I like to test myself. Especially when I'm getting closer to the most important championships, I like to see how good my physical shape actually is. I have done this for many years now.
I guess my interest for the physiological aspects behind the numbers is what's driving me, because I have been studying this for years. And I like to experiment with my training to see if I can improve my physical capacity. Normally I do one or two treadmill-tests and maybe also a track-test, but this time I did only one treadmill-test, not to disturb my other preparations too much.
The test is divided in 2 parts, one part with incremental submaximal workloads of 5 minutes to estimate the anaerobic threshold (the speed you can maintain for 30-60min), and another part with incremental maximal workloads to estimate VO2max (how much oxygen your body is using).
The test I did on thursday was done with 15% incline on the treadmill, an attempt to better simulate how orienteers work during terrain-running. Usually I get a higher VO2max during this test, compared to a test with no incline, probably because I use my muscles more effectively this way.
The test on thursday went well. Actually the results were not only better than ever, but also much better than I have done before. Especially I had improved my anaerobic threshold with one step in the test, which means that I can maintain a speed which is approx. 1 km/h higher than before (before EOC and earlier years). Also my VO2max was the highest ever: 80,4 ml/kg/min (I had 80,2 from before).
I know that good physical shape isn't the only way to success in orienteering, but it's very nice to know that the physical part won't be limiting in reaching my goals in WOC.
Tomorrow the Danish Sprint-team is heading for Italy. I'm better prepared than ever, and can't wait to get started!