Moderately mentally handicapped children ages 10 to 12 and youths 13 years and older ran the endurance run of the Canada Fitness Awards Adapted Format under two testing conditions. The current test protocol is one in which subjects select a pace for the entire race and are prompted only by verbal encouragement. A second testing protocol was used in which subjects were paced by a runner at a pace just a bit faster than that displayed during their runs under the current protocol. In the pacing protocol, instructors ran in front of the subjects and verbally and visually prompted them to keep up. The objective of the pacing protocol was to reduce the degree to which the subjects had to plan their runs, and to increase motivation to continue. Completion rates improved with the pacing protocol for both groups. Completion times improved for the younger group. Heart rate responses under both testing conditions were very high and small differences were observed between the two conditions in this dependent variable. Heart rates of subjects in both conditions were at vigorous to severe intensity levels throughout the runs, indicating that subjects were lacking in fitness and were performing at or near maximal capacities.
Request reprints from Dr. E.J. Watkinson, Department of Physical Education and Sport Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H9.