How Fit Are You Really

Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic fitness is your ability to take in, transport and utilize oxygen and is commonly expressed as your VO2 max. While there are lots of ways to estimate your VO2 max, they are all either very complicated, require sophisticated equipment and/or testing protocols or are nothing better than an educated guess. Rather than bog you down with science, I have selected the Cooper 1.5 (2.4km) mile walk/run test as it is accessible and the results are easy to interpret.

The Cooper 1.5mile/2.4km walk/run test is very simple. Using a treadmill, track or flat measure course, walk/run as fast as you can and note your completion time. Compare your time to the tables below. Treat this test as a time trial – your aim is to cross the finish line totally spent and confident you couldn’t have gone any faster.

MEN: 1.5 Mile Walk/Run 13-19 20-29 30-39
superior <8:37 <9:45 <10:00
excellent 8:37-9:40 9:45-10:45 10:00-11:00
good 9:41-10:48 10:46-12:00 11:01-12:30
fair 10:49-12:10 12:01-14:00 12:31-14:45
poor 12:11-15:30 14:01-16:00 14:44-16:30
very poor >15:31 >16:01 >16:31


WOMEN: 1.5 Mile Walk/Run 13-19 20-29 30-39
superior <11:50 <12:30 <13:00
excellent 11:50-12:29 12:30-13:30 13:00-14:30
good 12:30-14:30 13:31-15:54 14:31-16:30
fair 14:31-16:54 15:55-18:30 16:31-19:00
poor 16:55-18:30 18:31-19:00 19:01-19:30
very poor >18:31 >19:01 >19:31

Now you know exactly how fit you are and what, if any, are your areas of weakness. Repeat these tests in three months time and assess your progress. Ideally, if your program is doing its job and your diet and lifestyle factors such as sleep and rest are in order, you should see a marked increase in your performance. If you don’t see much in the way of an increase, you may need to revisit your workout and design a new one.

One Response

  1. Theodór Már Gudmundsson

Leave a Reply