Training on flat or hilly terrain

I follow Xert AI pretty closely in preparation for a recreational gran fondo on a hilly terrain. I perform the presets (generated by AI) on flat terrain.

  1. However, isn’t it necessary to train in a hilly terrain as well?
    2)Performing the workouts do not yet lead to a breakthrough. Is this a problem? The workouts do feel good and improvement in fitness seems ok to me.

The workouts will typically not give a breakthrough. Xert will slowly adjust your fitness signature based on changes in the training volume. There are some dedicated breakthrough workouts designed to update your signature. Look for “Xert Fitness test”.

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If you are training for a hilly gran-fondo, then I would certainly be training on hills… I am not expert but I know from feel muscle recruitment works rather differently trying to put 300W on the flat compared with 300W on a 10% slope. You need to experiment a bit with the terrain you have around you, but overall I would say its better to utilise the terrain in a productive way (i.e. making your own workouts that fit around the terrain) rather than trying to follow prescribed workouts. For me I have plenty of short sharp hills around, so I can easily do 3-5 min VO2 Max intervals:

I have found a loop where I can fit 3x9 min threshold intervals (but not 3x10!):

Here you see see its still lumpy so I am effectively doing over-unders in the 1st/3rd set.
For sure whatever computer you are using I would make sure you have the ability to pause in between intervals or for example if using Garmin, use a “end interval on lap button” for the rest periods

Thanks for this usefull advise!!