How To Get An Inside View Into Your Physiology and Take The Guesswork Out of Training - Without Going To A Lab!
What is the best way to improve your power and performance on the bike, the run or even in the pool?
Is it Sweet Spot training? High volumes of long slow distance? Perhaps polarised training? Maybe reversed periodisation training?
INSCYD Metabolic Profiling
tHE ORIGINS OF YOUR performance
The only correct answer is, it depends. But YOU will find out just what is the best solution for you, when you discover the building blocks of YOUR power, and how it is completely determined by two fundamental physiological variables.
No more guessing. Find out with confidence how you should be training to improve power, your speed and achieve your goals.
How INSCYD metabolic profiling improves performance
Performance is not random. It can be broken down into a very small number of fundamental components. In cycling, we really don't need to worry about much more than aerobic capacity (VO2max), glycolytic capacity (VLaMax), and aerodynamics.
We don't even need to care about Functional Threshold Power (FTP, or the anaerobic threshold), as this is determined to 98% by the combination of VO2max and VLaMax.
If performance is so predictable, and we know how changing VO2max and VLaMax will impact your FTP and your race performance, then why is it that 99% of triathletes train without knowing WHY we do the training that we're doing? It's because we don't understand our own physiology and metabolic profile.
With the INSCYD Power Performance Decoder (PPD) service is one you can do anywhere in the world, using only your power meter, you will learn get accurate information about your own physiology. And when you know what your VO2max, VLaMax, Anaerobic Threshold, Fat and Carb oxidation rates are, suddenly your training will no longer be a bunch of guesswork (you might call it educated guesswork, but it's still guesswork).
Not only CAN you do this testing anywhere in the world, but you literally CANNOT do this testing in almost any laboratory. Typically these labs will only test your VO2max and your threshold, but you will not get to know your VLaMax. And since VLaMax is elite coaches' secret weapon to performance, you should never do another lab test unless they too can provide you with this crucial metric.
Once you have completed the testing and received your results, you will KNOW for a fact which "knob to turn" - should you train your VO2max, your VLaMax, try to get your threshold to a higher percentage of VO2max, or should you practise your ability to oxidise fat?
Power Performance Decoder
INSCYD’s PPD is used by world championship cyclists and triathletes around the world.
In the last few months, PPD has been used and thoroughly tested by pro teams CCC, SEG Racing as well as by many WorldTour coaches and coaching businesses, also in direct comparison to lactate and lab tests. This way, top-level accuracy is not only guaranteed, but validated.
INSCYD is not a training software. It’s a performance analysis tool that will allow you to truly tailor your training sessions to your goals and needs. Start training for real. You can’t improve what you can’t measure.
The Power-Performance Decoder allows us to assess the full 360° metabolic profile based on entirely remote testing. In the last few months, PPD has been used and thoroughly tested by pro teams CCC, SEG Racing as well as by many WorldTour coaches and coaching businesses, also in direct comparison to lactate and lab tests. This way, top-level accuracy is not only guaranteed, but validated.
PPD comes as an unprecedented tool because this test can be done anywhere with a powermeter. With simple instructions given to the athlete and without the need for a coach to be present.
So, if you want to maximise your training whilst we are experiencing the most challenging environment in living history then this is critical for you. You don’t even need to leave your home.
By completing the testing, you won’t waste a single second or minute of training.
Your results from the testing include:
VO2max - maximum aerobic performance
VLamax - maximum glycolytic performance
Fat combustion rate
Carbohydrate combustion rate
Aerobic & Anaerobic energy contribution
Lactate recovery and accumulation
There are 4 components to the test which can be completed over a 72 hour window if needed:
Once the test is completed all you have to do is send the separate respective files across to us and we do the rest
Your Results - Your physiology, your metabolic fingerprint, and your training zones
You will be sent a full report with all the metrics mentioned above, and a few key charts that will help you apply the information in practice. For example, as training interventions or race fuelling plans. Importantly, you will also get training zones that apply to you as an individual.
You will also get access to plenty of content and information designed specifically so you can understand your test results and most importantly, apply it in practice in training and racing!
At worst it is a secret weapon, and at best it will result in a quantum leap in your performance since the resulting training plan is not only tailored to your goals but to your individual metabolism.
