HOW TO PLAN PRE-SEASON TRAINING
It has been a grueling 9 months of early starts and tough games. Near the end of a season players really start to feel the strain of an intense schedule of training and matches. Even pro players with teams of training staff and doctors will see a slow decline in endurance nearer the later end of the season. Not only the physicality of playing but the inevitable niggles and injuries that occur at every level of football mean it really is time for a rest.
Although you may not have a team of nutritionists and trainers at hand there are some simple plans to follow to keep you in shape and more importantly prepare you for the upcoming season. The key to a post season/ pre-season plan is to get the right balance of rest and training. This blog aims to offer an outline for any player, professional or otherwise to help plan your break with maximum effect before the new season.
REST AND RECUPERATION
At all levels of football 9 months hard playing really does take its toll. We advise a good 2 week break straight after the seasons end. This gives the body a chance to let those little niggles heal up and also gives you a mental break from training. We see most professional players take this opportunity to fly out to Ibiza or Miami to flash their hard earnt cash. To the average Joe this could just mean 2 weeks out of the gym and Sunday’s spent with a bacon butty on the couch. Even a 2 week break with see sprint speed, endurance decrease we have plenty of time to build it back up over the next 2 months.
BACK TO THE GYM
Ok holiday time is over. The professionals are back from Ibiza and hitting the training ground and so should you be. It’s all about light exercise to start off, ease yourself back in. A good idea is to start off with some fun activities to get the motivation back. Starting back with some tennis or cycling is a good idea to build endurance back up. There are any different options as this stage; some coaches opt for endurance training others for interval.
Endurance training should start with small jogs. This is a great way to begin building endurance and fitness while still keeping it relatively easy on the body, joints etc. You should really be aiming at 30 minute jogs at a decent pace 3 to 4 times a week. As fitness builds increase the tempo and bring down the distance until you are pushing a burnout 15 min run.
Interval training is best performed on a small market out area or perhaps using the pitch markings. For interval training you should be looking at a ratio of 1:2 training and rest. Depending on fitness and playing level start of sprinting a full half and rest before going again. You aim is to train to burn out, literally run until you can’t anymore. For best results you should be aiming for a 15 – 20 second sprint with double that time for rest.
PHILOSOPHY FOR FITNESS
Now you have your team back to decent levels of fitness the next stage all depends on the level you are playing at and the way you play. If you are playing in a top league like the Premiership, Championship or so on fitness training will increase as will stamina training. For lower level to amateur teams once you’re at a decent level maybe time will be better spent on in game scenario training or skills training. Just remember to always train to your strengths.