Soccer is a game where conditioning is of great importance when it comes to maximizing performance.
At the beginning of the pre-season, most coaches today focus a lot on building an aerobic base that prepares the players for the season.
Building an aerobic base
The term “Aerobics Base” has been used a lot in the last 10-20 years and the reason for building this base is to prove that a player runs 8-12 km for 90 minutes during a football game.
So far, so good. But when it comes to the distance covered during a football match, shouldn’t we really be focusing on how to achieve that distance, rather than just focusing on the distance itself?
Is the actual distance the most important aspect?
Sure, a professional soccer player can run 11-12km during a game, but that distance is not matched by long-distance running at the same pace throughout the game, quite the opposite.
What separates a world-class player from an average player isn’t necessarily the distance covered, but rather the number of high-intensity runs and sprints that are completed.
Long-distance runs make your players slower and weaker
If you still think running long distances is the way to go for soccer conditioning, then hopefully this should change your mind.
Long-distance running stimulates your slow-twitch muscle fibers, which means your body will adjust to the slow pace that’s going on during long-distance running, and over time your fast-twitch muscle fibers will “drown,” making you slower and weaker.
Soccer is a “power sport” that depends on sprinting, maximum strength and jumping power. Running long distances does the opposite for your players, making them weak and slow.
Does it need an aerobic base?
Not in the traditional way through long-distance running. My philosophy on soccer conditioning is that everything should be done on the soccer field and most conditioning should be sport specific which means most of it should be done with the ball.
But at the beginning of the preseason I build up an aerobic base through tempo running.
When tempo running, players run at about 75-80% of what they would run sprinting that distance. The distance I use in tempo running is 100 meters (the length of a soccer field) and 200 meters (round trip).
The rule of thumb for distance and time is:
– 100 meters: 18-22 seconds
– 200 meters: 38-44 seconds
So if they’re doing 100-meter pace runs, they should run at a pace that would take them 18 to 22 seconds to run 100 meters.
I use tempo runs for 3-4 weeks, 2-3 sessions/week, increasing distance by 200-300 meters per workout. I’m coaching a boys 18 team, so if you’re coaching younger players, be a little careful with the volume.
The first session could be 8 x 100 meters and then the next 10 x 100 meters and after that I would alternate 100 meter dashes with 200 meter dashes in the same session.
I often let the players rest 2 minutes after halftime and then let them run the rest of the distance.
Thanks to Jonas Forsberg | #build #football #condition #base