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Nicki Winfield Almquist

Nicki Winfield Almquist

Photo: Nicki Winfield Almquist

PhD in human physiology – optimizing endurance training and periodization in elite cyclists

Who are you?

Nicki Winfield Almquist, 29, Copenhagen, Denmark, human physiology (exercise science and nutrition) 

What are you researching?

I’m a PhD student at NTNU, funded by INN University, Norwegian Cycling Federation and Olympiatoppen, and the focus of my PhD is “Optimizing endurance training and periodization in elite cyclists”. Besides the studies I conduct at INN University, I also test, analyse and discuss training with cyclists on the national team.

What's in it for society?

Obviously, my research mainly benefits elite cyclists, since a lot of research has been conducted on moderately trained subjects and only very limited research has been done on the elite. We take muscle samples as a new approach in elite cyclists, to investigate how the individual responds to different exercise modalities and training interventions. This is an area which has scarcely been investigated before and will therefore bring new insight to the optimization of training in the elite endurance athlete. The knowledge we gain from this will eventually benefit the future elite athletes in how they can exercise more specifically and efficiently.

What's next after your PhD?

Hopefully, a Post-Doc on the area of exercise performance and optimization of exercise and periodization. Maybe with a focus on nutrition as well. The thread to follow could be continuing to personalize training, and investigating the individual responses to exercise, to optimize training for the elite athlete.

When not researching

 As a former elite rower I have switched my focus to cycling to get a better understanding of what my participant goes through. I compete in amateur races and when not on the bike, I enjoy cooking and growing my own vegetables.