Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Beeps, Hills and Horseshoes...

Although much of what I say whilst running up hills has to be 'beeped', the title of this blog post is actually all to do with actual beeps... That is actual recorded beeps... More specifically (I'm getting there!) the beep test.

Otherwise known as the multistage fitness test, for those of you that aren't familiar (or have tried desperately to erase it from your fond school memories of PE lessons), the activity requires participants to run back and forth between 2 lines which are measured 20 metres apart. The idea is to hit the line as the beep sounds. Level one is easy- for me, it was 'trying to keep up with my brother' walking pace. Level 2, speeds up to a slow jog, level 3 a little faster and so on. Each level has at least 7 stages in it, which also rise as the level does - so by the time one reaches level 12 (notice the purposeful lack of 1st person in that sentence!) there are 12 stages. As the running is continuous, it is a good test of a person's cardiovascular fitness and is used to measure the efficiency of a participating athlete's V02 max.

After completing the test with all of the kids at school, and seeing some rather interesting results, the head of PE offered the opportunity out to the staff to have a go... Well I only need asking once and so 3 of us turned up today ready and eager to discover how unfit we were... Or not as it turns out!

Don't get me wrong, I'm no elite athlete, but I was quite happy with my results; achieving level 7, stage 6, I am distinctly average in my capabilities. This is good - I was very worried before we began that I would be collapsing in a dying heap at a 'below average, you are stupidly unfit, go and sign up to The Biggest Loser now' kind of way! More to the point, I now have something to aim towards as we'll be doing this each week, and I intend to improve!

Which is why, just one hour later, I was joining in with the wednesday 'hard' session at running club. I usually avoid these. The eponymous name should tell you why! However, I am on a path to improvement, the road to fitness, the highway to weightless... And so, needs must!

Once again, I did well! Well, better than I thought I would anyway... One horseshoe of just under a mile, followed by a mile circuit, followed by another horseshoe... Except I did 2! That's right 2... Like a little running geek, I did 1 more horseshoe than I needed to! I rock!

Unfortunately, I had to take the shorter route home in the cool down because I felt sick and my legs had turned to (actual) jelly but that was just the cool down, I've decided it doesn't really count because I ran the 'hard' session! Woop!

So, I am well on my way to cardiovascular perfection and should have no problems beating my beep level next week, right? Well...maybe... but I'm certainly heading in the right direction. Yay! Go me!


  1. Well done Maggie! I can't remember the last time I did a bleep test but it all got v macho in the end at our gym. I was nowhere near the top people but I've decided that the peak of evolution is not running very fast then changing direction!


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