Football is a game where conditioning is of utmost importance when it comes to maximizing performance.
At the start of the preseason, most coaches today are very focused on building an aerobic base that prepares players for the season.
Building an aerobic base
The term “aerobic base” has been used frequently over the past 10 to 20 years, and the reason for building this base is due to evidence that a player has traveled 8 to 12 km during a football match on a mountain. 90 minute period.
So far, so good. But when it comes to the distance traveled in a soccer game, shouldn’t we really be focusing on how we reach that distance, rather than just focusing on the distance itself?
Is the actual distance the most important aspect?
Of course, a professional football player can run 11-12 km during a match, but this distance is not accomplished by a long distance run at the same pace throughout the match, quite the contrary.
What separates a world class player from an average player is not necessarily the distance traveled, but rather the number of high intensity races and sprints executed.
Long distance running will make your players slower and weaker
If you still think long-distance running is the way to go for conditioning football, then this should change your mind.
Running long distances will stimulate your slow twitch muscle fiber, which means your body adapts to the slow tempo you run during long distance running, and over time your fast twitch muscle fibers will “drown”. which will make you slower and weaker.
Football is a “power sport” where sprinting, maximum strength and the ability to jump are of utmost importance. Running long distances will do the opposite for your players and make them weak and sluggish.
Is an aerobic base necessary?
Not in the traditional way thanks to long-distance running. My philosophy on football conditioning is that everything should be done on the football field, and most conditioning should be sport specific, which means most should be done with the ball.
However, at the start of the preseason, I build an aerobic base through tempo racing.
Tempo running is where players run at about 75-80% of what they would run when sprinting that distance. The distance I use for running is 100 meters (the length of a football field) and 200 meters (out and back).
A rule of thumb for distance and time is:
– 100 meters: 18-22 seconds
– 200 meters: 38-44 seconds
So if they are racing at the tempo of 100 meters, they should run at a pace where it would take them 18 to 22 seconds to run 100 meters.
I use tempo runs for 3-4 weeks, 2-3 workouts / week, increasing the distance from 200 to 300 meters per workout. I coach a team of 18 boys so if you are coaching younger players be a little more careful with the volume.
The first session could be 8x100m, then the next 10x100m, then I would alternate 100m runs with 200m runs in the same session.
I often let players rest halfway for 2 minutes and then let them run the rest of the distance after that.
Running tempo will help you build that aerobic base needed for football and ensure your players stay strong and explosive.
Source by Jonas Forsberg