Thoughts after my free trial

We’ll times up. TL;DR I subscribed for another month.

Longer version. I felt my estimated TP was quite a bit low in the free time period. I’m in the off season now so the rides that were suggested were mostly just easy endurance. Never anything that would give me a shot at a breakthrough. I purposely did one of the hardest workouts available this last week and I turned it up to 105% and I still breezed through it. That’s ok though, like I said I’m in the off season anyway and am just playing around with options for next year real training and season.

Anyway, after paying for the next month I was able to import the rest of this year prior to the 3 month trial limit. The system recalculated me about 12W higher TP. Takeaway: I think I just need to do some hard workouts and let the system learn my ability. Right now probably isn’t that important for me to do super hard efforts though.

I like the flexibility to change your goal and athlete type and improvement rate but I need more time to actually try that when I’m really trying to improve. That’ll start in December. I still have questions on rest weeks and event planning, two things that TR did auto. Time to work that out though I guess. First event end of February.

I like the workouts (so far). I like the 80/20 polarization philosophy. I’ll. really like it if it starts telling me I’m getting better :joy:.

Hi there. Ex TR user here too.

Others will chime in with other thoughts, but here are a few pointers to get you started

  1. Xert is very much data driven. And although you can import all past rides it will take the system a few weeks to know you… and more importantly you know what means what.

2 Xert is not based on a pre-dertemined calendar. Things happen and your plan is being made on the go.

3 Because of point 2, Xert will never schedule a rest week. Instead it will advise you to rest… or you just rest when you feel that you need.

  1. On the “Goals” tab you can specify the date of your event. Our just choose continuous improvement. You can match your event type to the athlete type so that you do a more specific training.

Good luck

I think I get the rest part of it. Just haven’t gone through that myself yet. I did notice under the improvement rate if you choose aggressive 2 the description says you’d need to take a rest week. That seemed to conflict with the idea that rest would be suggested.

I’m also ok just doing continuous improvement because I have events starting in February and there isn’t really a way to map base/build/special 120 day blocks over events that are 1 a month. Plus, I don’t really want to do that now at the very beginning of the season, which is one of my complaints about TR. the result burning me out before the end of the season.

Thanks for the input!

XATA also won’t schedule breakthrough workouts but will warn you with (!) triangle below status stars if your signature becomes stale (no BT events in over 3 weeks). That means you should force the issue when form is blue/green (fresh) by selecting a BT workout from the library and riding it in slope mode. Go ahead an exceed targets if able (without blowing up) then ride to failure with a stand-up sprint (5-7 secs minimum) at end of the long interval just before you collapse. That will ensure signature validation. :slight_smile:

Not sure you stumbled onto this thread when you began your trial but lots of tips here –
Beginner questions - Support - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)

If interested in my experience with a full progression cycle see this thread –
Pre-Base to TED; 120+ days; 100% recommended workouts completed at 100% difficulty - General - Xert Community Forum (xertonline.com)

Best way to learn Xert is to experiment as you have been doing, adjusting all the knobs and dials to see what they do. :slight_smile:

Interesting. Yes I did see those threads thanks. So your 2nd threads you talk about just doing the recommended workout. You’d never get a breakthrough opportunity unless they choose a different workout? i.e., you always did the recommended workout unless you got the stale warning, in which case you manually chose a workout with a breakthrough opportunity? Just making sure I got that right.

If that’s the case, suppose you just use outdoor rides/races for BT opportunities and always stick to recommended workouts instead?

One thing I’m looking at w/ recommended workouts now that I’ve subscribed… there is the auto selected one, but there are MANY alternates to choose from. Like so many that it seems you can just about do whatever you want. Are they ordered in any way to make sense of them? It appears as I scroll through the list to be loosely ordered by difficulty rating, but there are a lot of exceptions to that.

Correct.
Those who prefer an extended Base period without signature validation can choose to set decay method to No Decay (under Account Settings, Profile) in which case signature calculation is based purely on changes in TL. This assumes you are confident in your current signature numbers. If not, validate with a BT workout before changing the decay method. Also make sure to change back to Optimal Decay when you reach Build phase.

You may indeed experience BT events “organically” during your normal hard group rides or races. BT workouts may not be needed, but it’s a good idea to try a few over time to see how they work and which ones are your favorite to do.
This article describes the different ways to achieve BTs –
Breaking Through the Xert Way! – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

Auto-select checkbox randomly selects from the top four entries shown by default.
I prefer to choose my own path so leave auto-select disabled.
The top four workouts are closest in suggested XSS strain and focus for today inline with your current training load status (ex. 2 stars = 2 diamonds).
Load More gives you a full list of twenty options that vary further as you go down the list. However, depending on your goals any are viable options to keep you on track.

