I was stoked seeing the new AI workout feature. That, together with the improved XATA advice which points out dedicated targets for low/high/peak XSS, I found would finally allow me to comfortably steer my progression in all of these while riding outside, which I am almost exclusively doing.
So today I gave it a first go and here is how it went…
Xata gave a precide target: My deficit in total XSS, broken down to low/high/peak XSS. Very good!
I generated the AI workout. The outcome was indeed a workout which closely resembled the training advice out of 1. It had a bit more low XSS, but high/peak xss matched pretty well. Resulting Focus was GC Specialist, which also was right.
The schedule button was not working, so I couldn’t add it to my calendar (see my other thread). But ok, as it was for right now I just used the “send to garmin” button and it showed up in garmin connect as expected. From there I could send it to my Edge 830.
I hopped on my bike and started the workout from the Edge
First step of the workout is a warmup interval which I used to work myself through the traffic to the start of the climb to my trail network. Here I couldn’t follow the target power very much due to the stop and go. But well, as long as I warm up thats good enough.
But now I got an unexpected surprise: While still in traffic, the warmup interval was over and it immediately switched to the first training interval, 341w for 79s. Of course that was impossible to do and every attempt doing that on the street would be life threatening dangerous. My request and main feedback: Please add instructions to the garmin workout which requires the active press of the lap button to start the work interval. That is also like other platforms are doing it. This allows you to bike to your training area and once you are ready, transition from the warmup to the working set an a safe way and secure environment. Please do this for every transition from rest to power interval, not just after the warmup, for the reason I will explain below.
After I messed that first interval up, I continued riding to my first climb which I reached more or less with the start of the 2nd interval and I put out the first power of the workout.
The work interval lengths seem hard coded to 79s for whatever reason. After, it transitioned to the next rest interval with 168w for 309s. I needed to overshoot that a bit in terms of power, because well, I was still climbing, but thats ok I guess.
As my MPA was recovered long before the end of the 309s and I felt good, I used the Edge’s lap button to jump to the next work interval a lot earlier. That worked very well. It cuts a little off the prescribed low XSS, but I can always extend the workout with some lighter pedaling at the end to make up for it.
Reaching the trail head at the end of the climb, I did run into the next issue, which I now had anticipated. The upcoming downhill would take me longer than the length of the rest interval. Thus, the next work interval would once more automatically start right after, while I am still going down the trail, unable to put out any power. Please add the workout step to require active press of the lap butting to start the work interval (same as above, just a different situation)
This time I used the workaround to press the pause/start button of the Edge to pause the workout and with that prevent the automatic start of the next work interval, while still going down. That helps for now but is of course not a long term solution, as the device also pauses the data recording. That means no strava downhill segment and no accounting for any intermediate pedaling, no active mergency function of the Edge etc.
I transitioned through the rest of workout without any further issues. One smaller thing which maybe could be done is to equalize the power prescribed during the work intervals. The power of these is a tick higher on the first ones and then slides down so the last ones are easier. I think that has been done with the intention to make the workout subsequently easier while progressing through it, maybe a mental thing. In my personal opinion, outside workouts should be as simple as possible, as there is already a ton of mental load compared to doing trainer rides. So I would pledge for equal power targets. But I admit that this is a minor thing which I can live with and others might have a different preference.
This is how I configured the screen of the Edge to follow the workout. I was quite satiesfied with that decision:
workout/target, indicates the prescribed power of the workout step. So what you should aim for
Lap (average) power. This should obviously fall into the prescribed power target range from above. If not, pedal harder (or easier)
Remaining interval duration, when the acute suffering will end
Workout/Steps, to have an overview about where you are and when the cronic suffering will end.
These two new features (detailed XSS targets + AI workouts) are a huge step in the right direction, thanks for that!
If you can, please add these slight improvement to your Garmin workout generator, to insert breaks requiring active press of the lap button before any work interval. I assume and hope thats a rather small change in one of your backend components.
To your point 3: yes ive also though why it isnt possible to schedule/plan ahead AI sessions, but can only do AI « now »
To your point of missing lap press: id love a lap press between warmup and start of structured intervals, not mandatory for every lap, you could even imagine an indoor/outdoor toggle, and outdoor adds a lap press after warmup, before cooldown. What i do now is start witha free ride from home to my quieter stretch of road next to a river, once there i start the workout skipping the warmup lap. If there were a lap press’ id start wo at home and press lap at the river, so its not a huge one but yes, workouts are difficult outside as you often cant really start from your front door (traffic, lights…)
That would help for the start of the workout, yes. But once you need to stop the workout progression in between, e.g., due to a downhill section, a flar tire, etc, you still want the workout to wait for your lap button press.
Thank you! I didn’t know that. Just tried it on my desk and it seems to work.
These soft buttons are very small though and I imagine it will be a bit of a pita to hit these with typical MTB gloves compared to pressing the physical lap button.
I’d still prefer to put this pause command in the workout before every work interval, so they need to be actively started via the lap button.
I think Xert can copy the way it is done in TrainerRoad. Between rest and work intervals you will have to hit the lap button to proceed, but only if the rest interval is longer than a certain threshold. Thus, if you have shorter intervals like 30/30 you will only do this before starting the first work interval. Then the workout will just continue. If you have multiple sets with a longer break in between you will have to press lap once more.
