Xert equivalent to traditional threshold workouts

Hi all,
I notice that Xert doesn’t have traditional workouts with extended time at threshold power (3 x 10, 4 x 15, 2 x 30), I’m very curious to know:

  1. Why?
  2. Are there equivalent workouts that replace or improve on the adaptation one gets by spending time in zone?

This is an advance question, it might require @ManofSteele or @xertedbrain

Thanks a lot.

Can I get some help here?..or should I submit this question via other ways?. Thanks

Sweet Spot, Threshold and Polarized Training … By the Numbers – Xert (baronbiosys.com)

There are some traditional SS (and Threshold) workouts available from the Coach/shared workout folder.
If you prefer to spend some time there go ahead and select them or import a few to your Personal folder.
I much prefer Xert-style “hard” endurance smart workouts that float through SS to TP rather than hang there for minutes on end anchored at X% FTP.

SS is a different method of training designed especially for time-crunched cyclists. That’s not me.
I find traditional SS boring and tedious, but I don’t compete. YMMV
Do what works for you and what you like to do. Otherwise Xert’s hybrid polarized methodology applies (low/high/peak strain; work allocation ratio).
Xert’s curated workouts are equivalent when analyzed using their model and more fun to do IME. :slight_smile:

Thanks, but I don’t know why are you talking about SS if im cleraly asking about Threshold…which has a clear definition and estimation in Xert. I understand that ppl have preferences for different types of workouts, I’m more interested in the intention of Xert, since it’s their library.

This is the gist of my question! Can you elaborate on this please?..for instance, a bread and butter traditional workout is 3 x 10 at threshold (not SS), with anywhere from 2 to 5 mins of rest, can you show me an “equivalent” workout and how you can establish such relationship?

Thanks a lot

Hi @havella ,

Good question. You’re right - you won’t find many plain threshold intervals in our workout library. This type of riding is unnatural for most cyclists, maybe short of Time Trialists aiming for 60min TT records. It’s very rare that athletes go out and ride for extended periods of time at threshold… riding in groups, participating in road races or crits all include surges and periods of recovery, not 30 min of riding exactly at (or just above) TP.

In addition to that, they don’t make particularly great workout for a few reasons:

  • They’re sufficiently difficult that they require recovery, so they can’t be done very often (like a HIIT workout). Yet, at the same time, they don’t put sufficient strain on your low/high peak system to effectively train them.
  • They are rather boring workouts (some athletes don’t mind, others would never do a workout with 30 min fixed power interval)
  • Compliance is low for any workout with extended intervals near threshold without any breaks. We see low compliance with some of the Threshold workouts we do have in the library. A completed workout (even if sub-optimal) is better than the “perfect” workout that was abandoned early.

In the place of fixed %FTP intervals at 10/15/20/30 minutes, you will find a variety of endurance workouts done with fatigue, since riding under fatigue increases the rate at which you can accumulate strain (XSS). For example, SMART - Welcome to the Jungle - 45 uses some short, hard intervals to drop MPA then switches into sub-threshold intervals:

Despite being below TP for much of that time, this workout still accumulates comparable strain to a standard 2x15 @ FTP. The hard bursts, short recoveries, and SMART/dynamic power targets also keep athletes more engaged than 15 min at a fixed power (certainly for me, at least). Lastly, there is minimal difference in the calculated difficulty of the two workouts (77 vs 70 - both are approx. 3.0 diamond):

We do offer a few Threshold-ish workouts in the library, but they’re also more ‘over-under’ than true 10/15/20/30 min @ %FTP intervals.

If you want to do these workouts & if they’re such a staple to your training routine, definitely use the Workout Import Feature to add them to your personal library! :slight_smile:
Alternatively, create a SMART workout that uses your 20 min power (20MMP), rather than %FTP

Side note: We also don’t track time-in-zone since that method of analysis does not factor in the state of fatigue that an athlete was in while riding. Riding for in “Zone 4” near the end of a 30 min supra-threshold interval is not the same as riding in “Zone 4” at the start of a supra-threshold interval. Xert is the only platform that seems to recognize this.

Hope this makes sense & helps the discussion!


Thanks a lot for the thorough answer and for the suggestions of workouts, Dance with the Devil 3.0 is a good one.

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