XFAI Feedback

Firstly, thanks to everyone for all the interest, feedback, comments and issue reporting. As you might imagine given the immense task that we’ve set out to complete, this is all essential and we have taken it all in and will be making changes and improvements over the coming days and weeks ahead.

One thing we’re seeing is how the events and duration selection can be a bit confusing or perhaps resulting in too many You will likely not reach your fitness target in time. We originally thought that you would just pick a different event or timeframe but that’s really not the right answer. You still would like a training plan. This caused frustration.

We have a solution and I was looking for some feedback.

One thing that the method has behind the scenes in the set up wizard is the setting “Event Preparation and Taper”. Ultimately this determines how many days of recovery will you need post event. Does this concept resonate with you? If we were to say that you can do X event, that’s Y hours of riding by Z target date but you’ll need more days to recover afterwards, does that make sense to you? If so, if we increase days of recovery, it ultimately means you can do the event with less training and thus you can train for it.

Let me know your thoughts on this concept as to whether you understand it and if it helps in giving you a training plan and helps in setting the expectation of what you can accomplish.

Thank you!!


The main question, why model cares about my after target recovery? If it is my A target?

Because the amount of recovery needed is equivalent to the amount of fatigue during the event which is equivalent to the amount of training you need before the event as well as the taper you require before the event. Everything is tied together.

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Question for you and others: How would you quantify how much training is needed to complete an event?

This I understand, but you already know how many XSS we estimate our target, couse we set in in the planer. The problem is what I see now, on my example, that i cannot change XSS without changing duration. I know that for example for mountain race i did last year 368XSS within 2h22min, when i choose this in the XFAI it says that I only need 225XSS.

How it can be that with increase in recovery my I will need less training?

Most athletes that come to Xert don’t understand XSS. Using duration is just a convenience to allow them to create an estimate of XSS. It’s XSS that is most important to plan for the event. Not the duration.

This is what I was asking about. The answer is intuitive to me but perhaps not everyone.

I really don’t get the considering the amount of time to recover, in terms of the buildup. I’ll take into account how I feel, and I’d certainly take it easy, but how long it will take me to recover would never factor into my decision making for how much training I’d do leading in.


Similar as (I think) you do. I’d maybe describe it a bit different, using training load instead if fatigue and recovery demand.

So I’d feel positive about entering events on those I’d roughly spend not much more XSS than my current training load. So the event would not feel much harder than any of my previous average rides.
(I’m talking about single day events for reason of simplicity).

Example: Would I feel ready for a 8h gravel event which requires 500 xss if my current training load is only 50 (so, given I ride daily, that would be a 50xss ride every day). Hell no!
In that extram example I’d probably give up after 3h, but I’d also create an inferno-like fatigue and therefore recovery demand. And that’s how @xertedbrain explained it (in case I got it right).

With a TL of, e.g., 400, I’d know it will be a very hard day, but I’d make it.

With a TL of 600, I’d probably fight for the win and go dancing after.

But back to reality, is that how the hobby rider with a job and 2 kids works?
Maybe we are more like: Let me try my best training and I will figure out on race day how it will go. Place 70 or 170 will not make a huge difference to me.
And if I spend 4 days on the sofa later, my wife already approved.
So maybe you need another mode for this case.

End thats the clue. Training should end with something close to target event XSS, but lower. As we never go all out (at least we shouldn’t) on training.

If your overall TL is 50, then conceivably (ignoring focus/spec) you could do a 50XSS ride everyday. No taper or anything extra you need to do to be prepared. But could you do 100XSS? How about 200XSS? 600XSS? Where do you draw the line and what defines the line? It must be more than 50XSS?

I fear thats highly individual. What is an event? One wants to win, another one wants to survive, and the next one who joints with his buddies, walking up the last climbs, taking pics, more to experience something different to talk about later.
Not even thinking about individual resistance to fatigue.

That’s why I feel I’d try to look at this planning more from a best effort angle. I.e., let people set their availability and their target, guide them about how realistic that might be, but don’t prevent them from going for it. Let the SW pick the optimal achievable goal, so people don’t need to try&error that out themselves.
Some will train less than demanded. Others will become stonger faster than the model expects, there is no way to know what it will be. So be ready to let the plan adapt frequently on the way, while keeping people on the right track, showing them where will end up if they continue like they do right now.