Xert doesn’t have too many such workouts, but “Cheung - Monster Mash” is an example where you should only have to hit “Lap” twice – at around 10:00 and 37:40. If you do these intervals with longer rest you will not drain the MPA / HIE in the same way, and will presumably have a different training effect.
Now that Xert is showing the XXS breakdown in Low, High and Peak they should also make this feature available in the Garmin data fields. And also show this in other parts of Xert online and in the workout player.
We decided against implementing the ability to autogenerate workouts for future training since the likelihood of the goals for the workout being different as compared to what they are planned to be in advance is very likely. The autogenerator attempts to generate a workout with very specific low, high and peak xss targets that aren’t likely to be used again. It would also mean storing and removing many many workouts for each user all the time.
Instead we’re creating a page what will allow you to autogenerate your own and save it in your personal library where you can edit and adjust to use as a more regular workout.
It’s not likely something we would be able to implement right at this moment - we have lots of helpful suggested changes from the community that we’d love to implement today, if possible.
I did want to provide some solution for you and perhaps here is a potential workaround for now. You could create an Intervals Workout from your Garmin Edge device (Training > Intervals). Use the information from the AI-generated workout to guide the process.
I didn’t think about trying that. I will give it a shot next time, it sounds promising.
My far bigger feature wish would anyway be to see low/high/peak XSS live on Garmin during the ride
Thank you, apreciate your help, as always!
I haven’t had time to figure out the new features, just learning about the Autogen stuff tonight. I can’t get the option to work, I have no autogen button, I started a separate thread on that but happy to get help here. After looking at it though, I think I’d rather just have the 3 totals on my screen and let me free ride it that way. That would be so much easier to do than doing a structured workout outside where the terrain at the moment doesn’t fit the prescribed interval. It’s basically what riding to focus was before but more precise with the three XSS numbers on the screen.
I agree that a new Garmin data field with the XSS breakdown should be added. It would be useful when free riding when trying to match today’s XSS deficit. I guess this is not on the top of their list and that code changes for the Garmin will require different skills then what they typically utilize in the rest of their system.
The challenge is that showing the numbers doesn’t really instruct users how to achieve the needed L/H/P XSS. In fact, that’s exactly the point of Focus/Specificity - the distribution of L/H/P is used to calculate the Focus duration & specificity, which gives user’s actionable info for their training ride.
For example, if the goal is 123 ( 115 | 7.5 | 0.7 ), the next question one might ask is 'How should I ride to get exactly 115/7.5/0.7? In the past, we had the Focus Duration (in the example above, Focus Duration: 8:28), but some users still find the concept of Focus too abstract/confusing.
The new AI-generated workout aims to eliminate that. Rather than giving you a Focus duration, we can just give you the workout that meets the recommendations!
We also have some simple updates that will arrive soon that also aim to explain Focus/Specificity in easier terms. People may not understand what “Mixed Breakaway Specialist” ride means, but maybe it becomes more understandable with simpler terms:
“Mixed Breakaway Specialist” becomes ‘Focus on attacking with strong power efforts with medium rest intervals between’
My issue with focus always was that adding any extra endurance to the prescribed ride/workout would tune focus down, usually towards “something-endurance”.
Now you might say, that I just should not add any extra endurance. After all I set my rider type intentionally to “climber/GC/whatever” rather than “endurance”
well, but then I think my training load would significantly shrink. Just because I can’t sustain sufficent intervall training to compensate for the volume I could generate with (extra) endurance riding.
So in that scenario, focus didn’t really do anything for me.
On the other hand, if I would know I need to get 3 high-XSS at my 10min power (=climber) in and I’d see that high-XSS live on the garmin, I would know exactly what to do, no matter how much endurance I do before, after or inbetween generating that high-XSS.
If you could resolve that knot in my head, that would be great!
You are correct though you can just get 3 high XSS on it’s own. It comes with low and peak as well hence a “focus” might make the concept easier to grasp. In the end though, if you want to raise your HIE and you need 3 high XSS for that, once you get to 3 high XSS, you can ride all you want below threshold (lengthen the focus). You’ll still have 3 high XSS at the end of the ride.
I think that is why we would like to see a new data field before the next outdoor season. Be able to see that we have done all the hard work before we just add some easy volune at the end.
Let’s say you plan to do 9 x 2 min @ 115% as part of a longer ride to produce the wanted high XSS. You don’t run it as a workout because you want to do them when it fits the terrain. Some of these will be short of 2 min, some longer, some at a different power. If you have the extended XSS field you can continue with the intervals until you reach the XSS target you set without following a strict workout.
I agree and we have to consider this as an important addition to the Garmin datafields but also to our other real-time software applications - EBC and Karoo integration - as well.
These missing elements are why this is called an interim release. There are many additional capabilities we’ll need to add to the apps and datafields, as well as other improvements to the web app too that are needed. This will become more apparent as some of the new features get announced.
But all this is simply too useful to hold back until we have everything completed so hopefully that’s ok by the user community for now.