University of Konstanz, Germany
Optimal Strategies, Critical Power, Road Cycling, Optimal Feedback.
Computer Systems in Sports
Simulation and Mathematical Modeling
Sport Science Research and Technology
Lately, modeling and optimizing endurance performance has become popular. Optimal strategies have been calculated for running as well as for cycling. Since most of these studies are of theoretical nature, we performed a series of experiments to determine whether race performance can actually be improved using mathematical optimization in a realistic scenario. The optimal strategy was based on the equations of motion for cycling and an individual critical power model for each rider. Constant visual feedback based on the calculated strategy was given to the rider while performing a real world climb on a bike simulator in the laboratory. The aim of this study was to determine whether these strategies are feasible and effective. The results showed that feedback in general and the optimal strategy feedback in particular led to a significant improvement. The total race times decreased between 0.8% and 3.2% employing optimal strategy feedback compared to self paced rides.