Fantastic website Xert is. Very new to it and enjoying playing about with the features. I do like the numbers, it’s almost game-like.
Where I am
I have been cycling indoor since October 2021, started experimenting with outdoor last year and currently mix indoor/outdoor. I have joined my local group rides and can keep up at a good level (for my experience), we average 19-20mph in a rolling hills area. The group above this are more 22mph avg.
I do not have an outdoor power meter and so rely heavily on RPE which I find more accurate than heart rate. I tested my all-out effort over a 27mile loop and averaged 20.2mph which I am extremely happy with. I have a 2022 Giant TCR with 404 Firecrest Zipps, I’ve plenty of room to grow with it fitness wise.
In terms of the curve, I am a power dominant guy. 6ft 1in, a fairly lean 79kg. I can hit over 1200w sprints and around about 600w 1min power if I paced it right. I get weaker as the efforts get longer. Approx 3.3-3.4w/kg FTP.
I just had completed Alpe De Zwift in 58mins which was an all out effort.
Where I am Going
I train for fun and competition with myself to get my levels further up the charts. I do not have plans for outdoor racing (I’d quite like to keep my body injury free), indoor racing on Zwift is likely this winter.
Also, reaching higher Threshold power is a goal as it’ll significantly raise my outdoor avg speed, maybe I’ll jump up a group level in time.
I am using Xert parameters to be “Continuous” instead of “Target Event”. Agree this is good decision?
I am chosen my focus on GC Specialist to get a mix of everything including shorter and longer efforts. Good decision?
My Threshold power keeps dropping when I do not make breakthroughs which bugs me a little as every time I take a ramp test I am making a new high FTP, so in my head I am thinking the Optimal Decay is pushing my workout intensity down more and more the further away I get from my last test date.
Say i tested at 267w FTP, then a few weeks later my workouts are based around a 255w FTP but in all likelyhood my fitness has actually grown. Does this make sense?
You may care to switch to a less aggressive decay mode, however adding a power meter to your outdoor setup may solve your issue anyway. IMHO with your nice bike/wheel setup and ADZ sub-60 capability, you can probably justify a £300 PM Without that, your numbers will never quite join up. You may have had several BT’s on your outdoor rides that would show your signature improving. Your training load is also (more) accurately represented together with form/tiredness etc.
I’m on Continuous (slow) and GC Specialist as I don’t have a target event currently: it’s not as structured as TED, no training blocks and will effectively just keep increasing your time in the saddle, which may prove unsustainable after a while. I consider it my “summer” mode when training blocks don’t really fit in with my group & social rides, and will be moving back to a TED at the end of summer.
I agree with you on the power meter. It’s something I need to get fitted. Would be nice to see the Power output when the group decides to go all out competitive chaingang to the finish.
I’ve just bought into a Franchise and so free cash is tight right now so it’ll have to wait to treat myself.
I think I’ll be doing similar to yourself after the summer season and start a base plan from around October. I’m currently on Moderate1 at 9-10hrs per week but it won’t be long until I’m pushing that down to slow.
It will be a good idea to set a TED at some point – even if imaginary – to see how a phased progression works. You can shorten the TED to move between phases (45 days in Base, 45 in Build, 30 in Peak with a Taper week).
Ultimately peak fitness is about periodization and progressive overload constrained by the hours you can invest in your training.
I don’t normally compete but set a TED at start of winter to peak by late April, then go Continuous at whatever hours my schedule allows. This year I signed up for an event in August and set that as my second TED for the year.
Yes, but also feel free to experiment on-the-fly by using Filter. For example, show me sprint workouts today. Xert adapts to whatever you decide to do.
As @robt notes, you can lower the decay setting ranging from Optimal (stepped changes through more frequent BTs) down to No Decay (TL only matched). Xert’s Magic Setting – Signature Decay – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
Keep in mind Xert is a 3-level strain model (low, high, peak) and your numbers are in constant flux. For training purposes your TP is a close range rather than an exact number. If you are in the right ballpark, you’re good to go.
Also, no need for those traditional RAMP tests unless you like doing them.
Use search to locate “fitness test” entries in the workout library. They won’t show up on recommended lists but you can pick one whenever you want. Ride it in slope mode using gears/cadence and exceed target/duration where able. The goal is to measure max efforts under fatigue with MPA drawn down. Hard, but easier than RAMP or 20-minute tests. Breaking Through the Xert Way! – Xert (baronbiosys.com)
If you have lots of power/HR/cadence data on file, you can enable HRDM under Account Settings and your outdoor rides will be quantified by difficulty, specificity, focus, and estimated strain score. Close enough to establish TL numbers for sig calcs but as @robt notes you’ll miss out on any BTs you may be achieving outdoors.
Tracking cadence improves the accuracy of HRDM. Click here for an inexpensive option.
I used Trainerroad last winter which followed a phased progression and to be honest it bored the hell out of me. I understand that periodization optimizes training, but being a recreationally rider I needed more variety such as Zwift events or Wahoo (Sufferfest) videos.
Although one big thing I learnt. Hours on bike make the biggest difference, no matter how good your programme is.
What has appealed to me about Xert is that it can be a planner, but it also can be used to monitor all types of riding and efforts, not just those specific to a certain platform.
Now I can monitor my effort across multiple varieties indoor/outdoor/virtual and receive daily feedback on recommendations for the next ride. It’s brilliant!
It’s brilliant that I can do a zone 2 group ride on Zwift with some sprint segments and achieve breakthroughs, similar to pushing hard for longer efforts in a race environment.
After a fabulous gold breakout last week (Xert has taught me I have not been training hard enough), I have now moved the goal to Maintain for the rest of this week.
My question is this… I leave home on Sunday for 2 weeks to get my new franchise business training package underway. I will return home on the weekends, however the rest of the time I will not be cycling at all. Do I now choose “Off-season”? what do I do with my decay level?