How fit am I?
Fitness can be tested in all manner of ways. A common understanding of fitness is how long and, or, fast someone can run/cycle/row etc. for. This is a test of cardiovascular endurance – a person’s ability to sustain prolonged exercise for minutes, hours or even days!
Very simply put, cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the heart, lungs and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to working muscles and tissues (and remove the bi-products). To train for a half-marathon, you need to train your cardiovascular endurance. This type of training is different to the training you need to do to run a fast 800 metres.
So, starting point – how fit are you?. I’m going to tell you about two simple tests of cardiovascular endurance. One in a post today and one in an additional post tomorrow.
12 Minute Run Test
Developed in the 1960s by Dr Cooper, the 12-minute run test measures how far a person can cover (run, walk, jog) in 12 minutes. Simple. Ideally you want to take this test on a standard running track, or a location where you can measure distance run without having to stop. If you’re struggling to find anywhere the treadmill could be an option, however, remember that this is an artificial environment. You will need to raise the belt to a 1 degree incline to simulate outdoor running.
How to do it?
Make sure you warm-up before you take the test (5-10 minutes of light jogging and stretching).
You’ll need a stopwatch and something to record the distance covered, such as cones placed around the running track at standardised distances.
Start the timer and off you go! Run, jog or walk for the whole 12 minutes.
Record the distance covered.
How did you do?
Look at the table below to see how you did.