Recovery Question


I am a relatively new Xert user (about a year). I’ve taken my time in learning the Xert platform, but there is one part this is puzzling for me.

A single suprathreshold workout tells me that I am tired (yellow) for 7 to 10 days in the planner with no future workouts scheduled. I don’t understand why. My form is 20+. I have my XPMC set to the defaults (PP and HIE 22/12, TP 60/5). My freshness feedback is set to 0. This worked great for me all base season, but now that I am build It isn’t working so well.

Currently, I set my freshness feedback to 15 in order to get 1-2 higher intensity workouts a week with the remaining workouts all endurance. I take 1-2 recovery days a week (usually 1). I take a lower volume and intensity week once a month. Am I using the system incorrectly or am I missing something fundamental? Help! :slight_smile:


It’s because Xert tracks form separately for low, vs high and peak… as soon as high and peak form goes negative you get yellow status, which doesn’t mean take a break, it just suggests to ride endurance.

The chart here explains it

If you’ve followed XATA recommendations closely during base phase, your high and peak training load will be near zero, so it doesn’t take much to go deeply negative. It’s something I think could be improved actually

If you want more intensity during the week, eg 2 days, you can do as you’re doing (though be careful with the slider, as larger changes also increase difficulty as well as allowing you to get the focus you want… that could be more intensity than you want… just monitor how you feel), or just use the workout filter to select the focus you want for a given day

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There is a wide range of “endurance” workouts in Xert from < LTP to plenty of time spent in tempo to threshold and even above.
A workout classified as Endurance (3:00:00) is vastly different than Endurance (15:00+).
To fully grasp this range, go to the Workout Library, change Sort By to Difficulty, Descending, select Filter, set Focus to Endurance, and Apply Filter.
Note the “hard” endurance entries listed. Now change to Ascending and note “easy” endurance.

Recommendations will depend upon your status stars count to diamond difficulty count, your selected Athlete Type, and calculated form. You can boost intensity by picking the hardest endurance workout from recommended lists (including Load More) or use Filter to find one to your liking.
During a TED progression your selected Athlete Type will affect selections as you move from Build to Peak.

As to using the system “correctly”, IME Xert works best when you experiment like you are doing including occasional use of the slider. Your XPMC chart will track the results and confirm you are on course to improve.

As an example, yesterday I was supposed to ride outdoors easy but I decided to do 60 secs On/Off up to TP with 60% RIBs during a two-hour ride. Technically that’s endurance in Xert if you don’t go above TP. While that’s impractical outdoors on rolling terrain, I kept it pretty close during the first hour against the wind. However, on the way back the wind factor had me feeling frisky. Those 60 sec efforts started climbing well above TP. Then I added a 90 sec max effort on a short rise near the end.
Result: Difficult Mixed Breakaway Specialist Ride, next 7 days of yellow on the Planner, plus a minor BT. :smiley:
Will I heed that advice? For a day or two but then it will depend how I feel.
I just entered Peak phase and am feeling pretty good. It’s likely I’ll use the slider to go blue during the upcoming week. If I end up picking something too tough, I’ll switch to Slope mode and do my best to push through it.

It is a balancing act between interpreting XATA guidelines against how you feel (physiological recovery versus the math) and what you would like to do.
Today XATA suggests a 3-hour long Lucy like I did last Saturday. It’s raining and that sounds good to me. However, I’ll stop around 2 hours since my current deficit is only 64 pts and I don’t feel like sitting on my butt for 3 hours. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: YMMV

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

I’ve been thinking about this some more as well. Maybe we can adjust the minimum High/Peak TL to some value greater than 0… Hmm

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… or maybe set the high and peak form threshold for ‘tired’ at some negative level or %… or maybe some negative % of overall TL? Some logic that your ability to recover from high intensity improves with overall TL, not just high and peak…?

Thank you for the feedback. It is very much appreciated.

I had a chance to look and you’re correct. My peak and high training loads have been near zero. My peak TL is still low, my high TL is increasing through my build phase. They track well to the workout progression I have been doing.

Id have to do some research on that - not sure if that’s actually the case, or if there is evidence that suggests that more HIIT improves the body’s ability to recover from it.

Thought that was the premise of base phase in a traditional periodisation approach?

Also quoted on the Xert site…

Base Phase
The primary focus of the base phase is to develop your low-intensity training load, which helps your Threshold Power . This becomes important, since having a deep aerobic base will allow you to recover faster from high-intensity training later in the program