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Measuring Maximal Aerobic Speed (MAS)

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.

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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.

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