About six weeks ago I tried to develop a way to measure my fitness level. I settled on a trail running fitness test that was intended to measure my fitness level by limiting my speed on a trail run based on a heart rate ceiling. However, after thinking about it quite a bit, the setup is quite complicated, and the variables that can affect the test are endless. I think a better measure is just to see how fast I can run a measured course. I expect as my fitness improves, so will my times.
So I carved out a new part of the Northshore Trail for my new trail running fitness test, from Murrell Park to the concrete bridge and back. The distance is about 2.4 miles.
I ran it today as fast as I could to set my benchmark. I am going to focus on average pace as my measure, assuming that an increase in average pace represents an increase in fitness level.
My average pace today was 10:39 mpm.
I can see this as being a good way to measure other runs. For example, if I run from MADD to Far Gate and back, I can compare times from previous runs to see changes in my average pace. However, to consider it a fitness test, I must go into it knowing that I am trying to run it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the comparison is meaningless.