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The 10/10 Treadmill Test

The 10/10 test is elegantly simple, yet extremely tough. It is a great way to test anaerobic capacity leading into aerobic power, which is an important crossover zone for many field sports. To perform well on this test, an athlete needs to have decent overall sprinting speed, good lower body strength to bodyweight ratio, and the ability to tolerate hard anaerobic exercise.

To set up the test, you need to have a stable and preferably commercial-grade treadmill. Woodway treadmills are typically the best for running on inclines as they have individual track pieces as opposed to a belt system that may slip or drag. Warm up thoroughly for at least 20 minutes, including higher speed intervals of 30 seconds at decent inclines and speeds.

Then, set the treadmill to 10 incline and 10 miles per hour. Hold securely onto the side rails of the treadmill and when you are ready to start, jump on while still holding the rails until your legs get up to speed. When you are ready, let go of the rails and run AS LONG AS POSSIBLE at 10 and 10.

Be safe. If you go right to the limit, there is a good chance you will get spit off the back end of the machine if you don't have the safety stop attached or are unused to grabbing the rails and popping your feet onto the sideboards.

It is not a long test, with only the best conditioned team sport athletes making it over 2 minutes. Specialist running athletes would be expected to carry on much further due to lower overall bodymass, high aerobic power, and their specific strength endurance patterns.

Generally speaking, here are your performance markers from the information I have been able to gather so far:

<30 sec: Below average

30sec-1min: Good

1min-1:30: Very good

1:30-2:00: Excellent

2:00: Elite (top athletes in team sports)

2:30+: Elite track athlete

I've been thinking of ways to scale the test for different populations, primarily for those with a lower top speed ability. I think I will continue that thought process with doing a diagnostic test for top safe speed and working on a percentage base back from there.

Give this a shot, and let me know your results via email.

Keep fit and have fun

Coach Cam

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