Racermate’s Computrainer is an electronic load generator that is fixed to a rear wheel bicycle training stand. The load generator is connected to a hand unit which may be used to control the load generator directly, and it also may be connected to a desktop/laptop computer, which offers more advanced opportunities for control. What the load generator does is precisely adjust resistance to the bicycle’s rear wheel; this resistance is measured in wattage. Users can leverage Computrainer’s precision to obtain accurate testing results useful for power and/or heart rate based training. For more information on Computrainer, visit: http://www.racermateinc.com/
Testing for Anaerobic
Anaerobic thresholds will vary from person to person, and it also is dependent on fitness. Untrained athletes may register an anaerobic threshold of less than 50% of their VO2 max (think: absolute maximum capacity to process oxygen during exercise), while highly trained athletes may see anaerobic thresholds approaching 90% of their VO2 max, depending on the specific sport. The key point to remember is that athletes can improve their anaerobic thresholds through structured training, which means that they will, over time, be able to perform effectively in their events at increasingly higher levels of intensity.
Again, the anaerobic threshold should be regarded as the transition point when athletes shift from the use of long-term energy systems that support endurance efforts, to the use of short-term energy systems that provide significant amounts of power, albeit for short periods of time. Aerobic efforts enable the efficient processing of lactic acid; anaerobic efforts deplete energy stores rapidly and exercise soon ends due to lactic acid build up.
In terms of training and racing, knowing your anaerobic threshold will enable you to effectively pace your efforts across events of widely varying durations. Knowing your anaerobic threshold also helps you structure the intensity and duration of your interval workouts.
How to Test for
For greatest utility, athletes should consider being tested on a regular basis to track progress toward specific fitness goals, as well as capturing data that will enable greater refinement of workout design.
Testing for Peak
Peak power testing is a relatively simple proposition: the athlete does an all-out sprint 20 and 40 seconds on a standard Computrainer course. During the test, peak and average wattages are recorded. Maximum watts for this effort provides a good indication of an athlete’s peak power output, while the average watts value has a strong correlation to an athlete’s power-endurance (which is vital for short-term, high intensity efforts).
Ideally, athletes should repeat this test every six to eight weeks to track progress in both peak power and power-endurance values.
Testing for Overall
Fitness and Overtraining
A Ramp Test is a quick and easy way to assess the following variables:
· Aerobic improvement
· Identify potential overtraining or excessive fatigue
· Assess recuperation
Additionally, Ramp Tests are an excellent tool to use as
warm-up for intense interval workouts.
Athletes should consider completing Ramp Tests at least once per week.