As can be seen in Table 1, there are many different tests used to measure MAS, and each of these tests are different in nature. Some involve linear running, others involve shuttle-based running, some are continuous, others are incremental, and some are steady-paced, whilst others are timed. It is absolutely vital that the sports scientist or strength and conditioning coach understands the difference between these tests in terms of their nature.
As shuttle-based tests include constant deceleration, change of direction and acceleration, these “high-intensity” actions add an anaerobic element to the test which is typically not present during continuous, linear running tests. This results in the aerobic system working harder to replenish the anaerobic stores used for these “high-intensity” actions. For example, it is well-known that change of direction performance is an important factor concerning an athlete’s performance during the 30-15 intermittent fitness test (23, 24, 5). It is therefore understood that shuttle-based tests result in lower and inaccurate MAS scores, if not corrected for (1, 7).
How to Calculate Maximal Aerobic Speed
To account for the abovementioned issues when using shuttle-based tests to calculate MAS, “corrective” equations have been developed for certain tests. Tests without their own specific corrective equation can use a simple generic formula.
Multistage Fitness Test – Corrective Equation (1)
MAS (km/h) = Final Shuttle Speed (km/h) * 1.34 – 2.86
1200m Shuttle Test
Equation for athletes with a heavy body mass (approx. 100 kg) (18)
MAS (m/s) = 1200 / (time in seconds – 29)
Equation for athletes with a light body mass (18)
MAS (m/s) = 1200 / (time in seconds – 20.3)
Generic “corrective” Equation
For other tests, a generic “corrective” calculation is typically used (25):
MAS (m/s) = Estimated V02 max / 3.5