A long time ago (2007) I went down to take part in some physiological testing during a training camp in Temecula, California. As part of Powertap training camp, Alan Lim conducted step tests to determine lactate threshold for all the campers. I normally do four of these tests per year, with one in the early stages of my base preparation phase for the season. In the early season, it is important for me to see my yearly starting point. It is encouraging when my January results reflect previous results for late in the previous season, which is an indication that overall my form from year to year is improving, but that is not always the case. I always look at test results as a relative measure rather than an absolute indicator. Just as you can have good and bad days racing, so too can your tests vary according to how you feel. Never beat yourself up about test results… there is something called competition that truly measures individual ability. Only races will really indicate your true athletic potential.
Alan measured an interesting marker that during this year’s test. In addition to watts, heart rate and lactate values, Alan measured our perceived effort and graphed all of the numbers together. Perceived effort was first quantified by a man named Gunnar Borg. He created a 15 point 6-20 scale to produce estimates of exertion. This scale has also been adapted to the CR10 Scale as follows: