During the initial account setup process you were asked to select what kind of Athlete you were from the range in the image above. Although the names of the categories relate to road cycling, in principle they apply to nearly any sport. Some sports require high power over short durations (Power Sprinter / Road Sprinter) whereas others require power over much longer durations (Triathlete). Whether you are an MTB’er or runner the same principles apply.
Select your Athlete Type based on your goals. For example, if you’re like to train for the best sprint possible at the end of a road race, choose Road Sprinter. If you’re training for cyclocross or mountain biking, choose Puncheur or Breakaway Specialist. You can always adjust your chosen Athlete Type by using the Account Settings/Athlete Type tab in the top menu bar.
One way to help you decide which type to select is to review the data in Xert from an activity/race/event similar to the type of activity you wish to excel at. For example, here is an Activity Details screen for a ride that was chosen as the target type of riding that needs to be improved:
From the data Xert determined the Focus Duration, Athlete Type and Specificity Rating for the entire activity. Focus Duration was 4:04, Athlete Type was Puncheur and Specificity Rating was Mixed. These summarize the demands this activity had on your three fitness parameters based on Work Allocation Ratios. If this was, or was similar to, the activity that you’d like to be ready for, you would use this activity as the basis for your decision. In this case, you could simply choose Puncheur as your Athlete Type.
To further refine your choice, if you’re looking to improve a weakness, you can use the following method:
- determine your strengths & weaknesses from your My Fitness > Rankings page (like the spider chart below);
- if your required Athlete Type (for your event, for example) is to the left of your strength (on the Athlete Type selection screen), or a shorter Focus Duration, you may want to choose an Athlete Type that is one or two further to the left of the required Athlete Type to overcompensate, helping you to be as strong as possible for the necessary Athlete Type of your event or goal.
- if the required Athlete Type is to the right of your strength (a longer Focus Duration), you may want to choose an Athlete Type that is one or two further to the right of the required Athlete Type. You will benefit from the extra aerobic training.
For example, if you examine your Ranking Spider Chart:
You can establish which Athlete Type represents your strength with the spider chart. In the above example, Power Sprinter is this athlete’s strength. If their target event has a Focus of Puncheur (from the activity above), they may decide to choose Puncheur. But if they believe that this is a weakness, they may decide to choose Breakaway Specialist or Rouleur so that they can further improve on their weakness and look to achieve a greater balance.
One key thing to note is that although there is a range of Athlete Types, those at the extreme ends (Power Sprinter, Triathlete, Century Rider) generally represent those that are chosen to address weaknesses. Rarely do events/races fall into these Focus categories, despite what their name suggests. Here are some guidelines:
Ultra events: Triathlete, Century Rider
Long events: Climber, GC Specialist
Road races: Breakaway Specialist, Rouleur
Criteriums: Puncheur, Pursuiter, Road Sprinter
Cyclocross & Mountain Bike (not enduro): Puncheur, Breakaway Specialist
Here is a summary of the Athlete Types, by category, with their Focus:
- Power Sprinter : 20 second power
- Road Sprinter : 2 minutes watts/kg
- Pursuiter : 3 minute power
- Puncheur : 4 minute watts/kg
- Breakaway Specialist : 5 minute power
- Rouleur : 6 minute power
- GC Specialist : 8 minute watts/kg
- Climber : 10 minute watts/kg
- Sprint Time-Triallist : 20 minute power
- Time-Triallist : 1 hour power
- Century Rider : 2 hour power
- Endurance/Triathlete : 3 hour power