Maximal Aerobic Speed (sometimes called MAS, Maximum Aerobic Speed, Max Aerobic Speed and vVO2max), is the slowest speed at which you reach VO2max. This speed is used to help set running paces in training programs.
As per the definition, the maximal aerobic speed can be measured during a VO2max Test. While performing an incremental VO2max test, during the final stages, VO2max may be reached while the treadmill speed continues to rise. By comparing the treadmill running speeds and the VO2 results, the slowest speed at which VO2max was first reached can be determined. Typically, field sport athletes achive MASs of 4.4 to 4.8 m/s.
It is not always possible to perform a VO2max test, and fortunately there are many other fitness tests that can be used to estimate Maximal Aerobic Speed. The tests listed below are not designed to specifically measure the maximal aerobic running speed, though that measure can easily be calculated from the test results. Depending on the test being used, the MAS can vary, and for some tests there is a correction factor needed to get a value closer to the actual MAS.
Tests for Estimating Maximal Aerobic Speed
MAS is often calculated by performing a time trial of between 5 and 6 minutes, either as a set time (eg. 5-minute time trial) or over a set distance (eg. 1.5 to 2km). There are also incremental or shuttle tests that have been used to measure/calculate MAS.
- MAS run test — a maximal run over 1.5-2km, which should take between 5 and 6 minutes.
- VAMEVAL Test — running around a track at increasing speeds
- 5-min running field test (Berthoin et al. 1997) - measure the distance covered in that time to calculate MAS.
- University of Montreal Track Test — the original beep test, though run continuously around a track. MAS can be determined by calculating the speed attained during the last successful stage of the Montreal Track Running test.
- 1200m Shuttle Test — MAS can be calculated from the total time of the test.
- Vmax — a simplified version of the VO2max test, an incremental running test on a treadmill with no gas analysis.
- Beep Test — 20m shuttle run test, in which the pace is increased every minute. MAS can be determined by calculating the speed attained during the last successful stage. You can use this beep table to see the running speed at each level.
- Baker, D. & N. Heaney. Normative data for maximal aerobic speed for field sport athletes: A brief review. J. Aust. Strength Cond. 23(7)60-67. 2015.
- Berthon, P., Fellmann, N., Bedu, M., Beaune, B., Dabonneville, M., Coudert, J., & Chamoux, A. (1997). A 5-min running field test as a measurement of maximal aerobic velocity. European journal of applied physiology and occupational physiology, 75(3), 233-238.
- Berthoin S, Gerbeaux, M, Geurruin F, Lensel-Corbeil G and Vandendorpe F, (1992). Estimation of maximal aerobic speed. Science & Sport 7(2), 85-91.
- Cazorla, G. (1990). Field tests to evaluate aerobic capacity and maximal aerobic speed. In Proceedings of the International Symposium of Guadeloupe (pp. 151-173).
- More about Maximal Aerobic Speed
- List of aerobic endurance tests
- Aerobic Test Videos
- A table of VO2max norm values is available here
- VO2max test scores from different sports
- Fitness test records for the VO2max and Shuttle Run Test
- What are the highest ranking endurance sports?