Application of critical power to sport

Anni Vanhatalo, Andrew M. Jones, M. Burnley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    151 Citations (SciVal)

    Abstract

    The critical power (CP) is mathematically defined as the power-asymptote of the hyperbolic relationship between power output and time-to-exhaustion. Physiologically, the CP represents the boundary between the steady-state and nonsteady state exercise intensity domains and therefore may provide a more meaningful index of performance than other well-known landmarks of aerobic fitness such as the lactate threshold and the maximal O2 uptake. Despite the potential importance to sports performance, the CP is often misinterpreted as a purely mathematical construct which lacks physiological meaning and only in recent years has this concept begun to emerge as valid and useful technique for monitoring endurance fitness. This commentary defines the basic principles of the CP concept, outlines its importance to high-intensity exercise performance, and provides an overview of the current methods available for its assessment. Interventions including training, pacing and prior exercise can be used to alter the parameters of the power-time relationship. A future challenge lies in optimizing such interventions in order to positively affect the parameters of the power-time relationship and thereby enhance sports performance in specific events.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)128-136
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
    Volume6
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2011

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