Power Based Cycling Coaching

What is a Field Test?

KLTS Cycling Field Test

In order to evaluate your fitness periodically, KLTS has devised a simple benchmark workout that gives valuable feedback to your KLTS coach and helps him/her determine your progress. Results of this workout will also help your coach periodically evaluate your progress and define your next few weeks of training. This workout is called the KLTS Field Test.

KLTS Field Test

The KLTS Field Test for Fitness is essentially a time-trial that is repeated two times during the same workout. In other words, you’re about to ride as hard as you possibly can for each time trial with 10 minutes of recovery between the efforts. KLTS will be looking for the following data to be recorded from the KLTS Field Test:

  • Time of each effort
  • Average power output from each effort.
  • Average heart rate during each effort.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Perceived exertion for each effort.


For Junior cyclists from ages 5 to 11 years old the time for field test is 4 minutes on the trainer

The time limit for Juniors 12 and older or adults is 8 minutes on the trainer or 3 miles on the road

From the date we will be able to tell plenty such as how quickly you recover between efforts, drop-off of average power and time for each effort, and your average heart rate between efforts. As your coach can then look back at past field tests to help understand how you are progressing.

As you collect this data over a long period of time, you and your coach will learn better how your body adapts to training and how to structure your training programs.

Listed below are the steps involved in taking your KLTS Field Test:

Step One:Find a test course

Locate and measure a flat three-mile course. Try to select roads that aren’t busy — a semi-residential area of town or a large city park. Try to choose the same time of day to conduct your KLTS Field Test. Repeatability is always important for testing. The reproduction of exact test conditions will ensure that comparison of results is as accurate as possible. Try to conduct the KLTS Field Test when the wind is relatively calm and temperature is warm but not hot. Conditions are usually more favorable in the early evening.

Step Two: Fuel your body properly

Do not eat for at least two hours before your test. During the 40 minutes prior to your test, drink a sports drink that is high in carbohydrates to help aid hydration and fuel replacement. As always, eat the same as you did during the last test.

Step Three: Warm up

Your KLTS coach may ask you to perform a specific warm-up routine for the field test. If you’re not given a specific routine, warm-up by riding hard enough to sweat for 10 to 20 minutes, but do not go as hard as you can. (Yet.)

Step Four: Start the ride with power

Start with your dominant leg, place that right crank arm at the two o’clock position so you get the most power out of your first pedal stroke. If possible, ask a friend to hold you in position at the start. Select a gear that allows for a quick, stable start. Stay out of the saddle to build speed quickly. When you hit top pedal cadence in your starting gear, sit down and prepare to gear up. Don’t start too fast — give yourself at least one minute to reach top speed.

Step Five: Find your ideal gear

Select a gear that allows you to maintain a cadence between 90-95 RPM (crank revolutions per minute) on flat terrain and 80-85 RPM if climbing. Avoid the impulse to mash a big gear at slow RPM –the greater resistance will allow more leg-burning lactic acid to develop. The secret is to use the gearing that is most efficient for your personal riding style. This will take some experimentation along with discussion with your coach — watch your speed and/or heart rate as you use different gearing to help establish optimum cadence.

Step Six: Feel the burn

Settle into a steady rhythm of breathing. From here on, it’s going to hurt. If it isn’t hard and painful at this point, you’re not working hard enough. Pedal harder and faster.

Step Seven: Time yourself

Time your ride to the nearest second. Record the weather conditions, gearing used and your perceived effort (rated from 1-10) for the test.

Step Eight: Recovery between efforts

Between time trial efforts, you will be given 10 minutes recovery time before you need to repeat the effort. Normally, your KLTS coach will prescribe a very specific amount of recovery time between efforts. During this recovery period, ride slowly at low intensity, stopping only long enough to drink or eat as necessary. Staying on the bike will help flush the lactic acid from your muscles and help keep them ready and warm for the next effort.

Step Nine: Cool down

Finish the KLTS Field Test with an easy ride of 15-30 minutes of easy spinning to flush your system after the challenge. Record this information and send it to your KLTS coach for analysis.

Want to learn more then contact Mike Lovegren and get coached with Power 970-443-8752