Max aerobic speed for team sports

One of the biggest factors in field sports is the ability to maintain speeds and recover quickly between bouts. Max aerobic speed (known as MAS and not to be mistaken with max velocity) is the lowest running speed at which maximum oxygen uptake [V0max] occurs and is the ability to perform continuous bouts of running during game play. It’s essential for successful performance along with sprint and deceleration. A 3- or 5-min track run is usually used to assess MAS, or more specifically a shuttle run like the Yo-Yo test since this considers change of direction which will increase oxygen uptake giving the coach a more accurate measure of MAS that can be used for individual programming etc. The below program is adaptable to all levels and will improve on field fitness. Additionally, these runs can be adapted to include the ball, but reduce the distances as a player will never run 100m soling the ball.

After warming up well complete the below session, all four runs are 1 rep:

  • A) 100m run (25 seconds to complete) 10 sec rest:
  • B) 50m run (15 seconds to complete) 25 sec rest:
  • C) 100m run with turn (25 seconds to complete) 10 sec rest:
  • D) 50m run (15 seconds to complete) 25 sec rest.

Complete these 3 times then test 3 min, repeat for 3 total sets for week 1. Add an additional set or rep per-set in the succeeding weeks.

Make sure the last rep looks exactly like the first rep. If needed, reduce the distance to remain in the time zones. If too easy, reduce the time to complete each run.

Aerobic runs on a demo pitch

Credit to Paul Fisher from Donegal GAA for this design

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