10 Best Race Fitness Tests
Key sessions to gauge your fitness and build confidence for a forthcoming race
The sessions that tell you if you’re ready for the challenge
NO MATTER HOW WELL your training is going, you may doubt your ability to hit your goal time on race day. How can you be confident that your hard work is paying off? The answer is a benchmark workout, done a few weeks before race day. ‘Being able to predict your time has many potential benefits, including enhanced mental preparation, informed goal setting, nutrition planning and fluid planning,’ says Dr Eloise Till, who researched a marathon-predictor workout for a recent study.
But marathoners aren’t the only runners who can benefit: there are workouts you can do before your 5K, 10K or half marathon, says running coach John Henwood. ‘These workouts give you a good indicator of what you’ll be capable of on race day,’ he says.
There are also simple formulas that don’t involve a workout that can give you an idea of your race potential. Legendary coach Frank Horwill observed that, most runners’ paces decrease by about four seconds every 400m as they move up from one race distance to the next. For example, a 25-minute 5K equates to 120 seconds per 400m. Using the four-second rule, this translates to 124 seconds per 400m for 10K (a time of 51:40), or 128 seconds per 400m for a half marathon (1:52:00).
The workouts assume you are doing the necessary training and they are only estimations to give you an idea of your potential, rather than predict your finishing time to the second – they can’t factor in the course profile or climatic conditions (such as heat, humidity or a strong wind) you might encounter.
GET SET Predictor workouts boost confidence and tell you if you’re ready to race.