From Training Plans to Fitness Plans

One of the best uses for any training software is to use it to retrospectively analyse your training progression. How fit were you at a certain point in time? Were you able to hit the peak fitness that you hope for before your key races? If so, what led to this peak? If not, what happened to derail the plan? How much strain and workload can you handle without overtraining? What were the most effective workouts for you?

Now, we can extend this level of deep analysis and use it to both plan and predict your future fitness with Xert’ brand-new Fitness Planner feature. This can be accessed by clicking on “Calendar” on the left side of the screen.

On the main Calendar page, you see a table of data from the prior 2 weeks along with the upcoming 2 weeks. You can add/remove data columns. You can also reorder the columns how you prefer.

For example, along with tracking the progression of your Fitness Signature (Threshold Power, High Intensity Energy, Peak Power), you can view your overall Weekly Focus (e.g. Power Sprinter, Rouleur, Triathlete) to see whether you are training appropriately to target your key events.

Below is the actual calendar itself. You can see the synced activity that you’ve completed. Each date also shows you the fitness (# of stars, based on Training Load) along with your freshness (colour of star), ranging from bronze = detraining, green = very fresh, to red = very tired (based on Form).

Simple to Use

Calendar is designed to be easy and intuitive to use. Whenever you add/change/move a future workout, the table and calendars are automatically updated with projected results.

You can very simply add future workouts from Xert’s workout library (created by Xert, your coach, or yourself) by “Favoriting” them (click on the unshaded star next to the workout and it will turn gold). These will then show up in Calendar under “Workouts,” and you can drag & drop them into a date.

If you have Activities that you regularly perform (e.g. Tuesday Night Worlds), you can Favorite them and they will appear under “Activities” in Calendar.

You can also add Manual workouts by clicking on a future or past date. This is excellent for any off-bike workouts or when riding without a power meter.

If there is a week’s worth of workouts that you’d like to repeat, from the Table you can copy and paste that entire week to a future week.

Powerful Planning & Prediction

The Fitness Planner feature is ideal for both self-coached athletes who want to predict their progression, and also for coaches and athletes to specify and implement a dedicated training plan.

The Fitness Planner will predict all aspects of an athlete’s fitness signature at a future point in time. This includes each component of the fitness signature (Peak Power, High Intensity Energy, and Threshold Power). It also includes predictions of your Training Load, Form, rate of Xert Strain Score (XSS) accumulation, Focus of training (is your future week primarily Puncheur training or is it more GC Contender type training?) and its specificity.

With this feature, you can now go beyond simply planning training or workouts, and plan your desired fitness to coincide with the exact demands and dates of your key events. This takes the guesswork out of training planning, giving you objective and accurate prediction of your future fitness.

Test out Training Ideas Before Doing Them

Another advanced use of the Fitness Planner for athletes and coaches is to experiment and model different types of training, thus seeing what their effects might be without the risk or time required to actually perform the training. This greatly maximizes the efficiency of training by reducing costly trial and error.

Here, I’ve tested out a very hard week of training with 5 intense interval workouts. You can see that my Fitness progresses to 4 stars, but that there is also a red star, indicating extremely poor freshness.

For example:

  •       How might taking two weeks off in June affect my plan to peak for a mid-September race?
  •       What would happen if we mixed up our training by putting in one extremely intense week with multiple hard workouts and races, rather than evenly spreading out the same efforts evenly over several weeks?
  •       How might my PP, HIE, and TP change in response to a specific type or style of training? What if I focused on criterium-like workouts for a week? What if I reset my aerobic base by focusing on threshold efforts for two weeks?

Summary

With Xert’s new Fitness Planner feature, take the mystery and guesswork out of training. Plan the path to your peak performance, experiment with different training ideas, and give yourself a powerful tool to push your limits!

Free 30-day trials are available when you register.  The company has published a number of blogs, videos and FAQs on their website to help athletes, coaches and sport scientists become familiar with the new concepts.  

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