Consider flagging workouts/rides as favorites as you come across them. If you decide to use the Planner in the future those favorites can be dragged and dropped onto the days you plan to ride them. But with Xert you always have a choice. :wink:

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This line of comments comes from my understanding of the marketing for Xert, which includes things like “Never take an FTP test again.” I guess it’s still true as BT workouts aren’t technically FTP tests. :smiley:

I see on the web where you’re talking about the workouts and “Load More”. My earlier comment I made after looking at the mobile app on iOS. IT just scrolls and scrolls on the “Recommended Workouts”. I take it to mean that the further you scroll down, they aren’t really that recommended any longer.

Xert will sort every single workout that you have access to (including personal & coach workouts) when recommending workouts. So you’re correct, you can scroll and scroll and scroll for a long time, but you’ll like reach the workouts that aren’t necessarily ‘ideal’ for you.

There is some logic behind how Xert determines which workouts are “best” for you (as @ridgerider2 already alluded to), such as how many stars you have in your profile, how long you typically train that day of the week, your current XSS surplus/deficit, etc.

Most riders have enough hard efforts in their data (group rides, Zwift rides/races, or hard solo rides) that they may not need to do a dedicated BT workout/effort. In fact, BT’s can occur organically in your weekly training data. This is especially true most of the outdoor riding months.

This is what I’m hoping for. I’m definitely be doing some zwift events and the then some outdoor events will come when it’s warming up.

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I usually use this page to select a workout:
https://www.xertonline.com/workouts
It has a recommended column at the end and you can sort by this.
And sometimes I just do whatever I feel like doing and Xert adjusts the recommendation for the next days based on what I did. It’s an adaptive training advisor, not a training plan.

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That’s my biggest reason for moving forward. I like to ride all over random :joy:

XERT works quite when being used as a training planner. There are however a few minor changes that could make it much better for this.

  1. In the planner, past rides could have the XSS displayed in the calendar instead of having to click on each ride to view the XSS.
  2. The calendar could have a weekly summary column that has total XSS and ramp rate shown without having to flick over to the weekly stats tab all the time
  3. I’d love to be able to choose the improvement rate for each week as a block.
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Thanks for your feedback, Rohan!

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As @ManofSteele mentions some users won’t need BT workouts as they regularly trigger BT events on their own such as with ZRL on Zwift, or wind-up to a county line sprint during a fast group ride, a solo a hill climb with a max effort and sprint effort at the top.
For those who do need to validate their signature on occasion the shortest BT workout is 32 minutes long with total high intensity time around 10 minutes. The effort required is nothing like a traditional RAMP or 20 minute FTP test. You can kick those old-school methods to the curb. :smiley:

Also consider the flip side. Apps like TR rely on a scheduled FTP test to evaluate where you’re at. They don’t necessarily apply decay and as you train more the assumption is your number will rise but you must test periodically to confirm results.
Xert, however, calculates signature changes after every activity or lack of activity (accelerated decay). This ensures you are always in a ready state to validate your fitness signature whenever those max efforts under fatigue occur.

This points out a hurdle some cyclists new to the Xert experience.
“Watta ya mean my FTP went down?!! How can that be?!! I’ve been training!!!” :angry:
Other platforms don’t make it apparent any FTP calculation is an estimate of an estimate in a state of flux. Xert makes that evident from day one but some freak out because they never questioned the periodic RAMP test method.
As you learn to ride the rainbow gauge in Xert the BT event challenge becomes a game you can play. There is always a potential to test yourself whenever MPA is drawn down. Even a fakethrough (near breakthrough) is confirmation your signature is dialed in. :+1:

Reference –
Xert’s Magic Setting – Signature Decay – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

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Ok, so in light of these BT statements, I did a route on Zwift this morning where I just rode myself without doing a workout. Yeah, BT on the second big spring section.

Question: the planner already said I was tired because I had a ride yesterday as well. Now it still says I’m tired but it shows I’ll be tried for the next week! I feel like that might be a little conservative. Is this a good example of when one might change the freshness setting? Or if I choose a more aggressive IR would it take into consideration that I am training more and not mark me as tired for so long.

The planner might need a guide as to your starting point of freshness/tiredness. Adjust the slider to how. You currently feel and it should recalibrate your workouts.
In 4 years I have had to adjust the slider once after the initial setting.

Do you mean you adjusted it once and left it at a non zero setting or you set it once and it adapted and then you set it back to zero?

Sorry to be unclear. My freshness setting always matched how I felt. However after a few bad weeks it got out of sync and showed me as tired when I felt fine. I adjusted the slider to make me look fresher and it has been accurate ever since.
In fact it very rarely shows me as tired and indeed I am rarely tired as I plan my workouts well.

Ok makes sense.

I’ll leave it where I adjusted it to unless my real tiredness isn’t represented any longer. I’m learning how it’s totally fine to adjust sliders and things all the time though.

Looking Xert more and more each week.

Xert, the gift that keeps on giving.

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