Training for an endurance event, such as a triathlon, is no small feat. It requires dedication to a difficult sport and for the endurance athlete to be committed to a training plan. Athletes in training inevitably develop a close relationship with their bodies and can often identify their natural and unique cues. But sometimes, when training gets tough, an athlete needs help deciphering what their body is communicating to them.
This is when performance assessment tests, such as the Performance Testing Optimize Performance & INSCYD offer, become invaluable.
What is an Endurance Performance Assessment Test?
Performance assessments are used by athletes and their endurance coaches to gain a clear understanding of the efficacy and efficiency of an athlete’s endurance training efforts. It measures key physical performance metrics and cardiorespiratory endurance indicators that have been scientifically proven to accurately portray individual fitness levels.
There are a few different tests available, and some are more in-depth than others, but each provides information an athlete can use to enhance their endurance sports training efforts. Examples of traditionally used fitness tests include:
Functional Threshold Power Test (FTP)
VO2 Max Test
Ventilatory Threshold Test
Anaerobic Threshold Test
Each of the above tests is designed to assess an individual’s cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular fitness, which is important. At Optimize Performance, we believe how that information is collected and how an athlete chooses to use the information, is the key to successful triathlon training.
Why Optimize Performance & INSCYD Cycling and Running Power Performance Decoder Testing?
An INSCYD Power Performance Decoder test is unique for runners, cyclists and triathletes. It combines accurate fitness data collection with insightful data analysis to identify a runner and cyclist’s areas of strength. This information is used to find meaningful, athlete-specific ways to improve cycling performance. Instead of using traditional laboratory settings for tests, the INSCYD PPD and PPD-R test is carried out during actual training sessions using INSCYD’s PPD protocol.
What does an INSCYD PPD and PPD-R Test Measure?
Just as with laboratory testing, the following key metrics are measured as part of both protocols but unlike most laboratory tests the INSCYD PPD & PPD-R measures all of these metrics in one test rather than measuring one or two metrics and working backwards from there:
Individual Training Zones
However, the benefit of choosing an Optimize Performance & INSCYD test over standard fitness assessments is in the collection and analysis methods the INSCYD PPD & PPD-R uses. Optimize Performance & INSCYD testing collects a broader range of data making the protocol incredibly accurate, wider reaching and more useful in its application.
How are Optimize Performance & INSCYD Test Results Used?
When physical fitness tests are performed by runners and cyclists in real-time, under real running and cycling conditions, the results can offer insight into an athlete’s performance that may be missed in traditional, lab-fitness test settings. And, when accurate information is analyzed in an innovative software program, a full picture of an athlete’s endurance progress is easily viewed.
Gain Accurate Insight with INSCYD PPD
Learn Your Personal Training Status
Every athlete’s body is different and what works for one runner/cyclist when training for their first, seventh, or fourteenth triathlon may not work for another. That means training for an endurance sport requires an athlete to have a clear view of their personal performance, which is provided with an Optimize Performance & INSCYD test.
When accurate results from a fitness assessment are available, an athlete can use those results and work with their coach to curate an effective and individualized triathlon training program. When an athlete is training for a longer distance triathlon or Ironman event it is important to know how hard the athlete can push over the long haul. This is when the Optimize Performance & INSCYD testing becomes invaluable.
Optimize Performance & INSCYD Analysis
The Optimize Performance & INSCYD PPD and PPD-R test helps establish exactly what intensity each individual athlete can expect to hold by establishing fat and carbohydrate combustion rates. These metrics are crucial when establishing the ideal pace for an athlete.
For example, a seasoned triathlon athlete experiencing an unexplained decrease in running or cycling performance consults an endurance coach to help find the source of the problem. After reviewing the results of the INSCYD PPD test, it was determined the athlete had a high VLamax. This indicates the athlete is leaning too much and too readily on carbohydrate as a fuel source.
Knowing this information empowers the coach to implement training strategies that will lower the VLamax and effectively improve the athlete’s efficiency for longer distance triathlon and cycling events.
Adopt a Nutrition Plan that Supports Endurance Training
Eat Right for Your Training Goals
Bodies burn fuel differently from one another. And, how a body burns fuel changes depending on several factors. Age, life stage, training intensity, metabolism, gender, allergies are all factors that can affect how an athlete’s body will use the fuel it’s given. Those factors also impact what unique nutrients are required to keep up with the athletes’ training goals.
With the testing provided by Optimize Performance, running and cycling athletes can learn exactly how the foods they’re choosing are impacting their training efforts. And, with trained coaches who understand sports nutrition and work with education nutritionists, Optimize Performance and INSCYD's test results can be used to develop a tailored nutrition plan unique to your fuel needs and training goals.
Monitor Marathon or Triathlon Training Progress
Reveal Invisible Training Successes
Knowing how far you’ve come in a training program can sometimes be a tricky thing to measure. Especially during times when progress is seemingly non-existent.
When lags in progress occur, it’s easy to become disheartened. And, if an athlete encounters the same training setbacks repeatedly, such as a recurring injury, it can be tempting to quit training altogether.
Regular Optimize Performance & INSCYD performance assessment tests, done bi-annually or quarterly, is an easy way to overcome setbacks and see positive progressions that may otherwise be invisible. For example, an athlete’s Functional Threshold Power or Anaerobic Threshold will often increase after focused blocks of training. But, if the athlete does not test what this number is regularly the coach may not be using appropriate intensities during specific training sessions.
Optimize Performance & INSCYD Results Offer Clarity
Our results can provide answers to help overcome training challenges. For example, a triathlon competitor informs their coaching team about experiencing a lag in energy around the 30km mark of their weekly triathlon cycling route. This suggests that perhaps the athlete is experiencing a drop in blood sugar. Fortunately, this athlete has had an Optimize Performance & INSCYD PPD test and the coach will know how much carbohydrate the athlete is burning at specific wattages or intensities.
This knowledge will help the athlete avoid a drop in blood sugar and produce a much more productive training session. The coach can adjust the athletes nutrition strategy and stabilize the athlete’s blood sugars during training sessions. Not only will it show that the strides you’re making are improving your performance and physical health, but it can provide the mental motivation needed to stay committed to your sport.
Start Using the Performance Testing That Will Launch Your Team and Athletes (AND YOU) Forward
At Optimize Performance, we’ve helped hundreds of athletes and coaches at the professional and amateur level attain their triathlon and cycling training goals. Our Testing services provide athletes with experience, insight, and the power of accurate fitness testing to deliver the best metrics possible to guide them to success. To get your training on the same level as your goals and expectations, contact our expert team today.