Should XATA/FCAI prescribe threshold training explicitly?

LIke it or not, that’s still what many coaches do: Explicitly prescribing sweet spot or threshold intervals with the goal to increase the ability to sustain time at that power with the simple rationale that especially for longer events, it’s just the power you need to put out for a long time to keep up with the field.

Xert seems to be a bit split on this. On one hand if you look at proposed workouts (at least in earlier training phases and given sufficient freshness), you often see examples with work at SS or threshold power.

One the other hand this appears rather random, i.e., without any aparent objective to structurally increase the time you can sustain at such power.
And also, as XATA/FCAI are designed to “only” consider low/high/peak strain, SS/threshold is not an existing category for them. I.e., both might tell you to do an endurance ride and that’s more defined by “stay up to LTP”.

So that’s a) a bit contradictive and b) not made to train your ability to endure “race pace”.

I wonder why is that and if there are any plans to change that?

I am planning to take part in a longer gravel event in September and the reason I am not using XATA or FCAI to prepare is that I don’t want to experience race pace the first time ever when it counts.

Happy about all opinions or experiences above “Just do polarized becaue…” :slight_smile:


Without knowing what the rationale is behind Xert training, I’m just a user as well, I have noticed this too.

I had one ‘plan’ that pretty much said ride high intensity once a week, and do a dozen hours not above lower threshold power, which I couldn’t find a rationale for. The without changing anything (that I know of) I then got the majority of my workouts being HIIT (including back to back days) and I couldn’t fathom what the plan was at all. Still using the charts for now though as I carry on trying to work out if this platform works for a MTB’er who like to climb hills and and do occasional long rides with intermittent big efforts.

For what it’s worth re your question, the most progress I made was when I included at least one workout per week of over an hour, primarily working in that threshold ‘range’, as long as I put the other hours in.
That hour meant I was uncomfortable for a continuous long’ish period, and my lungs benefitted

I’ve noticed this as well, but then also noticed that if I have three Low Intensity Workouts in a row that if I look at the recommended workouts one may be a LT1 ride, but the others have sweet spot workouts recommended (remember sweet spot is still ‘only’ endurance and low intensity in XERT). I actually have this scenario Tuesday-Thursday this week. The first has a LT1 workout recommended (Lucy in the sky with diamonds 120), but the other two have 4x15 minute sweet spot workouts recommended.

It’s one of the issues that I’ve had with Xert. Whilst I may be progressing the amount of XSS required/ridden each week, the length of time that I can hold a certain power (such as sweetspot) doesn’t seem to increase. The workout recommendations seem to be to repeat 3 x 20 an awful lot, not totally sure that improves anything for me other than accumulating XSS.

When I used to race TTs, I found that by progressing the interval lengths (or shortening the recovery time) I became much more comfortable at sustaining an effort. I also like to be able to see that progression each week, rather than just increasing XSS.

I suppose, you could always use Xert to guide your XSS requirements and build your own workouts, which is what I ended up doing, but then realised that if I was going to do that I may as well just go the whole hog and self coach, which is what I’m doing now.

I would as well, if I’d have the slightest idea about coaching :slight_smile: