Training with Xert for Ultracycling event

Hi all,

I am currently training for an ultracycling event and using Xert for training.

Besides the physical and mental aspect of sitting 10hrs or more on the saddle I was wondering if the relative short workouts from Xert (<2hrs) provide enough training time per workout for such an event. Shouldn’t my body not get used to do also longer rides(>2 hrs)?
And again I don’t mean the mental or physical aspects like saddle sores, boredom, etc of these long rides. I mean that I should train my muscles and cardiovasculair system also by doing longer rides.

In other words: Is a max Xert Fitness Signature achieved by doing only relative short workouts of the same quality and use for an ultracycling event of a max Fitness Signature achieved by doing longer workouts?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Gr Johan B

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I do up to 6-7 hour rides to prep for events, including my multi-day trips to the Alps/Dolomites. I may spend 8-10 hours in the saddle, on many days while there.

This falls outside of Xert’s scope, imho, also because it’s not a one day event, as normally planned.

I have steadily been increasing my TL to over 200, doing mostly - almost exclusively - low strain (sweet spot) training.

This in an attempt to mimic high altitude stress, but your RATN is not really a high altitude event.

At any rate, my advise would be to follow XATA, but build up TL consistently, to get to the level of daily stress (XSS) you expect during your event.

Thanks Robert, but I am not sure if I understand your advise correct:.

My aim is to do 8 days of 240km for the RATN.
When I check my Xert history i see that for an average 240km ride I do score approx 450 XSS.
My current training load is 137. So would your advise then be to build up the TL from 137 to 450??
That seems an awful lot :grimacing:

It would be :upside_down_face: but no. My TL of 200+ currently accounts for an average of 130+ XSS / day.

You’ll need more, but your intensity will probably be lower.

Like I said, my training currently is sweet spot (Z3 tempo) oriented and that’s not likely your RATN pace…

Ok, but is it somehow possible to calculate how much more?
I did a quick check and my current monthly average strain is 115 XSS at a TL of 137.
So to what strain levels should I target for then?

How many multi-day distance events have you ridden in the past?
What has been your longest single day ride in the past?
How many years have you been cycling?
How many hours per week do you have available to train between now and late August?
For example, 2-3 hours on weekdays, a rest day, 4-6 hours or more per day on weekends)

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I would think there’s some sort of relationship to be found / used for that, but frankly,

  1. I don’t really know enough to help with that and just give you my numbers for comparison, which may well be pointless.
  2. My event is similar, yet different from yours. It’s an 11 day - barring horrible weather - event with only big mountains to climb and long descends (to recuperate) between them.
  3. As I have stated before, Xert is excellent in many ways, but planning these type of events is probably more experience oriented, whereas Xert can help you, than the typical one day ‘peak’ events it is mostly targeting.

Then again, I’ve not seen any TDF riders on here, but I wouldn’t think your or my event is that weird, so @ManofSteele or @xertedbrain will probably have (better) ideas.

And, as I implied and @ridgerider2 asked: what’s your reference, re events like this? Have you done any? Draw from that and if not, well, try to up your TL to get at least in the right ballpark…

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8 Days of 240km? Train as much as you can is the only thing you need to do. There really aren’t many decisions to be made. The more TL you have going into it, the better you’ll do. If you do short hard workouts, if this impedes your ability to have the highest TL (because they are too hard and you need to skip training days to recover), then they are not the best choice for your training. You can’t get a very high TL with 1 hour workouts, 1 per day. You’ll need mult-hour workouts, likely eventually on consecutive days in the weeks preceding the event, to be prepared.

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You really need to be thinking of training load, recovery load and in particular form as a reserve that you can tap into over your event without coming out the other end too far into the red.

The problem will be that 8 days of 450 XSS will leave your form massively in the red and I’d question whether you’d actually be able to to sustain that sort of effort.

Just to put some numbers to that, if you started with a training load of 133 and a recovery load of 53 to give a form of 80, after 8 days of 450 XSS, you’d be looking at a training load of 173, a recovery load of 383 and form of -210, or -120% of TL. Given that it isn’t ideal to train after your form gets below -30%, which would happen after stage 2, you can quite easily see that your main focus should be on building training load as much as you can.

I would say that it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to ride at the same effort on day 8 as you would on day 1 and that the XSS will deduce as you fatigue and get slower.



Sound advice from both - I have spent >25 hours per week to get where I am and I could have done > 40 at lower intensity, but that is still short of your probable total for the RATN.

Then again, ultra distance cyclists are a breed apart and Strava’s leaderboards contain genuine examples of those.

Like I said, Xert is not really ideal for guidance, but I don’t think there’s anything out there that is and at least Xert’s unique approach has very worthy advantages.

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Thanks all for your replies.
It answers my initial question about relative short workouts for multi-day ultracycling events.
The key is maximize TL and the only way to achieve it is by doing lots of multi-hour workouts.
Luckily I have some weeks left and a bikepacking week planned to work on that :slight_smile:
Thanks again all. This was an good discussion for me.


I would be interested in hearing the lessons learned once you have done the event.

Never gonna do that again :joy:

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You’r probably right. But I need to be sure :slight_smile:

@johnnybike Will do! (please give me a week or so to recover :slight_smile:).
In case you’r interested in dot-watching.
Tracking site is linked via organisation website:
Or direct:
(Not ready yet…but will the week prior to the event)
I am cap 106.

Johan Barelds

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