Endurance Tests

Use these endurance tests before you begin your training program and then at 6-8 week intervals.

Here’s how to put together a battery of physical fitness tests.

Balke 15 Minute Run

This is a very simple test to predict VO2max. You will require a stop watch and a standard 400m running track.

After warming up run for 15 minutes continuously. The idea is to maintain a steady pace throughout the run. The distance you cover is converted into a predicted VO2max using the following table:

Balke Test
Distance (meters) Predicted VO2max (ml/kg/min)
6000 80.0
5600 75.0
5200 70.0
4800 65.5
4400 61.0
4000 56.5


Cooper 12 Minute Run

This is another endurance test you can use to predict your VO2max. Again you only require a stopwatch and a 400m track.

Run or walk continuously for 12 minutes. Try to maintain a constant pace throughout. Note the total distance covered and use one of the following formulas to predict your VO2max:

For distance in Yards…

0.0206 x yards covered minus 11.3 

For distance in Meters…

0.0225 x meters covered minus 11.3

So if you covered 3000 meters for example:

0.0225 x 3000 – 11.3 = 56.2 ml/kg/min

Multistage Shuttle Run

This is a maximal test which means it is performed until exhaustion. The test is excellent for multi-sprint sports such as soccer and rugby and it allows testing for an entire team simultaneously.

The test involves running 20 meter shuttles. The test is split into a series of 1-minute levels. Each level consists of a number of bleeps that dictates the pace at which each 20 meter shuttle must be run. As the levels progress the bleeps become quicker and more frequent so a greater number of shuttles has to be completed inside 1 minute. The starting speed (level 1) is 8.5km/hr and increases by 0.5km/hr for each level.

The test ends when the athlete(s) can no longer maintain the pace of the bleeps.

You can purchase the multistage shuttle test from www.1st4sport.com The test comes with a booklet and chart to help you convert performance into a score for VO2max.

Rockport Test

This is a great test for less fit and older individuals. Like all the endurance tests mentioned, the Rockport test will only predict your VO2max and is not a direct measurement.

For this test you need a stopwatch and 400m track. Walk for 1 mile (1600 meters) as quickly as possible. As soon as you complete the distance, record your time and your heart rate.