I wouldn’t call it off the couch. Was riding casually 2-3x week during Fall 2020 which included periodic BT workouts to check my signature numbers.
I committed to the indoor experiment at the end of November and set a TED on Dec 5 to start the progression.
A full phased progression in Xert is 120 days (45 Base + 45 Build + 30 Peak/Taper).
So the TP increase was over 4 months.
[For newbies that may read this thread the progression phases can be manipulated as well. You may not be prepping for an actual event (I wasn’t) or you may already have built a base. In which case simply adjust TED to enter the desired phase or adjust TED to stretch out a phase. If you enter a TED in the past that puts you to post-event phase in which case XATA will recommend a variety of workouts around the selected athlete type (focus duration).
So you can use Xert year round to prepare for specific events (or time of year) adjusting TED as required, or float along in post-event status, or detrain. Your main tools are TED (phase control), IR (ramp rate: hours/intensity), FF (freshness feedback), and Athlete Type (focus duration). All of which are one-click away in XO (Goals). Then it’s a matter of the day to day choices you make based upon XATA recommendations and what you’d like to do each week.]
That is what I thought too but having experienced Xert’s hybrid polar approach now it’s apparent it works well in the 6-8hr/week range. Note the charts I posted above are in that range. I only reached 10hrs recently during post-event.
I think SS definitely gets you there faster but at what cost? Apparently a lot of weekend warriors follow a TR plan blindly and crash. As you determined the best way to use TR is to ignore their plans and do your own thing being careful not to overextend.
The main impetus for posting my experience is to show how Xert works, how flexible it is, how well it works, and that it isn’t hard to learn in spite of what the naysayers claim on the TR forum.
I am not interested in riding hard anymore just comfortably long whenever I want.
I was a little surprised I could ride outdoors for 4+ hours upon completing the progression since none of the indoor rides were more than 2-1/2 hours (most <2). I was a bit squirrely the first time out, but felt fine otherwise. Rode the next day too (short and easy). Now I’m back to my normal schedule riding indoors or out depending on weather, schedule, and XATA recommendations. May start another progression in a month or two and see what happens.
When I first started on Xert (before Sessions existed) it was “Oh no, not Lucy again!”. Now Lucy is one of my favorites as a session workout watching a Bike the World YT video. GCN has some epic gravel rides too. When I tire of cycling videos there’s TED Talks playlists and channels.
My < LTP outdoor rides are in beautiful countryside so going slow is literally a breath of fresh air. Sometimes you just have to stop to fully enjoy it.
Not using Strava anymore. Aren’t their stats subscription based now?
TR have released new ss plans just this week which ties in with their new adaptive (machine learning) training. The AT is in beta right now and rolling out.
If I set a goal 4 months out, Xert predicts a TP increase of 10.6%…that’s a lot less than 38%! Regarding Strava, yes, I think it’s $5 a month. As for long rides outdoors, my bread ‘n’ butter ride is a 30 mi gravel ride. Last week’s ride generated 193 XSS and over 1400 calories burned. I sometimes do 40mi gravel rides, but any longer is just an exercise in how long I can hold a pose. I (my butt) really don’t like being on the bike any longer. I did a 70 miler last year, about a third gravel…I doubt I’ll do it again. It was a beautiful day and I had nothing else to do for the day.
But they don’t take into account outdoor rides, do they? Don’t see how useful that is.
They will when the production version is released. It wouldn’t be any use otherwise. Its still in beta right now but is being rolled out .
Aren’t the predictions moving targets based on where you are at the moment and what you plan to do in the future? I don’t remember what it said on Dec 5 when I started Base but I assume the numbers change with each BT/FS update. Perhaps they narrow as you get closer to TED. When I looked during Peak the prediction was X and when I finished up and had my ending BT during post-event the number achieved was X-4 (not 4% but 4).
In any case I started at X and 4 months later the result was X + 38%.
Perhaps it’s ~10% per month and dependent on ramp rate and whether you can handle the TL.
How accurate are the TP predictions for the training programs? I think mine is way off - General - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)
Blockquote In any case I started at X and 4 months later the result was X + 38%.
