My thoughts around an Everesting preparation plan

I plan to do at least a Base Camp (half an Everest - 4420m) before the end of March and probably a full in April.This will be indoors as I have no desire to do it outside and I really do not think my descending skills are that good, especially in the dark and when tired.

I have just completed 3 months of base, including the Festive 500 and have grown TL from a very low 35 to 65. I normally keep it around 75-80.
Current TP is 265 but I really do not think that is true.The numbers say so but I have not had a break through for 2 months. I put myself about 230.

I will be using Xert workouts (riding Fulgaz routes) for all workout sessions. These will be at least 2 a week and possibly more. The 2 workouts will be a VO2/Threshold effort and a good sweetspot style session. I run a weekly challenge on Fulgaz and riding that each week is normally a good threshold workout.

In addition to the workouts I will be doing endurance work on some of the big climbs on Fulgaz (and possibly AdZ, although I do not have a current subscription, but you do get 25K a month for free, which is sufficient for AdZ). I also do at least one 100K ride a month, sometimes more and sometimes longer.

The route I will be using will be from Fulgaz and is called Gerlospass Everesting. It is a 540m climb and a total of 14.34km per lap.

I have ridden this a number of times and the climb takes me 45 minutes and an 8 minute freewheeling descent. That conveniently works out an an average of an hour per loop and 17 loops are required. That is giving me a bit of lee way for breaks etc. I have chosen this loop because it is quite interesting, it has 3 points on the uphill which are markers on progress (one is a hotel as I recall) and it is not too steep at an average of 7.5%.

I have set aXert target date of 31st March and a type of GC Climber. The only difficulty in planning is that I am on holiday for 3 weeks in February and will be relying on the gym equipment on a cruise ship. From past experience I think I will achieve either weights or a good HIIT workout every alternate day.

Happy to hear of any advice and I will post odd progress notes on this thread


Thats a good challenge John. I’ll keep an eye on your progress.

p.s. if you’d prefer i went on the cruise in your place so that you can get ideal training in just let me know :wink:

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Sounds tough, and a long time to spend on the trainer(!) but good luck with it! Should be easier to make sure you eat and drink enough indoors though

How did that happen? If you’re going to be using it to guide your high intensity sessions you should probably get an accurate signature to begin with? That said, I’m not sure how much above TP work you actually need for such endurance… but still good to know threshold and also your aerobic threshold

Other than that, I guess you need to figure out pacing - you’ll presumably be slower doing it 17 times, unless those times are already at endurance pace. I guess you’ll climb below LTP? Or maybe it’s possible at LTP with the recoveries? Good that you are doing ‘trial’ in March to figure it out.

And not sure if FulGaz allows you to adjust trainer difficulty like e.g. Zwift, but you may want to get comfortable with and train the cadence too. Not sure training at 90 rpm will carry over to 17 hours at 60 rpm for example.

I had better not tell my wife she has an option other than to go with me. She might choose it.

Totally agree with getting the signature correct. I have done an all out 20 min test tonight that gives me 237 as an FTP.
I have put a call to support to ask them to amend it for me but they have said previously it is correct. I absolutely know it is not.
My TL is also artificially low because my TP is so high.

This is my test tonight. I was trying as hard as I could to get to 250w avg for the 20 mins and as you can see I was never ever going to get a breakthrough.

You make many other good points as well. Thanks for taking a look at my post.

If this was an all out effort then it should be a breakthrough or fakethrough (when signature was too high) or else something went wrong. That’s what Xert is all about as far as I understand it. I’ve learned that sometimes when the signature is very wrong (too high or too low) the breakthrough/fakethrough is not recognized.

The whole system (workouts, training load…) only works using a signature that represents the maximum effort you can actually do. Maybe even without that hungry bear chasing you for that last bit of power that might be left. If you’re not training for the Olympics/Tour de France/… that’s probably a better representation of your reality anyway, just my take on things. I will never ever in my life produce a real ‘maximum effort’ because there is no hungry bear in my apartment, so I will never know but I am fine with that.

You could change the values below the workout to something you think might be correct and then use the extract button to see if the algorithm can get a signature with a breakthrough in the vicinity of those values. Just play around with the values until it makes sense to you, from what I’ve read you are not a newbie sitting on a bike with a power meter for the first time :wink:
If you get something that works, looks and feels right you can save it and go from there.

If workouts feel wrong afterwards, something described as hard is easy or the other way around or the HIIT ones are impossible to finish or whatever you can always unlock and/or do another maybe different kind of breakthrough effort whenever you feel fresh again. The Xert breakthrough workouts are not 20 min constant efforts for a reason, the algorithm works better with some more variable input to failure as I understand it.
I think to keep training against a TP you know you can’t hold is probably not helping your fitness.

Xert is an algorithm not an AI or something with a memory, same values in → same values out. You can’t break it by playing with the numbers and finding what works for you. And that it works for you is the goal, isn’t it?

Just my two euro cents of course. I have a much lower TP than anyone here, seldom train and never race but I am a bit of a data geek and have been here for two years or so watching and learning.
Xert works well but sometimes it nonetheless is wrong and needs some tweaking. When an all out effort looks like a stroll in the park the numbers are wrong. They have to be wrong because you can’t be, the model is an approximation of reality, you are the reality. Maybe a slightly unusual one that the model does not map as well as others but still reality.

Just try lowering the TP by 10 or 20 watts, there is a lot of yellow there, it might not be that much wrong and see what ‘extract’ does, you don’t have to save if you don’t want to.


