 hour TT to a Amstel Gold to see realistically compare 1-6?

After re-watching 1.5 videos - all while looking at last year’s effort on similar workouts, I think I am tired, unmotivated, unused to suffering on the trainer (or all of the above). I can see the MPA doing what I would expect last year, but i’m not getting the same details on my last couple workouts.

Not ready to call it the holy grail, but not declaring it hogwash :slight_smile: Thank to all for feedback.

Cheers! I think it’s easy to point to obvious examples of when MPA might not work, as MPA is only based on power data - it can’t possibly know about mental motivation, sub-optimal gearing/cadence selection, carb availability, hydration status, sleep, etc. all things that may affect your performance on a given day.

However, I think it also makes MPA rather remarkable that it can (so often) pinpoint the exact moment of failure based only on your fitness signature and power data.

‘All models are wrong, but some are useful’ :slight_smile:

Another question is : are all your signature values right ?
I had the same problem. What I did was the following:
I knew TP was right by i did an FTP test recently.
I knew PP was right - i simply did an max. effort.
So i adjusted HIE by hand, so that the MPA curve of this workout changed to a curve that represents what I felt during the workout. The HIE before was much too high.
Since then the system works perfect.
I do not know why the HIE was overestimated but one little adjustment and then the system works.

@lucky12 - good thoughts. I spent a lot of time looking at old workouts - and looking at the data as it applied to similar workouts. I found multiple examples where MPA did exactly what I would have expected it to do and what the pictures would have liked it to do.

I attribute my “poor performance” and confusion to a) being tired b) learning new stuff c) not being used to suffering as I have not been doing intervals.

The replies here, re-watching a video - i’m still onboard! :slight_smile:

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Xert definitely has a learning curve - it’s a completely different way of looking at your performance & training. Luckily we have plenty of very knowledgeable and helpful people on the online forum (and with Xert support team). Feel free to utilize those resources and keep asking questions! :slight_smile:

Enjoy the ride!

Completely agree with XERT having a learning curve, five + years in and still learning!

With MPA I’ve found that when I’m detrained for one reason or another and take a 4x8 minute workout (I do them outside) I can get a break through on the first and often second but then fail at drawing down MPA after that. Once I’ve been consistently training for a while I can often get a breakthrough again on the third interval as well. I think it has something with being more durable as a cyclist and being able to repeat efforts/TTE