CHANGES IN CYCLING CRITICAL VELOCITY AND PEAK POWER OCCUR MOSTLY IN THE EARLY PHASES OF TRAINING
Paton, C. D., & Hopkins, W. G. (2003). Seasonal changes in power of competitive cyclists: Implications for monitoring performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 1456.
Male cyclists (N = 12) performed tests of peak power (continuous ramp protocol) and mean power (simulated 4-km time trial) in each of five sessions during three phases (base, pre-competitive, competitive) of a racing season.
Peak power and mean power measures increased between each of the seasonal phases. The critical velocity for peak power increased most from base to the other two phases. Velocity changes near competitive phases are small and need to be monitored in other ways.
Implication. Critical velocity and power changes are most marked in the early phases of a training season. The usefulness of these measures decreases as competitions and peak trained states approach.
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