I’ve been intending to take the Surrey FA fitness test for a while. It is not strictly required for the Enhanced Promotion scheme that I am on, but I love a good challenge and also to demonstrate that I am serious about all this.
The core component is the Cooper Test. Very simple: Run as far as you can in twelve minutes without stopping. The required distance to pass is 2500 metres. I had done a few test-runs, mostly on inclined treadmills, and had a good solid pace to hit 2700 metres without keeling over. Oh, and the right music choice to pace myself with!
I’ve been running regularly, both for fitness and when refereeing, so felt confident I would do okay. Especially with the extra adrenaline boost on the day.
On the day there were five candidates. It was a good atmosphere as the test was being held on a proper athletics track, which was being used by some other people too. With just five candidates, there was no real ‘pack’ to run with, so I was glad I had worked on pacing! In the end, I nailed 2700 metres so my ‘game plan’ worked successfully. I could have edged that up a bit but wanted to ensure I saved energy for the sprinting test…
The sprinting test is also simple: Run 50 metres in 7.5 seconds or less, walk back, and do it again. I’ve always been quite proud of my sprinting speed so this presented no issues. No record was kept of my exact time, which is a shame, but really the important thing is that I passed and that no injuries were sustained.
Now to keep working on my fitness and, of course, the healthy eating! I’ve set a benchmark to beat next time round…
I attended my second Farnham Runners speed training session yesterday evening and it was great fun.
Here is the 60 second sprint protocol that was used. I’m not so good at doing this sort of training on my own as it is hard to stay motivated when it is so tiring! However, it all changes when in a friendly, welcoming and inspiring group.
WARM-UP: Gentle jog (5 minutes) followed by 10 minutes of dynamic stretching. Build running speed up to 60%, 80%, 100% (only over a short distance). Heart rate clearly elevated by end.
INTERVALS: 60 second sprint on the track. Place marker at your furthest point. Walk back to start. When all participants back, go again. FOUR INTERVALS. Your marker only moves if you manage to go further. After the 4th one, stay at your marker and rest 60 seconds. Then it is a handicap race back to the start (60 second time limit).
REST: Four minutes.
REPEAT INTERVALS: Marker stays put from first set!
COOL DOWN JOG: Very light jog (5 minutes).
STRETCHES: 10 minutes.
This was exhausting and my quads were ready to cramp all over the place at the end (the stretches were super-important as a result). I am proud that I managed to get the furthest distance but my sprint speed has always been good: It is just my endurance I need to work on.
I had to slow for some of the intermediate intervals but managed to beat my best distance on the final one! Yay!
Last week I lifted the FA Cup. Well, one of them. I’m not convinced that it was the real deal. I was tempted to start running out of the stadium and see how many people started chasing me as a test but decided it would not be particularly professional!
I was helping out at the Jobsite World Cup. This was a great little 5-a-side football tournament hosted by Jobsite at Fratton Park. It is really interesting to be at a premiership championship stadium on a non-match day and explore all the facilities! Not even the changing rooms were safe…
Although I was originally present as an assistant and to take some wonderful photographs I did get roped in to play for the Jobsite ‘B’ team. This mostly consisted of people that don’t really play football in any seriousness. Hey, I like to think I am a pretty hot referee but my first (and second…third…) touch is shocking. Predictably we got thrashed but I did set up the most amazing goal… honest, I really did.
There was some great skill (and importantly, sportsmanship!) on display. Matchtech won through in the end representing Cameroon so many congratulations to them!
Now to continue to work towards my own footballing goal: To be refereeing at stadiums like this in high profile games in the future! It’s certainly not going to be an easy journey but then what fun would it be if not challenging?
The season is now over so my main focus at the moment is preserving fitness (including sprinting speed and agility to avoid evil Achilles problems). There may well be a shift in focus from football to judo for a bit as a result of this training…