Aim: The aim of this study was to describe and evaluate physiological parameters as a control tool for the monitoring of training in a group of elite cyclists during one season of training.
Methods: The study is divided into two periods (winter or ''volume'' mesocycle and spring or ''intensity'' mesocycle) between the tests that they carried out in the laboratory, consisting of a ramp test to exhaustion (work load increases 25 W X min(-1)) and a maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) test on a cycle ergometer. Macronutrients and hematological variables were recorded during the test periods as were the volume and the intensity of training sessions during the whole period of the study.
Results: The physiological data were similar to those previously reported for professional cyclists (approximately 450 Watts, approximately 78 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1)) and the values for the MLSS also agree with previous studies (approximately 250 Watts). Subjects improved the first ventilatory threshold (VT(1)) (approximately 52% to approximately 60% VO(2max)) and the second ventilatory threshold (VT(2)) (approximately 82% to approximately 87% VO(2max)) after the first period of training even though its low intensity focused on the performance of VT(1) (77% training in ''zone 1'', under VT(1)). The MLSS improved after the first period (approximately 225 to approximately 250 Watts) and remained high in the second (approximately 255 Watts). High levels of creatine kinase (approximately 230 U x L(-1)) and urea (37 mg x L(-1)) were found, also a decrease in hemoglobin values (approximately 15.4 to approximately 14.7g x dL(-1)).
Conclusion: The high level reached by the subjects after the first period of training suggests that two effort tests could be enough to plan training. On the other hand, the decrease in some red blood cell and nutrition parameters suggests that there should be greater control over them during the season.