Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Gregory M Mocko

Committee Member

Ardalan Vahidi

Committee Member

Ethan Kung

Committee Member

Randolph E Hutchison


The power-duration relationship, comprised of the parameters Critical power (CP) and work capacity (ϒ), has been used to model energy expenditure in cycling. For modeling recovery, the W'bal model has been used but lacks validation. Additionally, existing literature has not focused on quantifying or estimating the inherent trial-to-trial variability at the subject level, called the intra-individual variability (IIV), of CP and ϒ, posing challenges in modeling and optimization of performance. Thus, the objectives of this research are (i) to establish a method to quantify the IIV of CP and ϒ as determined from the 3-minute all-out test (3MT), (ii) to develop a testing protocol to understand expenditure and recovery of power and ϒ, (iii) to establish ϒ recovery profiles in terms of recovery power (Prec) and recovery duration (trec), and (iv) to present a case of cycling performance optimization using the energy management system based on athlete-specific models. Competitive amateur cyclists participated in two cycle ergometer studies: (i) repeatability of 3MTs to quantify IIV and (ii) intermittent cycling, in the laboratory to establish ϒ recovery profiles. The studies included an incremental ramp test to determine gas exchange threshold (GET), two or four 3MTs to determine CP and ϒ, and nine intermittent cycling tests to understand recovery of ϒ. From the repeated 3MT study, a new method was proposed to compare any two pairs of the 3MT at the individual level and estimate the IIVs associated with CP and ϒ. In the second study, a statistically significant two-way interaction effect between Prec and trec on ϒ recovery was observed followed by simple main effects seen only with respect to Prec at each trec. This indicates that Prec has a greater influence on the recovery of ϒ in a recovery interval lasting 2-15 minutes that follows a semi-exhaustive exertion interval above CP. The overestimation of the actual ϒ-balance at the end of the recovery interval by the W'bal models highlights the need for athlete-specific recovery parameters or models. Finally, the optimization tests conducted with one subject provide encouraging signs for the use of individualized recovery models in real-time in-situ performance optimization.



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