INSCYD'er and short distance runner Vanessa Scaunet during the European Championships Indoor, Torun 2021.

More and more running coaches use INSCYD to create better training programs and race pacing for their athletes. This blog covers the story of Vanessa Scaunet, who was able to switch her running goal from a 2k cross country to an 800m track race, within 10 days.

Cross country runner Vanessa Scaunet became an INSCYD’er when she performed an outdoor field-test in cooperation with the RUNNING AND MORE lab.

“Because of the test I can now prepare for the upcoming seasons and finetune my trainings to reach my goals!” – Vanessa Scaunet


At that time of her test, Vanessa was preparing for the National Championship cross country short distance: 2000 meters, a distance that is covered in around 7 minutes.

The power demand of such a race is approximately 5.7 W/kg or 2160 Joule/kg. The energy contribution however, differs per person. With Vanessa having a high VO2max and a medium VLamax, approximately 87% of the energy is covered by her aerobic metabolism and only 13% is covered by her anaerobic energy.

Because Vanessa had her metabolic profile in INSCYD, she and her coach where aware of how she produced the needed energy for a 2000m race and knew what her limitations are. For a race of almost 7min, an increase in VO2max would allow her to run faster. On the other hand, the (anaerobic) glycolytic power of the VLamax was already sufficient for a 7 minute race.

To increase VO2max and maintain VLamax, her coach chose specific interval training. Creating highly individual interval training is easy using the INSCYD lactate- and recovery graph

More about that in this blog.

“With INSCYD we were able to optimize her interval training because we knew the exact work-recovery ratio.” – Ivo Roelandt, trainer of Scaunet


While Scaunet was preparing for a 2000 meter cross country, she received a phone call at the end of February, saying she was qualified for the European Championships indoor: 800 meters. A distance that is covered in just around 2 minutes.

The question arose: does it make sense to accept such an unexpected invitation 10 days before an event that is 3.5 times shorter in time length than what you are preparing for? Of course, Scaunet accepted the invitation to the European Athletics Indoor Championships — who wouldn’t?!  She not only accepted it because it is an honor to participate, but she knew she was able to race at a highly competitively level, thanks to the INSCYD test. How?

Predict running race performance

Luckily, Vanessa and her coach used the Performance Projection to get a better understanding of the race demands at the European Championships. The Performance Projection (see video below) allows a coach to simulate any race distance and any speed, based on the real metabolic profile of an athlete.


To cover the 800m in around two minutes, her power output or total energy demand would be approximately 127% of what she was used to in the 2000m race.

Such a high power output equals an oxygen demand of about 83 ml/min/kg. However, Vanessa’s VO2max is in the mid 60s range.

The metabolic demand (oxygen demand) increases when running speed increases. The actual oxygen uptake depends on how well the aerobic energy system is developed. The difference between metabolic demand and energy production via the aerobic system is covered by the anerobic energy system.

“INSCYD shows how the aerobic system and the anaerobic [glycolytic] system interact, like no other standard test does.” – Ivo Roelandt, trainer of Scaunet

This means, almost 20 ml/min/kg of oxygen demand cannot be covered by her aerobic metabolism. Therefore, this needs to be covered by anaerobic – mostly glycolytic – energy. As a result, the aerobic energy contribution is decreased to approximately 72% (instead of 87% during the 2000m), while the anaerobic energy contribution is increased to approximately 28% (instead of 13% during the 2000m).


Knowing the new race demands was interesting, however Vanessa and her coach only knew those demands 10 days before the race. It was too late to change the training program, but predicting the future race performance offered great insight for future training! Let’s have a look.

The INSCYD lactate recovery and accumulation graph shows how fast lactate accumulates at any intensity. Knowing Vanessa’s profile, she is able to reach a maximal lactate concentration of approximately 13-14 mmol/L when fully exhausted. When dividing the maximal lactate concentration by the duration of the race, we know the maximal lactate accumulation rate.

For example, the cross-country race that Scaunet was preparing for at first would take about 7 minutes. With a maximal lactate concentration of 14 mmol/L, the maximal lactate accumulation rate may not exceed 2 mmol/L per minute (14 ÷ 7 = 2). Otherwise, she would hit the maximal lactate tolerance before the finish line.

The lactate recovery- and accumulation graph below, shows that the running speed (x-axis) at a lactate accumulation rate of 2 mmol/l/min (y-axis) is approximately 5.4 m/s.

Knowing this speed enables coaches to create a pacing strategy for a race and helps them predict (running) race performance.

