I recently enroled on a free course called "health for life" run by the local council. It's a basic course on the different aspects of physical fitness. Anyhow...you are required to keep a daily diary of any excercise you engage in. Before you do this though you are asked to pick one of several stamina tests to complete which you repeat six weeks later, obviously to see if you are getting fitter! One of the tests is called the "Cooper twelve minute run". Basically you run for twelve minutes and make a note of how far you get and then repeat it six weeks later to see if you have improved. However there are five ratings given relating to how far you get in those twelve minutes. These are:
Excellent: above 1.75 miles
Good: 1.56 - 1.75 miles
Average: 1.43 - 1.56 miles
Poor: 1.43 - 1.37 miles
Very poor: below 1.37 miles
Now as an average 9 minute miler this puts me in the "very poor" catagory!
To make matters worse I double checked it by running on a treadmill for 12 minutes to see how far I got, my 2.0 km is in the Very poor: below 2200 metres catagory. Now I know I am no racing snake, but I have run several marathons, 1/2 marathons 10ks etc and ran what I thought were decent times for my age (49 yrs) of 4:22 for the marathon, and 52 minutes for a 10k, but according to this course I am lucky I can get off the starting block!!! When doing the 12 minute test by the way, they state that you can "walk, jog or run, or a combination of these." This course is for general Joe public but according to the course to get an average score in the test you have to be an 8 minute miler at least!!