Running Skill Assessment and Fitness Goals

Skill Assessment

Under this section, skill assessment entails a record of the results from the 1.5-mile run that was carried out at the beginning and end of the semester. The results recorded in the table below include the time taken to complete the run course, estimates of the maximal oxygen uptake, and the population estimates as determined from the ExRx Distance Run Calculator.

02/14/11 04/25/11
1.5mile time 14 Mins 09 seconds 13 Mins 07 seconds
My estimated VO2 Max 37.634 40.323
My Population avg. 44.3 44.3

From the results in the table above, certainly, the VO2max estimates accurately reflect positive progress through the assessment period. That is, at the beginning of the semester, the estimated value of VO­2max is relatively ‘poor’ compared to the norm-referenced standard (the population average). On the other hand, at the end of the semester, the estimated value for VO2 is relatively ‘good’ relative to the population average. Overall, there is a remarkable improvement in the value of VO2max at the end of the semester compared to the value of VO2max at the beginning of the semester.

Self-evaluation

Setting fitness goals

Self-evaluation is an aspect of decision-making, which requires that one has to make an evaluative decision based on a certain reference standard. As a result, one can use criterion-referenced standards to set fitness goals that he or she wishes to achieve after a given period (Hoeger and Hoeger 35). Accordingly, I set specific and measurable fitness goals at the beginning of the semester, which can be categorized into physical, nutritional, and behavioral goals. The first fitness goal entailed improving my overall cardiovascular endurance in which case my specific target was to achieve ‘good’ cardiovascular endurance levels by the end of the semester. Secondly, to increase my maximal oxygen uptake to levels that reflect ‘good’ fitness or physical performance, I planned to undertake the 1.5-mile run within 11 minutes by the end of the semester. Furthermore, my third fitness goal was to cut down on my daily intake of highly processed foods while maintaining a constant sleep-wake cycle by the end of the semester.

Evaluating the fitness goals

Relative to the above-mentioned goals and the results in the skills assessment section, it is apparent that my ability to withstand physical activity improved significantly, and thus my first fitness goal was achieved at the end of the assessment period. Here, it is worth noting that I was able to finish the 1.5-mile course within less time (that is, 13 minutes and 7 seconds) at the end of the semester compared to the time taken at the beginning of the semester (14 minutes and 9 seconds). Moreover, the significant decrease in the time taken to finish the 1.5-mile course was followed by a significant improvement in maximal oxygen uptake because the VO2max value changed from the ‘poor’ category at the beginning of the semester to the ‘good’ category at the end of the semester. Overall, this remarkable improvement in cardiovascular endurance and physical performance is attributable to attaching various objectives to the set goals.

Therefore, to achieve improved cardiovascular endurance as captured in the first fitness goal, my first objective was to have jogging as the preferable mode of exercising, and thus, jogging was undertaken at 9 a.m. for six days per week. Furthermore, my second objective relative to the first goal was to use the field house track for all my jogging exercises, which were to take 45 minutes immediately after other exercise sessions. Moreover, my third objective entailed monitoring my heart rate at specific intervals during each exercise. Finally, the fourth objective involved undertaking the 1.5-mile run course twice a month (Hoeger and Hoeger 79-81). Overall, through strict adherence to these set of objectives, I was able to achieve my first goal.

However, I failed to achieve my second goal, which entailed improving my ability to undertake the 1.5-mile run within a much shorter period (that is, below 11 minutes). Here, despite that I managed to record a significant decrease in the amount of time taken in the 1.5-mile course by the end of the semester, I failed to hit the 11-minute target since I had not set specific objectives in this regard. Here, some objectives related to the second goal such as undertaking the 1.5 miles run twice a month did not do much in terms of improving the time factor. Conversely, in my quest to complete the 1.5-mile course, I must have overlooked the paramount need for warm-up exercises such as walking, stretching, and slow jogging before beginning the run (Hoeger and Hoeger 35). Moreover, I did not refer to my performance time relative to my estimated VO2max value before setting the target run-time at 11 minutes.

On the other hand, my third and final fitness goal regarding cutting down on my daily intake of processed foods and maintaining a constant sleep-wake cycle was achieved at the end of the semester. Relative to this goal, my first objective was to replace white bread and butter during breakfast with a couple of fresh fruits each morning. Furthermore, my second objective was to replace the fatty snacks that were part of my lunch with fresh fruit juice and vegetables. Moreover, the third objective relative to the third fitness goal was to replace foods containing saturated fats such as red meat with those foods containing polyunsaturated fats such as fatty fish. Finally, my fourth objective regarding the third fitness goal entailed sleeping at 9 p.m. and waking up at 5 a.m. every day. Overall, these objectives enabled me to maintain healthy eating and sleeping habits that form the foundation of healthy growth, and thus ‘good’ cardiovascular endurance/ physical performance.

Future Directions

Regarding the first fitness goal, there is the need to maintain the overall achievements attained besides broadening them by setting new objectives relative to this goal. Here, the goal will be broadened to include improving the physical appearance by cutting down on the weight and fats around my abdomen through increasing the exercise range and duration. On the other hand, there is the need to re-evaluate the objectives of the second goal whose aim is to improve performance on the 1.5-mile run by reducing the amount of time taken. Here, it will be beneficial to consider my performance time relative to my estimated VO2max value before setting a new run-time target. This approach will enable me to improve on the time taken to finish the run course with the subsequent improvement in my maximal oxygen uptake. Lastly, besides maintaining healthy eating habits, there is the need to consult a nutritionist in the future to obtain additional information regarding the best foods suitable for persons undertaking physical activities. This will enable me to know the type of foods to include in my list and those to be dropped to maintain a ‘good’ physical appearance and physiological functions. Overall, there is the paramount need to exercise periodic assessment and evaluation of the three fitness goals so that I can improve on failed objectives while re-evaluating and setting new targets.

Work Cited

Hoeger, Werner K., and Hoeger, Sharon A. Fitness & wellness, 9th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning Resources, 2011. Print.