I wanted to work a bit harder the next few weeks before tapering for an event. So the last couple weeks I changed my continues improvement rate to Moderate-2. The result is that the recommended hours a week is around 14 for me. But… I can’t really put that many hours in. Just don’t have that much time.
Should I be scrolling down and choosing harder activities? I’ve done several of the recommended workouts during this time but it seems like I’m constantly at a huge XSS deficit.
To be clear, I’m not at taper yet. I’m still at moderate-2 for another couple weeks.
The most common way to increase training load is through volume - more hours.
You can add more/greater intensity, but this isn’t always feasible since you also need to factor in recovery (e.g. how many days of yellow stars before you can do more HIIT?) Those recovery days should (ideally) be easier endurance rides, most of which are limited to ~60 XSS/hr.
So basically the system is only suggesting 1-2 hour rides that have around 100-150 XSS. But I’m sitting on a deficit of 250 XSS or so coming into a lot of these days. I’m riding around 5x a week but at that rate the max I’m going to get is 10 hours. So bail on the idea of trying Moderate-2 because I don’t have enough time?
Once you max out your hours/week commitment you should switch IR to Maintenance.
You can vary intensity somewhat through the selections you make and by using Filter.
Scrolling down the default list won’t likely be sufficient. Instead use Filter to change Focus (athlete type) to something outside your normal quadrant and/or raise the Difficulty (diamond count). If you are at 3-1/2 stars, try a 4 diamond workout. Or find workouts in the library at your stars count level you’ve never tried before.
You are not restricted to 1-2 hour rides. You decide how to allocate your hours over the week.
You can ride whatever duration you have time for on a day-to-day basis. Just remember that XATA is monitoring what you did previously, so some days you will be ignoring XSS recommendations for the day because you have more or less time to train on same day this week.
You can immediately dial down the deficit and raise the pacer needle by lowering IR.
XATA needs a week or so to “catch-up” with any changes in hours since it’s based on a rolling seven-day period).
Depending on my schedule I allow the pacer needle to dip during the week knowing a long Sat or Sun ride will raise me back to Noonish or on occasion push me into Optional territory. YMMV
Last I checked there weren’t a lot of long easy workouts for the system to choose from, so I created my own eg 3 or 4 hour workouts for the weekends (not that I’d actually use the workout, just so that XATA had the option of recommending it). Also if you only ever do 1 to 2 hour rides, that’s all the system will recommend… guess you could try two a day… before work and after…
These ideas assume you have time (vs other commitments) of course, which from your OP may be a challenge…
To your original point, it depends on your event focus, but if you want to overload your body and high intensity suits your focus, then yes you can temporarily increase intensity, but am not you need to be adding volume (hours) at the same time… the intensity alone will force adaptations (assuming you’ve not been doing much recently). Depends on the event, but training load isn’t always everything
I think this is the core takeaway from this post. If I put my training to continuous and just move the slider out, it just keeps showing more and more hours in the future. 13, 14, 15, 18 20 hours etc etc.
So what do I set my training status to when I hit the hours limit based on my own time? Just move the target back to maintenance? But I still want to increase FTP… so just choose harder workouts than those suggested?
It seems like this is something every person will run into if you leave your improvement rate on continuous. Sooner or later you don’t have enough time. Still not quite sure the best strategy due when you get to that point but for me, I had my last race of the season so I just changed the rate to off season and am riding for fun for a few months. Not sure what I’m going to do next season.