Trial Subscription - does 3month data limit, reduce effectiveness?

I signed up to the trial subscription less than a week ago.

I am doing the Dirty Reiver gravel ride on 22nd April (130km) and wanted to get some structured training in.
I have set my athlete type to Century Rider, as that seemed the most suitable for this type of event and have my improvement rate is set to Moderate-2.
Current TP is 205w.

I have been using Zwift for probably 5 years or so & have done a mix of training in that time - none of it particularly targeted, but have been seeing steady improvement nonetheless.

I uploaded the max data possible from Strava (3 months), but I was ill for a lot of December, so there are probably 5 weeks out of the ~12 where there isn’t much riding data, and what I did do, was very easy Z2 trundling.
I have done a couple of workouts, but they seem very easy compared to what I am used to.
On Monday, I did the ‘taking care of business - 60’.
On Tuesday I did the Zwift 1st TdZ long route (as a free ride, no workout selected) and thought it would be worth beasting myself a bit to ‘show’ Xert where I currently was fitness wise. I suspect this was a mistake as I got a breakthrough, but it immediately sent me into ‘very tired’ status.
The workout suggested today (Friday) was active recovery 45, where I was barely tickling the pedals and it felt a bit pointless. I have adjusted the freshness feedback slider a little, because it was still showing I was tired, but I do not feel tired at all.

So - sorry for all the rambling, but I am wondering whether Xert would have a better idea of my fitness if I sign up & am able to download all of my Strava data (well, more than 3 months worth) or whether this will not actually give me a benefit.

I have about 3 months to train for this event and while I am prepared to ‘trust the method’, I have a niggling worry that if Xert lets me ‘take it easy’ I will not be very well prepared.

Any advice would be gratefully received - especially regarding whether it’s worth signing up to get more data uploaded? I’ll probably do this at the end of the trial anyway, but figured I might as well make the most of the free trial if it makes no difference to pay-up early.

There is a lot to get my head around with the functionality of Xert and I suppose that the more I use it, the more comfortable I will get with it.

Welcome to the group Keith,

The Dirty Reiver at Keilder isn’t too far from me.I’m in Kelso in the Borders. I’ve been an Xert user for a couple of years now and love it. If you haven’t already done so I’d highly recommend that you watch the Mastering Xert videos.

You could always sign up for a 1 month membership and see how things look then after importing more data from Strava. I found a far better fitness signature after importing 12 months data.

It’s most likely that the experts - Scott, Armando, or Ridegerider will be along shortly and give you good advice.


Great, thanks! It’ll be my first attempt at the Reiver, although a couple of friends have done it multiple times & warned me of the hills! I am down near the edge of the fens, so anything larger than a hump-backed bridge is a significant gradient to me. :grinning:

Thanks for the feedback on the fitness signature.
I do wonder if/suspect mine is skewed by the amount of empty data in the last 3 months.

I’ve not yet watched the mastering Xert videos although I have spent a lot of time clicking on all of the question marks & reading the detailed descriptions behind the various aspects of Xert.
I’ll try to look at the vids this weekend.
I actually put off signing up for quite a while because it all seemed quite overwhelming, but the reality was it was pretty easy to get going with - I should have signed up sooner, really.

1 Like

Yes, it is actually pretty easy to understand once you watch the videos and read the help info. The missing ride data will defintely be affecting your fitness signature. I expect Scott or Armando or Ridgerider will be able to help you with that.

Keep in mind that you are free to choose a tougher workout at anytime even if at this stage Xert doesn’t know you well and says you are tired. It will soon learn more about you.

What I read in the beginning was that you should just ride the workouts you want and select for the next 14 days and Xert will tune itself in to you. (Obviously achievable workouts :wink: )

1 Like

If you are concerned with your fitness signature you can always attempt a breakthrough. You can search “breakthrough” in the workout library.

You can also go for a bike ride and smash it!

He says in his post that he already did a Tough Zwift Ride and achieved a Breakthrough.

Thanks MadTuna but that’s what I did on Tuesday evening during the Zwift TdZ ride.
I pushed hard and got a breakthrough as I thought it would be a useful fitness indicator for Xert.

That took me from an indicated “fresh” to “very tired” and even this morning (Fri morning) I was still showing as"tired" (yellow star).

I have since tweaked the freshness feedback towards fresh, as I feel ready for some proper effort.

1 Like

I do understand the importance of historical data, but more recent data points will trump that.

If you keep adding data points to your model you will be sure that your signature is correct without a doubt.

The same doesn’t happen by just adding past rides >3months ago.

To new users i believe one single breakthrough is not enough… plus if you attempt a new BT and don’t achieve it by a few seconds you have the confirmation that your sig is correct

1 Like

Yeah. Thanks MadTuna. I think this ties in with what oldcyclist65 said above - just do the workouts I feel like doing and Xert will learn from it.

1 Like

Hi @me96kka , welcome to Xert!

