No Fitness Improvement & complete lack of understanding new AI tool

I don’t have a great amount of time to train per week & perhaps at the end of the day, it comes down to that being the driving factor behind my lack of any fitness gains.
I have used Zwift fitness plans previously, as well as workout plans kindly prepared for me by a friend during lockdown. Both of them seemed to have better improvement rates than I am seeing with Xert & I feel pretty confused/frustrated by the whole thing.

I think the addition of the new AI forecast tool, along with the other recent updates has thrown a real spanner in my understanding of how Xert works, so I now feel even more confused than ever.

As a target in the AI forecast tool I put a date of 23rd March for a recreational gravel event of ~85km which I estimated to take 4hours. It will probably be a little less. I restricted my time to what I realistically think I can manage & the tool said I wouldn’t be ready and the forecast button was greyed out.
I increased the hours until the event readiness went high enough (“fair” readiness, I think) to allow me to run the forecast.

The results to me are confusing. Mainly endurance workouts of low intensity, the chosen days seem very random to me, even though I tried to add some detail to the availability on certain days.
Low intensity Pure Endurance rides of ~30 minutes or less. 2 weeks before the event there is a week of only 1.3 hours in total, with endurance rides of 20 mins, 15mins, 15mins and a 20minute road sprinter workout at the end. It would take me almost as long to get changed & out on the bike than to do those rides.

I feel like I must be setting it up wrong for it to be coming up with the suggestions it is.
Is the set-up of this related to the ‘goals’ tab & how i have previously had things set-up? Does my ‘slow’ improvement rate affect how the Forecast AI works? Or should this work independently?

The Starting & Targeted training states are:

6min power 254 w
Signature, 214w / 15.05kJ / 821w
training load 45

6min power 243 w
Signature, 204w / 14.7kJ / 817w
training load 33

so I am actually losing fitness were I to follow this (not even maintain my current fitness?!)

If I scrap the plan & choose target date on a 120 day program with slow improvement rate, that predicts an increase in fitness metrics, rather than a decline.

I don’t feel with Xert that I am making the best use of what little time I do have to train.
A friend I ride with who digs right into his training metrics & has used TR to great success over the last few years keeps mentioning that Xert seems to focus more on duration & not on intensity. Maybe that is a factor, or is a condition of how I have set it up?

Apologies for the long post. Just after some advice really on where to go next with it. Feel like I’m treading water, not really getting anywhere & not sure what to do within Xert to stimulate some fresh fitness gains. Thanks if you got this far!

1 Like

Create a plan for a goal instead of an event. There you will be able to set the focus type and the watt target for the focus.

Have you completed a 120-Day Program in the past on Xert?

@ridgerider2 yes, i signed up for Xert about this time last year primarily for a UK gravel event, which was in late April.
It was 130km and ~2000m climbing. While the distance wasn’t a worry, the amount of climbing was.
I did a 120 day program for that & from memory set it to GC Specialist after originally starting on Century Rider. I think the improvement rate switched between moderate 1 & 2 depending how much time I had.

I think it went from 4 hours per week at the start, to 10 hours close to the event. That amount of training was only sustainable for me, for a short term because of work & family commitments.
I saw a decent increase in TP, and a really good improvement in endurance. I finished the event about 90 mins faster than expected and was much less fatigued than I thought I would be.

I really want to try the forecast AI planning, but intuitively it doesn’t seem to give me suggestions that will work to improve my fitness. Like I say, I wonder if the hours I have available means it doesn’t suit.
I’m tempted to just use the 120 day plan option again.

IOW, you already have the fitness needed to complete or “just finish” the event.

Try using a ‘Goal’ program to maximize your fitness and aim to improve your 8 min or 6 min power before your event!

I guess this is a major point of confusion, though. Especially for new users.

If we are talking about a huge gravel race, then a lot of the users are maybe happy just to finish the race. But on the other hand, for all of the other events with lower XSS? They might misunderstand the “event” part and enter a event they already raced in the past, so with known XSS and focus duration. And the expectation then might be that Xert makes them as well prepared for this event as possible, while taking into account all of the constraints (max. weekly hours, unavailable days,…).

Atleast I tried to do that before switching to the ‘Goal’ program, and a new Xert user I know misunderstood it the same way.

Me too. I put in a shorter time than last year for the same event and it gave me less training.
I think it could be made clearer.
Or would it make sense to have distances and times for long events?