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How to Prepare for Testing

This is an excerpt from Developing Endurance-2nd Edition by NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association & Ben Reuter.

Prior to testing, whether in the lab or in the field, specific guidelines need to be addressed for the athlete to give their best effort on each test. Before testing, follow these criteria:

  • The day prior should be a very easy training day, or take the day off completely.
  • Do not eat in the 2 hours immediately before the test.
  • Have a standardized nutritional intake 24 hours prior to the test (eat and drink the same foods each time). Ensure a fully hydrated and carbohydrate-loaded state prior to the test.
  • Drink only water or use the same sports drink with every test.
  • Avoid alcohol in the 24 hours prior to testing.
  • Do not test if ill or infected in the previous 2 weeks.
  • If testing outdoors, make sure the weather and road conditions will be similar each time.
  • If testing in the lab on a trainer, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for calibration prior to testing.
  • The data collection sheet should include the time of day and environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure) for comparisons for future testing.

All equipment used for testing should be maintained and calibrated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Testing conducted with equipment that is not calibrated or is incorrectly calibrated will result in data that are not valid or reliable. If the analysis of a training program’s effectiveness is based on data that are not valid or reliable, the analysis will be flawed. Table 2.1 lists different laboratory and field tests that endurance athletes can use throughout the training year to determine whether they are attaining their goals.

More Excerpts From Developing Endurance 2nd Edition