Why we use tests?
We are testing all our athletes at Uperform for many reasons. First of all, we need to know the strength and weakness for each individual athlete and we need to know the exact and individual training zones to avoid injuries and to secure the right training and intensity. We are working with individual training zones based on the test results for all our athletes. The test result can and will also be used to control the training effect and to manage the progression in the training due to the capacity of the body due to restitution. It’s also possible to use the test to show the results of the training.
At Uperform Coaching we believe that the best way of testing the athletes is to test the athlete in each discipline. We believe the fundament for the training is very important to calculate the right training zones, so using a bike test to calculate the running zones will give some wrong zones. The right zones will be made by using the results from the running test to calculate the running zones, the results from the swim test to calculate the swim zones etc. There can be a huge difference in the result from discipline to discipline. A strong runner can push herself much more on the run than on the bike, so that will give different training zones for those two disciplines.
When do we test?
As already wrote, we are testing all our athletes, when we start coaching. We are testing to secure the right zones, but also to find the true strength and weakness, because sometimes an athlete feels they are strong on the run, but when we test we can see that it’s the bike and so on. The test results make a strong fundament for our coaching. We can also test our athletes to see the progression in the training and how they adapt the training. It is very individual how often we are testing. But it’s important to test the athlete, when we think there is a difference in the body performance, because then it’s time to get the training zones updated.
It’s always hard to compare two tests, because there are so many things that have an impact on the result. You need a laboratory if you should have two comparable tests, but we don’t expect that from our athletes. So, we are aware of all the elements that can have an influence on the test, but the most important for us is to keep it simple. We know that weather, equipment, motivation, restitution etc. have an impact on the results. So that’s why we are keeping it simple. We always try to make the same kind of test, so we can compare the results. That means that we don’t make the running test on a hilly course the first time and then on a flat course next time, because that will have a huge influence on the results.
There are many ways of reporting the results of the test. It can be as heart rate zone, running pace, watt etc. It all depends on the equipment for each athlete. So in Uperform we are working with all kind of athletes no matter what kind of equipment they have. As standard we are using a traditional 20 min. test on the bike and run, because it’s easy and hard at the same time. It’s a good way to get the results, because most of our athletes can run in 20 min and all of them can ride for 20 min and then it is “easy” to compare the result from one period to another period. We know it is both physical and mental hard to do a test, so we always planning with restitution before and after each test.