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Soccer Conditioning is Not Just Running

Conditioning for soccer does not mean distance running. There is no purpose of having soccer players go on distance runs or just instructing athletes that they “need to run”. Similar to every other anaerobic power sport, conditioning for soccer needs to be interval training not long distance runs. Soccer is a series of small sprints, change of direction, change of speed, jumping, and strength. None of these actions are usually over 30 or 40 yards, so why instruct soccer players to go on long high milage runs. It is detrimental because this trains the aerobic system not the anaerobic system. Essentially this is training their bodies to run similar to endurance cross country runners versus explosive soccer players.
Instead be specific as to what is expected of your athletes and construct the training to be purposeful and soccer specific. An example is intervals with a work-to-rest ratio of 3:1, 2:1, or 1:1. Depending on what fitness level the players are at, the duration, intensity, and volume can all be adjusted accordingly. 
 
Samples of ideas for soccer conditioning:
 
150 yard shuttles: 
Set two cones apart at 25 yards. Athletes begin at cone A cone, sprints to cone B, and back to cone A. Complete 3 sets (there and back is counts as 1). Then rest.
Goal time: 32-35 seconds 
Rest time: 1-1:15 minutes
Sets: 5-10
 
300 yard shuttles: 
Set two cones apart at 25 yards. Athletes begin at cone A cone, sprints to cone B, and back to cone A. Complete 6 sets (there and back is counts as 1). Then rest.
Goal time: 62-67 seconds 
Rest time: 1:30-2 minutes
Sets: 5-10
 
15 sec sprint: 20 sec rest:
Perform around the perimeter of the field or end line to end line. Instruct athletes when to sprint and when to rest. The 15 second sprint should be an explosive change of pace and cover as much ground as possible. The 20 second rest is active, so athletes should be jogging, pace does not matter here the goal is rapid recovery. 
Perform 8-10 sets.
5 min rest
Perform 6-10 sets.