Let me introduce you to max aerobic speed (MAS) which I have referred to as some point on this blog before.
MAS is used by many elite teams, including AFL that uses a measurement of the meters per second (m/s) you cover in a distance run or time trial.
Say you covered 2kms in 8mins 36secs.
8:36mins = 516secs
2000m / 516 = 3.88m/s
So what you can with this figure is to set specific distance targets for time based on every players score.
World renown strength coach Dan Baker, an Aussie, has found through his research on a shitload of elite athletes that the amount of time spent above 100% of MAS appears to be a critical factor for improving aerobic power.
He sees that performing a number of short intervals at a faster pace is more effective of building aerobic power then traditional long slow distance training or attempting to train only 1 interval continuously at 100% MAS.
He also determined that specifically an intensity of 120% MAS is the single best speed for short intervals that are followed by a short respite (passive rest) intervals as this method increases training density and quality compared to 90, 100 and 140% MAS.
AFL players cover 5m/s during games and for every second an AFL player was behind in the MAS test, they reported that team tactical sessions were harder by .2 rate of perceived exertion (RPE). This doesn't sound much until you realise that this means that if you are 10secs behind then a session for someone "at the level' would class as a 6/10 RPE will feel like an 8 to you and you won't be able to handle the same volumes and intensities as they can without fatigue, decreased performance output or even injury.
So our player above with the MAS score of 3.88 would need to perform his MAS sets at 4.65m/s.
For a 15 second set that would mean he'd need to cover 70m.
Dan Baker is a gem and he has heaps of stuff to read on the internet and even though he's done more NRL then anything, he still has some AFL gems in his writings:
- Players will cover 14kms/game
- Use a 6min or 2km (5 - 7min) run for testing
- During games go hard x 5 - 7mins, go off ans come back on
- Can cover 129 - 147 meters per minute (m/m) on the ground compared to soccer which is 110
- Can hold game speeds of 145m/m x 5 - 7mins but then it drops 25m for each successive minute they stay out there
He also goes onto to say that if you can cover 1600m in 5mins then you don't really need MAS work.
I have implemented MAS into the In-Season Coaches Training Manual for it's simplicity and efficiency - both high requirements during the season when energy resources and training time are at a premium.
Next week - the case against MAS.