I believe in the power of measurable goals. A scheduled performance testing is a great way for any athlete to stay on track, to remain motivated and to monitor progress. Derived testing results provide valuable information to the coach and the athlete. I use the testing results to paint a performance profile of my athlete and identify what my athlete need to focus on during the next training phase (6 to 10 weeks).
(Picture: Dan Bergland (VOLT Sportlab in Flagstaff, Arizona) and I, 2012)
Every training plan I design looks at the current performance level of my athlete and his/her specific race requirements (i.e. short or long course triathlons) or specific fitness goal.
It is important to understand that every athlete is an individual which means every athlete should receive an individual training plan. For example, the training plan of a slow twitch athlete looks different compared to the training of a fast twitch athletes even though both athletes might have the same goal, for example an Ironman Triathlon.
Other factors that must be considered such as age, sex, experience, recovery ability or training availability just to name a few.
London based triathlete James T. performed a bike lactate testing on July 25th 2013.
and retested November 12th, 2013.
As you can easily see his aerobic capacity greatly improved by 20% (210w vs 255w) whiles his anaerobic system remained pretty much the same which means he definately gained on aerobic power. His ability to remove and to utilize lactate called lactate shuttle has also greatly improved which you can see during the first few stages. He received specific cycling agility drills which helped to improve economy of pedalling (movement) and that probably contributed positively to the performance improvements.