Trying Xert again after having issues last year... Now having very wired training recommendations

I tried Xert last year, had major issues with power drops Xert was receiving from trainer (Kickr Snap) when almost all other major apps had no problems…
I changed the way things setup this season, so trying to use Xert again.
I remember that recommendations last year were good (based on analysis of rides flowing to my Strava feed).
When I reactivated subscription this time, I again synced whatever it could from Strava, but Adaptive Training Advisor keeps recommending a huge load - even with training surplus.
Training was not just high XSS but also very long…
Granted, I am still in first week after reactivation (and been training almost daily for a while now), I am hoping it will recover in a week? But may be not…
(Note, I am NOT using AI feature, mostly because I do not have a goal and use continuous improvement).

Here is what I currently see in ATA:

Focus is Endurance and improvement rate is slow… and no other goal settings have been modified from defaults.
Note that I have good surplus and don’t have to do any training for 3 days but at the same time I should do another endurance workout with 62 XSS?
If I don’t train for 3 days it will get to the same place where it started - recommending 3 hour workout with ~200 XSS…
Another note - I had GC Specialist initially and that required even higher intensity training,

I don’t understand this logic, can someone explain what is happening here?
How do I make it spread the training more evenly?

Set XPMC chart to 3 months and past a screenshot of that so we can see training volume and frequency pattern.

I only had last month re-synced from Strava when I re-activated subscription, thought this would be enough. I also picked up “basement season” about a month ago.
I resynced the rest of the data since I used Xert earlier in the year.
You can see 3 month progression chart below.
Xert suggestions seems to be a bit better now, but time will tell - it still says to have a workout with less then 1 difficulty but then suggests one with 2.5 difficulty.

Things should even out over the next couple weeks.
Otherwise XATA see those recent long rides and gaps as something you like to do. :slight_smile:
Ride as you wish for now and XATA will adapt to the new pattern once established.

In Continuous mode you’ll get a variety of workouts around your selected Athlete Type with higher intensity whenever calculated form is fresh.
That intensity recommended will be highest the further up the power curve you go from endurance level to power sprinter.
Notice how the recommended new strain ratio feature (low/high/peak) closely matches the workout found (66 = 65 + 1.3 + .1).
That workout is rated Mixed Endurance due to the MPA drawdown section in the middle.
When you compare with suitabile alternates note the difficulty portion (shaded) and degree of MPA drawdowns. There were likely candidates with more blue and lower difficulty that you may prefer to do. If you don’t see somethihng you like you can also use the new Autogen function to create a simple workout that will match recommended XSS and strain ratio for the day.

Endurance in Xert includes all workouts/activities whose Focus Duration falls into the endurance quadrant (Sprint TT 20:00 min through Triathlete 3:00:00 hrs).
The result is a wide range of “endurance” workouts from easy (all blue, <= LTP) to “hard” endurance that rises above LTP (aqua) with time spent in traditional tempo/SS zone (green). Or as your latest screenshot shows a mixed endurance workout can include intervals in yellow, orange, and red.

Thanks for the explanation. It does make sense - I just did not know how far XATA looks back to find a pattern… Warm months lean more to longer outside rides when time allows. :wink:

What threw me off were seemingly different recommendations on the left vs suggestions on the right.
It would be really great to have a button there - “Explain yourself” :slight_smile: which would show textual explanation on the reasoning for suggesting specific workouts…

I think Continuous mode will work for me ok - I’ll use it more as a guidance on how much training I need… Don’t want to restrict myself to just Xert workouts - I like using/testing various platforms.

And this time I actually went for autogenrated workout - you are correct, it was less intense which better matched what I wanted to do today.

Speaking of focus - I think, I might be able to use it to sort of ramp up recommendations when things stabilize - although “century rider” is global goal, GC specialist is better suited for general training in my view and should push me toward a bit more intensity if needed.