I don’t think I’ve ever read of someone raising their TP that much in 4 months, unless they were coming off an injury, or were brand new to cycling.
Okay, it was 37.6%.
It no doubt depends how low the bar drops to when you’re not actively training.
I checked back on my TR plan attempts and found a 24% increase in 13 weeks was the best result.
I’m still a shadow of what I was in my fifties but realize that’s not coming back anytime soon.
You posted a graphic from intervals.icu earlier. How does its eFTP agree with Xert?
This is a really interesting thread and I intend posting a longer reply to it which sums up how I will use Xert going forwards.
I have asked before about user experiences of how they progressed when following Xert recommendations and this is the first reply I can remember seeing. So thanks for that RR.
PS with a 38% increase TR would be inviting you onto their successful athletes podcast - if you had used TR
Mostly I do my Xert workouts at 100%. Sometimes i take it back a few notches, when I feel tired and/or cannot complete an interval.
Great thread by the way RR!
I specially chose Xert for my cycling training. Unfortunately, I have to take into account a brain injury that I suffered in a bicycle accident a few years ago. So it’s very important to me that I am not going to train to hard and deliver my body to much stress.
With Xert I can manage my training stress, so it fits in my life and I can get myself to a nice training level.
If you want to consider my gains as moving from untrained to trained that’s fine by me.
I’m old and when not actively following a training plan my numbers likely decay more than younger folks or anyone competing year-round.
Those in the high-watt club who stay fit are also closer to the ceiling to begin with. Their gains will vary accordingly, but I don’t think I’m unique.
For example, 125 to 175 or 150 to 200+ after 12-16 weeks isn’t uncommon. 250 to 340 would be less likely although I am sure someone out there has done that.
My point is Xert’s hybrid polarized phased progression works well when you follow XATA recommendations, make choices to fit your goals and capabilities, and adjust the knobs and dials as they are designed to work.
Gains will differ by individual but the results may surprise those who have their doubts.
How does intervals.icu estimate of ftp compare with Xert’s? Also, have you done a “reality test” on the TP number that Xert gives you? Fro instance, if Xert says TP is 250w, then are you able to 250w for 20 minutes, or anything close?
Currently 3 pts lower eFTP on icu compared to Xert TP. If I drag icu’s date slider the delta varies up to 10 pts lower. However, TP isn’t FTP and I consider them all -ish numbers anyway.
Each platform has their own algorithms and theories on estimating “FTP”. I think people should choose whichever method they like best and stick with it. Otherwise it’s comparing apples to oranges to plums.
I notice icu expects a single max effort between 180 secs and 30 minutes for their calc. I don’t have that on file for this year. Only one BT workout (v3) has an interval over 180 secs but I use v2 or Under Pressure as my goto BT workout. Perhaps a hill climb smash will suffice in the near future and I’ll recheck the numbers again. However, I don’t compete and am not interested in going back to a 20 min RAMP test if that’s what you’re asking.
I’m only using Xert now as I like their BT event approach and signature decay method to gauge fitness.
Wasn’t suggesting a ramp test, or even a 20min FTP test. Just a “reality check.” If Xert says your TP is X, you have to think you ought to be able to do X for some period of time. I said 20 min because it’s kind of reasonable.
I just got the TR beta invite. I can’t wait to try it! I’m really happy I didn’t cancel my subscription.
No offense, but I don’t get why nobody answers this simple but absolutely relevant question … I also don’t get why one would be so shy whith absolute numbers, especially if one doesn’t compete.
For what it’s worth, my TP is at 255w at 68kg right now (I am on “no decay” though and I feel it might be closer to 265 … anyways, let’s just say Threshold-Zone 250-270) oh, and oh yeah, 8 inches, so there is that … Middle of the pack in all fields
I can hold that 255watts for 1 hour. Well I think I could … haven’t put it to the test, but 40 minutes felt “comfortable” and I could have kept going.
5 mInutes (320) and 20 Minutes (275) is spot on and field tested several times. So for me, the Xert power duration curve is spot on.
UPDATE: Still lingering around 4 stars since ending the TED progression back in April.
