Tracking an athlete's fitness development requires fitness testing. It is important to carry out this monitoring so that the effectiveness of the athlete's training methods can be gauged. Fitness tracking using power is ideal for the following reasons:
- Power measurement is lag free, meaning it is suitable for performance testing right down to short efforts lasting only a few seconds
- Power measurement isn't effected by environmental conditions. Fitness testing does not need to be carried out in ideal conditions (no wind or current) in order to be comparable between tests. Valid performance tests to be carried out in various conditions.
Two of the most common methods of power-based fitness tracking are discussed in this section. Monitoring the development of an athlete's Functional Threshold Power provides a good insight into the development of their basic aerobic fitness. For this reason, it is a favorite among endurance paddlers.
Power profiling is used by athletes and coaches who want to track all aspects of fitness, from short burst to long endurance fitness. Athletes who compete in events that require both sprint-fitness and endurance, track their fitness using this method.