According to what I read before performing my assessment workout with mine, the intervals are defined as follows:
- 3 / 10 – Brisk walking. You can carry a conversation and even sing.
- 4 / 10 – Easy jog. You can carry a conversation but you can’t sing.
- 5 / 10 – Medium jog. You’re struggling to carry out a conversation
- 6 / 10 – You can say a couple of words but cannot carry a conversation. This would be your tempo pace.
- 7 / 10 – Sprint. It’s difficult to say a couple of words.
- 8 / 10 – Very uncomfortable and cannot be maintained for long
- 9 / 10 – Run like there’s a lion after you
It would be impossible to say in paces/min, since each person's assessment will be different, the above chart gives a good idea of where you should be at each interval.
The Pacer will instruct you to:
- Start at a 3/10 pace for 2 minutes
- Increase to 4/10 for 2 minutes
- Increase to 5/10 for 1.5 minutes
- Increase to 6/10 for 1.5 minutes
- Increase to 7/10 for 1.5 minutes
- Increase to 8/10 for 30 seconds
- Run at your top speed (9/10) for 45 seconds
- Cool down with a 2.25 minute 3/10 paced interval
My experience with this was that it was a very difficult "workout" even though it was only 12 minutes, but that the assessment seems to be right on target for me. I did have a bit of a difficult time with increasing my pace steadily in the slower part of the assessment, but the test seems to have adjusted quite well for it.
As it turns out, after performing the assessment and then looking over my previous workouts, I've been running slightly faster than I should have been on most of my intervals for my current training level (edging into yellow frequently, and staying at the top of green yesterday, even though I was really trying hard to slow down). Getting the Pacer configured right should really help with getting my levels down so my heart rate isn't 190 bpm while I'm running.