LABORATORY TESTS ONLY PARTLY REPLICATE A REAL ACTIVITY
Linaker, K. L., Martin, D. T., Lawton, E., Rattray, B., Kushanik, N. W., & Roberts, A. D. (2003). Physiological responses of well-trained cyclists to field and laboratory mountain bike race simulations. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 188.
Well-trained mountain bike cyclists (N = 5) performed two laps of a course. A laboratory race-simulation was performed using a wind-braked ergometer. Ss attempted to match the average and peak power output experienced in the field in the laboratory setting.
Mean power output and heart rate were similar between the field and laboratory environments. Power-cadence relationships were not replicated in the laboratory test.
Implication. While a laboratory test was able to stimulate power output and heart rate responses that were similar to those recorded in a field test, the power-cadence characteristic was not duplicated indicating the incomplete replication of a field activity in the laboratory. It would be wrong for coaches and sport scientists to place "complete" faith in the implications of laboratory tests for field performances.
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