Aerobic Run Test

I didn’t really plan on turning this into a run test today but the flat route I took and the pace I held was quite close to a test I did last year on the track. I figured I may as well make a comparison, put it up on the blog and keep track of the tests I do over the year. I’m actually quite shocked at the improvement I’ve seen over the last month. Ever since the Shawnigan lake Half marathon things have been steadily improving. This on only 30-45km a week of running. It actually has me doubting the benefits of putting in long 85-100+km weeks on top of riding 300-400km. Maybe I’ll have to look at a longer run taper going in to Ironman Canada next year. Then again, aerobic pace over 1 hour is one thing…running fast for 42KM’s off a 180km TT is a completely different story.

December 2006
Last December, after meeting Clint Lien from PRPP, he got us to do an aerobic test on the track. The actual test consists of an 8km warm up to stabilize the HR, then an 8km run keeping your HR as close to 158 as possible. The 158 figure comes from the Mark Allen heart rate formula. There’s definitely a better way to get the exact scientific number but, if he can run a 2:40 marathon off the bike in an Ironman… 15 years ago…I think I’ll just stick with this one:


Take 180
Subtract your age
Now we need to adjust this number based on your current level of fitness. Make the following correction as it applies to you:

  • If you do no working out subtract another 10 beats
  • If you workout 1-2 times a week subtract 5 beats
  • If you workout 3-4 times a week leave the number as it is.
  • If you workout 5 or more times as week and have done so for a year or more, then add an additional 5 beats to that number.
  • If you are about 60 years old or older OR if you are about 20 years old or younger, add an additional 5 beats to the corrected number you now have.

    My test last year was very decent, hitting an average pace of 4:19/km at a HR of 157.
    I took a split every 4 laps(1mile) giving me the following numbers:
    #1: 4:05 Avg pace/km
    #2: 4:17
    #3: 4:22
    #4: 4:26
    #5: 4:26For a total avg pace of 4:19. Notice how the pace slowed drastically over the 5miles, 8km’s. The ultimate goal is really to try and keep that from happening.

    2007 Run Test

    Today’s test was not quite as controlled as last year. I was also on compact gravel/dirt, not smooth track surface. That along with a small hill or two, a couple road crossings, and the occasional cyclist, but nothing that would really have affected the outcome in a big way. It would have been nice to note the splits every mile as I did last year, but an average of the day gives a reasonably good comparison.

    I didn’t split up the warm up and actual test today. I just kept going trying to keep my HR in the 150-157 range. I hit 159 a couple times on the way home, mainly because my iPod would throw on a really good tune and I’d get visions of racing IM canada chasing down the leaders.
    Total Distance: 16.01km
    Total time 1:08:17
    Avg Pace: 4:16/km
    Avg HR: 153
    First half was at a pace of 4:13 and Avg HR of 152
    Second half on the way home was at a pace of 4:18 and Avg HR of 155

    I’m going to do this again on the track very soon. I think if I throw in an easier warm up and a dead flat controlled course, like a big rubber circle, I might even get close to 4:10-4:13 avg pace for the 8km’s.
    What does this tell me? That I can run a sub 2:50 Ironman marathon of course!! Haha, not yet anyway. Honestly, it’s just a gauge for monitoring aerobic fitness. I wish I had done this test in June of last year. Then I’d have something to go off of.

    On another note, I’ve got one more of these crazy ‘Heat Stress’ Tests remaining. Test #3 they made me stop at 17km’s when my core temp got to ‘critical state’. Haha, I think it’s more of an ethical issue rather than a danger to my health. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t feeling like I was enjoying myself but I wasn’t about to keel over either. All in all I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the data. VO2 max, max aerobic power, threshold levels, sweat rates…yummy stuff for a tri geek like myself.


    ~ by trevorandheather on November 28, 2007.

    2 Responses to “Aerobic Run Test”

    1. Can something/one be “very decent”? It’s like very medicore… very good, yes, very bad, also yes… very in the middle???

    2. You’re certainly a very decent jackass. 🙂

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