Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How Students Will Work Outside of Class to Improve/Maintain

We will be "Running Across America" outside of class to help to improve/maintain our aerobic capacity. Each week, students will log how long/how far they have run/walked at home outside of class. Every Friday, we will collect each student's run/walk log and add up how many miles we have run/walked together. We will plot our miles on a map of the United States following Route 80 for 2, 902 miles! As we travel from NJ to California, we will make pitstops along the way to discuss the healthy foods we can find in different regions and cities in our country.

If parents would like to join us on our "trip," we'd love to plot a Parent's Route parallel to ours!  Students will be bring home a log sheet for parents to fill out as well.

All walking/running counts...outdoors, on a treadmill, in a mall, on vacation. From September through May 31...we're walkin', yes, indeed, we're walkin'!! Come join us!

How Students Will Work In Class to Improve/Maintain

Students will work in class each period on improving the aerobic capacity. We will include walking as well as running in our warm-up activities each day.  Aerobic capacity improves with practice; the more practice, the greater the improvement. We will also learn about pacing and splits.

By learning to use even pacing students learn to maintain roughly the same speed throughout the distance they are running/walking. Pacing results in better performance as students will not fatigue as quickly and will build endurance. To learn how to control pace, students will track their "splits."  In other words, we will be timing each lap of a 4 lap mile and will strive to have equal times on all 4 laps.

In addition to practicing how to pace speed, students will also practice pacing effort. With even effort pacing students will try to maintain the same perceived effort level throughout the race. This type of pacing is more appropriate for beginners. Even effort pacing will result in slowing throughout the run/walk due to the perceived effort level rising as you fatigue. This type of pacing will allow students to finish comfortably, but will not result in optimal performance. This is important as students will learn that they can in fact run/walk a mile successfully and will encourage them to continue to excel.

Class Performance: WELL DONE!

Congratulations, Class!!! I am so proud of each of you and you should be proud of yourselves as well!!

As a whole, our class performed very well on Walk Test. We had a total of 18 students for whom scores were obtained, 7 male and 11 female. The fitness assessments are based on normative data by gender as well as age.

Overall, our total class fitness assessments were fantastic! 13 or 72% of students scored Good to Superior and 5 or 28% of students scored Fair to Needs Improvement. More girls than boys scored Good to Superior. 9 or 90% of the girls scored Good to Superior with 4 or 57% of the boys scoring Good to Superior.

Based on verbal feedback from the students as well as visual assessment during the assessment, I believe this was mostly due to higher motivation from the girls.  Some of the boys mentioned they were demotivated by the weather.

VO2max scores for girls ranged from 7.9ml/kg/min to 60.1ml/kg/min and for boys from 35.9ml/kg/min to 56.3ml/kg/min. The average VO2max for girls was 39.43ml/kg/min with a standard deviation of + 13.85, and for boys was 48.53ml/kg/min with a standard deviation of + 8.59. I believe the "Fair to Needs Improvement" category was impacted more by inclement weather and low motivation than by lower aerobic capacity. We all absolutely have the ability to improve our scores next time and we'll work together in class to build both our endurance as well as our motivation!

Congratulations on a job well done!

Control for Reliability

In order to control for reliability, we performed our walk test during class outdoors on a standard 400m track. Students completed 4 full laps plus 10m to equal 1 mile. Prior to the assessment, students were provided with instruction on how to use appropriate pacing and how to maintain consistent motivation. One challenge we did encounter was some inclement weather. The Walk Test is a reliable test for assessing aerobic capacity.

Test Validity

Peak aerobic capacity is a measure of cardiovascular fitness and health and is considered one of the best measures of health and longevity. According to the Cooper Institute, the Walk Test is a valid test for aerobic capacity as it measures for VO2max using the Rockport Fitness Walking Test equation which incorporates age, gender, total time and heart rate. It is important to note that in athletic people, the Walk Test will overestimate VO2max.

Teaching Video

Date of Next Assessment: Monday, November 8, 2010