Thursday, 3 February 2011

My Fitness level (RW NL feb 2011)

(This post is not an example of literary excellence. Scroll down for the test results!)

Right now, I feel awesome. Yes, including nasal American accent. (Completely irrelevant, but I love my own accent. Southern-English with a twist, so to speak. It's not Southern-English; but that's not the point either. Compared to many of my (white and coloured) countrymen I sound more rounded and classy. And come on, compared to most Americans too.)

I went for a 5 mile run today. It didn't go so extremely well in the beginning (asthma is a nuisance) and at a few points I had to use my phone to determine where I actually was. My LG android phone is too big to take out, but Google Maps saved my day. Even if I had to keep it in my hand all the time. (It started out in the back pocket of my leggings, but then it dragged down the leggings with it). My 5-mile run ended up at 5.5miles; because the trial seemed more fun than the road. Except then I missed a turn. But I feel fine now; and I think if I do that same run another 2-3 times (with 5k runs in between) I can simply move up to 10k after that. So close! It took me a full hour and 34 seconds to complete my run, but that's fine for now.

Another thing: when should I replace my shoes?? I'm wearing lightweight Mizunos (see all over the blog) and I've done 450k on them. Dutch version of Runners World says 800-1000k; but I'm actually not sure these will last another 450k. Most of the wear is on the front part with almost no wear on the heels. I'm sure they'll be perfectly fine till I start earning some money for new shoes. I just wonder if there are shoes that are more suitable for mid/forefoot strikers than these. I had them fitted at a running store, with a camera on a treadmill. The only problem is that I can't run on a treadmill.

I did the fitness level test in Runners World this month. I did better than I thought. I also intimidated another woman-runner when doing the 400m speed test. Maybe she should try it too. I'm only going to give the levels relevant for me, if you're interested go find the full test in RW. Runners World Find Out How Fit You Are

"Hoe Fit Ben Jij?" (How Fit Are You?) Dutch RW, feb 2011
1) Core:
The Test: How long can you hold a the Plank position?
Great: You can hold perfect form for 2 minutes
Good: You can hold perfect form for 90 seconds
Fair: You can hold perfect form for <90s

My results: 41 seconds. FAIR.  Yes, I know. Pilates anyone?

2) Upper Body StrengthThe Test: do as many push-ups as you can. (results women aged 20-29)
Great: >23
Good: 12-22
Fair: 0-11.

My results: 11. FAIR.  Actually, I'm impressed. I haven't been doing much about my upper body at all.

3) Lower body strengthThe test: Squat test. (Results women aged 20-29)
Great: >43
Good: 25-42
Fair: 24

My result: 50. I could have kept on going still, but decided to save my quads for my run as I already landed myself in the GREAT zone.

4) Flexibility
Test: reclining hand-to-big-toe test (results for women; left leg stretched)
Great: More than 90 degrees with straight leg
Good: More than 90 degrees with leg slightly bent
Fair:  Less than 90 degrees

My result: Left leg more than 90 degrees with leg slightly bent; right leg more than 90 degrees with straight leg. GOOD. Interesting. Actually this is a pretty poor score for me, I'm quite flexible, but my hamstrings aren't doing too great in comparison to the rest. Stretching time!

5) BalanceTest: Standing Stork (or, what yogi know as the Tree); time average between both legs.
Great: >50s
Good: 26-49s
Fair: 25s or less

My result: 45s. GOOD. Actually, I'm impressed. My ankles are incredibly unstable. Need to work on them still, though, because the ligaments are basically shot.

6) Joint mobilityTest: bar squat

GreatIf with feet flat on the floor, your torso is parallel to your lower leg throughout the test, your thighs are below parallel to the floor, and you're able to keep your knees aligned with your feet without knees caving inward.
GoodIf you can meet the above parameters, but only with heels elevated on the board.
FairIf you have trouble maintaining form in either heel position

My result: GREAT. Yes, I have plenty of joint mobility. I probably did the 'extra great' version of it, as my butt touched my heels.

7) Speed.Test: Run for 400m/0.25m
Ah now this is interesting. RW NL gives one time for women and one for men, while the website (RW US) gives an age-table.
Great: <70s in NL; <60s in US
Good: 70-80s in NL; 60-70s in US
Fair: >81s in NL; >71s in US.

My results:  70s. I'm going to leave it at GOOD. I'm not a sprinter, but in this case I was limited by my level of cardiovascular fitness: I can only keep up my current near max speed for 38s. But it felt good. Goal: run that stretch in less than 1 minute; (the actual stretch is 450m). That, I think I can do. I'm only really at the beginning of my running. If I can run that in 60 seconds, I can run 400m in around 54-55seconds. That would be pretty decent. Ambitious? I don't care. If I can run 400m in 70s after less than 2 months after starting from scratch and having done absolutely no speed work; I sure as hell can run well under 60s after some speed work. Who knows, I might actually compete some day. Like, within the next year.

I should have done athletics instead of swimming in secondary school.

8) EnduranceTest: a 45-min treadmill test. While normal people run faster on a treadmill, I run faster outside. I hate treadmills. But actually, reading the US version, it's a 30-minute test run... the Dutch version made it seem like  you should measure the entire 45min.
Great: >7.4km
Good: 6.4-7.3km
Fair: <6.3 km

My results: Well, at first I thought, oh, terrific, I run 7k in 45 mins. But no; let's just leave it at FAIR as, just like I already knew, my endurance sucks at the moment. I'll be thrilled to get my 5k time back under 30 minutes, thanks. And what if I had a terrific endurance but absolutely no talent for running? My sister has a terrific endurance... but she won't get anywhere near 7.4k in 30 minutes. But my endurance still is horrible. I'm not running as slow as I am for no reason.

9) Cardiovascular strength
Test: step-ups + heart rate
Great: <93
Good: 94-110
Fair: >111

My results: 100/min. GOOD. Well, that's not too bad.

10) PostureThis one is NOT in the Dutch version, but is on the site. Stand against the wall-test.

GreatWith your head level, your butt, upper back, and back of your head are in contact with the wall.
FairEither your head, butt, or upper back have to strain to make contact with the wall, or don't touch the wall at all. This is an indication that you have too much curve in your upper back, a forward head position or a combination of both.

My results: GREAT. I have good posture. (I stand tall. Heh.)

So, that's it.
And here's an overview of my iPod tracked best times since December. None of them are impressive, but I've started from scratch remember.
1k: 5'56"
3K: 18'28"
5K: 32'21"
1 mile: 9'16"
2 miles: 18'55"
5 miles: 55'09"

That's just for me, in a month time I'll see where I stand.


  1. Sounds like your in pretty good shape.
    You know we Americans love those English accents, well most of them anyway. They even have the ability to make people from the East End sound good. :)

  2. That sounds like an interesting fitness test, I might have to have a crack at it this weekend :)