Anna Christian in the CU lab.

Cycling performance lab testing – and what you can do at home

The three reasons why cyclists test themselves, and the best ways to do so.

As cyclists, we do testing for three reasons: to understand how we compare to others; to understand changes with ourselves as we train; and to set training intensity zones. But how is this testing best done?

In this episode of Beyond Limits, Allen Lim, PhD, goes back into the University of Colorado’s Applied Exercise Science Laboratory, where he earned his doctorate studying power meters.

University of Colorado student and collegiate criterium champion Anna Christian is in the lab to test three things:

  • lactate threshold
  • oxygen consumption for VO2 max
  • oxygen consumption for economy

During the power-based testing, Allen and the Colorado University team also ask Anna for her rating of perceived exertion, which is a key variable in terms of controlling training intensity.

“If we can give [riders] some perspective on how these variables relate to their own sense of feel, it makes training a little easier,” Allen says.

Allen also explains how everyday riders can test themselves at home and on the road.

“The point is ultimately being vulnerable to where you are at any given point in time so you can make increments to get where you want to go,” he says.