|The Strava view of my Bleep Test|
You have two parallel lines, 20 metres apart, with cones etc to mark where they are and a coach is positioned at each line to make sure everyone plays by the rules (as if!). The idea is that you run back and forth in time with the bleeps which gradually get faster and faster. It starts off fairly easily so there's little more than a jog needed to cover the 20 metres. Every few bleeps you hear "Level 2, Level 3" and so on, indicating you're moving up to the next level which is slightly faster than the one before.
James fixed up a ghetto blaster so we could all hear the bleeps and this was all done on a tennis court, as you can see on the above image is from the Strava App. Mind you, the photo is a little deceiving as it was pretty dark and frosty but you can get the drift of how it has picked me up in running back and forth.
Once you have arrived at the line late three times, you're out and the coaches made sure of this. For myself this was easy to determine as I seriously over-shot the line on one of the sprints and that then put me way behind, so the next two sprints had me out. I made Level 8.5 which put me roughly in the middle of the field. I take my hat off to Charlie who kept going until he'd almost doubled my score (this is a reminder of youth - done so effortlessly, without breaking into a sweat).
I am not sure if it was universally liked by the others, as there was a faint groan when it was suggested it could be repeated NEXT YEAR. Never mind NEXT YEAR, I'd quite like another go, now I know what's involved and even better would be in daylight so I don't over shoot the line again - I might even make Level 9 (he says optimistically, ahemmmmm).
If you're a runner or vaguely interested in fitness, it is worth doing and I can see these are positive reasons for doing so:
- Great fun, especially in teams
- Warm up is built in with a gradual build up, although there's nothing to stop anyone from warming up more fully beforehand
- A great test of speed, cardiovascular ability and agility
- It doesn't go on for too long, therefore great to combine it with other forms of exercise or training
- You have a score which you can remember. Then next time you'll see the difference
- It tests outright speed, acceleration and agility in turning around