Running Volume

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    Hi, I’m just curious to know how you judge how much volume you select when planning your running session’s particularly during pre season? I understand the work to rest ratio’s and why running shorter distances repeatedly is more beneficial than running continous laps of the field. For example there is some great running ideas included on this website, but how do you select the volume of 50’s 100’s 200’s etc….

    Look forward to hearing any opinion on this matter!

    Chat soon,
    An up and coming Irish Strength & Conditioning Coach!


    Speed-never exceed 300m (Ian King recommends this)

    Endurance-dont particularly look at volume in terms of distance but rather time spent working during the session. Can help in some sessions, if you are training to improve say endurance over certain distances that a player regularly moves over. But otherwise I feel you can over analyse too much.


    Hi there, well that is a tough question to give a short answer to as some players need more and others less and most of my ideas on this have been developed over 15 years, so I look for breaks in running technique, some players I will put heart rate monitors on, particularly those I have a limited experience with, we also limit the volume to both younger and older players on the basis of training age but we try and maintain the same intensity, similar to this:

    Year 1 – 60 – 70%
    Year 2 – 70 – 80%
    Year 3 – 80 – 90%
    Years 4 to 8 – 100%
    Year 9 – 80 – 90%
    Year 10 – 70 – 80%
    Year 11 – 60 – 70%

    but this is only a guide so we see how each player handles the load and volume, cheers, ashley


    Hi Ash,

    yeah thanks for the response and i understand what you are saying but what i was trying to ask was how do you decide what to do say do 10 x 200m or 15 x 150 or 20 x 100 etc…which works best or should it be 20 x 175m?! The numbers i have used are not exact to what you have prescribed in previous posts but i hope understand what i am asking,



    Hi, not sure if this is what you are after but for aerobic intervals we quite often use a maximal aerobic speed (MAS) test to determine the minimum speed that elicits VO2max (vVO@max). I’ll forward the protocol to anyone who is interested but basically it is similar to a beep test only running is continuous around either a 400m track or 200m oval marked on the field. Gates are set up 25m apart, which must be reached on the beep, which gradually increases in pace. When the player misses 3 consecutive gates the speed at that time is recorded as vVO2max.

    We set time intervals and the distance ran is dictated by the player’s MAS.

    For example if we set a 10 second interval for player A who has a MAS of 16kmph and we wanted them to run at 100% MAS then this would = 44m. Player B who has a MAS of 18kmph would run 50m in the same time at the same intensity.

    There will be a variety of different MAS scores within the squad so although all players will leave the start point at the same time, and arrive at their destination at the same time the distances they cover vary depending on their level of fitness.

    Studies show that intensities of 100% MAS or above to be the main stimulus for improving aerobic energy system endurance in trained athletes. However there doesn’t appear to be any additional advantage to going higher than 120% MAS. Maybe those with more experience in the trenches say otherwise though.

    So the same player A would run 53m if prescribed an intensity of 120% and player B would run 60m.

    I have a spreadsheet that calculates all of this for you. All you have to do is establish MAS and decide upon intensity. We have a variety of sessions that we use ranging from 2minutes to 5-second intervals but of course you can tailor it any way you want. I would say that variety is key though. All in all it’s quite a nice way to individualize training and one session of this and one repeated sprint session has been shown to increase aerobic and anaerobic performance in season (in soccer players though). You could also apply Ash’s guide and have older and younger players complete 60-70% of the repetitions.

    I have probably made it sound complicated but it’s really not, let me know if you want the files all☺


    Greta test Yiddles, I had heard of that some time ago but not the full details, would love to see the full protocol, I guess I could just google it up but if you are prepared to outline it on the site that would be grand, and like th eway you calculate your intervals it has a lot of merit and I am sure that players would get aerobically fit very quickly when the intensity matches the current aerobic fitness level, cheers, ash


    @runner 1159 wrote:

    Hi Ash,

    yeah thanks for the response and i understand what you are saying but what i was trying to ask was how do you decide what to do say do 10 x 200m or 15 x 150 or 20 x 100 etc…which works best or should it be 20 x 175m?! The numbers i have used are not exact to what you have prescribed in previous posts but i hope understand what i am asking,


    Cheers well that is the interesting thing, I guess after some many years that I have come up with a number of around 3km for the start of repeated speed interval type sessions and I increase by 10 – 15% volume each week, it is more an art versus science, subjective versus objective monitoring, so I am sorry and I know I frustrate the hell out of people who want some cold hard criteria but it is more experiential than anything else after almost 20 years of preparing athletes it is a watchful eye and having honesty from the group you are working with to feed back to you their individual responses as well, cheers, ash


    Hi all,
    Here is the detailed protocol. I couldn’t upload the pdf because the file size was too big. I’ll email steve and see if he can upload it for me, along with the spreadsheet for calculating the distances based on MAS scores. If anyone decides to have a bash at this test then I will send on the audio file separately.



