The importance of taking a stress test before participating in a race

The benefits of doing sport are many and varied, but it is important to know our limits. A cardiovascular examination and Stress test will allow you to know your physical condition and improve athletic performance.

La Manga Club, 6th May 2016 - In recent weeks, the death of a couple of runners who were taking part in a popular marathon in Spain, has reopened the debate on participation in endurance sports when not in peak physical condition. 

Doctors recommend a detailed cardiovascular examination before starting sports requiring great physical effort such as marathons or triathlons to rule out any conditions such as heart disease. The Stress test and electrocardiogram could save your life.

What is a Stress test?

A Stress test with VO2max and electrocardiogram is an incremental test (the effort required increases progressively) that can be modified to suit the specific sporting area of an athlete. The test takes place using a treadmill or cycling machine and the information is used to assess the physical condition of the athlete and evaluate the risk of any possible heart disease.

To evaluate this risk, two electrocardiograms are performed: the first is taken at rest before the session starts and the other during the physical activity (running or cycling).

What other data can be obtained from a Stress test with VO2max?

Once the possibility of any heart problems has been ruled out, the stress test can obtain a great deal of useful information to help plan specific training programmes. Below is some of the data that can be obtained:

  • Maximum heart rate: One thing is our theoretical maximum heart rate and the other is the actual maximum which is what this test is all about. The percentage heart rate level is then used to set training loads.
  • VO2 max: This is the maximum oxygen consumption that our body can process. This value is an indicator of performance and improvement as it means we can get more energy. Its value can also be associated with health.
  • First Ventilatory Threshold (VT1): We can see this by counting pulse rate and the speed in which the anaerobic system starts to be used. This helps to find out the best workout intensity, the most comfortable speed and endurance level.
  • Second Ventilatory Threshold (VT2): This is the transition point between the majority use of the aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. This is the point at which we begin to accumulate more fatigue and lactic acid. Knowing our heart rate and speed of our anaerobic threshold, we can make an approximation about what speed we can run without accumulate fatigue. This can also be used to calculate the series speed in training.

Besides knowing both thresholds, we can establish the 5 areas of training with our pulsemeter, and thereby controlling the training load versus time spent in each area.

The stress test with VO2max is one of the most sought after tests at the High Performance Centre in La Manga Club. It is not only professional athletes who use these services but also amateurs who would like to find out their physical condition before starting to train for high level or demanding sports and physical activities.

Complimentary access to La Manga Club Spa is included with every Stress test.

Other test at La Manga Club

There are many other test in addition to the Stress test at the High Performance Centre in La Manga Club. You can also do isokinetic strength testing, isokinetic strength curve testing, speed and acceleration testing and jumping ability. At the centre there is also physiotherapy and nutrition advice offering a complete service to professional and amateur athlete.