Background & Definitions
Starting with maximal aerobic speed. Originally, velocity at V02max was introduced into the sports science literature by pioneering research done by Veronique Billat. There’s a couple of definitions used for velocity at VO2max. The first one is the minimum velocity at which VO2max occurs in an incremental exercise protocol. That was by Veronique Billat paper in 1999. Then a more recent definition is the fastest speed at which a subject was able to run for at least 30 seconds. That was published in 2003. Now it is worth noting that velocity at VO2max is the gold standard when it comes to intensity measures, but it is protocol dependent.
What do I mean by that? When I refer to protocol dependent, when you look at all of the peer reviewed scientific papers that have investigated velocity at VO2max, they all use slight variations of different VO2max protocols. This particular slide here shows an example of three different protocols that were used as part of VO2max determination, which then in turn are used to determine velocity at VO2max. The first study here is by Billat in 1999. You can see starting speed of light kilometers per hour. There’s an increment of two kilometers per hour every four minutes. There is a rest of one minute between those four minute steps that equates to a velocity at VO2max of [inaudible 00:02:38] an hour. Mutually, their start speed was seven kilometers per hour less than predicted V02max. They increased by one kilometer per hour for five increments, and then went to half a kilometer per hour thereafter that and their step durations were every minute. That resulted in a velocity at V02max of 16.5 kilometers per hour.
Lastly, there was these Piper by Smith et al in 2006, that had a start speed of 10 kilometers per hour. They increased by one kilometer per hour until 14 kilometers per hour, and then reverted to half [inaudible 00:03:15] hour increments after that. The step durations varied as well in this particular paper. They used steps of two minutes until 14 kilometers per hour. Then one minutes after that, and that resulted in the highest velocity at VO2max of all these three. And that was 19.7. This slide presents the variability and variation in the actual protocols that can be used to determine velocity of V02max
Now, when we think about velocity at VO2max, one of the key reasons for determining it and using it is that it is used as a measure of intensity for training prescription, particularly high intensity interval training. Here we can see five studies which have looked at using different percentages of velocity at VO2max to prescribe different interval training sessions. We can say they range from work with active recovery, so that’s 100% and 60% of vV02max all the way through to work with passive. Here we’ve got 120% with passive recovery, which is denoted by the 0% vV02max. I’m not going to focus on this because it is beyond the scope of this presentation today. But you can see to the right of this is the different high intensity interval training protocols that have been studied with these different intensity prescriptions.
That leads us into maximal aerobic speed. Maximal aerobic speed is the minimum speed required to elicit VO2max during a field based test. That is the main distinction here. The loss of the VO2max is obtained in a lab on a treadmill using a portable med cart. One of the key distinctions with maximal aerobic speed is that it is determined in the field. It makes it much more accessible for most squads and athletes.
The one thing that’s worth noting here is the validity of the maximal aerobic speed determination is reliant on the test used. We’ve got examples of tests that are incrementally paced. So think of tests such as the beep test or the [inaudible 00:05:36] intermittent recovery test or the 30 15 tests. So they’re tests that are paced for the athlete. Conversely, we have self-paced tests. We’ve got tests such as time trials, which requires the athlete to pace themselves, so depending on which test you use, they can prove problematic depending on what group you’re using the test with. There is also a general lack of understanding regarding maximal aerobic speed origin and its application. Hopefully once you’ve listened to this particular presentation, you’ll be more familiar with its origin and how you apply it more effectively.