Women see improved fitness levels over 6 weeks
I am excited as I write this, having just returned home from fitness testing with some of the women who completed the 6 week special program to improve their fitness. We had some spectacular results. But first I will take you back to where it all began….
Earlier this year in late February as part of the fitness testing for the special 6 week program I asked the women who had signed up to run twice around Reg Bartley Oval as fast as they could. It’s a long run. I haven’t measured it – but I know it is further than 800 metres as the track which the women follow is quite close to the outside of the oval. I estimate it to be about 900 metres. We recorded everyone’s time. Some women found that they couldn’t run the whole way so they stopped to walk a little and then kept going. Others took it very slowly so that they could get around twice without stopping. Some women did run the whole way and surprised themselves with pretty respectable times.
It is now mid April and I asked the women to do the same run. They have all been making an effort to attend training 3 times a week over the past 6 weeks. I could see in the sessions that their fitness levels had picked up but the run would be the ultimate test. It is a big challenge to run this distance as fast as possible.
As they came past the post after the first lap I held my breath as I could see that they were all well ahead of their earlier times. The triumphant looks on their faces as they crossed the line after 2 long laps and were told their times said it all. Some examples:
Vesna (mother of 5 year old Leo), who had not done very much exercise before starting the program, originally took 6 minutes and 7 seconds to do 2 laps. This time she crossed the line in a time of 4 minutes and 50 seconds.
Fiona (mother of 12 year old Lily and 16 year old Bella) had an original time of 5 minutes and 24 seconds. Six weeks later she ran the same track in just 4 minutes and 38 seconds. And this was after a night on the town dancing getting home in the wee hours of the morning!
Even Catherine (in her 50s with 3 teenaged boys) who had run a speedy 4 minutes 50 seconds in the first test shaved off 17 seconds coming in a 4 minutes and 33 seconds.
So you might ask why is it so significant that these women can now move around the oval more quickly than they could 6 weeks ago? Quite simply, it is a clear demonstration of how their fitness has improved. Just going about their daily lives this increased fitness level means that they have more vitality, more energy – they can do more without getting tired. For women as they enter their late 30s and then 40s and (as in Catherine’s case) their 50s the ability to continue to move and move well is something we can’t take for granted. We need to work at it. These women worked hard and it has paid off!