Runners assessment


The comprehensive support package is now available for £150 per person. We currently offer these tests at weekends only.

Discounts may be negotiated for clubs wishing to send groups of five or more runners.

The tests will take approximately one and half hours to administer. All testing will be conducted by competent staff members in a British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences accredited laboratory. The Ulster laboratory houses some of the most sophisticated testing equipment in the Uk and Ireland including a SRM cycle ergometer and H.P Cosmos treadmill with safety harness.

Individuals must abstain from any training for at least two days prior to testing and should arrive motivated, well hydrated and free from illness or injury.

The Package

Our expert staff have developed comprehensive physiological profiling services that can help distance runners soar to new heights of performance.

The assessment package contains the following tests:

Anthropometric Measurements

These include height, body mass and body composition analysis (body fat levels). Body composition is analysed using skin-fold callipers and requires pinching body fat tissue at eight sites of the body to give an indication of body fat levels and how these compare to normative data.

Why is this important?

High levels of body fat and muscle mass can negatively impact running performance as excess weight must be carried over the distance of the race. Keeping track of the levels will enable you to ensure you are within recommended ranges for your sport.

Hydration Status

Athletes’ hydration status is measured by analysing the concentration of a urine sample, using a micro osmometer.

Why is this important?

As little as 2% dehydration can negatively impact upon endurance running performance. Tracking hydration levels will allow you to establish if you are consuming sufficient fluids.

Resting Blood Analysis

A small sample of blood is collected via a finger prick and analysed for haemoglobin content and haematocrit levels.

Why is this important?

Endurance runners require haemoglobin molecules to carry oxygen to the working muscles. The haematocrit reading represents the percentage of formed elements in the blood (mainly red blood cells) and it is important that these fall within a healthy range. If either haemoglobin or haematocrit levels are low an athlete may require an intervention to be actioned by a G.P.

Single Leg Strength Test

Maximal strength levels and the balance between the right and left leg will be assessed using a dynamometer.

Why is this important?

Runners may often have a strength imbalance between the legs which can contribute towards decreased performance or injury. Measuring single leg strength will establish if a strength & conditioning intervention is required to manage the imbalance.

Double Leg Power Assessment (Vertical Jump)

Double leg power will be assessed via a countermovement jump using an electronic jump mat. Why is this important?

Having superior levels of leg power is important for a runner, especially when race tempo increases. Tracking levels can provide information on the success or failings of a strength & conditioning programme and the whole training programme in general.

Single Leg Hamstring Flexibility

Single leg hamstring flexibility will be assessed with an active straight leg raise test.

Why is this important?

It is important that runners have adequate flexibility in the hamstring muscle group as this will impact upon stride length and performance. Additionally, tightness in the area could contribute towards potential injuries. Tracking levels will allow runners to establish if they require soft tissue interventions (stretching or massage) to ensure healthy functioning of this very important muscle group.

Lactate Profile Assessment

Athletes will be put through a progressive exercise test to establish how their body responds to different exercise intensities. The response to exercise is measured by tracking the heart rate and blood lactate response to different running speeds. Blood lactate is obtained via a capillary blood samples – this will require taking a very small sample of blood from either the tip of a finger or the ear lobe.

Why is this important?

This information will be used to structure heart rate training zones for 3-4 months. They will range in intensity and be specific to individual fitness levels. This procedure establishes individualised heart rate training zones for each athlete to train at, removing the guess work from training. This process will also establish your particular lactate thresholds and give sub maximal exercise markers that are very important to distance running performance. This is the ‘gold-standard’ approach to establishing training zones and is superior to estimating ‘age-predicted’ zones.

Aerobic Capacity (VO2max)

This involves connecting the runner to a gas analysis system that will calculate how much oxygen the body can extract and use during exercise.

Why is this important?

The higher these levels are the more an athlete is suited to endurance exercise. Runners with higher values are more suited to long distance running, whilst those with lower values will be more suited to middle distance events. Tracking levels will allow runners to evaluate the effectiveness of their training. This part of the test requires individuals to push themselves to the point of fatigue and we only conduct this element with fit and healthy individuals.

Running Economy

The results from this stage of the assessment will also be used to assess running economy. This is a measure of how efficiently an athlete can run at different sub-maximal exercise intensities.

Why is this important?

Athletes with good running economy will use less oxygen at a given exercise intensity. The analysis will highlight the runners’ most economical running speed and this information can be considered in establishing appropriate pacing strategies.

Recovery Training Session

After all your hard efforts relax in our recovery suite and soothe away your aches and pains.

Why is this important?

The recovery suite contains a steam room, ice cold plunge pool and warm Jacuzzi. Alternating between these treatments will accelerate recovery.

The Follow-up Report

The report will detail all of our findings and help you towards new-found levels of performance.