Metrics - a 360-degree view of your physiology
With the INSCYD Power Performance Decoder test you can obtain a full metabolic and performance profile. The test result is a multi-dimensional model that includes all the relevant physiological components of performance. Your capacity to perform in any race and the way you should train to improve on that performance can be boiled down into the following metrics that you will obtain.
VO2max (aerobic capacity)
From a 400m run to an IRONMAN triathlon, the aerobic capacity - or VO2max - is the single most important performance metric.
Measuring VO2max isn't something new. But with INSCYD testing you can now see how VO2max interacts with race and training performances:
Explain changes in anaerobic threshold power.
Compare the effect of high-intensity interval training over high-volume endurance training on VO2max and fitness improvements.
Understand the impact of VO2max on fat oxidation and carbohydrate combustion.
Evaluate the impact of specialized nutrition regimes to further increase VO2max.
Along with your test results, you will get information and content on different ways to improve VO2max, so that if this is your limiter, you know what training you should do to address it.
VLaMax (glycolytic/anaerobic capacity)
There are two sides of VLamax (glycolytic capacity).
On the one hand, a high VLamax increases the power available for short efforts: a 200m swimming race, a 400m run, an attack, a sprint.
On the other hand, a low VLamax improves the anaerobic threshold and fat combustion and shortens recovery from hard efforts.
This means even for an Olympic distance race, you want a low VLaMax to maximise your performance. Knowing your VLaMax will be a game-changer in your training program:
Explain changes in anaerobic threshold power, and plan for how to best improve threshold power.
Plan your personal target VLaMax based on your goal races (there will be huge differences between an Ironman athlete and a cyclocross or criterium cyclist)
Decide on what training will allow you to decrease/increase your VLaMax until you reach your own ideal VLaMax.
Tune your nutrition to further help decrease/increase VLaMax.
Understand the impact of VLaMax on fat oxidation and carbohydrate combustion.
Along with your test results, you will get information and content on different ways to alter (decrease or increase) VLaMax, so that whichever way you need to take it, you know what training you should do to do so.
Anaerobic Threshold / FTP
INSCYD detects your anaerobic threshold as per the scientific definition: the maximum intensity at which lactate combustion matches lactate production.
But knowing your threshold power simply isn't good enough! Only if you understand WHY it is what it is can you effectively change it.
High VO2max and high VLaMax? Reduce VLaMax.
Low VO2max and low VLaMax? Increase VO2max.
Anything in between? INSCYD will show you the relative strenght of your VO2max/VLaMax, and make it easy for you to decide which one to tackle first, in order to improve threshold power.
Scientific validation of INSCYD's threshold testing shows an accuracy of 2.5%. Better than with any other validated method.
INSCYD offers the only detection of the anaerobic threshold which has been specifically validated in women - no other lactate or FTP test does this.
Along with your test results, you will get information and content on how best to tackle anaerobic threshold improvements in various scenarios, as described above.
Fat and Carb combustion
Increasing fat oxidation and thereby sparing precious and limited glycogen is a very important part of endurance events. Especially so when we talk about half and full Ironman racing.
But fat and carb combustion is highly individual - there is no certain "percent of FTP" at which your maximum fat oxidation occurs, and how much carbs you use at e.g. your goal race intensity is natually also very much individual to you.
Use INSCYD's accurate and validated fat and carb combustion reports to:
Tailor your race (and training) nutrition plans to how much carbohydrate you actually combust at your race intensity.
Use your own experience of your maximum tolerance for taking on energy in races to fine-tune your pacing plan so you don't run out of fuel, and to set a benchmark for how much you should increase your tolerance to take on energy by practising it in training.
Know your FatMax zone and train in it to improve your ability to oxidise fat for fuel.
Use nutritional strategies to improve your fat oxidation and evaluate the impact of them.
Along with your test results, you will get information and content on different ways to use the knowledge of your fat and carb combustion rates to tailor race nutrition plans as well as to improve fat oxidation with training.
Lactate accumulation and recovery
If your racing scene is high-level draft-legal triathlon or cycling disciplines with large variations in intensity (road racing, cyclocross, crit racing) then your ability to use lactate as fuel and to shuttle it is critical in your performance puzzle.
These abilities are highly trainable, and INSCYD testing allows you to monitor your progress and improvements in your production and combustion of lactate.
