Testing Week! An Athlete's Progress Report
This week was testing week for my teammates and I! Testing week is essentially an athlete's progress report that is done now and then to see how they are responding to training, and to highlight things they might need to work on as they continue with training. I think testing is particularly helpful for athletes who have long training cycles. For track, the season doesn't really get going for a few more months so testing breaks up training cycles and helps both you and your coach see how you're responding to training. It's also good motivation for the team and promotes bonding as you're able cheer each other on and even compete against each other. Personally, I like testing because I can get bogged down and drained by continuous, drawn out training, and for me it really makes the next training cycle feel like a clean slate to work on.
This is the second testing my team has had this year. I didn't fully participate in the first round because I was still tapering back into training full-time. Our week consisted of jump testing [standing long jump, double leg bounds, standing triple jump], weight room testing [vertical jump, power clean, bench press, squat, pull-ups/chin-ups], and sprint testing [30m dash, 300m time trial]. Of course, these are all spread out over three days across the week, with somewhat down days placed in-between to make it less stressful on our bodies.
My favorite tests are the squats, 30m dash, and the 300 time trial. Squats are always the lift I've done best on, the 30m dash usually tells me more about my sprinting than the 300m does (because I'm a short sprinter), and the atmosphere around the 300m time trial is always so hyped up and lively that it's hard not to enjoy it.
All in all, my testing went OK. I've never been great at jumping or cleaning. I have a hard time with my balance and with pushing from the balls of my feet instead of the heels, so I still need to work on that. I will note that my triple jump was a lot better this year. My first jump was 6.92, and my second was 7.21. My teammates and I were really surprised at the difference, and even checked twice to make sure we weren't seeing things. My power clean max was 125 lbs., which is pretty good compared to last year's max (110 lbs.).
My 30m dash was pretty disappointing. Last year I hit 4.25 sec. and so far this year I've only hit 4.27. I will say that the machine was not at its best that day, so one of my attempts didn't register, and another one registered as 3.68, which was amazing, but not likely at all, haha. I felt better after squatting, though. My max last year was 200 lbs. and my new goal was to squat double my body weight, 230 lbs. I'm happy to say I maxed out at 250 lbs.! Now my next goal is 290 lbs. (2.5 times my body weight).
The 300 time trial was on Friday. I treated the day like I would on a day where I would have a track meet: go to sleep early the night before, wake up on time, eat breakfast, go to class, and relax until practice time. Earlier in the week I also told two of my teammates I'd try to motivate them as well, and I did not disappoint.
All in all, my 300 went well. I ran a 39.4, which was a personal best; I've never gotten under 40 before. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to times for races that I don't run regularly, so I looked up my old 300 times from high school to see the difference - my best back then was 44.66. Granted, this was about 4 years ago, but it's always nice to see how far you've come.
We ended the testing week today with med ball tennis, which is just tennis using a medicine ball. I had never played before, but I had a blast, and it was a great way to make a workout fun! My coach tweeted some videos of them to give you an idea of what it looks like:
I feel like I say this a lot, but I'm excited for the next cycle of training. I'm glad I got to see the areas I need to work on and that things I have been working on have actually been improving.
p.s. You can follow me on My Twitter for live updates on my training and for funny banter and nonsensical rants 😏
Stay Active, Everyone! ❤ Gemma