Fitness assessments measures your current level of fitness. You can use that information to create a smarter training plan.

Stephanieruns Fitness

June 24, 2018 Newsletter

Fitness Assessments for Runners

Fitness assessments in my opinion are under utilized. We generally leave fitness assessments to the professionals. As a personal trainer I have done hundreds of fitness tests and strongly believe that fitness tests are for everyone. A fitness assessment allows you to record a baseline of where your fitness is right now. When you take the time to analyze your results you can design a focused training plan that plays to your strengths and builds on your weaknesses. I always say your training plan should meet you where you are and build you up. A fitness assessment is key for you to be able to do that. A fitness assessment also gives you a baseline that you can use to measure your improvements. I love when athletes have non scale related ways to measure progress.

I think one of the biggest barriers for runners doing fitness assessments is that you aren't really sure how to do one. Which is fair, when you go to a trainer or a coach you know they have training, and education in order to design an assessment. It can be daunting to know what to assess and how do you do the tests. I want to spend the bulk of this newsletter to provide you a sample fitness assessment for runners that you can use to measure and adjust your training.

A fitness assessment should test your cardiovascular fitness, and your muscular strength, endurance and flexibility. I'm a strong believer in measuring non weight based measures of fitness, so in this sample fitness assessment for runners I won't be adding on weight.

Fitness Assessment for Runners

Resting Heart Rate: Take your heart rate first thing in the morning. This data is great to use for heart rate zone training. Also as your fitness level improves your resting heart rate will lower.

Cardiovascular test: Here you have two options.

1) You can do the beep test, which has been shown to have a high correlation to VO2 max. Here's more details on the beep test

2) 3k Run Test: Run 3km at the fastest pace you can. Record your time. This test requires the skill of pacing in order to master. Keep coming back to this test to see your improvement.

Upper Body Strength:

Push Up Test: do as many push ups as you can in a minute and record the number you completed. Instead of doing push ups on your knees I'd prefer if you elevated your push up and used a chair, bench or wall.

Lower Body Strength:

Wall Sit test: with your back against a wall sit down the wall until your knees are at 90 degrees. Do not keep your hands on your knees. Put your arms at your side or hold your hands in front of your chest. Write down your time.

Lower Body Flexibility

Hamstring flexibility: Runners are known for having tight hamstrings. You can test your hamstring flexibility with a sit and reach test. If you don't have a sit and reach box you can use a stair and a tape measure. Put your feet up against the stair and the measuring tape/ruler on the stair. Put your hands over your head and keeping your back neutral reach forward as far as possible. Record your results.

Calf flexibility: Lack of calf flexibility can create chronic pain for runners, which means it makes sense to know your calf flexibility and address it in your training plan. To do the test stand in front of a wall as far away as possible while still being able to bend one leg and have that knee touch the wall. The opposite foot needs to stay on the ground. Measure the distance from the opposite foot to the wall. Repeat for each leg and record your results.

Core Strength:

There are several tests to test your core strength today I'm going to suggest you use a plank test. In front of a mirror or with a friend hold a plank with good form. Once your hips raise/drop or your back sinks your plank is done. Holding a plank with good form is something that people usually need to work towards. Record your time.

I am going to have a fitness assessment printable version available for you soon. I'll be spending a lot of July creating some printables for you! In the meantime grab a piece of paper and write down the results. When you know where you need to improve you can adjust your training program to help you address your weaknesses. I recommend doing a fitness assessment at the start of each training cycle or every 12-16 weeks. If you have any questions about fitness assessments let me know, I'd be happy to help.


Weekly Challenge: Fitness Assessment

This week I'm challenging you to assess your fitness. While I normally do fitness assessments at the beginning of a training cycle in order to better design a training program I'd like you to do this no mater where you are in your training cycle. You can use the sample fitness assessment from above. Grab a piece of paper, put the date at the top row and down the side write all the tests. After you're done post the paper on the fridge so you have your results when you go to re-test.

Part two of the challenge would be to take the information and make some adjustments to your training plan. Did you learn something about your strengths and weaknesses that you didn't know? Adjust your training plan so you can improve your weaknesses. Making adjustments will make your training plan work better for you.

If you need help with this challenge send me an e-mail. I'd love to help. I'd also love to know how you do with this.

Send me a tweet and let me know how it goes. I hope this can encourage you to do regular fitness assessments.

What do I do? What services do I offer?

There's a lot I do as a personal trainer and coach. I'd like to take some time to explain what I do in more detail. As a personal trainer and coach I design both running and strength training workouts.

I offer one on one coaching to help you train for your upcoming race. I create individual training plans including all of your running and strength training workouts. I use training peaks to upload your week's workouts. I am always available by e-mail and for weekly video or audio calls. 

I offer running strategy sessions, where I help you make tweaks to your existing training plan so it works better for you and your life.

I create training plans which are available on the Training Peaks store. Next month I'm going to be putting all my existing plans on massive sale while I create new content. I'll let you know when everything is on sale!

This summer I'm offering a worry free summer of running where I'll be your running and strength training coach for the months of July and August. This is a great chance to spend a summer with me as your coach for a fantastic price. I only have a couple of spots left in this program. Send me an e-mail if you want in!

Hopefully this give you a better idea of what I do. If you have any questions send me an e-mail or reach out on social media. 

Information on my worry free summer of training is available here. I'm offering coaching for July & August at a great price. This is the last week to sign up!!! 

If you found this helpful please share this newsletter and encourage your friends to subscribe

Let's keep the conversation going all week on social media! 


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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.