Been trying Xert in an attempt to have a training program that is more amenable to the way I train (5 month old baby, squeeze in outdoors whenever possible and trainer during naps). Usually with trainer road and usual plans I fizzle out once I miss a few workouts while on mountain bike trips or traveling.
I’ve had it set to slow and have generally ranged 5-9 hours of training. What I’m confused by is seemingly large increases in required xss. Yesterday I was a surplus of 30ish, now I’m at a deficit of 128? The last two weeks I’ve put in some strong efforts time wise and effort wise, but that doesn’t seem consistent with xss on continuous I’ve been expecting.
I’ve really investigated the forums blogs and YouTube’s, but the information is so scattered and the xert interface is so opaque. As someone who isn’t a stranger to the concepts, I’m really struggling with the rationale with xert.
The jumps in required XSS are because the training adviser tries to ensure your training load over the last rolling 7 days is enough to ramp your training load by as much as expected (1 per week if on continuous with slow ramp). The jump is because a big ride you did 8 days ago has dropped out of the 7-day window
The above is how it figures out your weekly patterns (I think), but if your weekly patterns are highly variable the daily recommended XSS may not fit your availability.
I’d simply suggest you use the workout filter to select your workouts based on availability, and not to be constrained by the daily recommendations e.g. if you have 45 min, filter for that and do the workout even if it’s less than you ‘need’, but also the opposite if you have a spare 3 hours - doesn’t matter if you are temporarily ‘ahead’ of ‘plan’.
The training adviser will still pick workouts that suit your targeted focus wherever possible, just with different durations. And if you are doing too much intensity you’ll still get recommended endurance…and if doing too much absolutely you’ll be recommended recovery…
i only look at weekly xss since my daily xss is highly variable as what @wescaine said…
Appreciate the advice. Was hoping it was able to be a bit more clever in trying to maintain a specific level of growth vs what was done the previous week. Back to total XSS per week or TSS is a good suggestion!
Continuous ATP is similar to peak phase with recommendations around your selected Athlete Type and calculated form. See this post: Continuous Improvement. How to use it to improve - General - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)
5-9 hours is a significant variation from one week to the next versus steadily increasing TL over time per ramp rate setting. You could flip between rates if you’ll be up one week and down the next and the pacer needle will adjust accordingly. Or leave at Maintenance (0) and realize why the needle will waver.
No need to worry about closing deficits or chasing TSS numbers in Xert.
If you want to maintain a specific level of growth set the rate >0 and keep the needle between 11am and 1pm position. Otherwise ride what your schedule allows on a weekly basis.
While XSS is tabulated weekly (Mon-Sun), the Training Pacer operates on a rolling weighted-average over 7 days.
Honestly I think that we are missing a good tutorial on how to use the planner and weekly Stats menu. Once you understand weekly stats use with the planner, Xert understanding will be peanuts…
This guys has some decent videos where he plays around with the planner. I suggest you watch them to fully understand how Xert operates and how YOU can schedule your workouts efficiently with the help on Xert (auto training selection in the planner_planner menu). Don’t forget to check your Ramp rate in the weekly stats and align it with your improvement rate (under goals).
Really appreciate your thoughts. As a new user, here’s the things from the product that don’t align with what I read here and in this thread (generalized):
“don’t worry about closing the xss gap” lm not sure how to interpret this when the number of hours isn’t prominent and the gauge says training is required. If it’s not a measure to keep up with the selected progression, what’s the point?
I have a better grasp of the recommended workout now, but I think the way xert is billed as an adaptive training program makes this misleading. Doesn’t adapt relative to the time selected for the week, just xss relative to the previous rolling 7 days. Seems to be a select your own adventure (which is totally fine!) instead of an adaptive training plan.
When you load this up, you instantly think to keep the xss in surplus and that xert wants you to do the recommended routine. Have mixed feelings about it so far while enjoying the workouts.
This after several hours of forum browsing and YouTube watching!
I think this is not quite correct. The recommended weekly XSS is based on your ramp rate (which you adjust based on hours) and training load (weighted average daily XSS over 60 days). It’s not just increasing vs the last 7 days. The daily advice is what you need based on the rolling 7 days though I.e. what do you need today so that your 7 day average covers your TL + ramp rate
As an aside, my earlier suggestions for selecting workouts were really in your specific case, as I understand your weekly hours varies, as does your daily availability, likely without consistency of days you have more time week to week. In that case it’s easier to just filter for a workout of appropriate duration rather than try adjust ramp rates and weekly hours etc. (You can still adjust ramp rate week to week, just don’t see it adds much other than changing where the arrow points… what matters in the end is how much training and overload you apply, not whether the arrow looks ‘on track’ with a decreasing ramp rate for example)
I think Xert’s ‘adaptive training advisor’ means it adapts its recommendation for today to what you actually did in the recent past. As opposed to a plan that tells you what to do for the future without any regards to whether you do it or if life interferes and keeps you from sticking to the plan.
Xert is not meant as a tool to plan the future, it is meant to tell you at any given moment what might be a good training now, if you want to train now. As long as you in turn tell it what you’d like to achieve (ramp rate, athlete type, date for a race) and how you are feeling (freshness feedback).
And it uses all the training and commuting and fun rides with friends and races and whatever else you did yesterday and the days and weeks before in a scientifically useful way to recommend something suitable for right now whenever you feel like training and have some time. It assumes a weekly pattern and tries to learn yours, so if you regularly do long rides on Sundays it will recommend long rides on Sundays in the future but you can filter for time since it can’t know how long you have or are willing to train and then it finds something that helps you towards your goal with whatever time there is.
