Cycling testing.

There are three basic tests I like to use for cycling. This scope of tests tells me everything from how well your aerobic system is functioning to how much pain you really can suffer. As mentioned a week and half ago, testing gives the basis for how to know what to work on with each athlete.

I will explain why I perform each test.

The first set of testing is 12sec, 1 min, 5min, and 20 min power testing. This testing gives a profile of the athlete. I can several things from seeing the testing numbers. 12sec power relates to sprinting, 1min power is ability to close a gap or make a short effort. 5min power is indicative of short climbing power or ability to out fox a chase group at the line. 20 min power is foretelling of long climbs and time trial prowess.

Looking at the numbers on the whole will give me an idea of what strengths and weaknesses the athlete has. In general most people tend to lack the ability for 1 to 5 min power. This is because group rides are often hard long efforts or short punchy efforts to a town line or the like. Mountain bikers how ever do tend to have high 1 and 5 min power, but low sprint and time trial powers. This is due to the constant variety of terrain and ability to frequently rest in between efforts.

The next test I usually look at is one performed over a 90 minute ride. The ride takes place at a pretty slow tempo (no more than a zone at which conversation is possible. I look at the average heart rate for the first 1/2 of the 90 mins and the second 1/2 of the 90 mins. This is indicative of the aerobic systems efficiency. If the athlete has very similar averages for both portions, they have a high degree of aerobic fitness. If the athlete has a disparity between them, it means more aerobic conditioning is needed.

Last I use a torturous test of :30 second sprints with :30 second rest. The repeat of :30 on and :30 off will only stop when the athlete fails to be able to do any more. This tests tells me the ability of the athlete to repeatability stand hard accelerations before failure occurs. typically I have not seen an athlete surpass 7 to 8 repetitions, with 4 or 5 being the average. The ability to go hard over an over can play huge dividends in the final moments of a criterium, road race or cyclocross race.

If you want to perform this testing on your self please see this page and download the full testing sheet. If you have questions, please let me know and I can help you on your way to a better year!

Ride Hard,

Coach Jordan


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