Anaerobic Speed Reserve with Dr. Gareth Sandford

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Check out this Two-Part Podcast Series featuring Dr. Gareth Sandford and hosted by Strength & Power Coach, Jason Hettler.

Gareth and Jason were members of our first Intern group in the Spring of 2014. Following his internship, Gareth joined Athletics New Zealand as a Performance Physiologist and completed his PhD with Auckland University of Technology.

He is currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher and Performance Physiologist with the University of British Colombia and the Canadian Sport Institute – Pacific. 

In these conversations Gareth and Jason cover many topics centered around Gareth’s PhD dissertation, Applications of Anaerobic Speed Reserve to Elite 800m Running. From a ‘big picture’ perspective they cover topics a variety of topics including asking the right questions and defining the relevant terminology. They then zoom-in on determinants of performance, categorizing athletes, and more.

The second conversation centers around the practical application of Gareth’s work beyond the 800m, particularly into team sport. 

Check out this video for a brief introduction to Anaerobic Speed Reserve…


Listen using the tool below, download here, or head over to iTunes to listen and download the podcast.


  • 11:15 – Developing performance questions
  • 15:45 – The complexity of middle distance
  • 23:45 – Immersion within high performance environments around the World
  • 25.50 – What is anaerobic speed reserve?
  • 30:40 – Determinants of the sprint finish
  • 34.05 – How does anaerobic speed reserve apply differently between genders and performance levels?
  • 39.30 – Categorizing athletes – to better understand complexity
  • 44:45 – Biomechanical components of the kick – the skill of running ‘fast relaxed’
  • 50:15 – What is speed?
  • 54:25 – Outliers, cultural differences and making judgements on training approach
  • 59:00 – Anaerobic speed reserve and team sport applications
  • 66:50 – Individualizing based on biomechanical differences?
  • 73:30 –  Connecting science between coaches, research teams and stakeholders
  • 78:30 – Future applications of anaerobic speed reserve principles
  • 85:45 – Concluding Thoughts


Listen using the tool below or download here.


  • 1:35 – Operational Definitions (Speed Reserve vs Anaerobic Speed Reserve (ASR))
  • 6:45 – The integration of aerobic physiology with ASR
  • 8:00 – Finding signal through noise in your testing
  • 11:45 – Does 400m sprint time represent speed?
  • 15:20 – How does anaerobic capacity and repeat sprint ability fit in with ASR?
  • 22:40 – ASR test protocols for individuals and team sport
  • 37:10 – Troubleshooting testing in the field
  • 46:00 – Data management and collaboration across a multidisciplinary team
  • 49:18 – How to apply ASR to high-intensity interval training prescription
  • 53:31 – Developing max sprint speed in aerobic-dominant profiles
  • 1:00:38 – Summary and Closing Remarks

We hope you enjoy the conversations! Take it further by diving deeper into Gareth’s research studies here.


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