Xert doesn’t recommend training by difficulty alone, but considers multiple other factors like XSS, Focus, Duration, etc. when making the recommendations. If you’re seeing 2-3 diamond trainings recommended, it’s likely because of those other factors.

FWIW, you won’t find many 1-diamond difficulty workouts in the standard library because they’re really easy :slight_smile: IIRC, they’ll mostly be Active Recovery or very low-intensity endurance rides. Most athletes - regardless of their training status - will be able to complete a 2-diamond workout.

I have no problem with two-diamond workouts, I was commenting on the recommendation discrepancy - text on the left was recommending less than one diamond workout but recommendations on the right were two diamond ones - this very inconsistent in my opinion.

I continue following XATA in hopes that it will get things straight and will follow my goal - slow improvement rate… It still doesn’t - why would it call “slow” the change in weekly hours from 2.2 6 weeks ago to 4.1 now and 4.9 in 6 weeks?? How the training load increase be called slow if it goes from 12.7 6 weeks ago to 33.3 now and 39.3 in 6 weeks forward? I did 8 hours of training in the last 7 days with 4.1 hours weekly recommended, having close to 200 XSS surplus and XATA still was saying that I am fresh and need another hour with ~65 XSS… So I did “Takin’ Care of Buiseness - 60” - and I am now “Very tired”. Which will last only until tomorrow evening when I should magically become fresh again (according to planner) - basically almost no rest recommended for the last week…
The “recovery demand” in goals was set just under the mid-level - changing this now to exactly middle of the scale, hope it will give me more time to rest :wink:

In your example, I think XATA is already saying you can take one day off, but if you choose to train it gives you a workout you could do. You may choose to train despite being ahead of schedule eg if you know you can’t train in coming days… but it is not telling you must train to comply with your objectives.

The ‘slow’ refers to your selected target ramp rate (goals), not your actual ramp rate. Given how much you are training you may want to change that

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Well, that lasted about 8 hours - in the morning it changed back to fresh and advising to train again:

Your Training Status is Fresh and should consider a GC Specialist workout or activity generating about 55 XSS of overall strain, with less than ◆ difficulty.

This is with plenty of XSS surplus - 131 currently.
In my view, this is very contradictory advice - “you are training more than the program you want, but here, go train even more and harder than my actual recommendation is”.

I am asking Xert to give me an advice on the training with goal in mind and the ramp I want. It seems like it is ignoring my goal and gives me more and more training regardless.
If setting goal in settings does not affect Xata advice - why do I even need to set it?
Should I ignore the recommended training and take some rest (which is allowed due to XSS surplus)?
And then meet recommendation to do a 3 hour long workout with 250 XSS?

Maybe I am missing the point of Xata here, but I was under impression that if I set my goals, Xata would stick to that, but that doesn’t seem to be the case… It looks like Xata just looks at my previous activities, extrapolates the ramp based on that and recommends more and more training to keep it up.

If you mean ignore when you have a surplus, then yes. Surplus, if significant, means you are ahead of your targeted ramp and can safely have a rest day. If you keep training you’ll stay ahead (or get further ahead) and do many more hours than you selected in ‘goals’. Can be confusing to still have some workout / training listed ‘for consideration’ (as mentioned, it’s in case you want to train more… e.g. because you may not train in coming days) but just ignore if you’re ahead of plan.

For info, you can use the planner to see when your status will drop back to ‘needing’ to train I.e. click on a future day and check the advice.

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Further to this, if you’re consistently generating surplus and aren’t feeling tired then you may wish to notch your Improvement Rate up by 1 as you’ve got more training/recovery capacity than your current rate requires.
I tend to see the XATA guidance as advisory, but if your body is shouting louder than XATA then listen to that foremost.


I want to use XATA as a guidance, but I don’t see it working as such. If you say I should train by feel, I can do this without Xert. If I am doing surplus, I would expect XATA recognize it and advise to slowdown and/or take some rest… or tell me to adjust the goal if I want to. Neither of these things happens here.

