The 30-15IFT is a reliable measure of aerobic capacity (Stankovic et al., 2021).
It is an intermittent running test, whereby athletes run for 30 seconds at 8kph, before resting for 15 seconds. The running speed then increases by 0.5kph every 45 seconds, and your score is the last completed level that you were able to achieve (for example, 19kph). This score, known as our vIFT, can then be used to prescribe individual running distances or times for interval training sessions.
VIFT is a composite velocity, meaning that it is a hybrid measure. It accounts for aerobic capacity, anaerobic capacity, maximal sprint speed and change of direction ability. All of these are related to sports performance.
Another positive is that it is related to repeat sprint ability (RSA) (Bucheit, 2009), which is good news as this is a key physical quality in team sports.
The 30-15IFT enables a more consistent physiological response than simply prescribing from a time trial assessment alone (Bucheit, 2009). This is because it considers an athlete’s anaerobic capabilities as well as their aerobic capabilities.
Imagine for a second that two athlete's both perform a running session at 110% maximal aerobic speed (MAS), but they have different top speeds. The slower athlete will find the prescription relatively harder. This is the value of accounting for anaerobic capacity in running interval sessions.
Some sessions based on 30-15IFT are below:
10 seconds on, 10 seconds off @ 90% VIFT
- E.g. 50m distance target if the athlete’s VIFT is 20kph (5.54 m/s) (5.54m/s x 90% x 10 seconds)
- Complete 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions with 6 minutes rest between sets
20 seconds on, 20 seconds off @ 90% VIFT
- E.g. 100m distance target if the athlete’s VIFT is 20kph (5.54 m/s) (5.54m/s x 90% x 20 seconds)
- Complete 2 sets of 8-10 repetitions with 6 minutes rest between sets
3 minutes on, 3 minutes off @ 80% VIFT
- E.g. 798m distance target if the athlete’s VIFT is 20kph (5.54 m/s) (5.54m/s x 80% x 180 seconds)
- Complete 5-6 sets in total
To calculate running distances, perform the following maths:
- Convert kilometres per hour (kph) to metres per second (m/s)
- Kilometres ÷ 3.61 = metres
- e.g 20kph ÷ 3.61 = 5.54m/s
- VIFT x running intensity x interval duration = prescribed distance
- e.g. 5.54m/s x 90% VIFT x 10 seconds = 50 metre target
The pros of the 30-15IFT are as follows:
- More consistent physiological responses
- Can prescribe directly from the test
- Related to repeat sprint ability (RSA)
The cons of the 30-15IFT are as follows:
- Difficult to administer with large groups
- Does not provide MAS or MSS
- Levels are large from a motivational perspective
Overall it is a fantastic test, but does have its drawbacks if time or resources are limited. It is a brilliant tool for prescribing running sessions from, but a simple time trial test and flying 10m sprint may be all you need to deliver effective conditioning sessions if you don't have the resources to complete this test at scale.
I hope that this has been a useful overview of assessing and prescribing using MAS and VIFT for hockey fitness.
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Buchheit (2010) - The 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test - 10-year-review
Buchheit, Dikmen, Vassallo. (2021) The 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test – two decades of learnings. Sports Performance & Science Reports.