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How to Maximize your Playing Potential with Endurance Training

As a soccer performance coach, one of the observations about the players I work with is that many are not spending enough time developing their endurance. Very few players will do the extra training required (such as interval training or distance running) to develop this aspect of their performance. 

I do not have data to confirm this but in North America, players can be subbed in and out of games when they are tiring. Very few plyers will complete a full 90 mins on a consistent basis. In Europe, by comparison, players gain more experience playing in full 90 minute games. 

Endurance, or the ability to perform sustained physical activity, is crucial for success on the soccer field. Without endurance, players will quickly tire, become fatigued, and lose their ability to effectively contribute to the game.

In this article, I will explore the following topics related to endurance training:

  • The science behind endurance training 

  • The benefits of endurance training for soccer players 

  • Different types of endurance training 

  • Endurance training workouts and routines

The Science Behind Endurance Training 

Endurance, also known as cardiovascular endurance or cardiorespiratory endurance, is the ability of the body's cardiovascular and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the muscles during sustained physical activity. This means that the heart, lungs, and blood vessels must all work together to deliver oxygen to the muscles, which in turn use that oxygen to produce energy and power movement.

Endurance training works by improving the efficiency and capacity of these systems. Over time, as you engage in regular endurance training, your heart becomes stronger and is able to pump more blood with each beat. This means that more oxygen-rich blood is delivered to the muscles, allowing them to work harder and longer.

Additionally, endurance training also stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, which helps to improve blood flow to the muscles. This, in turn, leads to increased delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, further enhancing their ability to perform sustained physical activity.

The Benefits of Endurance Training for Soccer Players 

There are many benefits to endurance training for soccer players, including:

Increased stamina and energy levels 

Improved cardiovascular health 

Enhanced muscle function and efficiency 

Greater resistance to fatigue 

Faster recovery times 

By engaging in regular endurance training, soccer players can improve their ability to perform sustained physical activity, which is crucial for success on the soccer field. Whether you are running up and down the field, chasing after the ball, or sprinting to make a goal, endurance training can help you perform at your best.

Different Types of Endurance Training 

There are several different types of endurance training, each with its own unique benefits and challenges. Some of the most common types of endurance training include:

Long, slow distance (LSD) training: This type of endurance training involves long, steady-state cardio exercises, such as jogging, cycling, or swimming, at a moderate intensity for an extended period of time. LSD training is great for building a strong aerobic base and improving overall endurance.

Interval training: Interval training involves alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and periods of low-intensity exercise or rest. For example, you might sprint for 30 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds, and repeat this pattern for a set amount of time. Interval training is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular fitness and boost metabolism.

Tempo training: Tempo training involves exercising at a moderate-to-high intensity for a sustained period of time, typically 20-60 minutes. This type of endurance training is great for improving lactate threshold, which is the point at which the body begins to produce lactic acid and fatigue sets in.

Player Tips: Endurance Training Workouts and Routines 

When it comes to endurance training, it's important to have a well-designed workout and routine in place. This will help you to make the most of your training and see the best results. Here are a few tips for creating effective endurance training workouts and routines:

1) Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts:

This will help you to avoid injury and allow your body to adapt to the demands of endurance training.

2) Incorporate a variety of endurance training methods:

By mixing things up and incorporating different types of endurance training, you can challenge your body in new ways and prevent boredom.

3) Listen to your body:If you are feeling tired or fatigued, take a rest day or scale back the intensity of your workout. It's important to listen to your body and give it the rest and ecovery it needs. 

4) Track your progress:Keeping track of your workouts and progress can help you to see how far you've come and motivate you to keep going. Consider using a fitness tracker or journal to log your workouts and progress.

In conclusion, endurance training is an essential part of any soccer player's training regimen. By understanding the science behind endurance training, the benefits it offers, and how to create effective endurance training workouts and routines, you can unleash your potential and take your soccer performance to the next level. 

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