An AeT test every four to six weeks, even if it slightly goes over AeT, isn’t going to hurt anything. Training above aerobic threshold harms aerobic capacity when it’s chronic and disproportionate to regular base work.
By disproportionate, I mean greater than 5% of total training time. And an AeT test would be so marginally over AeT that it’s probably not even a factor.
But this is a huge factor:
I think my body may be fighting illness or something else is amiss, as my HR consistently climbs roughly 10 beats every 10 minutes for the first 30 minutes of the test, regardless of my pace and perceived effort.
There isn’t much point in testing anything if you’re sick. It won’t be an accurate representation of your fitness. Heart rate measures global stress, not just training intensity. Illness will just muddy the results from something that’s already a pretty fudgy method. (We don’t use a drift test because it’s the best, but because it’s the most practical for repeated testing for non-professionals.)