by Laurence Girard


Basic soccer training will help you develop a base level of fitness as a soccer player which is vital if you want to take your game to the next level. Soccer is a unique game that requires elite players to have the attributes of speed, strength, and agility. In the past, soccer players were known to run miles upon miles to develop a base level of fitness, but this methodology has been proven to be inefficient. Developing a base level of fitness as a soccer player requires a detailed training plan that incorporates both aerobic conditioning as well as anaerobic conditioning. Soccer players need to have extraordinary aerobic fitness to be able to withstand ninety minutes of a soccer game, but also require anaerobic endurance which gives them the necessary burst of speed needed to beat the last defender and go to the goal.

It is important to understand the difference between aerobic endurance and anaerobic fitness. Aerobic endurance involves the use of oxygen to break down glucose that your body stores from food intake. When your body cannot take in oxygen fast enough for aerobic respiration to take place it turns to an emergency store of glycogen. Therefore, when training to develop anaerobic fitness you should be working hard enough so that your body must access this reserve store of glycogen. The product of anaerobic respiration is lactic acid which is the substance that makes you ache after a difficult work out. The major difference between aerobic and anaerobic respiration is that aerobic respiration uses oxygen to break down glucose and anaerobic respiration does not require oxygen.

The first thing on your fitness list should be developing a solid base level of aerobic endurance. Interval training is a great way to develop this type of fitness. Interval training is different from traditional running in that you will need to vary the speed at which you run throughout the training session. A track is a great place to begin interval training. During interval training you should sprint the straight aways and use the turns to recover. It is important that you give 100% during each sprint, but then slowly jog to give yourself ample time to recover during each turn. Interval training is similar to the game of soccer in that sometimes you will be working extremely hard, and at other times your body will be recovering. The great thing about Interval training is that it will also help you to develop a bit of anaerobic fitness during each sprint.

When training for anaerobic endurance it is important to work extremely hard for short periods of time and then give your body ample time to recover. A good example of this would be to do ten 100 meter sprints at 100% with one minute of rest in between each sprint. If you feel that you need more than a minute to recover take your time. A typical pre-season fitness plan would incorporate two sessions of running a day if possible that hits both aerobic and anaerobic endurance. Morning sessions should be composed of an hour of interval running at a decent pace. It is extremely important for you to eat a good breakfast an hour before your morning session. During the afternoon you should work on developing your anaerobic fitness level. This could incorporate ten 100 meter sprints, but the amount of training that someone should do varies from person to person. In the end you will have to experiment with your basic soccer training schedule. Just remember that both aerobic and anaerobic fitness is important if you want to be a successful soccer player.

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