As someone absolutely new to Xert, I think you and I are on the same page. I think your fitness signature absolutely has to be correct. We discussed this in another thread I posted a few weeks back and ultimately I knew that my fitness signature was incorrect for my current fitness.

I ultimately did a race that I know I was all out on and took its signature as my current signature to start training from. If it is incorrect I will most likely find out at my next race in a few weeks but for now I think Xert is missing out on correct end of/beginning of season training for riders/users.

Maybe I am wrong and I dont understand how to use xert correctly still.

If you care to read our discussion it can be found here;

I think based on my research and AMAZING communication with Ridgerider2 that sometimes you really need to set your signature low and attempt a breakthrough at the beginning of the year or even a race to establish current fitness and goals.

Xert can never truly understand me being off the bike for the last 2 months with sickness and ill children/family.

We also need to keep in mind/remember that TP is not FTP in a sense in how its been programmed into our heads and we are dealing with very sporadic variables and numbers that change a lot.

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How did it get so high in the first place? If you had a big BT in the past with dodgy data you could flag it - Xert would then recalculate training loads etc after that date at your ‘old’ signature.

Or is it ‘just’ the issue that some (myself included sometimes) end up with higher signatures from on-off (Ronnestad style) vs steady state efforts…? Armando mentioned somewhere that power meter accuracy can be an issue - specifically how quickly power is reported to drop off in the ‘off’ phase vs ‘reality’ (if that’s even defined or observable). I now place less reliance on repeated on-off BTs. One or two is probably OK, but it’s conceivable that it really adds up after 10 or 15 reps.

The other way to fix it is to follow the good suggestions to force an extraction to update it (but you may want to go back and change a past signature to update TL from that point on)

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This is what happened to me, I was able to summon a 1016W sprint when according to Xert my MPA at that moment in time was only 563W. This caused my fitness signature to go astronomically high because I then held a power above MPA for 20-secounds.

Was this power meter accuracy issue? I don’t know, I can pop off 1000-1200W sprints or 1-2 sec so seeing a 1016w is not uncommon. I think in this situation that it was a perfect storm at the perfect time and I just happen to be feeling great and it made my signature jump 40TP points from that one instance and that was a poor reflection of my what my true signature actually is.

But by flagging that particular ride - it brought my signature back to reason and is using what I consider a more reasonable fitness signature now.

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Wesley, Xert has been accurate for me for years. It was high because my FTP matched my TP and they were both about 280w.
3 months of base work with lots of miles at Z2 has caused my FTP to drop but it doesn’t look like TP will drop to match.
I have raised a support call and Scott is going to look at it again. It has just dropped to 246 in the last 2 days. I don’t know if that is manual intervention or not.

At least it is closer now. I do not doubt that when I put a few good workouts in my power at threshold will start to rise.

Hi John,

Best of luck with you on your training! I’ll be following your progress as well!

Interesting that you’re planning to do a virtual (half) everesting I suspect that the challenges for an indoor are different, but equally challenging to doing one outdoors!


Hi @Johnnybike!

I had a doubt and checked my power curve and made some revert calculation with the data you provided. With an FTP at 237W, 250W would be equivalent to the power you can sustain for 20min (check the power curve of the event). This is normal you will not get a breakthrough because this is what you are supposed to be capable to achieve.

By the way, looking at your graph the threshold power line seems to be at 260+. There are different cycling cultural definitions of FTP associating it with a 20min or an hour effort. In Xert case, threshold power is associated to 1h effort. Therefore looking at the graph it is normal that you won’t get a BT with this training, as you were below that.

Then regarding your specific training, you mentioned to have done a lot of base training (seems LSD type / Z2 type) in past weeks, this is also pulling your FTP up. Point is that you are however not “mentally” prepared anymore to sustain an effort your body is capable of, as you have not performed any for a long time. This is the so called “diesel” effect. A minimum of at least once a week high intensity training, even in base phase is recommended. That is also helping to keep your signature up to date trying to target a BT at least once every 2 weeks.


Hi @johnnybike

Thought I’d chime in here again as I’m also planning on a half-Everest sometime in early spring before a full Everest attempt in early summer. I found a couple neat sites that can be used (with Xert) to help prepare for what to expect for the day…

Using this site, I can enter my body & gear weight, along with the slope of my targeted Strava segment (~6.7%) to calculate the ground speed for a given power (or power needed to achieve a target ground speed).

Thought I’d use my current fitness to model how this might be used…

  1. Predict total elapsed time if climbing at LTP (202W) & descending at highest speed without additional power or braking (~55 kph @ constant 6.7% descent slope).

I can key in the speed values from the first site into the Everesting Calculator… This would mean each ascent would take ~12 minutes and each descent would take ~2.75 minutes. This would need to be repeated a minimum of 27 times (rounded up) to get me to my target of a half-everest at a estimated time of 6.5-6.75 hrs, excluding rest breaks:

  1. Further, I can use this info with the workout designer to give a better estimation of the total activity projected XSS as well as Fat/Carb utilization throughout the day. I did this by creating a workout with intervals @ the targeted climbing power (LTP), using the estimated climb time from the Everesting site and rest intervals of 0 W for the duration of the descent (again taken from the Everesting calculator).

We can see here that my half-everesting effort is estimated at ~403 XSS and will require ~289g CHO, 371g FAT.

Some of these estimates may change as I test the segment out to determine if actually riding at LTP is feasible (I may not be able to comfortably ride that ‘easy’).