Learn exactly how quickly lactate accumulates in your blood at any given intensity. This information will inform tactical racing decisions like when to initiate a breakaway, when to go with one, and when to hold back and keep it cool.
Learn exactly how quickly you process and get rid of lactate at any given intensity. This information will inform tactical racing decisions like when should you nex try to do a breakaway after getting caught up from a previous attempt.
Use knowledge of your lactate recovery rate to tailor your interval training recovery duration and intensity. You may want to do your recovery intervals at a higher intensity than you think, but also, make them longer than you think you should, to really optimise the effects of your training.
Along with your test results, you will get information and content on how to use knowledge of your individual lactate production and combustion rates to inform race tactics and to optimise interval training.
Individual Training Zones
It's about time we move on from thinking that everybody can be training various energy systems using the SAME generic percentages of FTP.
Your results will contain training zones completely individual to you and your physiology. Whether you want to go out and do VO2max intervals or a FatMax ride, you will have an accurate power target for you to hit your training objective.
Do you have any questions about the service or want to know if it is right for you? Contact me at email@example.com and I'll be happy to help you out.
PPD - Level 1
A 1 time test If you have a basic understanding of exercise physiology and metabolism and are ready to do a little work on your own to understand your results, this is an affordable option for you.
PPD - Level 2
If you want to be sure that you make the correct training decisions from your results, but think you'll be fine follow-up questions over email, this is the best option for you (most athletes fall in this category)
PPD - Level 3
If you want to get those last few percentage points of performance (marginal gains), then a one-to-one consultation with coach Duncan allows you to apply your results to improve performance to even greater effect.
With 4 tests this is the ideal option for athletes serious about continuous improvement and optimal training over the course of an entire year as your physiology changes..
How does this service help me improve performance?As mentioned elsewhere on this page, performance is not random. And the training that works GREAT for one athlete, might be horrible for another athlete if they have different metabolic profiles. For example, an athlete training for long-course non-draft triathlon that has a high VLaMax will need to lower it to improve their FTP and fat oxidation, and therefore performance in these longer races. If this athlete tries to follow a very polarised training plan, with a large amount of low-intensity training and a few high-intensity interval sessions chances are that in those interval sessions, the athlete will go too hard and trigger a glycolytic stimulus that will keep their VLaMax high or even increase it. What this athlete should be doing instead is to train in a much less polarised manner, do more sweet spot and tempo work, ideally with low-cadence efforts, and perhaps even complement this with some fasted rides in their FatMax-zone. Now THAT is how they will lower VLaMax, and therefore improve FTP and performance in long-distance triathlon. Your metabolic profile may be different, but no matter what it is, you will always be able to fine-tune your training to whatever your individual case may be.
How Accurate Is The Testing & How Does It Compare To A Lab TestINSCYD is build bottom up from more than 150 scientific studies and on more than 30 years of sport science history and development. As an example, scientific validation of INSCYD's calculations for the anaerobic threshold shows an average tolerance of 2.5% - compared to traditional lactate threshold tests which fall in the 4-10% range. For VO2max, the best metabolic carts, as used in high quality, human performance labs, encounter a typical error of 2-4%. INSCYD matches that accuracy. For VLaMax, a notoriously difficult thing to measure, if you go to one of a handful of high performance laboratories in the world that can actually measure it correctly, you will get a 4-6% accurate results. INSCYD's power only protocol is good at around 10%, but considering the financial and time commitment of going to one of those labs, the 10% accuracy is clearly better value for money. To summarise, INSCYD's algorithms are extremely robust, and the main source of inaccuracy comes from equipment, such as a poorly calibrated power meter. Make sure that your power meter works well, has fresh batteries, and is calibrated, and the INSCYD test is generally as accurate or better than even the best laboratories for FTP and VO2max in particular.
