I am a new user of Xert but have been doing structured training for many years. Right now I am going through the base period of my training on Xert. I have noticed that some of the workouts have intervals that get easier towards the end (either less intensity or less time or both). Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining! I actually like it because most often i feel that if the last interval was the same intensity as the first one I probably couldn’t finish. So there is definitely some kind of a logic behind this.
My concern is the psychological effect that the easier intervals can have. We all know that group rides, or races etc get harder at the end not easier. So training ourselves to get used to doing easier efforts at the end of workouts sounds counter productive. Its like we are training ourselves to be softer at the end of the ride vs going deeper mentally and pushing ourselves to finish.
I am curious to know, for people who have been using Xert for a long time on this forum if they have seen any negative effect of doing this type of easier ending workouts on their mental toughness at the end of races or group rides?
I see your point, but for me, it is a psychological booster to know I completed a workout as deigned as compared to not being able to complete said workout.
Xert allows you to switch to slope mode (I do this at times) and really push it towards the end if you want to push things. You can also increase the power intensity to push yourself.
Take my advice with a grain of salt though as I am not a coach or a racer, just a weak recreational rider that enjoys pushing himself.
A well designed workout with the same interval repetitions should feel the same all the way throughout. If it feels easier at the beginning but hard at the end, then it wasn’t hard enough at the beginning. Likewise if it’s hard at the beginning but not doable at the end, then it was too hard at the end. Ideally, it should be as hard at the beginning as it is at the end. To do this, an intensity/duration taper is needed. This doesn’t make the workout easier at the end. It should be make it the same.
If you are looking to train your abillity to go hard at the end of longer rides, then there are some workouts that intentionally do this and you can do them for that purpose:
Training you can complete is always better than a workout regimen you fail.
The goal is to trigger adaptations, recover, and repeat without getting crushed or burned out in the process.
As a result, you get fitter and grow stronger whether your goals are events, personal PRs, group rides, competing, or simply riding your bike for fun.
You could argue the opposite is true. Workouts (or plans) you repeatedly fail prepare you to fail whenever the going gets tough. I.e., a trigger response – “I can’t do this!”