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Soccer Endurance Training

Soccer Endurance Training

Stamina is important for soccer players. Unlike other sports there are no time outs and there is an incredible amount of movement required during the 90 minutes.

The average player will run in the region of 6 – 8 miles. That coupled with the fact that the type of running is split between sprinting and jogging makes it even more demanding.

The great thing about endurance is that this area of soccer fitness is being worked on at all times during the session. There are however some keys to improving your soccer endurance.

As a players endurance fitness improves the player or coach will see a remarkable difference in the level of play in the last thirty minutes of a game.

As players begin to out last their opponents in the endurance stakes more games will be won in the last third when legs get tired. More over players will benefit from a more consistent performance over 90 minutes and therfore there is every chance they will come off the field feeling tired but with a smile on their face.

Aerobic Endurance Conditioning

Aerobic endurance conditioning is the area of soccer endurance training that allows a player to work at higher intensities for a longer period of time. This type of training allows players to perform explosive sprints with the same power during the last ten minutes of a game as they do in the first ten minutes.

Aerobic endurance training is all about three main areas important for every soccer player.

Soccer Endurance Training

• Improving the efficiency of the heart so that blood and oxygen can be delivered around the body in a more efficient way.

• Increasing the bodies ability to use oxygen in a more efficient way

• Improve the bodies ability to recover more quickly from intense movements ready for the next sprint either with or to the ball.

As you will know, during preseason training, aerobic conditioning features heavily to improve general fitness of the players. The requirement for this type of training will decrease as the season begins. This is due to the similarities of the aerobic condition drills to the match scenario.

So here are examples of some of the Aerobic Endurance conditioning drills that can be used preseason and beyond. These can be split into two categories.

Continuous Training – This is the type of training most associated with the long runs at the beginning of preseason to build stamina for the long season ahead. This is a more general fitness training regime than the second type of aerobic endurance training.

Interval Training – This concentrates on the recovery side of soccer and is more attuned to the demands of the game. This can easily be done by splitting longer runs into shorter high intensity runs coupled with lower intensity rest intervals.

This type of aerobic soccer endurance training is more associated with later parts of preseason training. This type of training is also great for maintaining aerobic fitness of players during the season to keep in top condition.

Continuous Endurance Drill

First things first ensure that you begin with a warm up of light aerobic running and dynamic stretching.

Run continuously at a moderate pace for min 20 max 40 minutes. A most important tip for this type of training is to use a decent pair of running shoes. Also try to carry out any drills on grass to reduce any impact induced injuries.

At this stage it is worth using a heart rate monitor to ensure the intensity is correct. To calculate your target heart rate use the Karvonen method.

The Karvonen method

220 – age = maximum heart rate
Maximum heart rate – Resting heart rate = Heart Rate Reserve
(Heart Rate Reserve x 80%) + Resting heart rate

To get the ideal heart rate for continuous exercise take off 10 beats per minute. The reason for using heart rate in this type of training is purely for monitoring purposes. It allows the endurance drills to carried out at a steady pace.

If you keep yourself in reasonable condition during the off season then the requirement for this type of soccer endurance training can be kept to a minimum. This allows you to get onto the more interesting training with the ball.

Another familiar running drill for the beginning of pre season is the good old Fartlek run. This is traditionally running for a period then jogging for a period, running, jogging etc.

There are even drills with the balls that can contribute towards aerobic endurance conditioning. These drills include circuits of dribbling for 5 minutes between cones at 10 to 20 yards apart.

The distance at this stage is important to allow players to get up to the required level of intensity during the drill. These should not be short sharp drills at this stage. These drills can be varied and are only restricted by the imagination of the player.