Anaerobic speed reserve represents the speed range an athlete possesses from velocity at VO2max (vVO2max, also known as maximal aerobic speed), up to their maximum sprint speed (MSS, as shown in figure 1) – and may be an important tool for identifying and training the modern day middle distance runner.
Anaerobic speed reserve can tell us about the interrelationship between metabolic, mechanical and neuromuscular capabilities, and where those strengths lie relative to the closing or sector speed required in a given event.
Ref. Buchheit, M., & Laursen, P. B. (2013b). High-intensity interval training, solutions to the programming puzzle: Part I: Cardiopulmonary emphasis. Sports Medicine, 43(5), 313–338.
Figure 1. Prescribing High Intensity Training relative to Anaerobic Speed Reserve .
Figure 1 depicts two athletes (A & B). Both have the same
vVO2max of 18 km/hr (3:20/km). If a high intensity training
(HIT) session was prescribed as a proportion of their
vVO2max, at 21.5 km/hr, the two athletes running at the
same pace would be feeling very different physiological
strain. Athlete A would be working much harder than
Athlete B to hold at that pace, because Athlete B is
working at a much lower percentage of their anaerobic