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Disappointment & Encouragement

Well, today was the day. I was all geared up to do the bleep test, despite the heat.

"Oh sorry, we can't do the test - someone's nabbed the CD", said the instructor.

At this point, I decided to bite my tongue and not launch into a lecture on the merits of forward planning, particularly the bit about when you advertise an activity, you have the materials to run it. Instead, I laid it on thick about how disappointed I was since I'd solely come in to have a go, and that all I wanted was a good benchmark of my fitness levels. My amateur dramatics were rewarded and they decided to make it up by giving me a free session with a personal trainer who would do a fitness assessment. Result.

Most of my session involved jogging. The instructor started by getting my warmed up by setting the treadmill to 4km/hr for a few minutes, then 8km/hr. And there I was, jogging away - and strangely enough, finding it relatively easy.

So, she continued by increasing my speed by 1km/hr, each minute, then returning it to 8km/hr for another minute as a "recovery" minute. (So I did 9, then 8, then 10, then 8, then 11, then 8, etc... etc...). She explained that it was similar to the bleep test in that you did a sprint, followed by a jog in exactly the same way, although the distances were shorter (bleep test runs over 20 metres). I concentrated hard on my breathing and found that I was still not doing bad.

I got to 14km/hr and still did not feel like dying. We had to stop at that point, because time was pressing and I had to some other tests to do.

From what I understand of the bleep test, level 1 is 8.5km/hr and each successive level requires you to cover the distance .5km/hr faster. Based on today's run, I figure that actually I would have been able to make at least level 10, which was my original objective. In fact, 14km/hr is something like level 13. I'm fitter than I thought - although I attribute that to the half-hour warm-ups we do before ju-jitsu training. They're good at building up fitness.

I've been told that the tests happen on a monthly basis, so I should hopefully get another crack in August (if they find the CD). In the meantime, I've been encouraged to do more running - to the point where I've actually bought some running shoes and will see the trainer again in a few weeks time. I aim to do well when I finally give it a go. It'll also build my stamina up if/when I grade again.
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