end of summer conditioning test prep

We still have several weeks of summer training left to go, so why talk about test preparation now? You thought that’s what you were doing every day when you ran in this heat. Although that is true, it isn’t the whole story.

The Importance of Summer Conditioning

Summer programs come in various forms, but I won’t cover all of them now. I am going to go straight to the point and make sure everyone is clear on summer conditioning and testing. No matter what the preseason test is, it needs to be reflected somewhere in the summer workouts. 

There should be a variety of conditioning runs in your program, and to reflect the test, a portion of it needs to be included in the training schedule.

Preparing for the Test

That’s easy enough, but to get a flavor of the actual test, I use STREND (I'll share next week), which is a high-intensity lift-run combination. In addition, the high-speed 110s get anybody ready for anything. All of that feeds into a day when we do 80% of the actual test content.

  • Example: Our 110 interval test
  • Test: 14 x 110
  • 80%: 11.2 (rounded to 12)
  • Running an additional full 110 instead of the remaining 0.2

Not doing the last 2 is not a problem. My coaching mentality is if you can make 12, then you can suck it up and make two more. This was always successful. 

That doesn’t mean everybody made the time because there was always 1 or 2 who did not adequately prepare and didn’t get past 8. Those who did the running program were ready.

Relevance of the Test

First of all, the test should be relevant. What is the sport’s primary energy system? Aerobic or anaerobic? 

Yes, of course, many sports rely on both, so you choose by using the majority of competition requirements. Here’s the thing: you can have your cake and eat it too. 

During the summer, we had one day a week with a light aerobic run to enhance the anaerobic training and serve as an active recovery tool.

Key Training Strategies

  • Mobility Training: All of our mobility training is done at a 95% effort to ensure proper preparation and to elevate conditioning.
  • Timed Training: If you do your training on the clock where the run has to be finished in a certain amount of time and the rest interval is fixed, conditioning can be enhanced by gradually decreasing the rest interval.
  • Avoid Overtraining: Do not get obsessed with doing test runs of the test to the point of overtraining and diminishing returns. Having the test reflected in the actual workouts will prepare you for the coming tasks.


We will break down STREND in next week's article. 

For the full approach to off-season/summer training, visit our previous article and video.


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