Rinse and repeat tomorrow or the day after or whenever the next time you want to train and that’s how it works as best as possible given all the relevant circumstances.
This is a great post!
Its so hard to explain Xert and there are thousands of ways to use it. I like to think that Xert is an alter-ego that does not GAF what you do but its there saying “hey, you should do this today - how much time do you have?”
You really have to re-program your brain from the normal training process that has been so engrained to us before.
The thing I struggle with and so do other users is to know how “much” time I need to give it every week to keep up with my ramp rate and I simply look at my XSS and divide by 60. This gives me a rough idea so I can stick extra time here or find another day etc.
The other issue that is up to debate is proper ramp rate and overload… I.E if I know I can only give 7hrs a week, should I ramp up to a final product of 7-hrs a week or should I change my ramp so it always indicates 7-hrs a week. Last season I did the former, I was literally doing some 3-4hr weeks in the beginning, but I did not experience burn out this year and had great power numbers… So confusing yes.
It is a moving target, so that’s not perfect and I think some 5-star and really high volume guys reported that doesn’t work but process and data are questionable for them.
Daily/weekly XSS is a relative range, not an exact number you must accomplish each day.
If you are accustomed to TSS tables you could treat the deficit that way if that’s what you prefer, but deficit/surplus is simply pts either side of the Noon position. Anything you do that maintains a position between 11am and 1pm on the Training Pacer achieves the purpose based on the progression rate you set. You might be down at the start of a week and back up by the end (ex, long rides on weekends).
You can see estimated weekly hours by dragging the ATP slider on the Training page.
There is no single recommended workout. There is a list of recommendations including the default list, plus alternate recommended lists when you use Filter or change Duration. The top four entries are closest match by suitability and duration.
The XSS number for the day ranges from deficit/surplus versus what you’ve done on same day of week in recent past. For example, the deficit might be 88 pts today when you usually accumulate 120. You decide if your schedule permits more or less and what you’d like to do (indoor, outdoor, virtual). A surplus means you could skip a day and remain on target.
You can follow XATA religiously (if you prefer being told what to do) or be flexible and make your own decisions within the guidelines presented (as you learn what to do).
XATA adapts whatever you decide whether you rigidly follow the advice or go off-script on occasion or mix things up on purpose. That is the epitome of adaptive training and why you don’t need a calendar-based plan with pre-defined workouts weeks in advance. The “plan” logic is running in background based on the settings you configure (and re-configure) and what you decide to do (or not do).
I suggest re-watching the Academy series videos after a month or so as things begin to fall into place (aha moments). I’ve watched them all numerous times to reinforce what I thought I knew and discover what I missed. You are learning to train with a new methodology and some unique components. Your XPMC chart lets you know how you’re doing.
for me is simple, i just look at weekly xss, then i will know how much to cater in order to hit it. e.g in slow improvement rate, this week at the end of sunday is 800xss. And my saturday outdoor group ride, i usually will get around 180xss. And sunday, i just don’t want to ride that much, probably around 100xss(below LTP, 1hr 30mins for indoor).
So, i will left with 520xss to spread from Mon - Fri, during this period, i try to reach as near or exceed 520xss, so that i don’t need to push extra hard for Sat or Sun. But sometime due to work which only able to hit 400xss or lesser by friday, then no choice but to ride alot more for Sat and Sun to close down or no choice but to let it have negative Ramp Rate. Then the following week, try again to have positive ramp rate.
The OP was mentioning the planner, you should maybe go take a closer look, as it literally lets you plan the future! I have workouts out through December right now, all mapped out, and Xert shows what it thinks my progression will be. You can either go through and just pick the suggested workout, or scroll through recommended workouts, or drag and drop favorites that you’ve added or previous workouts.
And if you need to change things around, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping stuff around. Can’t do that long ride today, but maybe can swap days with the hard workout for tomorrow? 2 quick moves on the calendar itself. I"m constantly find tuning based on unexpected changes in schedule, weather, how I feel.
I think it’s one of the best features of Xert.
Been using Xert for about a year now. Here’s my thoughts after extensive use:
Xert was hard to get started with and understand. The learning curve is steep and is probably running a lot of potential users off. I feel that it puts a lot of decisions on the user that are not well-documented or explained (i.e. rider-type is everything). TrainerRoad has much better onboarding and explanations of what they are doing (despite it’s many flaws, which brought me here).
I think Xert would benefit from more “autoscheduling” that will plan out your season with suggested workouts and then adaptively adjust your workouts once you complete an activity. I feel like I am constantly “managing Xert” rather than getting clear guidance on what to do next.
The interface needs some work too, which hopefully the team is delivering as part of their big update. The mobile web experience is difficult to use and I have to use a laptop or desktop to use the site. Where most people are using phones these days to browse the web, I think there should be more mobile usability esp. given that many of us are doing workouts with mobile devices. The Progression Chart needs to be simplified and less cluttered with some options to hide datapoints (too many datapoints on one chart = hard to actually get to the “point” of what we really need to see).
I think one of Xert’s weaknesses is the use of propriety metrics that aren’t explained well compared to more classic PMC type metrics that most people have used in TrainerRoad, TrainingPeaks, or Golden Cheetah (all of which are eaier to use, IMO). And I think the only place you can get your “CTL/Form” is by hovering a mouse over the XPMC chart…
Just some thoughts.