Yes, I am using planner to check my training status. Not sure what you mean by “check advice”, but if that means to try and plan an activity and look at recommendation - that just seems to follow training status…

Going back to suggesting rest - XATA does this very strangely (and counterproductively, in my view) - it suggests rest on the night after workout, but then gets back to fresh in the morning - please, I have this “rest” every day and is useless recommendation the way it is.

Here is the screenshot of the planner for this week. Some activities were done on the advice of XATA, some were regular once I do with various intensity and length. This week already resulted in much more hours of training XATA suggest and much higher ramp rate as I was looking for - and it still tells me to “consider” training with 67 XSS today.

So is “consider workout or activity” not an advice?
It seems to be a direct advice.
Is “surplus of 146 XSS points allowing you about 3 days before doing your next workout” an advice?
No, it does not look like it, it seems to be very neutral and not recommending anything here.\

This all looks like you agreed on training plan with a coach, then do a bit more, and coach saying - “meh, screw an agreement, let’s push load up!”.

I think you’re mostly debating their use of language (which I agree could be clearer in places)… but now you understand what it means, you can for sure use it in the way you desire… if it says you can have 3 days off till your next activity then just have 3 days off… easy… and when you are behind and ‘need’ to train it will tell you… just follow the pacer / dial and keep it around 12 o’clock…

Well yes, but it reflects the status on the (future) day I.e that you will be recovering… it also reflects future planned workouts (if any)

I understand the approach but I disagree with the way advice is worded - very contradictory and moot at times.
I played with Xert early in the year but then I had connectivity issues, so I couldn’t use it to run workouts - I trained everywhere else but Xert and used it as analytics tool - which works perfectly fine! Progression chart is great, but Xert is not the only platform which can draw training load and form - and the gauge is mostly a momentary value of the derivatives of these charts :wink:
This is why I came back to re-test and re-evaluate an advice after changing some hardware configuration.

I am disappointed with the advice presentation, to say the least - I was looking for much “stricter” guidance.
Can it be used? Yes!
Is it easy and straightforward? Absolutely not and requires a learning curve - but I came for an advice instead, to actually avoid this! (I know that because I learned :smiley: )

Yes, but again - this is available elsewhere (and, possibly, in better view), but those places may not offer advice and guidance - which, I thought, was a big benefit of Xert…

As I mentioned above “Things should even out over the next couple weeks.”. It’s been 5 days. :wink:
Looks like you have reached a bit over one star level. :+1: XATA works best as you move from 1 to 2 stars and above.
You can ride however you like as you have been doing (indoor, outdoor, virtual).
You can also use Duration and Filter to locate other options if the default recommended list and Load More aren’t of interest.

It sounds like you may be looking for a strict prescription-based platform that spits out an exact workout for the day. Instead XATA is a set of guidelines with options to consider before YOU make a decision on what you’d like to do. Xert is flexible by design allowing you the freedom to ride indoors, outdoors, MyWhoosh, Kinomap, etc.
With ATP set to Continuous your progression is dependent upon your TL increase over time. Day-to-day guidelines reflect your changing freshness and accumulated TL.

Red/tired back to blue/fresh in less than a day is perfectly normal depending on current TL and difficulty of the activities.
Endurance level workouts of sufficient duration and difficulty trigger short periods of red back to blue the next day if not a few hours later.
You need more high/peak strain to trigger periods of tired/yellow.
It appears you’ve added more intensity with the recent Kinomap ride rated Mixed Rouler and 3-1/2 diamond difficulty. While it was a short workout it should have felt tough. Was it?
If you feel the freshness calculation does not reflect how you feel, go to Goals, Settings, Recovery Demands and move the slider to the right to add more recovery. Try halfway to start then view the form gradient changes on the Planner. Yellow will start to display instead of red back to blue.

