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Thread: Firefighter CPAT in 2 weeks, cardio prep.

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  1. #1
    I AM the highlight reel... Owens14's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Moore, OK

    Firefighter CPAT in 2 weeks, cardio prep.

    Long time no see WBB community. Nice to see this place is still thriving. Anyways, I have my firefighter CPAT (Candidate physical ablility testing) in a couple of weeks. Basically the test consists of 2 parts, a muscular endurance test and a cardio test. Now the muscular side I'll have no problem with, but my cardio has been slacking as of lately. I know 2 weeks isn't very long at all to boost cardiovascular endurance, but do you guys have any tips? It's mainly an endurance type testing (I believe a mile and a half run), no sprinting or anything. Increasing my cardio endurance should just be long distance jogging right? Would sprint work help since there won't really be any actual sprinting in the test? Thanks for any input guys..
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  2. #2
    Cardio bunny Alex.V's Avatar
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    Feb 2001
    Sprinting, no, intervals yes.

    Given your limited time, there are two things you need to focus on- improving your gait (efficiency), and seeing if you can improve your work capacity slightly in the run.

    What I would suggest- try to get about 5-6 runs in (with at least two days off before the test... and no runs over 2.5 miles)... and if you've ever done fartlek style training before, this is the time to do it. If you don't know what that is, it's basically unstructured interval training. Go out at an easy pace, pick up the pace to sprints or strides (~85% of your top speed), slow down to a jog to recover.

    Most essential things to bear in mind- during your slow recovery jog, keep your head up, shoulders up, stride short, running cadence up (keep it as aerobic as possible). This is your default running pace- keep that form in mind while you're doing your 1.5 mile run... and essentially do a "sped up" version of this pace while going for your test. Those intervals will serve two purposes- to marginally improve your lactic acid threshold, and also to fatigue you to the point where you NEED to find an efficient stride during your recovery phase.

    You're not REALLY going to improve your cardio endurance in two weeks- you'll just need to maximize what level of endurance you already have.
    Last edited by Alex.V; 06-11-2012 at 11:28 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owens14 View Post
    It's mainly an endurance type testing (I believe a mile and a half run),
    What is the goal time?

    How close are you?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Agreed with Alex that intervals are good for improving your pace - and definitely translate to a 1.5 mile run test in my experience...
    However, I'd say with the VERY limited time you have left your number one focus should be determining the pace. Pacing for a timed run really comes in 3 flavors, especially of you are just on the line of passing:
    1. the pace you cannot go under (or you'll fail - call this your minimum)
    2. The fastest pace you are able to keep and pass (this should be your goal pace)
    3. The pace that if you attempt, you will burn out and fail (this can be pretty easy to hit if you are not experienced at all)
    My suggestion is to attempt a timed 1.5 mile run to figure out where you fit in... find a pace that works for you and see that you keep it - in practice and the test. Anything else you do between now and then will probably only serve to make that pace a tiny bit less painful.

    So, Alex... if he DID have more time, what would you suggest?

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