Anaerobic speed reserve; maximising training prescription (part 1) with Gareth Sandford (Physiologist at Athletics Canada)


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This week’s guest on the Pacey Performance Podcast is Gareth Sandford, a researcher and physiologist for Athletics Canada, working with the Canadian Sports Institute, and the University of British Columbia. He previously earned his master’s in Sport Science and Physiology, where he did a year’s placement at Chelsea Football Club. He has also coached in the UK, US and in a tribal community in India. This led to a world tour which saw him observing and speaking to some of the best coaches in the world as part of his PhD.

Gareth is someone that you as a coach want to be listening to due to his education background and years of experience. This week’s podcast is a must listen/watch as Gareth talks about the anaerobic speed reserve, training models, athlete profiling (and its advantages) and tempo running vs maximal aerobic speed (MAS).

This episode is for all practitioners and coaches who want to maximise the conditioning work they do with their athletes. All you have to do is hit the play button to learn all this and much more.

This week’s Topics:

  • What is the anaerobic speed reserve and why would you use it?
  • Critical speed and what practitioners need to do to be able to look across the whole intensity speed continuum
  • Different trainings models, strengths and limitations they have
  • Tests you can use as a coach to help you best profiling your athletes


2:07 Topics learned from the world tour when getting his PhD and when was it

5:39 What anaerobic speed reserve means and what it does

7:14 The impacts of coaches exposing their athletes to anaerobic speed reserve with examples

10:34 The critical speed and what practitioners need to do to be able to look across the whole intensity speed continuum

12:38 Different trainings models, strengths and limitations they have, and what you can do

14:11 Important things to note as a coach when choosing the training model that works best for your athletes

22:13 How profiling your athlete can get them to the elite sport continuum

24:57 Tests you can do as a coach to help you do the best profiling of your athletes

29:39 The critical speed testing model and advantages and the challenges of using it

35:49 The types of models that you can use in developing athletes with aerobic qualities like footballers

40:50 Tempo run and ways in which a coach can use it successfully to train his or her athletes

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