So how do you define the line for someone that wants to win vs. someone that is ok to take pictures? Where the line is, where they are starting from and how far into the future the event is defines what the training plan needs to achieve, no?

Yes, no doubt. But that’s not how I (a surviver at best) personally would look at it.
In August is the local MTB race, where I signed up because my friend did, who doesn’t have a power meter nor a training plan.
If I will be able to move out of bed on target day, I will be at the start line, no matter what.
But what happens during the 7 months till then is highly unpredictable.
Therefore, I’d wish to get the plan which is set to achieve the maximum between now and then. If that maximum is sufficient, please let me know, but finally, thats secondary to me.
Then let me follow it. And in case I fall behind, or I do better, adapt.

And that’s probably a very different approach as for someone who defines himself by where his name is on the results table.

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I personally am not concerned about recovery after the race.
I just want to input a date when I race, distance and terain.
I wouls like to see a plan that doesnt tell me that I will be less fit after 3 months of riding.
I am getting very frustrated at the amount of times I have inputed data that it allows me to then eventually tells me there is no plan.
I am now just selecting day by day as normal.atm.

Assuming I understand correctly, here’s my take:

  1. Ask for the event/goal info
  2. Ask how competitive/aggressive they want to be: A,B,C race style, “How much do you want to win”, “How much are you willing to commit it”?
  3. Start where their signature is now (no going backward!).
  4. Map their desire to an improvement pace needed (Slow to Extreme-2 for example)
  5. Warn them if that improvement rate is unlikely/unsustainable over that duration
  6. Based on the pace and desire, let them know if they’ll be ready early or if they can’t make the goal sustainably. For example:
    “We think you will be ready early. You can probably be more competitive given the time you have to train. You can adjust the plan to start closer to the event (ready early), train at a slower pace, or be more competitive”

“This will take an Extreme-2 pace for six months, which is likely not possible. We suggest long term goals of no higher than Aggressive-1. We’re reducing the goal to a more achievable pace for the overall training duration with short bursts of more aggressive training. If it’s too much, don’t worry, the plan will adapt to how you perform.”
7. If they’re going to be totally destroyed after the race, let them know it will impact their training for X amount of time after the event.

I’d love to just have a plan in place to improve to where I can be but I don’t want to hate life trying to get there if I’m not trying to win. Sometimes I just want to beat my friends, not the whole field :slight_smile:


I’ve found in the past that if an event produces 3x or just over 3x the XSS of my current TL then I need to take a day or two of rest/recovery. If it is more than that then I will invariably get ill and miss 3-7 days of potential training. So for me I’d like to get to a TL just before my event of at least a third of what I think I’m going to exert during the event, but preferably a TL more than that. Example: event last year produced a XSS of 320. To not get ill I’ll need to achieve a training load of 95-100, but preferably a TL of 100-110 so that I can continue my training/riding after a day or two of rest. It is a bit like my TL is the ‘sponge’ that determines the amount of effort I can put out/endure

I’m not sure if that answers your question though?

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Yes. You got it. But thinking about it this way isn’t easy or intuitive. Imagine now that you’re doing this with 3 systems (low, high and peak) rather than just total TL. What would your individual training loads need to be before an event and how would you know if it was 3x or less or more than that? What determines the multiplier for each system’s training load?

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Ha, that complicates matters and why I use xert! Can we stipulate how much of each energy ‘system’ we want to aim for as well? I’ve not looked at the new Beta in that way yet

You need to! Can you aim for any random set of 3 numbers?

Here are two sets of figures for 2 rides/events that I did in the past with the sort of fitness I would like to attain at the date of my goal/event with a similar XSS etc

PP836.5 W
HIE20 kJ
TP309.5 W

Distance: 44 mi
Duration: 4:58:26
Focus: Mixed Rouleur
XSS: 474 ( 444 | 23.8 | 5.8 )

PP819 W
HIE18.3 kJ
TP 296 W

Distance: 30 mi
Duration: 3:42:45
Focus: Mixed GC Specialist
XSS: 432 ( 409 | 18.1 | 4.1 )

My current fitness is

TP - 241w
HIE - 19.58kJ
PP- 981w
TL 57 ( 56 | 0.6 | 0.1 )

My TL is low as I am coming back from 6 weeks off the bike due to taking a break and then getting ill and then going on vacation. I like to sit at 90-105 TL for an event if I am going for top three in my age class. How would I use the figures to utilise the new Beta to get me to a point where that is feasible @xertedbrain ?