New user - couple of questions


I am a new Xert user. I have seens all the videos and listened to some of the podcast. Still have a couple of questions which I hope someone here can help me.

I little introduction - you can skip to the questions if you like :slight_smile:

I am a 48 years old male and have been riding on Zwift for more than 2 years. The first 1½ year totally unstructured but since this fall I have tried to get some structure in my training. To build up base I been riding a lot of pure Z2 rides with 1 or 2 workouts a week since mid november.
I was considered a dedicated training plan - but had Xert recommended.
I ride 4-5 times a week (4½-7 hours) and my only goal is to stay healthy and ride a couple of 100-150km group rides outside this summer. But getting stronger and faster is definately a big motivation-

I have imported my Strava activities and started letting Xert suggest my activites.

I have chosen a 30 day challenge with slow improvement. (rouleur - 6min)

But I am wondering:

  • This week (monday-thursday) I have done 4 rides - 2 of which were pretty hard workouts. Even though Xert always says I am fresh (blue stars). I definately was not wednesday but Xert suggested another hard workout. Is that right?
  • Every day I have a XSS deficit (I guess thats normal?) and Xert suggest me to go riding. Does Xert not suggest recovery days or should I always plan 1 week ahead in the Planner?
  • Xert almost always suggest the same couple of workouts?
  • My endurance rides almost have the same XSS as my workouts - even though the interval workouts are much harder. Did a 1½ hour Z2 ride (70% power). It was 104 XSS but the workout “Smart - Dance with the devil” was only 115 XSS the next day. have I misunderstood the meaning of XSS? Doesnt it quantify strain?
  • How do others integrate a polarized training in Xert?

Hope someone will help my out and make me a bit smarter on Xert :slight_smile:


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Welcome aboard.

I suggest you read through this thread first as it covers much of the same ground and more :wink:
Beginner questions - Support - Xert Community Forum (

Challenge ATP assumes you have established a good base and wish to work on a specific focus duration for 30 days.

Use the Freshness Feedback slider if calculated form doesn’t match how you feel day to day. Normally neutral (0) works for most when their signature is dialed in and training load feels about right. However, Xert doesn’t know your physiology and metabolism. Some days you may not be up to the recommendations (slide to left) or one day you feel unusually fresh (slide to right or consider a BT workout).

No need to populate the Planner a week in advance especially if you will vary your TL week to week. Most of us do not populate the Planner unless we have specific workouts we want to do next week. Even if added you can always change your mind at the last minute and your planned workout will disappear by next day (no need to delete it).

XATA defaults to what you did recently on same day of week, but you can and should change Duration dropdown if you have more or less time to train today.
You are in charge of taking rest days. If you they are same day(s) of the week, XATA will recognize that pattern moving forward. Or you can change your training load distribution week to week depending on your schedule and interpret surplus/deficit in respect to the pacer needle position. For example, if you normally ride 90 minutes on Wednesday but this week you can only ride 45 minutes and you plan to ride longer on Friday, then the deficit number today doesn’t matter much since you’ll bring the needle back up later this week. Your main goal is to keep the needle in the 11am-1pm position week to week to maintain the ramp rate goal you’ve set. The needle can dip left or right of 12 o’clock (0 deficit/surplus) and you are doing fine.

XSS per hour is where it’s at in terms of quantifying strain (low/high/peak). The harder the ride/workout the more XSS accumulated. Go deep during and XSS shoots up accordingly.
Indoor workouts will always be more efficient since you are pedaling under constant strain (ERG control) versus intermittent and variable nature of pedaling outdoors.
Dance with the Devil is a 3 or 3.5 diamond workout of about 92 XSS/hour (Difficult rating) while the outdoor ride was around 69 XSS/hour (Moderate rating).

Workout variety expands as you move into 3 stars territory, but your ATP setting is limiting choices to endurance when yellow and near Rouleur focus when blue/green.
You can also add more workouts by joining the Basic Workouts Library. If you decide to do that but prefer SMART workouts (curated by Xert) you can use Filter to exclude Community shared workouts from recommended lists.

Xert is hybrid polarized by default but you can steer it into whatever direction you want by the selections you make day to day. You can also use dislike/like over time to create your own preferred workout list.

Reference –

Sweet Spot, Threshold and Polarized Training … By the Numbers – Xert (

Difficulty Rating – Xert (

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Thank you so much for the links and all your insight.

It all makes a bit more sense.