Run Fitness Test

What is Functional Threshold Pace (FTPa) ?

FTPa is the max pace you can sustain during 50 to 60 minutes. Instead getting pricked by needles to find out what is your threshold (called lactate threshold), there is a field experiment that is easy to perform to find out your FTPa and your training zones in running.

The FTPa will tell you three main things. First, your current fitness. Second, it will be the base number to determine the training zones and third, it can be used to predict your pace from a 5k to a marathon race.

How I do a FTPa test ?

Now that you know why FTPa is important, we'll dive into the how. As I mentioned before, you could get measured your lactate in blood in a lab but it gets quite complicated. The widely accepted test is to do a 20 minutes all out running.

Before your test

  1. Try to avoid a very hot and humid weather. If you are in summer, try early morning.
  2. Be rested. Any condition that affect your fitness will impact negatively in the numbers. Have a good night of sleep, don't do it on a very stressful day of work, have a light meal before and give time for digestion.
  3. You should be hydrated, so if you do this right after waking up, hydrate yourself and give 30 minutes to the body to acclimate.
  4. We are going to measure your heart rate and pace per mile or kilometer. So, you should have a watch with those capabilities.

Ready ? Here is a quick workout for your FTPa test

  • Start with an easy run for 25-30 minutes.
  • Do 4 times 20 seconds accelerations with 1 minute in between of easy jog. This will help your muscles to warm up and increase your heart rate.
  • First go! do a 5 minute all out effort
  • Recover yourself doing a 10 minute jog
  • This is the core part. Run all out effort for 2 miles (3.2km). Is not going to be easy, but is just 15~20 minutes. Be mindful that you have to maintain that pace for the whole effort. Your pace should be even, starting super fast and ending slow makes no sense.
  • You did it! now, cool down with another 10 minute jog.
  • Stretch after ? always.

Done ? let's calculate the zones

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