The driving force is consistency in your training and increasing TL over time within your time constraints.
If you keep the Training Pacer needle in the 11am to 1pm position week to week, you are on track to maintain your Improvement Rate. Yes, that does mean ignoring the you-can-train-more advice if you get ahead of plan. This is mentioned in one of the Academy series videos.
I suggest watching the videos again if you only watched a year ago when you first tried Xert. Here they are in order but you can skip around if you prefer (20 minute parts) – Discover + Improve + Perform

I am sorry, what “5 days”??? Xert pulled all history from Strava and there is 6 weeks of steady TL increase (and I posted screenshot of the progression chart for you earlier). So I am not sure what you are talking about.

No, this is not what I am looking for. I am interested in better advice on the type and duration of session I need to do based on my previous training - be it on Xert platform or elsewhere. As I showed earlier, XATA advice is contradictory - take rest but do a workout, do an easy workout but higher difficulty is suggested and so on… And this advice (if taken literally) results in much higher TL than the goal is set to.

It was great. Intensity in sessions in slope mode (or outdoors) can be easily controlled by feel - so I took it to the level I wanted it to be, which was a bit higher than average load, because I need to train and have fun at the same time.

And, yes, I already adjusted recovery demand but I did not notice much of the change in XATA behavior, unfortunately. The biggest impact seems to come from focus setting.

Oh, consistency and TL increase over time is what counts! Who knew, right? :wink: If only XATA was that consistent :smiley:
On a serious note - I see what XATA is doing, I had higher hopes and think that wording of the advice can be much better than it is now. It is interesting to see how this compares to other analytics platforms, so I intend to keep testing this for couple of month but something tells me there won’t be much of the difference.

And big thanks for pointing to the videos - good idea to watch them again and compare with what I know now…

Would be curious which other platforms you are testing or have tested and how they are better. I assume there is no single platform meeting your needs. I don’t think forum moderators will mind as they are very clear what their focus is (pardon the pun) and are open to feedback (even if they prioritise modeling and insight over UI e.g, you are not the first to mention the wording of the advisor on the forum)

I also use some other tools for different purposes, though do think Xert meets most of mine, and their approach to quantifying and predicting performance is much more advanced than elsewhere. The forecast AI beta is also promising even if still only beta - not sure if you checked it out but it’s much more prescriptive, so may even be more what you’re looking for

There are several competitors in sports data analytics and some of them specifically focusing (or prioritizing) cycling… First I’d say which platform I did not even try - TrainerRoad. I wanted to test them out but then decided against it - by that time I tried others and decided that I can find what I need in more modestly prices options. I was testing Xert already and liked what I saw, but couldn’t use the app due to connectivity issues. I also started sending data to TrainingPeaks and Intervals…
After about 2-3 month I decided to stick with Intervals for a time being and it worked really well for my needs.
“Better”? No, I do not think it is possible to say one platform is better or worse - they are different. I love data analysis tools provided by Intervals. I love that it supports all other activities, including swimming, hiking, walking, running, etc. It can easily estimate TL based on heart rate and provide progression chart which is much more flexible than what Xert shows. But it does not have advisory option :slight_smile: And that might be ok - many people use preset programs or just train by feel keeping an eye on the data to avoid over/under training.

I love that Xert is sticking to its own scientific base and building on to of it. What worries me is that not much else outside of Xert support that exact approach.
The attempt to in XATA is good, but as discussed earlier it really needs good fine-tuning.
Just today it was telling me that I can do less than a diamond difficulty training, but when I run the suggestion it gave me “SMART - Bangarang - 45” which is 2.5 difficulty… And it was quite hard on me because I was already training a lot this week following earlier “recommendations”. I was expecting this to happen, so I did not ride yesterday… But I did some intense walk instead :slight_smile: Xert doesn’t know about it and can’t adjust my training status, but I see the impact in Intervals.

