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  • Writer's pictureRon Saetermoe

Assessments: A Double-Edged Sword

Assessments . . . I hate ‘em! You can’t win with them.

If you test lower than your last one, your fitness is going backward. If you test higher, you have to work harder in the future. Either way, you lose!

So, wait Coach Ron, are you saying don’t do them? Of course not, but you should put them into context.

As we already know, there are a hundred factors that can impact our performance on any given day so you need to take your results with a grain of salt. Factors like lack of sleep, lack of calories, too many calories, previous workouts, illness, difference of conditions, and many more. Anything can impact your test results.

Rather than get too bent based on your results, take an inventory of objective and subjective factors that may have impacted your results and put those notes on that assessment. For example, I did my bike assessment today (20 minutes all out) and I noted my calibration setting on my trainer, my food intake before the test (none), my wattage setting on my trainer (235) and my wattage on my Garmin (247).

In addition to this you might put how much sleep you got, how you basically “feel” on a 10-point scale, any little niggles you have, etc. This will help you make more sense of each assessment.

The Norwegians seem to test everything all the time. I have a lactate meter but only use it sporadically. I think the results are interesting but I’m no scientist and therefore can only glean a certain amount of information from the tests.

Am I happy with my results today? Well, yes and no. Let the hard(er) work commence!

See you at the races!


Coach Ron Saetermoe


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