    The maximal aerobic speed (MAS) test is designed to assess the minimum speed that elicits VO2max. This is commonly referred to as vVO2 max, or the velocity associated with VO2max. The utility of this test is that it provides a pace that can be used to set training intensities. In this example the MAS test will employ the mode of running.
    Ideally an oval track should be marked out that is 200 or 400 metres in circumference. For the purpose of explanation a 200 metre track will be used. Place a single coloured cone (e.g., red) at 25 metre intervals around the marked track (see Figure 1). For the 200 metre oval track this would constitute 8 cones of the same colour . Take 8 different coloured cones (e.g., yellow) and place each 2 to 3 metres behind the red cones on the
    marked track (Figure 1). Set up the portable CD player and adjust the volume to a high
    level. Explain the procedures to the athletes and ask if the explanation is clear prior to commencing the test.

    Have athletes perform a warm-up and light stretch. The warm-up may constitute jogging around the 200 metre oval two to four times.
    Have each athlete stand next to a red cone to ensure that the athlete farthest from the CD player can hear the beep sounds.
    The test begins with the athletes running at 10 km/hr around the marked track and requires them to be within the different coloured cones (2 to 3 metre distance) at the sound of each beep. In effect, this means that at each beep the athletes need to have covered a distance of 25 metres.
    The speed remains constant for a period of two minutes, after which it increases by 1 km/hr every two minutes. The increase in speed will be accompanied by a verbal announcement of the new speed. When the verbal speed announcement is heard (e.g., 10 km/hr) the tester should place a cross through the number 1 of the zone numbers on the record sheet (see Figure 2). Testers should place a cross through consecutive zone numbers as the athlete successfully passes each 25 metre mark (i.e., at each beep sound on the CD). The test continues with the athlete running until one of two termination criteria is achieved. Either the athlete voluntarily withdraws due to fatigue, or they fail to make the 25 metre distance three consecutive times. This means that if the athlete does not reach the required 25 metre distance once or twice consecutively they still have the opportunity make up the lost ground by the third set of cones. When the athletes fails to
    reach the required 25 metre intervals on three consecutive occasions, the last successful zone marked with a cross is taken as the completion score.
    This will result in a speed and accompanying zone being recorded for each athlete. The test is sensitive to 0•5 km/hr and the final speed is determined as follows:
    Count the number of zones in that speed level the athlete has been able to complete. If
    half or more of the zones in that level have been marked with a cross then the athlete is awarded an extra 0•5 km/hr increment to that final speed level achieved. For example, if the athlete finishes on the level associated with 16 km/hr and they successfully complete zone 17 then their final MAS score is 16•5 km/hr. If another athlete reaches speed level 15 km/hr and the last successfully completed zone is 9, their final score remains at 15 km/hr. If, however, this same athlete successfully completed zone 10 then their final
    score would be 15•5 km/hr.

    Speed Level Zone
    10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
    11 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
    13 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
    14 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
    15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
    17 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
    18 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
    19 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
    20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
    21 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
    22 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    Figure 2. Record sheet for MAS test.


    Using the results of the MAS test and the time and running distance sheets provided in the accompanying Excel spreadsheet, determine the distance that each athlete must run in 15 seconds if the intensity is set at 120% of MAS.

    Figure 3: An example of 15 second running distances at 120% MAS based on selected 100% MAS speed test results.
    Although Figure 3 shows cones for each runner at the starting and finishing points of each running interval, in reality all athletes commence at the same point and run for different distances depending on their level of aerobic fitness as measured by the MAS test.
    Set out the distance of the cones based on the MAS test results.
    Have all athletes assemble along a line that will be designated as the starting line. On the “go” command called by a tester the athletes commence running toward the cone that designates their set run distance.

    The tester jogs behind the athletes and counts down the final 5 seconds of the 15 second run interval at a volume that all runners can hear.
    Athletes are required to be passing their designated cone at the 15 second mark. The athletes now rest passively (slow walking is okay) for 15 seconds and then at the “go” command of the tester commence running back to the original start line in 15 seconds.
    This 15 second on 15 second off work:rest ratio continues until a total of sixteen 15 second runs have been completed. Note that this is a 1:1 work:rest ratio and hence suitable for training the aerobic system.
    *If heart rate meters are being worn, note down the resting heart rate before commencing the runs and at the end of every 4 interval runs.
    Note down the RPE at the end of each 4 interval runs. Ask how the athlete feels at the end of the 16 repeats of 15 second running.
    * This information is not usually required to complete the interval training but can be included if it is of interest to the S&C coach.

    Dupont, G., Akakpo, K., & Berthoin, S. (2004). The effect of in-season, high-intensity
    interval training in soccer players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,
    18(3), 584-589.


    Just because on another post I saw TomWill ask about calculating VO2max from 2.4km run, you can also calculate a VO2max score from the MAS score

    There is a more complicated formula but the difference is minimal so use:

    VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 3.5 X final speed on MAS test

    Therefore if your athlete has a MAS of 18 km/hr, their predicted
    VO2max would be 63 ml/kg/min.



    Thanks for that Yiddles looks great may well have a play with that with our academy players and compare to our 2.4 km results and beep tests and see if there is a good correlation between them, ash


    Could you upload the audio clip?

    Thanks Yiddles!



    You’ve turned off the function to receive private messages so I cant send e-mail addey.


    Hi guys i posted a thread couple days ago regarding Aerobic High Intensity Interval conditioning and regarding Maximal Aerobic speed and ive just noticed it has been mentioned in these threads any chance any you guys can have look and give me any help?

    Its basically About MAS and how can apply that to gym based conditioning intervals or is it just for running?

    Regards Ben

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