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Relationships between submaximal performance parameters over time when endurance cycling performance improves: implications for interpretation of the Lamberts and Lambert submaximal cycle test
  1. B Capostagno,
  2. R P Lamberts,
  3. M I Lambert
  1. UCT/MRC Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, PO Box 115, Newlands, 7725 Cape Town, South Africa


To achieve the greatest possible gains in athletic performance it is necessary to find the balance between the optimal training stimulus and the shortest, but sufficient recovery period. The Lamberts and Lambert submaximal cycle test (LSCT), which was used to monitor the status of fatigue in a world-class cyclo-cross cyclist, showed changes in retinal pigmented epithelial, submaximal power and heart rate recovery (HRR). The purpose of the present study was the retrospective analysis of the same variables in a group of well-trained cyclists who had completed 2 weeks of high-intensity interval training, to determine whether the cyclists who adapted positively could be differentiated from the others who did not. Twelve well-trained cyclists were recruited for participation in the present study. The participants performed a 40-km time trial (40-km TT) before and after 2 weeks of high-intensity training, which included four high-intensity interval training sessions. The participants were then retrospectively divided into two groups based on whether they improved (group A, N=6) their 40-km TT performance or not (group M, N=6). The LSCT was completed before each performance test and each training session resulting in the capture of eight LSCTs in total. Changes over time within the parameters of the LSCT (power, RPE and HRR) were analysed between the two groups. Group A improved their 40-km TT time (analysis of variance repeated measures; p<0.01). There was a relationship between submaximal power and time (ie, days of training) in the second (r=0.74; p=0.0369) and third (r=0.81; p=0.0159) stages of the LSCT in group A. A similar relationship was found between HRR and time in group A (r=0.89; p=0.0031). These differences/relationships did not occur in group M. These results support previous findings which demonstrate the relationship between outcome measures of the LSCT and cycling performance and highlight the importance of considering more than one variable when monitoring training adaptation.

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