Validity and reliability of critical power field testing

B. Karsten, S. A. Jobson, J. Hopker, L. Stevens, C Beedie

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To test the validity and reliability of field critical power (CP).

Laboratory CP tests comprised three exhaustive trials at intensities of 80, 100 and 105 % maximal aerobic power and CP results were compared with those determined from the field. Experiment 1: cyclists performed three CP field tests which comprised maximal efforts of 12, 7 and 3 min with a 30 min recovery between efforts. Experiment 2: cyclists performed 3 × 3, 3 × 7 and 3 × 12 min individual maximal efforts in a randomised order in the field. Experiment 3: the highest 3, 7 and 12 min power outputs were extracted from field training and racing data.

Standard error of the estimate of CP was 4.5, 5.8 and 5.2 % for experiments 1–3, respectively. Limits of agreement for CP were −26 to 29, 26 to 53 and −34 to 44 W for experiments 1–3, respectively. Mean coefficient of variation in field CP was 2.4, 6.5 and 3.5 % for experiments 1–3, respectively. Intraclass correlation coefficients of the three repeated trials for CP were 0.99, 0.96 and 0.99 for experiments 1–3, respectively.

Results suggest field-testing using the different protocols from this research study, produce both valid and reliable CP values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • critical power
  • critical velocity
  • field-testing capacity
  • reliability
  • Validity


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