Might be helpful if you could share a screenshot of your XPMC over the last 3 months. I find it’s easier to provide advice when your recent data can be seen in context. Even if you upload more/older data…being off the bike for ~5 weeks will definitely cause a drop in training load (it’s just how the math to calculate TL works). This simply means that Xert might underestimate your freshness as you start back up with training… using the Freshness Feedback slider should be very helpful for the time being. If you have ~3 months til your event, you’ll still be in the Base phase, so will be recommended mostly endurance-focused workouts for now anyways :slight_smile:

Yellow/tired refers to training status (calculated form) and not how you feel. :wink:
Yellow = high/peak system stressed, ride endurance level workouts until recovered back to fresh (blue/green) and ready for more HIIT workouts.
Even red/very tired allows active recovery rides if you don’t wish to take the day off. And yes, those will feel like spinning in air.

Freshness Feedback slider is there to use as needed. Consider the option whenever calculated form doesn’t match how you feel. Once settled into your training regimen, neutral (0) position is the norm.

Trial limitations include the three month data cap and a reduced workout library.
More data is useful to look back on, especially the XPMC chart.
As @oldcyclist65 and @MadTuna mention you can jump outside the guidelines if feeling especially fresh and you want to test your mettle with a BT workout (search workout library for “fitness test” in quotes). Ride entirely in Slope mode and be prepared to spin up and sprint to failure during intervals designed for that purpose.
You can dial in your signature during Base phase. Once satisfied you’re in the right ballpark, move forward from there trusting the system to prepare you for your event date.

Xert is hybrid polarized approach by default. Base phase will feel easy especially if you’re used to sweetspot/tempo plans in the past. Straight block SS intervals are not the norm in Xert.

If you or anyone out there have ride data from a past Dirty Reiver, the focus duration of the course can be determined. Notice how this Paris to Ancaster workout uses GC Specialist as the target duration for the event.

The following will be total information overload :exploding_head: but you can watch some of the videos during easy low-intensity workouts (look for mostly blue charts when selecting).

Reference –

Lots of newbie tips posted here – Beginner questions
Academy series videos are quickest way to get up to speed – Discover + Improve + Perform
FAQs here – Support Home – Xert
Training Right For Your Event – Xert (
Also – Xert tutorials from Mapdec Cycle Works (UK user/coach) –

1 Like

Thanks ManofSteele. Here’s my XPMC for all data available. You can see the dry spell from the start of December. Any rides done then were low level stuff.

I’m assuming images are directly hosted, rather than having to link from somewhere like Flickr? We’ll see, I suppose!!!

Thanks ridgerider2 for that mountain of info!

I’ll sit and go through it this evening and make a start on the videos.

When you say event duration can be determined by data from an event (e.g, the Dirty Reiver) do you mean from a gpx file of the route, or does it need to be a file with power data in it, like someone’s saved ride? I don’t think I could get that as the people I know who have previously done it have not used power meters on their bikes, although I could ask on a MTB forum that I use.

I think it might be worth signing up to Xert rather than waiting until the 30 days is up, even if it’s just to access the full workout catalogue rather than a cut down selection.

gpx is useful to see the gradient profile, but it’s the power data analysis that determines the overall focus duration for the event. You can also zoom in on segments to note any differences such as first half of the event compared to second half.

It’s difficult to appreciate what Xert is going to do for you on a 30-day trial since a full phased progression moves you from Base (45 days) to Build (45) to Peak (30) with a Taper week prior to the Event. All the while TL is increasing in volume and intensity based on the ramp rate you set.

Since you are in Base phase with a TED of April 22 all you’ll only see endurance level workouts recommended for the next 24 days. You could shorten the TED to pretend you are middle of Build or Peak phase and change Athlete Type to see what changes. However, TL determines which workouts apply at any time. For example, at 2 stars you’ll mostly see 2 diamond workouts recommended, at 3 stars, 3 diamonds, etc. The idea being the higher your TL (stars count) the more intensity and difficulty you can handle. Stepping above your status level risks failing workouts while stepping below will be an easier workout.

First note is that @ridgerider2 was talking about Xert’s focus duration, not event duration, in case that’s a cause for confusion.

Having someone else’s power data won’t directly help - unless they happen to have the same fitness signature (and fitness level) as you… if they happen to use Xert you can get a sense but actually if they’re much fitter or have a different race strategy it will be very different to what you’ll experience… ideally it would be from when you’ve done it in the past.

Focus will basically depend on whether you will spend much time above threshold - many or most routes can be ridden entirely below threshold (the right gearing helps), but when it’s even a bit competitive you may need to push stay with a faster group up parts of a hill or even on the flat (eg to stay with them for longer term drafting benefits), you end up above threshold for periods. If the hills are very long though, you will not be able to spend much time above threshold, and focus will be closer to endurance. Also, if you just plan to pace yourself for 4 or 5 or 6 hours or whatever it is, with no pressure to meet time cut offs you’ll also likely have a more endurance focus.

All that said, even if the event will be endurance focus, I’d still spend some time with climber or gc speicialist focus in training, to help get some higher intensity workouts

1 Like

Ah, yes wescaine, I see the difference in terms. I was a bit sloppy in the use of the correct phrase.

I’ll be sure to keep up some higher intensity workouts during the training, partly to keep the interest/motivation up!

I appreciate all the advice from everyone :+1: