The Slow Race Test
Reading the blogs of Robert Song and Steve L has given me an idea for a fitness test. I'm calling it the 'Slow Race Test'. My usual way of testing fitness is to run as fast as possible in a 3 to 5k race. My Slow Race Test is to run a set distance (I've decided on 3000 metres) at a set average heart-rate and time how long it takes to complete the distance.
I've chosen a heart-rate of 138, which for me, is about 84% of my 165 maximum. It's easy, controllable running for speed and heart-rate. If you decided to try it, you'll need a flat course and 'normal' weather with no wind. It takes me 400 metres or so to gradually accelerate the heart-rate up to 138.
I did this test on October 12 for a 3000m time of 18:16. I repeated the test today in 16:57, which shows an improvement in cardiovascular fitness. I think it's a useful test, as it can be done at any time during the week (even on an easy day) and is less stressful than racing. Eventually I want to do the test during the week of a 'fast race' (if that ever happens), so I'll have an SRT time that indicates possible good racing form.