I was at Slow IR briefly then switched to Maintenance as I don’t have the time or desire to increase TL. Stayed in post-event phase (due to expired TED) then changed to Challenge for 30 days when that option was added to ATP and switched Athlete type from Climber to Puncheur. That resulted in a slight bump in TP to the predicted number from my original indoor experiment. That number can be 5 pts higher than intervals.icu estimates (typically after a BT event) to matching icu after a week or so of decay. So basically I am at my ceiling for this season without upping TL or experimenting with block periodization.
Currently on Continuous ATP at 4 stars which IME presents you with more challenging workouts day to day (similar to Peak phase). I occasionally switch Athlete type.
I’ve shifted to mostly outdoor rides with indoor relegated to rainy days which sometimes end up as a day off leading to more blue and occasionally green form. If the workouts look too tough I often free ride to recommended Focus instead (a skill worth learning). Other rides are easy/easy (4-6 hours) or easy/hard (2-3 hours).
Although my TP is hovering, I have gotten stronger week after week confirmed by PR’s on Strava and a bump in HIE.
This image is from the monthly stats recap email from Strava for August –
I have a question @ridgerider2, @ManofSteele @xertedbrain . I’m currently in the base phase( day 28 of 120, Gc Specialist, Moderate-1 IR) with current weekly hours of 10,6. And projected weekly hours at the end of the full phase 13,9 or so at the moment. With the current condition in my country, i can’t do much outdoor riding, so I committed to do all of the phases indoor, 100% following XATA workout. Last week the weekly hours was about 11, i follow 100% workout from XATA. But, at the end of the week, my total weekly hours (that all of them are XATA recommendation workout) doesn’t meet the weekly hours target from Adaptive Training Program (9hr38min). Because of that, this week’s weekly hours came down to 10,6. If i keep doing this, how can i increase my TL or weekly hours? Am I supposed to do a long ride outdoor ride if the XATA doesn’t provide long enough workout to meet the weekly hours at the end of the week? At the start of the phase, my projected weekly hours was 15hour or so. Now the weekly hours is 13,9. I train 6 days a week. With restday on monday.
Don’t worry about hitting exact numbers. The hours/week projection is flexible by design.
IR is your current ramp rate which sets a weekly progression but you don’t need to match those numbers. Some weeks you may stay close. Others you won’t.
You can also change IR at any time as your schedule or recovery form dictates. So if you’ve taken on too much you can dial it down to Slow for a bit then back up when ready to resume a higher rate. The pacer needle and estimated hours will change accordingly.
Ideally you want to keep the pacer needle in the 11am-1pm position but that can waver depending on your weekly schedule and time you have available to train.
TL is a combination of hours and intensity. Indoors you are also compressing time requirements since the same XSS effort typically takes longer to accumulate outdoors (due to uneven power output). A 1 hour indoor effort may take 90 minutes to match outdoors.
Take a look at my Progression/XPMC chart showing TL year-to-date –
You can see where my Mod-2 IR was active from Jan to my TED in April. That was my exclusive indoor training period. There was a point during the latter half of Build when I felt “stretched” and was ready to lower IR for a week, but I recovered and stuck with same rate.
After I reached my TED I migrated outdoors and lowered IR to Slow for a bit then shifted to Maintenance.by end of May. I have remained there since that is the max hours I am willing to commit. Some weeks I hit that goal (4 stars >= 110 TL) but other times I waver below. Notice how I have gotten uneven in daily activities starting in June. The needle has dropped into the red on occasion but I often push it back up with one long weekend ride. You can see my long rides interspersed with more days off during the weeks since June. Compare that to my consistent 6 days/week indoor training during Jan-Apr.
Keep in mind you shouldn’t worry about making up a deficit since XATA is based on a rolling seven day period. Any deficit/surplus is absorbed into the next seven day cycle. You may be off one week and back on schedule the next. Overall you are still on target to achieve your progression goal but it may take longer to reach max hours/week.
In the next month or so I will switch to Taper or Off-Season to scale things down and take some time off. Then I’ll start a new cycle of training in late Nov/early Dec beginning with 4-6 hours/week indoors.
Others’ TL charts may resemble a roller coaster ride during their year. YMMV
Beginner’s Guide: Improvement Rate – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
Training Status and Form – Xert (baronbiosys.com)