Had a look around the web again, and ended up back at Xert. Today’s my last day of TrainerRoad’s POL HV plan (well recovery week next week I guess).
I’ve just added tons of Z1 basically on top to my current plan to hit these big volumes. Alson have ideas on how to repeat the plan and make it more progressive/pyramidal (start adding some tempo intervals in there for example during long rides).
But Xert has me interested, you can set it to ‘extreme progression’ and it’ll give you 18hour+ weeks.
Will that be Polarised? The workouts I’m seeing don’t look polarised to be honest. Real mix bag of stuff, actually just seems to offer you anything and everything. Not sure what’s going on there to be honest, all looks very random.
Here’s a list of recommended workouts for example:
Head scratcher for me. I’m not getting it.
What you think, repeat POL HV and add tempo or give Xert a shot until Adaptive Training here goes live? Other problem with Xert is their workouts are really busy. Perfect for indoors, love that. Absolutely dreadful for outdoors which I want right now.
They love to add much stuff to your aerobic rides and as you said - for indoor training they brake the monotonny for outdoor they not so convincing.
If you want to go fully polarized why would you add the tempo to your workouts? The progressive is in duration of Z1 and harder workouts (vo2 max and threshold as a border of Z2/Z3). When you add the tempo you are going pyramidal, so the place where everybody ends in the end naturally:)
I think at my current volume around 20 Horus per week, I’m capping out on my Z1 here. I can try and raise the Z1 power numbers overall still though. +10 watts maybe for the whole training block in Z1 compared to last block where I played it safe for first few weeks.
The VO2 workouts I’m doing 4x8mins and 4x16mins, or 4x4s. These are already really hard and not seeing the progression there as being some endless scale. I actually failed my 4x16min on Friday. Did 2x16 and 1x17:30 (6min rest). Did little extra on the 3rd interval because I knew I was spent, was really tired that day and honestly was pleased I got that out, somehow.
I’m self pacing these, so I’m pretty much just doing these intervals as hard as I can on the day and it’s been working really well for me so far. Going far beyond TR’s prescribed numbers. But this volume… I’m not used to it, even if it’s Z1, it’s the volume I think… I’m definitely not totally fresh. Need a rest and another block at these volumes while I have time.
Either way, I don’t think there’s much progression here with POL unless I get a fitness jump after this break and the numbers are naturally all higher. What’s the alternative… shorten the recoveries? Seriously, you’re talking about some mad workouts! 4x8 with 4min rest, 3 min rest, 2 min rest? Who’s actually doing this stuff unless they’re dropping their power numbers.
Also Seiler - he’s been adding SS and tempo, and I hit that’s helped him get a monster 3 hour power of 300 watts). So I have that on my mind too.
For me the VO2 won’t come short term, I mean it will yes, but I mean big changes I’m expecting would come long term, over several years of POL and big Z1 volumes. I think we’re capped each season VO2 wise and it’s easy come easy go.
@Shrike - fork out the money for a 1 month subscription. The Trial workouts in Xert are really not a good example of what they offer. As I said in another post, I’m not real confident in the Science behind the app, but it’s definitely nice for doing workouts that are often very different to what you see in the TR SS plans.
From what I can tell, he only rides maybe 6 hours per week not 20. Maybe he’s been doing more under lockdowns? He does seem to like Zwift racing.
From what I’ve heard in podcasts, Seiler was elite or near elite. I forget the story about how he went back to school but in any case, what he can do and what someone who isn’t as naturally gifted can do are two separate things.
The fastest guy in my club is 57 - former cat 1 road and mountain biker. He just rides. He doesn’t do structured training and he’s still the fastest guy in our club.
He trains about 10h/wk. He does a lot of zwift racing, ftp work and recently tried sst with bursts and he failed couple of times. And does threshold work
His old FTP is now 2h power - this is pretty logical as his 60 min power is around 20W higher.
Of course looking at his age the results are impressive but he is not doing polarized training like 2xlong vo2 max and easy riding but naturally falls into pyramidal distribution but treats polarized as hard-easy days.
I don’t think Xert is about the workouts. I wouldn’t subscribe to Xert because of the workouts they offer, but rather because of the methodology and the ability to track your fitness more “in real time” and not be dependent on testing. For me, the whole point of Xert -and the benefit- is that it can quantify the effect of every workout that I do, so I don’t have to do “structured workouts”. I just have to focus on the increasing load and making sure the overall focus of my work is where I want it to be.
The one thing I don’t like about Xert is the workouts. I think most would be very difficult to do outside. They have lots of one minute on, one minute off intervals.
On the trial you can only do a few selected workouts, however I cannot recall whether you see the others or not.
Xert works on training load (XSS) so it will chose a workout on how many XSS you need for the week and your level of freshness.
Spent the weekend learning more about Xert and reading their forums.
Honestly just not for me. Like the users in forum there say, you can’t really choose a plan, or even a particular set of workouts to fit a training plan style, like sweetspot or polarised etc.
The progression is linked to their XSS which is tenuously linked to the workouts which you can choose at random.
The model itself isn’t useful unless you do maximal efforts.
So for me it’s useless and not what I thought it would have progressed to after these years (I used it 3 years ago).
I need something that looks at my heart rate and power and starts to learn when I’m struggling or know when I’m getting stronger. It needs to learn that then test me with the occasional workout that’s aimed at learning something about me to validate its findings then adapt my plan going ahead.
And that’s just the basics. And I definitely want a plan laid out ahead of me which the hours that I proscribe per week so I can do my own real life planning.
I am a bit disappointed with Xert at the moment. Really hasn’t changed much in past 3 years and development seems to be in integration with third parties rather than making it something more useful.
For now I’m treating it like an obscurity and hoping some fresh talent comes on board there. Whole thing needs a makeover too, looks dated as hell.
I like Xert but I have asked several times on the forum about how many people follow the recommended workouts and I have never seen an answer.
I think most users are like myself. Like the breakthroughs, like the FTP and LTP assessment but do not use it as a daily tool.
My impression exactly from maybe 3 or 2 years ago. Completely reliant on High intensity and breakthrough efforts. And while an interesting thought model with MAP and the TP and LTP in application I deem it rather fishy. People do apply or calibrate after the fact. Fed with even a diverse (several intensities and max efforts) and recent training history even the maker of XERT couldn’t really set me a convincing set of parameters out of it. Showing how arbitrary that model really is. With just the right and completely arbitrary combination of settings like decay and whatnot you could arrive at any number of combinations of Maximal Power Available (MPA) and other key metrics of XERT. Out of the same training history. Well, that’s not very convincing, to say the least.
The other disadvantage is that it really isn’t catered to prolonged base endurance phases etc.
The planner in Xert is more for you to create scenarios and test what will happen if you this or that. Xert doesn’t dictate what you have to do. It advices you. If you should be resting, and want to do a Zwift race, you can and all the forward recommendations will be updated - this is why planning in advance doesn’t make sense in Xert
Xert will need to know you to start recommending workouts that are more relevant to you (in the same way AT needs an adaptation period). And that is not happening in a week or two.
It feels checky to be on this forum talking about Xert. Xert have a active FB and forum that can help you in the first steps.
To reply to the OP, Because Xert is not predefined workout plans… yes you can through anything you want at it.