Many tools like new Forecast AI are designed to create training program for some preset goal or event.
(BTW, I don’t like this name - “AI” is pure marketing, call it “machine learning” - much more honest).
I don’t need to train for event and do not really put myself in the hard goal like “reach this TP in 2 month”. I want advise on continuous training, mostly during winter month (while I am on trainer), with relatively slow ramp - for health reasons and also to have some fun.

I would love to see a tool, which would monitor my activity (not just rides) outside of the platform (ex. outdoor rides, swims/walks, Zwift/Rouvy/etc.) where I would usually do my slope mode work straining myself to the level I would enjoy, then telling me that I need to do 1-2 its own workouts per week to adjust focus to what I think I should be moving to (ex. maybe I want to do a century this spring, who knows).

Xert is great platform, no doubt, this is why I came back to re-evaluate it. Does it match what I want from it - not sure yet, there is a potential, but there are issues too. Time will tell :wink:
I am putting this against Intervals+TrainerDay - combination which makes a good competitor, not ideal but gaining in on features I need.

Sorry this came a bit wordy.

Happy holidays everyone!

In general I would say training implies you have a goal. You are training for something specific, and therefore you can put together a plan for reaching that goal. Exercising is a bit less focused and it is probably what you are describing.

I also understand that you would like to have a platform that takes multiple sports into account. I mainly do cycling myself, but also a fair bit of XC skiing and some running. Two downsides of not accounting for other sports are that you will be more tired than the app expects and you feel pressured to prioritize your main sport because the other sports are not accounted for (you will fall behind your targets). And even if cycling is the best way of improving your cycling (specificity), there will be some cross training effect, which means that it is better to do that than doing nothing on vacations etc. it doesn’t matter to the heart or lungs which sport you are doing, only how much they have to work.

The different platforms have different strengths. In Xert you have to manually select how difficult workouts you can handle. In TrainerRoad that is handled by their adaptive training system.

I believe the strength of Xert is that it takes all your riding into account, not just what you do on the trainer, and advice what to do now. I have been using TrainerRoad for two years, and everything works fine in the indoor season. However, as soon as I start riding outdoors again I have to modify the plan. Xert will help you manage your training volume independent of how you ride. If you ride too much hard, you will be asked to do an easy ride.

Happy New Year, everyone!

There is a goal, of course, there is always some goal… but it is different from what many such platforms support - goal can be cardiovascular improvement, like HR recovery - but Xert largely ignores HR, which is not right in my view. The goal could be an endurance increase - it may not always be quantifiable as target but as a relative increase, or it could be other fitness parameter ramp up over time.
Yes, it is “less focused” in terms that there is no specific “target” such as event or TP, but there still is a goal.

And with endurance (aka ability to sustain load for long period of time) - all other exercises count - be it swimming, XC skiing, walking, hiking, etc…). When done with appropriate intensity, fatigue and TL can be measured based on HR - Xert does this, but looks like only for cycling…

You are right on cross training effect, it is even larger if your goal is generalized fitness (with positive side effect on improved cycling performance).

Yes, it is great that Xert takes into account all cycling - indoors on Xert and other platforms and outdoors as well! However I am not planning to have power meter on my bike - even with lower prices now I can’t justify this - I am not training for races/events. And the way Xert converts HR based rides to XSS and other metrics is unknown to me.

Maybe Xert is not for me - that’s why I am still testing it to find out :slight_smile:

BTW, going back to training advice - I am quite stumped on Xert behavior now - looks like it is changing its past advice on the fly without any real reason.
First I noticed that a day ago it was telling me that I have plenty of surplus and can take 3 days before next training… But when I opened it this morning, it seems to have changed its mind and is now saying that I have no surplus, I am fresh, my ramp went from 4.2 to 4.5 weekly hours and that I need to do 81 XSS today! This is exact that inconsistence in the advice I am talking about.
Interestingly, since I have a screenshot of the planner that I took on 12/28, I could compare - and show with proof that the advice has changed without any training - possibly due to sliding window it uses to analyze past training shifted and ALL advice was recalculated. Below are two screenshots to demonstrate this.