Training Advice to change plans

I am new to exert and still finding my feet. I have no coach and are trying to guide my self on diffrent event.

so far exert only allows to set one goal per time. and as long as you keep your athlete type the same it will try and recommend training based on your athlete type. I am not so sure if Xert can recommend when to change these goal, like when to move one program to another(maintenance)

I have a big event i am planing to do at the end of the Year. a gravel race of 372km, there is mini events in-between that will take up its own training phase. however the question is to peak for the event at the end of the year.

If anybody can assist in guiding me how to set up my exert training phases in order to be successful it would be highly appreciated.

First step is to confirm your athlete type which for a gravel race of that length would be century rider or triathlete; both could fit well in my opinion. Then set the date of the event. It would be great if you could give us your Cycling background and experience, it would help setting progression rate,etc. Do you have enough data to be confident about your fitness signature? Finally I would not worry too much about the B events at this stage.

Hi Jean-Yves, firstly thank you for the advice. how do i share the data with you. my fitness on exert should be sync with xert.

Kind Regards

I also saw on the forums somewhere to set a goal for every three months or so. since the event more than 6 months away what progression rate do you suggest and would you advice sorter dates( as the B events includes some road racing)

There’s a couple ways that you can handle it. One way would be to leave the Target Event Date for your gravel race at the end of the year and “train through” your mini events prior. Alternatively, you can set the TED for each smaller activity, train for it and then reset the TED to the next mini event, and so on until you reach your final gravel event at the end of the year.

1 Like

Hi I created a coaching group and sent you an invite. I am not sure if you received it, the system indicated “user not found”. Anyway, we will sort this out. The group is called “experience sharing”

if you have 6 months ahead of your main event, as suggested by @ManofSteele one strategy could to break the season in many blocks. Indeed you could divide the season using 2 or 3 blocks 8-12 weeks each. Personally, I find that 2-3 key events is all I can handle in 6 months. Think 8 hours MTB races and 1 24 hour race. The other races are just incorporated into the training plan like a workout. The principles of periodization training still very much apply. Xert is awesome because if it very flexible to do pretty whatever you like so integrate the B races is quite easy.

You will use the planner to set your training plan but around 2 weeks ahead, not more. The progression rate might change every week. Per example, 1 easier week (slow progression), 1 moderate and 1 aggressive; then a recovery week. This is going to be decided by how you feel, weather, upcoming minor races, hours you can afford to train, etc.

Let’s see if you can join my newly created group and we will go from there. My experience is mostly about Mountain Biking and ultra endurance events.

1 Like

Thank you for the advice guys, will play around. Still have to wrap my head around the plans. Have been on a training block for almost 10 weeks now. playing to take a rest week next week and then do a four week maintenance block. where i will then set my TED for the 24H gravel event. Thinking of a triathlete program and do i couple of mini events in-between. not so sure if this is the best plan, but listen to your good advice thinking it should be the way to go for now. Unless otherwise advice.

Also looking to incorporate this…

Jean-Yves i have joined the coaching group. Thank you

I would actually recommend something a little higher up the PD curve, like Climber or GC Specialist. This is because you’re going to train for the volume of that Gravel race through your training load (i.e. your goal should be to have your TL as high as possible by the event - without burning out of course). Having a little bit of intensity (from climber/GC Specialist workouts) worked into your program will be helpful for any punchy hills, and even for longer climbs.


@ManofSteele, noted. i have been on a Climber for the past 8 weeks. Maybe i get on to GC specialist 12 week block and then back on a climber program. with mini recovery blocks in-between. I want/can share my signatures with you if possible so you could at it. hopefully i am doing it right. Appreciate your advice. thank you so much

1 Like

Let me share my experience in the space of ultra-endurance mountain biking hoping this could provide further guidance. Xert athlete types refer to road racing and it has been a journey to learn thus far and translate my old ways to Xert. But first, let’s look how a 12 hours Gravel/Mountain race feels; I have notice phases in my events.

Phase 1 - First 3 hours: Start relatively fast, push hills and technical terrain hard. I would probably be around a 10-12min focus - Climber. Closer to the 3 hour mark, I am always experiencing a change of pace. It becomes hard mentally since fatigue is well installed. Hear rate does not lower as much in the descents, become increasingly hard to get higher than 85% of max. You will not be able to get closer to FTP for any length of time

Phase 2 - 3 to 6 hours: Focus to find a new steady state, mental battle to find comfort. Break down the course in small chunks and celebrate small victories. Focus is probably around 20min. MPA does not move much, but effort are steady.

Phase 3 - 6 to 10 hours: This is the hardest part of the race, focus at maintaining high spirit, heart rate does not go up very high. Even if you try to push the hills, it is hard to go beyond FTP. If you do, you pay the price dearly at it takes several minutes to recover.

Phase 4 10-12 hours: Last 2 hours are a blast, high spirit because end is in sight. You physical condition is the same as phase 3 but you feel better because you are encouraged.

How to year prepare for 12 hours in hard terrain?

A lots of hours spend at 100-110% FTP in training. 3-4 x 20min session over a 2-3 hours ride. Ride once a week with 2 times of 1 hour of power intervals. At least a 8 hours prep race 6 weeks max to the main events. Of course, this combine with a proper ramp up of the training load would make the LTP higher. In my opinions, there is very little needs to train at focus shorter than 10min. Beside the first 3 hours of the race, you MPA will not move much.


@jyhudon thanks once again, i still think you should look at my signatures. i use mostly the automatic recommendation on Xert based on my previous day training ect.

could you recommend some xert work outs base on your recommendations above. i might have to knock on your door as i trial and error training towards the end of the year.

i hope i am not bothering you to much.

Happy to help, first I will make comments and leave workout for you in the coaching group. Your fitness signature is fine, the goal is to improve it prior your event as much as possible. You TP, HIE seems just fine; did you produce PP efforts lately. Warm up and try to push a couple of sprint as hard as you can. This is to make sure all 3 parameters are as fresh as possible.

Let me know if you see the discussion in the coaching group

@jyhudon i see the workouts in the coaching group… what is PP…

Peak Power

As one of the three parameters that define an athlete’s Fitness Signature, this is an athlete’s highest possible power. Sometimes it is referred to as Pmax . MPA is equal to Peak Power when an athlete is not fatigued.

Hi @ManofSteele @jyhudon, just a follow up question on my previous advice. So i have now set my event date for December , which is about 20 weeks from the event.

The Training pacer is saying that we are in the pre base phase, as i have xxss score is good i start it with slow setting for now.

can you explain a little bit on training pre base, base ext and how i could consider change between the improvement rates ect.

Kind Regards

Hello @Tafisch, you have lots of time to prepare for your event, this is great. You could consider pre-base as off season where you could incorporate cross training to your routine. Activities do not have to be specific to cycling. Per example, long hard hiked in the mountains or mountain biking if road is your preference. On the other hand, you could just set your improvement rate to “maintenance” until the start of “Base”. Once in “Base”, you could start by setting improvement rate to “slow” for the first 3-4 weeks and go from there. Hope this helps.


@jyhudon was listening to your podcast episode 8 preparing for your best season… and picking up that from about 120 days out to start slowly into your training program. looking at incorporating your previous advice by upping training score closer to event.

so basically trying to find an improvement rate that would suit the “not doing to much to early” in order to peak at the right time.

1 Like

When your target event date is relatively far away in the future (> 120 days), we argue that what exactly you do now isn’t really material to your target event date fitness. So feel free to ride for fun, cross-train, etc.

If you are going to be doing some structure during your pre-base training, the XATA will give you workouts that are focused around your selected athlete type when you’re fresh/very fresh (green/blue stars) and lower intensity endurance workouts when you’re tired (yellow stars).

Hi @ManofSteele, @jyhudon… I need some advice again. Your Take on Cadence training. As Xert don’t specially do a cadence type of training and with my Goal in my mind. I would like to work on my cadence a little. my usual cadence is between 70 and 80… is there any advice in incorporating the cadence training with my normal training. Your advice is highly appreciated

In general, the research literature is far from conclusive in saying that training at a certain cadence (whether higher or lower) is of any meaningful benefits over your own freely-selected cadence. This is why you won’t find any workouts that contain pedaling or cadence drills.

With that said, I think you’ll find many times that many elite athletes will often have a relatively higher cadence between 85-95 rpm. Also, as the intensity of the effort increases, you generally want your cadence to increase as well.

You can also try installing the ‘bioshift’ ConnectIQ data field on your Garmin (if you have one), which will learn your preferred cadence:power relationship and then show you to increase/decrease your cadence to stay near an “optimal” cadence given your current power output.