T Nation

speed and endurance

I have been running for both endurance and doing sprints over the past month to try and improve my take off speed and longevity while playing football. As I was playing today it seems like I have not progressed in the least. I know its only a month, but do you recommned when you are trying to gain some endurance, also what about take off speed?

For the training I have been running laps mixed with elliptical training for 30 mins twice a week after I train. Then once a week after I train I run 20 yard shuttle sprints until I literally can’t do another one. On saturday do agility training, ball handling excercises, and two 300 yard shuttles to end practice. Then on Sunday I play football for 2 hours.

Any help or advice is appreciated, especially on the initial burst of speed.

With the information you mentioned, I dont think your training really reflects your goal of enhancing reaction and acceleration for Football.

Please let me know if I can assist.

In faith,

Coach Davies

What other leg movements are you doing? Are you doing squats and its varations? Are you incorperating some explosive plyometrics? Are you doing upper body work (this does increase speed) along with the sprinting? Are the only things you’re doing to increase your speed and explosiveness the movements you’ve mentioned? Let us have some more info. If you can, break down all the movements and training you’ve been doing. It will be much easier for people to help you. There can be a multitude of reasons you havend gained they way you expected. Also if you’re not feeding your body properly that can hinder strength gains tremendously.

what you’ve got to do is train your body’s ability to clear waste products such as lactic acid etc. Do this via interval training - maybe incorporate 30sec sprints followed by 3 minute slow recovery pace, followed by 2 minutes at a sustainable medium pace. This will increase your fitness quicker than steady state running or all out sprint training. Also you might want to look at a periodized program for the next pre-season training you have, so that you will be primed for the start of the season. This way you can progressively build a strength base and convert it into maximal speed, acceleration and endurance. Good luck & let me know if I can help any more - do some reading on periodized programs & interval training.

Check out Christian Thibadeaus ‘Running Man’ article. Even though it is aimed at reducing BF it gives good guidelines for interval training and my personal favourite 400m repetitions. The 400’s are particular good for building your lactic acid threshold, as you are running nearly full out for as long as humanly possible til the lactic acid consumes you in its fiery embrace!

CT’s Running Man is a good start, but he’ll be the first to tell you that one needs to train the correct energy system for their sport. The 400 requires about 60 seconds to complete, when does one go all out for 60 seconds without a break during a football game? Pick an interval that simulates the “full out” time of your sport, and use the rest interval as your lower effort time.

completely agree with rick. You never run more than about 80 metres at one time in a game. 80 metre sprints work the atp/pc system and not the lactic system. I actually tried to post that earlier but think I ,ust have hit the browse button instead of the submit button (yeah yeah, I know). Also agree with stu about needing to convert strength to speed. But to get that strength then obviously you must be going to the gym. The more time you spend practising and playing then the less time you should spend in the gym. Tudor Bumpa has a good periodization book as well as an easy to follow plyometrics book )and video).

I don’t know if you’ve paid attention to this already or not, but I’ll throw it out there.

Stutter-stepping at the beginning of your sprint will add a few tenths of a second. Get the most out of your first step by making sure you’re moving forward and not “setting” yourself. It baffles me to watch any NFL game and see WRs that stutter step on every single snap, whether they get the ball or not. These are supposed to be some of the fastest men on Earth and they continually ruin their overall speed by wasting their first step.

When I’m sprinting, I set my “weaker” leg forward because my first step is very small… 6-8" in front of the planted foot. Then I get a maximal push from my stronger leg on the second step. If I’m taking that 6" step with my weaker leg, I’m going to get less of a push off with my second step, which is my first “real” step.

if you want to increase speed, go over to charliefrancis.com forum, thats the place to look if your looking to get faster. As far as endurance that is covered as well(tempo), the only thing I have had trouble with figuring out is where to put position specific drills(tempo days is my best guess).

Ok heres a little more info:

bench press
db bench press

db rows
barbell rows
sprint work


good mornings
leg extensions
leg curls
standing calf raise

military press
high pulls
hammer curls
elliptical 15 min/ running laps 15 min

football practice, agility drills, ball handling, sprints, etc.


I do four sets of the excercises mentioned above usually in the 6-8 rep range, but now am going higher reps 12 for a few weeks to change things up. When training during the seasons should you go for lower reps with more weight or higher reps with less weight?

9am: 2/3 cup of oatmeal with one scoop of grow on top, can of tuna, apple, along with multivitmen and extra vitamen C, and a cup of water.
12pm: protein bar, grilled chicken salad, cup of water
3pm: 2/3 cup of oats with scoop of grow
5pm: salmon pack
7pm: 12oz lean ground beef, two eggs, mixed vegetables, cup of water, with vitamen C and E
10pm: post workout shake, 2 vitamen C and one E
11pm: 2/3 cup of oats with grow powder, mixed vegetables, and can of tuna
12:30am: small piece of fish, protein shake(1tblspoon of all nat p-nut butter, 1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese, one scoop of v60 protien) 12 fish oil caps, 1 teaspoon of both olive and flax oil.
1am: ZMA and bedtime

any comments or suggestions on anything I have here please tell me. thanks

I second numba56’s remark of posting at the Charlie Francis forums. Way more “speed specialists” active there.

Yeah, I never knew about that site until now, looks pretty good. Poliquin, Chek and Siff all calculate that in a game of football you work between 90-95% in the atp/pc system and between 5-10% in the lactic system.

Get stronger.

Also, during the season you should go to fewer reps with higher weight as it is more sport specific i.e. training the fast twitch fibres. It is good to go higher reps occasionally like you are, but remember that there is an inverse relationship between reps and sets. So if you are adding more reps, then you ‘might’ need to cut back a set per exercise.

Another point to remember (sorry, am posting as I notice things about your posts) that you can only consume 30grams of protein at a time. Or should I say that your body can only use that much at a time. I noticed that you have some meals of a can of tuna and a protein shake. I don’t believe that that much protein is necessary. If you really do feel that you need the total amount of protein that you are having, then split it up more.

“Another point to remember (sorry, am posting as I notice things about your posts) that you can only consume 30grams of protein at a time.” You’ve got to be kidding? Right?

only one lower body day per week vs 3 upper body???
and leg curls?
read up on Westside stuff and learn to develop strength in you posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, lower back - hip extensors)

Up until last week I was doing twice a week leg training, one day quads, one day hamstrings and calves. This was killing me and I could never do any running and my legs felt very heavy trying to play in the games.

I like to do leg extensions and leg curls because it mimics the motion that your leg travels when running, so I figure by making these excercises stronger so to will my running be.

“I like to do leg extensions and leg curls because it mimics the motion that your leg travels when running, so I figure by making these excercises stronger so to will my running be.”

Do you run sitting down?? Do you run lying on your stomach??? I sure hope not…use squats, lunges, step-ups, deads, ect.

been doing CT’s CAD training and I am starting to notice an increase in my speed during rugby practice. Lots of dynamic lifts and power stuff - jump squats, power snatches, full back squat.

Oh, and I regularly consume 50+ grams of protein in one sitting, how else am I gonna get my 250g in daily?