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Conconi Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

Objective

The Conconi test (Conconi 1982)[1] is a simple method for measuring an individual's maximum, anaerobic and aerobic thresholds.

Required Resources

To perform the test you require

  • Heart Rate Monitor (HRmax)
  • 400 metre track or Treadmill
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

  • The athlete determines their starting speed and the increment in speed every 200 metres so that they can complete between 2.5km and 4km before being unable to continue. Using their best 10 km time the Conconi Test Pace Calculator can determine the time for each 200 metres for the track test and the speed for the treadmill test.

Conducting the Test on a 400m Track

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The athlete sets the heart rate monitor watch to use a 5 second recording interval
  • The athlete commences the test, starting their HRM watch and the assistant starts the stopwatch
  • The assistant records the time every 200 metres
  • The athlete increase their speed every 200 metres
  • The assistant stops the stopwatch when the athlete is unable to continue and records the time - the athlete stops their HRM watch recording

Conducting the Test on a Treadmill

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The assistant sets the treadmill speed to the athlete's desired start speed
  • The athlete sets the heart rate monitor watch to use a 5 second recording interval
  • The athlete commences the test, starting their HRM watch and the assistant starts the stopwatch
  • The assistant records the time every 200 metres
  • The assistant increase the treadmill speed every 200 metres by 0.5km/hr. (0.31mph)
  • The assistant stops the stopwatch when the athlete is unable to continue and records the time - the athlete stops their heart rate monitor watch recording

Assessment

Calculation of Anaerobic Threshold

Determine the speed for each 200 metres and then for each 200 metres plot speed versus heart rate on a graph. You will find the graph gradually rises to start with and then flattens before rising again. This flattening in the graph indicates the athlete's anaerobic threshold. In the example conconi graph below this flattening appears to be around 182pm.

Conconi Graph

Alternatively you can use the supplied Conconi AT Calculator to plot and determine the athlete's Anaerobic Threshold.

Calculation of Aerobic Threshold

A good estimate for aerobic threshold has proved to be the anaerobic threshold minus 20 bpm.

Analysis

Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's anaerobic and aerobic thresholds.

Target Group

This test is suitable for endurance athletes and players of endurance sports (e.g. football, rugby) but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Research by Jones (1995)[2] has shown that there is a lack of reliability in Conconi's heart rate deflection point.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful.

Advantages

  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct

Disadvantages

  • Specialist equipment required - heart rate monitor/treadmill
  • Specific facilities required - 400m track
  • Assistant required to administer the test

Free Calculator

The following are free Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that you can download and use on your computer.

Referenced Material

  1. CONCONI, F. et a.l (1982) Determination of the anaerobic threshold by a non-invasive field test in runners. Journal of Applied Physiology, 52, p. 869-873
  2. JONES, A. and DOUST, J. (1995) Lack of reliability in Conconi's heart rate deflection point. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 16, p. 541-544

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (1997) Conconi Test [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/coni.htm [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: