Let's talk about the Multi-stage fitness test better known as the dreaded beep test. Now whether the beep test is the best test of your overall fitness or is applicable and specific enough for a given circumstance is a debate for another day. The reality is, that it is still commonly used and no doubt the most popular testing protocol for aerobic fitness beside a straight time trial effort. It should go without saying that increasing your aerobic capacity and running efficiency are the most important factors to beep test performance. This is obviously where you want to invest your time and effort in training. We know getting fitter and becoming a better runner will help the most, but today I want to talk about a couple of test specifics that will also help you out. So let's get to it. The Cone is Lava! My first tip is to attempt to time your run so you spend as little time as possible on each cone. Don't run so fast that you need to completely stop and start each interval. Doing so is inefficient and fatiguing which will catch up to you quickly as the test progresses. Instead attempt to time your run so you hit the cone and turn around right on or just before the beep, but don't stop and start, bounce out of the turn. Initially this can be tough as you won't have a feel for the timing, typically your tester will prompt you to slow down if you're ahead and most likely won't pull you out in the early stages if you miss a beep or two due to timing rather than fitness capacity. Turning Technique. The efficiency of each turn is of utmost importance as you progress throughout your test. Inefficient turns will create more fatigue and slow you down as you attempt to complete each subsequent shuttle. The technique for your turns could be an article or video on its own but I'll attempt to describe the key principles here as best I can. Coming into each turn you will shorten up your strides, drop your body height and perform what I like to call a hip switch and reach as you pivot to hit the cone. As you turn your hips it's important the your reaching foot is in-front of you, this will give you the ability to bounce straight back into your first step. See the pic below The Mental Battle. As the test goes on your fatigue will build, that’s a no brainer. As you get fatigued you need to attack each turn like each is its own mental battle, every 20 metres. The one thing that is constantly said after a beep test is something along the lines of "I could've done more". So why didn't you? Typically it's because you lost one of these 20 metre mental battles, rather than being pushed fully to your absolute capacity. So at that "oh shit" moment that happens during every test, try to count how many more mental battles you can win, it might be 3, maybe 5, 10. If you can push to win those extra little mental battles it will be reflected in your score and you won't be that person saying they "could've done more"
There it is, I hope that helps. By the way, you can get the beep test straight off YouTube so you got no excuses. Get to running...... and turning. AJ