As I said before, Cooper’s tests are an important part of my run training. Coach uses them as an indicator of our current VO2 Max (the maximum volume of oxygen the body can uptake, typically measured in ml/kg/min). Once the test is done (via a simple formula), we have an idea of where we are. After the that we have a more clear idea of where we want to go and what is actually achievable within the timeframes of the training cycle.
For example, my VO2 Max in April 2009 was of 66.06 ml/kg/min, after some extensive (base) and intensive (speed) training I got to 68.08 in June 69 something and it keep creeping up until 2 weeks prior to my race at worlds in OZ last year.
The Test was invented by this guy called Dr. Coopper (D’oh!) to be used by the US military to check the fitness status of the workforce. It involves running as far as you can within 12 minutes. The length of it makes it difficult to be a sprint, as it will be long enough to melt your fast twitch muscles, it is basically, an endurance test.
I remember my first one and how badly I messed up by going too fast too soon, I was out of running for two days after that experience. On the second one, I went too conservatively, and after that I got the hang of it, but there is always the feel that I could have been a little bit faster on the last lap or a bit more paced at the beginning. My approach is, to start steady for the first 2 min, then to surge and stay for the following 8min and go as hard as I can to the finish, the hard as I can mean doing longer strides than before, at the same cadence.
Today’s result is quite good, (3580m, about 69ml/kg/min) it shows that I’m in better shape than 1 year ago at this point. Taking into account that I’m putting a lot more effort on the bike lately all in all it would be a good thing if I can keep improving at last year’s rate. Attendance was quite good with more new guys turning up, wich will make a more interesting winter, all of them happy with their tests, which is even better.
As for the rest of the day it was
Date: 17 May
Sport: Swim /// Run
Time: 60min /// 60 min
Dist: 3.4km /// about 7km
Comment: long sets, I like it! /// CT says I’m a machine