CTS Cycling Field Test
CTS Field Test Instructions:
When performing the CTS Field Test, collect the following data:
- Average heart rate for each effort
- Max heart rate for each effort
- Average power for each effort (if you use a power meter)
- Average cadence for each effort
- Weather conditions (warm vs. Cold, windy vs. Calm, etc.)
- Course conditions (indoors vs. Outdoors, flat vs. Hilly, point-to-point vs. Out and back, etc.)
- Rate of perceived exertion (RPE, or how hard you felt you were working) for each effort.
Step 1: Find A Suitable Course And Warm Up
The CTS Field Test can be completed on an indoor trainer, or you can find a relatively flat course or a course that is a consistent climb of about a 6 percent grade. (A course with steep climbs or descents will dictate your effort more than you will.)
Above all, find a course that’s safe, without stop signs or traffic lights. For the sake of being able to compare one test to another, complete the test in weather conditions that are reasonably common for your area.
Field Test Warm-Up
Start with 10 minutes of east to moderate-intensity riding and then complete the following warm-up routine:
- 1 minute FastPedal (light gear, bring your cadence up as high as you can without bouncing on the saddle)
- 1 minute easy spinning recovery
- 2 minutes FastPedal
- 1 minute easy spinning recovery
- 1 minute PowerInterval (max-intensity interval at 90 to 95 rpm; bring the intensity up gradually over the first 30 seconds and hold that effort level through the end of the interval)
- 2 minutes easy spinning recovery
- 1 minute PowerInterval
- 4 minutes easy spinning recovery
- Begin CTS Field Test
Step 2: Begin Your First Effort
Begin the effort from a standing start. Resist the urge to start too fast; you should reach your top speed about 45 to 60 seconds after you start, but not before that.
Step 3: Find Your Pace And Gear
Keep accelerating and shifting until you reach a speed you feel you can barely maintain for the length of the effort. Focus entirely on completing this effort at the highest power output you possibly can. Try to maintain a cadence above 90 rpm on flat ground or on an indoor trainer, and above 85 rpm if you’re completing the test on a climb. When you get to the final minute of the time trial, really open the throttle.
Step 4: Recover And Prepare For Effort #2
When you reach the end of Effort #1, you should be completely drained, but keep pedaling for the whole 10 minutes of recovery.
Step 5: Complete Effort #2
After the 10-minute recovery, begin Effort #2 from your start point. Gradually increase your speed for 45 to 60 seconds, just like the first effort. Avoid the temptation to pace yourself based on your first effort.
Step 6: Cool Down And Record Your Data
All that’s left is to cool down with easy spinning for 15 to 30 minutes. Record your CTS Field Test data, and use the information below to calculate your training intensities.
Calculating Cycling Training Zones And Intensities For CTS Workouts
To calculate your individual training intensities for CTS Workouts, you need to know either the higher of the two average power outputs or the higher of the two average heart rates from your CTS Field Test. If you have both pieces of information, you should calculate both power and heart-rate training intensities, but use the power ranges to gauge your interval efforts whenever possible.
Instructions For Calculating CTS Cycling Training Zones And Intensities:
1. Find the higher of the two average power outputs, and/or the higher of the two average heart rates from your CTS Field Test.
2. Multiply your higher average power output by 0.90 to get your threshold power number. Multiply your higher average heart rate by 0.93 to get your threshold heart rate.
3. Multiply this threshold power output and/or threshold heart rate by the percentages listed in the table below to establish the upper and lower limits of your training ranges. We have also provided a calculator below for you to auto calculate your training ranges.
|ZONE||% OF THRESHOLD POWER||% OF THRESHOLD HEART RATE|
Sample: Training Intensities For Joe Athlete
Let’s say Joe Athlete completed the CTS Field Test and calculated a threshold power output of 300 watts and threshold heart rate of 175 bmp.
He would use the 300 watts and the 175 heart rate to calculate his training intensities using the table below.
The lower limit of Joe’s Endurance intensity range would come out to 300 x 0.55 = 165 watts. The upper limit of his Endurance intensity range would come out to 300 x 0.75 = 225 watts.
So Joe should complete Endurance rides at a power output between 165 and 225 watts. The table below has been filled out with all of Joe Athlete’s intensity ranges.
|ZONE||% OF THRESHOLD POWER||CTS POWER INTENSITY RANGE (WATTS)||% OF THRESHOLD HEART RATE||CTS HEART RATE INTENSITY RANGE(BPM)|
CTS Cycling Training Zones & Intensity Ranges Calculator
You can use the online calculator below to automatically calculate your cycling training zones, or we've also setup a Google Sheet calculator you can use to calculate and save your training zones.