This post walks a new user of Xert through how to interpret the data produced during each ride, run or activity. With the sophistication of training tools and training science building every year, this can be daunting. But it doesn’t need to be. Xert exists to deliver a system with the simplicity to be understood by everyone, and with the depth & sophistication to appeal to even the most well-read training science junky!

Before we get started, there may be a few new terms that you’re unfamiliar with throughout this post. At any point you can click on these highlighted terms to see the Glossary for a full definition.

Let’s get started interpreting an activity…

Having done the initial setup one of the first things you may want to do is to view and understand the many bits of information provided when Xert analyzes an Activity. On the left side menu bar click on Activities/Dashboard to see your activities.

 After clicking on the name of the Activity you’d like to review (the default names are often “Morning Ride” or “Afternoon Ride”) you can rename the Activity and add descriptive notes by clicking on the pencil icon.

In the “Analytics” section you can see the main descriptors of your activity in numbers: average/max power, speed, cadence, HR, etc. You also see important Xert parameters such as Strain, Equivalent Power (XEP), and Strain Score (XSS). On the right is your GPS map. Moving your cursor around in the graph will show your location when you put down that specific effort.

We have kept the activity file as clean as possible for clarity by only showing power (red), Maximal Power Available (MPA) (blue) and Difficulty (light purple shaded area).  You can also show altitude, speed, cadence, HR, etc. by clicking the words in the legend at the bottom of the graph. And if you’d like to know more about MPA you can check out this PezCycling News article.

You can zoom in on a particular interval or section by holding down your cursor from the start to the end of that interval. If you’re using a tablet or mobile phone, tap the graph first, then tap-and-drag to zoom into the desired section or interval. The numbers in the “Analytics” section will automatically update to that interval.

Here we have zoomed in on the last of the four intervals. This particular interval involved 13 repeats of :30 s all-out, with :15 s recovery at about 150 W. Let’s see what the MPA curve (blue) is doing:

  • When fresh or fully recovered, MPA is equal to your Peak Power (PP), your highest possible power output.  
  • During each 30 s effort, MPA drops, slightly at first and then at a steeper rate on the final efforts. That’s because doing the same effort is much harder and more fatiguing at the end of an interval than at the start.  MPA reflects the weakening of your body and its ability to produce power.
  • The green diamond represents your very best effort during the whole ride, where your current power is closest to your MPA. If MPA ever drops near or below current power for long enough Xert will see this as a breakthrough.  When you achieve breakthroughs, Xert will see them as indications that you have improved and will recalculate your fitness signature for you. You will then see a bronze/silver/gold medal depending on how many of your 3 signature parameters increased.
  • The light purple section represents how difficult your efforts were. As your Difficulty Score rises, the discomfort of your effort increases. Great athletes can generate great power but they can also withstand great discomfort too. Achieving very high difficulty scores is a sign of an athlete that’s trained, tough and ready to compete – a true beast.

Lastly, and for a little more insight into how Xert works, it’s interesting to note that how MPA responds is unique to you and your own unique abilities. The general pattern of how MPA behaves would likely be the same amongst track sprinters, Grand Tour riders, or Ironman triathletes – though each of these athlete types would have quite different values for PP/HIE/TP – but the rate at which MPA changes would be different. In this way, Xert’s analysis is automatically and completely customized to you. If you’d like to know more about how this works there is a separate article on PezCycling News further analyzing how different athlete types respond to the same workout.

Happy Training.

P.S. For more posts for new users click the tag ‘Beginner’ below.