Conditioning Training Not Distance Running

Hi all,

Sorry it's been so long. I've been busy with my athletes and some other projects and family matters.

Conditioning is essential component to your sport...without it your on the bench or not on the team. However, it does not mean you should go out jogging on the streets of your town !

You are not looking for aerobic training to make you slow and injury prone. You are not looking to aerobic train at all! You are, though, looking to improve upon your work capacity.

First, I want to remind everyone reading that the sport you are playing requires energy demands of primarily anaerobic work.

So anything from 0-7-10sec. is the ATP-PC system. Think sprinting in all directions. How often in a game do we sprint? A lot. Especially sprints that only last from really 1 -5 seconds total.

Second, the next energy demand of the anaerobic system is the a lactate system. Or lactic acid. Now, depending ON YOUR CONDITIONING this could last as far as 3 minutes or more. If you have been training properly, then the burning you feel in your lungs and legs will subside a lot quicker.

The demands of this system usually last from 0-3min. So ,think of a long sprint 60 yds. or more and then jogging back and then sprinting again. In a game, this happens perhaps 20-30% of the time depending on your position and sport you play.

It's not as often as you think.

However, looking at the above energy systems which you should focus on the most? I hope you said the ATP-PC system.

So, in this system, you need to focus more on maximal strength and power. The areas of work have to be on:

1. Strength and power weight training in the gym 3 -4 times a week

2. Acceleration work - short sprints (linear and multi-directional) 10yds most often (10-20 times) (45 seconds rest in between) and then 20-25 yds second. (6-12times with plenty of rest usually 2min. in between sprints)

3. Top end speed- 60-100yds. (2-4 total 5 min rest in between sprints)

Do more of 2 than 3. Acceleration work should be performed 2-3 times a week. 10 yds first and then rest 5min and then perform 20-25 yd sprints.

Top end speed work should be added at least 3 -4 weeks later on and performed once maybe twice a week after conclusion of acceleration drills.

Working on the a lactate system can be performed at the end of gym workouts and not on Acc. or top end speed days.

Choose one:

Examples: tempo runs- run at 3/4 speed (not sprint nor jog) just stride lengthening runs. Do 100yds football or soccer field and then jog across goal area to other side. Repeat tempo run and jog. Do 10-15 times. Rest 3 min. and do again.

Body circuits- Perform one body wt. exercise like 15 squats and then run not sprint 50 -100yds. Perform another body wt. exercise like 10 pushups. Run back. Do 10-12 different exercises. Rest 3min. Repeat 2 -3 times.

Short shuttles- sprint 25yds and touch ground. Sprint back and repeat 6 times. Rest 3min and repeat 2-3 times.

Longer shuttles- Same as above but do 50yds.


After workout in gym- 1. jump rope fast for 15seconds. rest 30 seconds. Do 3-5minutes total. When you get in better shape, decrease rest to 15 sec.

2. Sled pushes- with a resisted sled, put wt. on the sled that is your bodywt. or 10-20lbs more. Push sled 25yds. and rest 30 sec. and repeat for 3min total. Increase time when you are in better shape.

In summary, working on these energy systems will increase your over all work capacity or conditioning without doing aerobic training like distance runs. You will quickly know what area you will need to improve upon. Train smart.

Thanks for reading,

Coach Ford CSCS

IYCA Speed and Agility Specialist

PS for those Football players out there, check out Coach Carlisle's Total Football Training DVD. A very good DVD.

Check out link below

Total Football Training DVD

Complete Speed Training DVD

North/South Football DVD

Developing Young Athletes

Resisted Sled with Olympic Weights

Resistor Bands

Sports Speed Products