I Am Not A Fast Triathlete or Cyclist. Will I still benefit from this?Yes! Have you considered that perhaps the reason you are not fast is that the training you have been doing is not well-suited for your physiology and metabolic profile? Perhaps your profile is more of a low VO2max AND low VLaMax. The key for you then if triathlon, especially non-drafting, is your goal, is to increase your VO2max. If your training has been very oriented towards Sweet Spot and tempo or other "mid-zone" intensities, then it is no wonder you're at a plateau. Your loading on with training stimulus designed to lower VLaMax, when it's already as low as it needs to be, and probably can be. What you need to be doing, is to work on VO2max, which you can do in a number of ways, including increasing training volume (primarily at low intensity), incorporating high-intensity intervals (e.g. VO2max intervals), a combination of the two, or a number of other potential solutions. The point is - professional or back-of-the-packer, we all have our individual physiology, and for any of us to improve, we will ALWAYS benefit from planning our training with the lights on rather than blind-folded in that dark room we can't find our way out from.
How accurate is the testing and how does it compare to testing in a laboratory?INSCYD is build bottom up from more than 150 scientific studies and on more than 30 years of sport science history and development. As an example, scientific validation of INSCYD's calculations for the anaerobic threshold shows an average tolerance of 2.5% - better than with any other validated method. For VO2max, the best metabolic carts, as used in high quality, human performance labs, encounter a typical error of 2%. INSCYD can match that, even with a poorly calibrated power meter. To summarise, INSCYD's algorithms are extremely robust, and the main source of inaccuracy comes from equipment, such as a poorly calibrated power meter. Make sure that your power meter works well, has fresh batteries, and is calibrated, and the INSCYD test is as accurate or better than even the best laboratories.
How do you test?There are 2 types of tests that we can perform, Lactate Testing and Power Perfomace Decoder. Which one we choose is based upon a number of factors, location and your needs. The PPD can be perfromed remotley, all you will need is a power meter or a high end Smart Turbo trainer. The Lactate testing has to be perfromed in person.
Lactate TestingGo beyond the old school way of lactate testing. Conventional lactate testing has not improved in the past 40 years. With INSCYD, though, you can finally understand the complete underlying physiology of your athlete and create a holistic performance profile of any athlete. And only through a lactate measurement! With INSCYD We can: Access the full set of metrics available through our software. Test anywhere: in the lab or in the field. INSCYD adapts to both conditions Use a step test protocol in combination with some maximal efforts, or any variety of different durations & intensities. Test specifically: test you based upon close race conditions, on a climb, after a 200m freestyle time trial, or after a 800m flat-out run, there is no end to the scenarios we can test under. Add VO2 measurements if you can. INSCYD takes data from any sport. We enter the data into INSCYD and instantly receive the complete performance profile of your athlete. Directly compare lactate tests of different protocols, and even when you have two data sets that shows different durations and intensities.
Power Perfromance DecoderThe human performance lab you always wanted With a Power Perfromace Decoder test and without visiting a lab, you can obtain a full performance profile of your metabolic profile and obtain the same result you could only get in the best equipped labs. More specifically, with the PPD test by INSCYD and through Sisu Racing you now can: Obtain physiological data where it matters: on the road, on the bike, on a track. Ensure lab test accuracy: determination of VO2max, VLmax, anaerobic threshold is en par with lab testing! Maximise the use of power meters and power based training. Understand how a power output is composed and what has to be done in training to improve it.
Can I see my Strengths and Weakness's?A 360° view on athletic performance - at a glance! INSCYD's metabolic fingerprint allows you to instantly see a full strength and weakness analysis at a glance. This feature gives an accurate and rich overview of the performance status of an athlete: See all the key metrics in one place. Visually quantify each metric. Raw data are ranked against a peer comparison group. Immediately identify which areas need more or less attention. We can help you to understand their strengths and weaknesses without the need of diving into numbers and graphs. Being able to accurately interpret and prioritise the areas where most work is needed and offer the greates return for your time invested in training.
Why This Test and Not A Lab One?Very few laboratories are able to test VLaMax, and therefore, in any such laboratory you will get an incomplete picture of your metabolism. The few that do offer VLaMax testing require a significant financial and time commitment to go to and test at (unless you happen to live right next to one). Getting VLaMax and VO2max is essential for being able to really know which knob to turn in training, so most labs shouldn't even be on your list of options when compared to INSCYD testing. In addition, the parameters that can be tested in most labs (VO2max, anaerobic threshold) are usually more accurately measured by INSCYD than by the lab, so even if your only reason for doing a test is to get to know what your VO2max is, doing an INSCYD test is how you will get the most accurate estimate of it.