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About Conconi Test
This simple non-laboratory field test lets cyclists pinpoint training zones. The Conconi test identifies a cyclist's anaerobic threshold, or AT, the point at which the body cannot manufacture sufficient energy by burning oxygen. Above this point, a cyclist cannot sustain an effort very long. Just below this point, you achieve your fastest long-term speed.

AT Training has since been supplanted by the more accurate lactate threshold, which identifies not when a cyclist goes anaerobic, but the intensity just below the point when the production of lactic acid (which causes the familiar muscle burn) overwhelms the body’s ability to clear it away. *reference: Bicycling Jan/Feb06

Why you should know your Anaerobic Threshold
From 80% to 90% of your Maximum Heart Rate, you will be training at or near your anaerobic threshold. When training within this range, the primary benefit is to increase your body's ability to metabolize lactic acid, allowing you to train harder before crossing over into the pain of lactate accumulation and oxygen debt.

If you were asked to describe the intensity of this level, you would say it was "hard". You are going to feel the pain that comes with training hard - tired muscles, heavy breathing and fatigue. If you keep with it though, in return, the training effect will occur, and you will be able to sustain more work over longer amounts of time at lower heart rate levels. This is the zone that you should be training at.

Details of the Conconi Test
Testing Procedure:

  • Athletes will have to bring their own bicycles which will be fitted unto the bike trainer
  • Starting wattage to be determined by test conductors
  • Keep the exact same position during the whole ride (same aerodynamic - best to be accomplished with an aero bar)
  • You start on a perceived easy pace (HR 110-120) and your ride will be at an incremental pace Heart rate will be recorded at every lap by the test conductors
  • The test will end once you will become unable to hold a constant speed over the whole lap

Your heart rate will be plotted against your speed in a diagram. The computation and analysis will be done by the test conductors followed by a detailed discussion on the attained results.

Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement. Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test and sustaining the increasing pace.

With the knowledge of this threshold, athletes should target to plan their training zones with reference to this threshold according to the type of competition they intend to train for.

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