A test of Power: Part 3 - using the data

Posted by James Greenwood | 1:45 PM | View Comments

Now that I have the test results from my Cp30 test, what do I do with them?

This question is often asked by athletes (and some coaches), after a performance tests have been completed, and you have a bunch of raw data staring back at you.

Fortunately, analyzing and using the data from your CP30 test is very simple, and you will soon be using the results of from your analysis in your training and racing, without a problem.

From your 30 minutes of effort, you will should have recorded an Average Power Output (in Watts). I like to keep heart rate in the mix for interest sake, so I have included your Average Heart Rate for the 30 minutes too.

You have 2 options available to you:

  1. You can use the data to set up Power Zones for training
  2. Yo can use the data to extrapolate what outputs you could use during various race distances (from sprint to Half Iron).
The Column on the furthest left (Zone Description), is a combination of race distances and training zones. Each category is calculated using a percentage of your Critical Power score, and the colums to its right (%CP30), gives the guidelines you will working within to set your Upper and Lower training limits (Set up a simple Excel spreadsheet template, that calculates the values for you).

In the table above, I have done the same with Heart Rate to see how it correlates with my tested Anaerobic Threshold (BTW, 166b/min is only 3 beats above my Individual Anaerobic Threshold - not to shabby for a little ol' field test).

For example:
According to the the results from this test, a Critical Power of 220 watts would have me doing my Long endurance rides at a power output of 147 - 161 watts. Racing an Olympic distance triathlon at 187 - 198 watts, and any Recovery Riding would be done under 147 watts.

Very interesting indeed!


This information allows one to use a very advanced training tool, without requiring a level 3 Cycling coaching certification.

It also allows one to monitor and track improvements in performance, make adjustments to power zone limits regularly and be confident that the wattages you are using in your training, are not predicted or guesstimated, but are a true reflection of what you are capable of.

This simple test can be repeated every 6 - 12 weeks, and each time the test is completed, be sure to replicate the process exactly to ensure the highest levels of Test-Retest reliability.

Now that you are armed with all the information necessary to implement this protocol, get to it.

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at MyPypeline.com, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
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