Assessment Week aka TrainAsONE Torture Time

It’s been a hectic week on the running front with two TrainAsONE assessment runs.  The team regularly check on your progress, and ensure the magic plan is getting the most out of you via their assessment runs.

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First up was the 3.2 km assessment.  I hate this, 3.2km is a long way when you are running as fast as you can!  Not only is it hard to pace (don’t go out too fast, you may regret it), but it just goes on FOREVER!  I was actually quite pleased with Tuesday’s attempt, and hit the 3.2km mark in 18 minutes and 13 seconds.  Not my best, but not my worst either.  Unfortunately, due to stomach issues, I had to walk, rather than run my 10 minute cool-down to avoid a #codebrown moment.  This confuses the magic plan….you’ve done well, but then you fail to do the last section as expected.

So what does this mean?  Well it decides to add to the pressure and schedules a 6 minute assessment instead of the planned economy run.  This time it requires a 6 minute, flat-out interval!  This is tough too, but in a very different way. Six minutes feels manageable, so you go out fast, you push hard and the dizziness and feeling of sickness kicks in.  You want to do your best and you push hard….get it right and it pays off, wrong and you’ll quit early…not ideal!

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My 6 minute assessment took place yesterday, with Storm Doris in full flight!  Luckily I avoided the rainy period, but had to deal with the high winds.  I had to plan my route so that I was running with a tail wind not into the mega head wind.  I didn’t manage to get a full 6 minutes wind assisted, but I did get most of it without feeling like I was running up a very big hill! Result!

It can in with an average pace of 5:04mins/km …..my reward? Well I now need to run faster on my training runs as the magic plan seems to think I am getting fitter.  As I have to trust the plan, I guess I’ll be stepping it up in advance of my next goal race on the Moonlight Challenge in a couple of week’s time.

How do you assess your fitness?  Do you do times challenges?  Or do you just blindly follow an off-the-shelf plan that insists you need to run 20+miles in a training run just to complete a marathon?

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For those interested in more detail, here’s what the TrainAsONE team have to say about the assessment runs.

3.2km Assessment

This is a structured workout incorporating a specific workbout where you are asked to run 3.2 Km in as quick a time as you possibly can.

The 3.2 Km assessment run provides extremely valuable information and insight into many aspects of your running and physiology. You are commonly asked to perform these at regular moments during your training. It is recommended to always perform them in the same place, ideally a straight and flat area that you can run fast and without any obstacles or interruption is obviously desired. In this way, you are more likely to perform at your best and each repeat of the assessment is directly comparable.

If you are new to speedwork, please take care running the 3.2 km workbout – we don’t want you straining anything… Whilst the instruction is to ‘run in as quick a time as you can’, for the less experienced runner walking is permitted – the key thing is to travel the 3.2 Km in as short a time as you can.

6 Minute Assessment

This is a structured workout incorporating a specific workbout where you are asked to run for 6 minutes, during which you should get as far a distance as you possibly can.

The 6 minute assessment run provides extremely valuable information and insight into many aspects of your running and physiology. You are commonly asked to perform these at regular moments during your training. It is recommended to always perform them in the same place – a 1 to 2 mile, ideally straight and flat area that you can run fast and without any obstacles or interruption is obviously desired. In this way, you are more likely to perform at your best and if you remember the place you got to you can use it as a target for the next time…

If you are new to speedwork, please take care running the 6 minute workbout – we don’t want you straining anything… Whilst the instruction is to ‘run as fast as you can’, for the less experienced runner walking is permitted – the key thing is to travel as far in the 6 minutes as you can. The gifted and experienced runners should start to feel sick with about 1 to 2 minutes remaining – if you don’t, you’re probably not trying hard enough… 😉

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