There are various measures for determining the submaximal economy. Blood lactate threshold and laboratory-based time trials are two essential methods of testing.
Cycling is a great sport and an excellent aerobic activity that can keep you fit and energetic. The energy level of the cyclist is measured through various tools before they enter professional sports. Proper fitness training is given to them based on their energy levels.
It is important to determine a submaximal economy.
Blood Lactate threshold is one of the methods. When the body is not able to supply all of its energy needs aerobically, then at that time, lactate is produced.
Blood lactate testing
A blood lactate profile can be determined by testing a blood sample from a finger prick. The point where the lactate rises faster indicates a transitory threshold.
Lactate testing is a measure of the submaximal economy, but the true value is not very evident.
The threshold point cannot be accurately assessed, as there may be day-to-day changes in lactate responses. Mathematical calculations also vary. Lactate threshold testing is less beneficial to most of the cyclists.
A group of cyclists was tested for the submaximal economy to find out how much energy was consumed while performing a standard submaximal workload. It was found that the overall work efficiency ranged between 17 and 26%, with an average somewhere in the middle.
0 calories out of 100 calories burnt were used in pedaling the ergometer.
The submaximal economy is measured in terms of movement velocity for given energy consumption. It is the ratio of power produced to the movement intended. For example, cycling with a speed of 40 km.
Laboratory-based time trials
Another method of measuring the submaximal economy is by undergoing laboratory-based time trials. These normally would be at a distance of 20 kilometers and would reveal the actual demands of cycling competition.
The athletes can pace themselves effectively, assuming that they are well motivated. The time trial test provides good sustained power and average heart rate.
Since it is self-paced and nonsteady it is difficult to determine any other physiological response.
An athlete has to have good endurance capability to successfully complete a race. But road cycling and mountain biking depends heavily on anaerobic capabilities.
The standard Wintage protocol is used in most laboratories to test anaerobic capability. The athlete has to quickly complete as much work as possible in 30 seconds sprint test.
Anaerobic power (the maximal power generated by the muscle) and anaerobic capacity (the total power that the muscle can produce using anaerobic sources) are calculated using peak power and average power. This way, the submaximal economy can be assessed.