T Nation

Pre-Season Preparation


Despite the fact that it is winter here in delightful New England with a temperature hovering around 20ish, rumor has it Spring is on the horizon. I know, I have my doubts too, but it does seem to come every year despite the fact that my nose hairs freeze as I walk across the parking lot into work.

My Spring outdoor soccer season will be kicking off (see what I did there?) in mid-April and I am looking to get myself as prepared as possible for the upcoming season... without completely sacrificing strength or physique progress. From a purely lifting perspective, I think I have a plan down that works well for me (not going to go into inordinate detail on that), but I have been working in a lot more Olympic stuff for general speed.

OK, so here's the thing: I f-ing hate running for the sake of running. It's easily one of the most boring things I can think of. However, I need to improve my stamina since... last time I checked... there was a lot of running in soccer (pardon me... football for all of my international compatriots).

I think that, in the end, I am going to have to work on running some to prepare for the season, but anyone have any snappy, out of the box ideas on how to get prepped that would not involve inordinate amounts of running?

I know there is a lot of the GPP stuff out there and while I think it's fine, has it's place, etc., I don't think swinging a sledgehammer or doing farmer's walks is going to do much from a pure endurance perspective.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for your ideas.




James Smith over at EliteFTS talked about soccer conditioning one time. He said that it's important to train the energy systems like they are used in a game. One thing that he mentioned was that there's not a whole lot of 70-90% going on in soccer. Typically it's moderate paced jogging (maybe 40-75% of top speed) interspersed with short bursts of near-maximal sprinting.

You might want to think about training one day of 90%+ work with a day of 40-75% work. Tempo runs are a great way to do your low-intensity work.

I'm not sure how else you would do this besides running for the low-intensity work. For the high-intensity I think you want to do a fair amount of sprinting, but high-speed oly complexes (think javorek complex) might do ok or various "quick-feet drills" like short hurdles, etc. might do ok as well.


Actually, those are some great suggestions. Thanks! I've read James's stuff over at Elite before, but I didn't know he did something on soccer (thanks for the heads up). I think that approach is a sound one - you train for your sport as you would actually play it. As you pointedly out so well, soccer is not a 70-90% sport (except for counters and runs at net) and probably does fall into the 40-60% more often.

I must confess I am not familiar with the Javorek Complex (but I am sure my friend Google is).

Again, thanks. Very good stuff!