Things that make you go ‘bleep’.

This morning I got up, dressed in my ‘lucky escape’ free London marathon reject training top, rummaged through Joe’s old crayon box and headed out to the road with a tape measure and a yellow crayon.

We found a flat bit with no houses next to it and marked out 20m. My initial relief that it didn’t look very far was short lived, because then we did the bleep test. I had downloaded a free app onto my phone.

For those of you unfamiliar with the bleep test,this is how it’s done;

you need something (ie bleep test cd or app) that makes a bleeping noise at set intervals and you run the 20m between each of the bleeps. The time between the bleeps gets shorter, and when you can’t run the distance between bleeps that’s when you stop the test and that’s your level.

this is what it means;

you can read off a table what your VO2 max is likely to be based on your age, gender and level reached. VO2 max is an indicator of how fit you are.


Joe is too young to be in any of the published age groups, but interestingly it was his idea to do this. Apparently they had done it at school and he wanted to see if he had improved. I had mixed feelings about finding myself in the ‘poor’ group. Pleased not to be in the ‘very poor’ group. Disappointed because I’d predicted my VO2 max at another time based on resting heart rate, and was pleasantly surprised to find that that put me in an excellent group! However I know that I am not fit or fast and had lulled myself into believing that I had a really good heart and lungs, it was just the extra weight that I was carrying that was making things difficult.

Joe was pleased to have ‘beaten’ me at this, and we have agreed to do this on a weekly basis to monitor our fitness.

As mentioned in previous blogs I don’t have a lot of free time for running at present, so I’m trying to lose a bit of weight by dieting, in the hope that a lighter me will make better progress when I get back to it. I have done 1 week of the 5:2 diet ( you eat less than 500 calories for 2 days per week). Fasting is thought to promote beneficial changes to your metabolism regarding insulin and so on, and you shouldn’t get the muscle wasting and decreased activity that you do with chronic calorie restriction. There is good scientific evidence to support this. The first week has gone well, so we will see how the rest go. Just now I’ m off for my weekly ‘fun run’!


About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
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4 Responses to Things that make you go ‘bleep’.

  1. pwhent says:

    What a great idea!! Its a long time since I have done a test to measure VO2 Max. We do the “run as far as you can in 12 minutes” test to calculate it – which is a real sufferfest. I think I prefer the bleep test!!

    • mawil1 says:

      It depends how fit you are Peter! If you were like me, you’d be done in 5 minutes but it might take longer than 12 minutes to get to the end!!

  2. We’ve done the bleep test a few times – tough! Glad to hear the 5:2 diet is going well.

  3. kateandali2 says:

    It’s called the shuttle run or the pacer in the US. We use it in PE class. I did a few years ago and got a 36 which I am still really proud of. You might want to try to figure out your Fitness Age. I found the original link through the New York Times’ Health Blog.

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