Monday, September 24, 2012

Intermittent Endurance 20-10 BETA VERSION

Intermittent Endurance 20-10 BETA VERSION

I have just finished the beep test and after an ALPHA test I did on myself I decided to share it and await feedbacks. Feedbacks are crucial before I put this test to version 1.0.

How it’s done?

The test is done in a shuttle arrangement (30m) – see the picture.

Each run is done in the format – 20sec run, 10sec passive rest (or walking to the nearest line). Each speed stage is repeated 4 times in a row, before proceeding to the next stage where the speed increases for 1km/h. Athlete should cross the lines A and C with one foot on the signal (make sure to turn facing the same direction to use both left and right leg) and cross the line B on the signal as well.

When the athlete doesn’t manage to be on the signal at the line 3 times in a row, the test is stopped and the score is the last fully completed level.  In the case when the athlete doesn’t want to continue during the 10sec passive rest, the score is also the last fully completed level. In this case there is a slight difference between player who didn’t even begun the next stage and the one that sucked up and tried one more before being disqualified. If you really want to nit-pick about it, you can track time at which the player stopped and calculate the in-between velocity.

As you can see the test has a lot in common with IFT30-15 by Martin Buccheit. I have actually utilized same beeps as Martin. You can find more about this test HERE.

Why it is done?

The IE20-10 is designed with team sport athletes in mind. I have written about the importance of high-intensity running-based conditioning (HERE and HERE) and this test allows you to utilize the score to design and individualize the running based conditioning. You can find more about this process in the great article by Dan Baker HERE.

The test for that purpose should be TRAINING SPECIFIC not sport specific. If you plan utilizing long runs, the better test is MAS test. If you plan utilize short and intensive shuttle runs (like 15-15, 30-30, etc) then test designed for that specific purpose is a must.

Why do we need the new test?

I have designed this test (this is a beta test so I might re-design it) with the goal to overcome some difficulties I have identified with another tests.

MAS test – Usually done as time trial (1500m) or for 5-6min. MAS is the average velocity. The problems with this test (taking intermittent conditioning that will be based on it as a criteria) is that it is continuous, without change of direction (COD) and because it has pacing issues with athletes who are not used to this type of running (most team sport athletes). Pacing is a real issue and usually the score can get a lot better with improving pacing (this goes back to develop vs. express concept). Another issue is that athletes who scored the same might have totally different reactions to intermittent conditioning (see Martin Buchheit work along with this PAPER and this PRESENATION).

YoYo Intermittent test – The problem with YoYo in my mind, although it has showed that has validity to differentiate between levels, is that it doesn’t give you the speed at which the athletes should train. Yes, you can see who is better and you can gauge the improvement, but how to design individual running session? Hardly. The problem is that the distance is held constant (20m back and forth) along with rest, while the speed increase that makes the shift in work-to-rest ratio. You can read more about it in this PAPER.  

UMTT (Université de Montréal Track Test) – As far as I know UMTT is one of the first beep tests if not the very first. There was a continuous variation, done on 400m track (and a newer form called Vam-Eval), and beep variation done in shuttle arrangement. Flaws are similar to MAS test except that there is no pacing issue.

IFT30-15 – I find Martin’s test the best of the mentioned. One of the things that ‘bothered’ me is that is start too slow, and each stage increase for 0,5km/h, which makes it long to finish. Compared to YoYo, you need to improve for one stage only to reach SWC (Smallest Worthwhile Change – I am still learning about this). The reliability studies showed high ICC (and low CV) (I think they are done in this PAPER), but I still feel that there is a great possibility for error and bias – you slightly let go of an athlete and he reaches higher stage and go over SWC. I can’t talk too much about the sensitivity, because I am learning about this area myself, but if we compare % change – Yoyo tend to improve more than 30-15IFT, and if we compare ES (Effect Size) they tend to be the same. Martin explained this to me over email and warned against using %change solely to judge test sensitivity. To judge test improvement one should also take into consideration test reliability.

Since Martin is world known researcher I cannot argue with him on the statistics (he would destroy me :) ), but I still somehow feel that there is a room for improvement in the test design. That’s why I developed IE20-10.

How did I calculate the beeps?

Well – manually and with some help of Excel. I started with average speed of 14km/h to cover 15m. To run 15m (line A to line B) at 14km/h (average) it takes 3,857seconds.  To run 15m from line B to line C it takes same amount of time (3,857seconds), but with a slight difference – you need to perform change of direction (COD). To do COD it takes around 0,7 seconds (for a lighter individual, but this depends on his efficiency – see the study by Martin HERE). So, to cover distance from B to C it takes 3,857 + 0,7 or 4,557seconds. Same thing for time from line B to line A.

So, I semi-manually calculated the beep intervals for each speed level and stage. Here is the example for level 1 (average speed 14km/h):


As explained in the PAPER by Martin, this velocity (14km/h average) should be corrected to correspond to straight-line running. In this case (Stage 1.1) we did 2 changes of direction in 20sec and the corrected velocity is 15,05 km/h. Let me explain:

If we have two athletes, both run at average speed v, for a certain time t, but one of the athletes perform 1 COD (takes him 0,7second) during that time, they will cover different total distance.

S1=v * t              (Athlete A)
S2=v * (t-0,7)     (Athlete B)

Now, if we assume that both of them need to cover same distance, the one that performs more CODs should run faster.

S1 = S2
v1 * t = v2 * (t- n * CODs)
v2 = (v1 * t)/ (t- n * CODs)

In the case of 14 km/h and 2 CODs (2x0,7 = 1,4sec) in 20 second we get:

vcorrected = (14 * 20) / (20 – 1,4)
vcorrected = (280) / (18,6)
vcorrected = 15,05 km/h

Thus, stage 1.1 is 15,05km/h. The stage 2.1 starts with the speed of 15km/h (average) and the corrected is 16,13 km/h. What I did is assign in-between velocities (15,05 to 16,13) for each of 4 stages in level 1).

Level 1.1 – 15,05 km/h
Level 1.2 – 15,32 km/h
Level 1.3 – 15,59 km/h
Level 1.4 – 15,86 km/h
Level 2.1 – 16,13 km/h

You don’t need to worry about it since I have done all the dirty work for you. During the audio, after each level I tell you at what line does the next one starts, along with telling you the current level of the run. In the collecting sheet you have all of that organized as well so you can track numerous athletes at the same time.

What you do with the corrected speed (that is actually the result of the test – vIE20-10) is plan your individualize workouts. For example, if you have an athlete that scored 20,29 km/h, you convert that to m/s (by dividing with 3,6) which is 5,63 m/s. You want to do 15/15 with one change of direction at that speed (guide or blog post regarding how to use different percentage of vIE20-10 should probably be available soon, but until then check what Martin Buchheit is using). So we calculate the shuttle distance:

Total Distance = (15s – 0,7s) * 5,63 = 80,5m

Since we are doing it in shuttle (back and forth) then we divide that by two and get 40,2m.
Using this simple approach you can create groups of similar intermittent endurance ability. More on this you can find in the linked article by Dan Baker and Martin Buchheit.

Where can I download this test and collecting sheet?

You can download both of them HERE. I would really love to hear your feedback on this test. Or maybe even support words for the effort. Enjoy the test and make sure to tell me your experiences. After that I might produce the full version!