The Lack of Pyruvate & Lactate accumulation graph shows how fast your athlete accumulates lactate (fatigue) at any given intensity. The lactate accumulation depends on the lactate production in the Glycolytic system (VLamax), lactate combustion in the Aerobic system (VO2max) and body composition

However, Vanessa now had to prepare for a 2 minute race. In our example, this would allow for a lactate accumulation rate of 7 mmol/L per minute (14 ÷ 2 = 7). By looking at the pace that matches this lactate accumulation rate, Scaunet’s trainer was immediately able to see whether this was a competitive pace. And it was…

This can be seen on the lactate curves that are created, using the performance projection in INSCYD. This shows a lactate curve for the 2000m and the 800m, using Vanessa’s already existing metabolic profile derived from her first INSCYD test. Using this graph, it is now pretty simply to read her speed at her maximum lactate concentration….

The lactate graph shows the lactate concentration (y-axis) at the finish, depending on running speed (x-axis) and distance.

Further improvements

The performance projection allows her coach to “play around” with her metrics as well. Instead of only projecting her performance for a yet unknown race, it is also possible to edit one or several of the metrics of her metabolic profile. He can then find out how much time she saves with a higher VO2max, how gaining or losing 1kg of body mass affects her race results, or what the maximum lactate concentration would be if she increases her VLamax by doing more anaerobic training.

All this can be answered BEFORE prescribing a training program or signing up for the next Championships.

European Athletics Indoor Championships – Torun 2021

Vanessa Scaunet survived the qualifications and made it to the semi-finals. She finished in 18th position at Europeans. We want to congratulate Vanessa Scaunet on her performance and thank the performance lab and her coach for sharing this story.

Want to know how you can better train and coach your running athletes, using INSCYD? Schedule a free personal demo now!

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Track runners how to increase or decrease VLamax

How to increase or decrease VLamax in running

In our previous article, we showed how to find out whether your runner should increase or decrease VLamax. Now it’s time to answers the final question: how to increase or decrease VLamax and How to increase VO2max in the meantime. By Benjamin Tilus Download full article in PDF Ben Tilus, National and State Champion coach…

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Mastering the Monuments

Peter Sagen in Gent-Wevelgem 2018 The spring Classics season is already finished, a moment that always leaves cycling fans with a bit of sadness in their hearts. But for INSCYD and team BORA – hansgrohe the first quarter of the year has been a blast. Watching Peter Sagan winning his first Paris-Roubaix wearing the World…

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VO2max: the size of the athlete's engine

Understanding VO2max: What Is It And How It Affects Athlete Performance​

Understanding VO2Max: What Is It and How It Affects Athlete Performance In the realm of endurance sports, understanding performance data and metrics is vital. A common question that emerges among athletes is “what’s your FTP?” or even more specific: “what is your power-to-weight ratio?”. However, both FTP and power-to-weight ratio are heavily dependent on a…

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Jasper Philipsen celebrates Tour de France stage four win

The Power Behind a Tour de France Sprint Win: The Champs-Élysées

In the 2023 Tour de France, Jasper Philipsen, riding for the INSCYD partner Alpecin-Deceuninck team, has demonstrated his sprinting prowess by securing four stage wins and six podium finishes. Philipsen’s victories don’t stop there. He has been utterly dominant in the 2023 Tour de France, especially in the bunch sprints. Here’s what it takes to…

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Hand in hand: INSCYD collaborates with famous company Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) to revolutionise performance diagnostics

Salenstein, Switzerland./ Colorado Sprints, USA January 12th, 2021. Two of the most innovative and best performing companies have joined forces. The coaching company Carmichael Training Systems (CTS) brings on board the analysis software and the unique training science tool INSCYD to support their performance diagnostic work. Carmichael Training Systems is the premier destination for world-class…

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INSCYD 2.0 Training Zone Builder

INSCYD launches a revolutionary Training Zone Builder

Are you still using training zones based on a percentage of FTP, Anaerobic threshold or fixed lactate concentrations? Do you get the feeling that two athletes training in the same zone don’t show the same adaptation to the same training? If this sounds familiar then it is time for a change! With INSCYD’s new…

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Mesics vs INSCYD: The Best Software For Lactate Tests

Not sure which software to use for analyzing lactate tests in your human performance lab? Checkout this comparison between Mesics (LC lactate) vs INSCYD, and decide which tool fits your lactate- and spiroergometry diagnostics lab best. To prevent confusion: Mesics is the company name. Their product is called Winlactat. Soon the product name will change…

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Cycling at FatMax

Why FatMax is not the best endurance training intensity per se

There are many reasons why endurance athletes should want to increase their fat combustion. Riding many hours at FatMax (intensity at which you burn the most fat) might seem like the best way to do this. However, this is not always the case. It can even harm you and cause overtraining. Here’s what you should…

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Running power with Stryd and INSCYD

