During the initial account setup process, you were asked what kind of Athlete you were and were presented with the selection as shown above. Although the categories relate to road cycling, in principle, these apply pretty-much to any sport. Some sports require high power over short duration (Power Sprinter / Road Sprinter) whereas others require power over much longer durations (Triathlete). Whether you are a MTB’er or runner, the same principles apply.
You can always adjust your chosen Athlete Type by using the Account Settings/Athlete Type tab in the top menu bar.
Your Athlete Type should reflect the type of training you are wanting to improve/optimize for your event or personal desire. Some athletes for example, are highly specialized and may want to improve an Athlete Type where they are strong. Others, on the other hand, may choose an Athlete Type that is a weakness that they wish to improve. The choice is up to you.
One method you can use to help you decide is to review an activity/race/event that represents 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:
As you can see, Xert determines the Focus Duration, Athlete Type and Specificity Rating for the entire activity. This is essential insight you can get for your event. Focus Duration is 4:04, Athlete Type is Puncheur and Specificity Rating is Mixed. These provide key information on the demands this had on your three fitness systems based on Work Allocation Ratios. If this was the type of riding that is to be optimized, we would use this activity as the basis for our decision. In this case, you could simply choose Puncheur as your Athlete Type. You may also want to consider Specificity Rating in examining workouts and other training activities.
To further refine your choice, if you’re looking to address a weakness, you can use the following method: if the Athlete Type is to the left of your strength (on the Athlete Type selection screen), you may want to choose an Athlete Type one or two to the left of this. If the Athlete Type is to the right of your strength, you may want to choose an Athlete Type that is one or two to the right of this.
For example, if you examine your Ranking Spider Chart:
You can establish which Athlete Type represents your strength. In the above example, Power Sprinter is this athlete’s strength. If their target event has 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 are 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:
Long events: Climber, GC Specialist
Road races: Breakaway Specialist, Rouleur
Criteriums: Puncheur, Pursuiter, Road Sprinter