Running power: how to add physiological meaning to it

With the arrival of affordable running power meters like Stryd, power has become an important metric in running over the past years. Now it’s time to unlock the power of your running power meter. Previously, power was only a number expressing your output. Today INSCYD links this running power to your individual physiology. The result:…

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INSCYD partner Velocity


Velocity is a new performance-driven indoor cycling app that is designed to make cyclists faster by customizing their training to their physiology. To accomplish this, Velocity will leverage INSCYD’s proprietary software and comprehensive experience with elite athletes to provide riders with their unique metabolic profile. Readers may think of Zwift when hearing “indoor cycling app”,…

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Team Alpecin Fenix

Create A Nutrition Plan For Training And Racing

In this post you learn 5 actionable steps to create a nutrition plan for training and racing. In fact, this is the exact process that partners like Alpecin-Deceuninck Cycling Team and the Belgium Triathlon Federation use to create a fueling plan. So if you want to know what and how much you should eat during training and…

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What is INSCYD

INSCYD is the most advanced software tool to analyze physiological performance in athletes. INSCYD enables coaches to create highly individual and laser focused training programs. INSCYD gives you access to metrics otherwise only available to elite trainers and high-end institutes – such as the only tool to provide maximum glycolytic power (VLamax) for any kind…

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MESICS VS INSCYD: Die Beste Software Für Laktat-tests

Sind Sie sich nicht sicher, welche Software Sie zur Leistungsdiagnostik in Ihrem Labor verwenden sollen? Werfen Sie einen Blick auf diesen Vergleich zwischen Mesics Winlactat (LC-Laktat) vs. INSCYD und entscheiden Sie, welches Tool am besten zu Ihrem Laktat- und/oder Spiroergometrie-Diagnostiklabor passt. Um Verwirrungen zu vermeiden: Mesics ist der Firmenname. Ihr Produkt heißt Winlactat. Bald wird…

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Carbohydrate combustion determines pacing and fueling

Race fueling strategies: how to use carbohydrate combustion rates

Carbohydrate and fat combustion rates are among the most important features INSCYD can offer for runners, triathletes, and cyclists. Here’s why: While fat combustion rates are a valid marker to monitor training progress and set training intensity zones, carbohydrate combustion is crucial not only in training – but even more in a race. Carbohydrate storage…

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How mid distance running coaches use INSCYD – case study

INSCYD’er and short distance runner Vanessa Scaunet during the European Championships Indoor, Torun 2021. More and more running coaches use INSCYD to create better training programs and race pacing for their athletes. This blog covers the story of Vanessa Scaunet, who was able to switch her running goal from a 2k cross country to an…

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How to Create Highly Effective Interval Training

How to Create Highly Effective Interval Training: 4 Steps

Interval training is a highly effective way to improve your athlete’s performance, enabling to train at intensities that are too high to sustain for a long time. To create an effective interval training program, you need to consider the duration and intensity of both the interval and the recovery. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show…

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Does the anaerobic threshold really occur at 4 mmol/l blood lactate?

Many performance labs and coaches determine the anaerobic threshold based on a lactate concentration of 4 mmol/l during an incremental test. This article answers whether that is a valid method of assessing the anaerobic- or lactate threshold. By Loek Vossen  Share this insightful article with athletes, coaches, and sports enthusiasts who can benefit from a deeper…

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INSCYD skiing test

Next level metabolic analysis in XC skiing

Just because INSCYD is well accepted in cycling – with partners like Team Jumbo Visma, Movistar and Alpecin-Fenix – doesn’t mean INSCYD is limited to cycling. In fact, the first INSCYD license purchased ever was in swimming – via the French Institute of Sports INSEP. If you are a coach, test lab or federation, who…

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Cross Country (XC) Skiing performance

Case study: performance testing in Cross-Country (XC) Skiing

This case study is about a National Cross-Country (XC) Skier who is not able to keep up with his teammate during training and racing. Field observations and lactate measurements seem to indicate he needs to improve his aerobic energy system, but this turns out to be a false assumption. Read the article and watch the…

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Belgian Hammers – Road to Olympic Mixed Team Relay

The Belgian Triathlon Team Mixed Relay won the Olympic qualifier in Lisbon. As a result, they will compete in the Tokyo Olympics on July 31. What is their formula for success and how do they use INSCYD to create race winning training programs? Read it in this blog. ABOUT THE TRIATHLON MIXED TEAM RELAY Triathlon…

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Track and field coach Benjamin Tilus XLR8 using INSCYD

Why the best track and field running coaches look beyond VO2max

Are you still using Jack Daniels’ running formula to determine athlete VO2? Are VO2max and anaerobic threshold the only metrics that you test for? Is your high VO2 athlete not winning all races? Then this article gives you the missing piece of the puzzle! Ben Tilus, National and State Champion coach in track and field…

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