They’re many ways to improve your endurance via playing sport, which will then improve your fitness level whilst playing, and your body will thank you for it, as you’re getting a workout in, whilst having a lot of fun!
Today’s sport is Football, yes FOOTBALL.. The real one, watched by the whole world!
I will go through my own experience with improving my endurance and lay some gems that if you pick up & cash in on, you’ll get your endurance up too!
Other Than The Obvious
Other than the obvious (FOOD) you know cleaning up my act way back when, and eating real food and drinking my water, which will help you keep what you’ve got at the end of the day, for much longer.
You need to move!
Now, you may think that’s obvious too lol, but I’m not just talking about running here, If you’ve been a Di1 of mine for a long time you will know I promote taking your steps in walks, and moving around even if you are at home.
This will help you, let’s call it a small step, to your goal to improve your endurance.
Then you move onto stop, start movement.. As in a football this is how it is, it’s not just a long run for a full 90 mins, it’s a lot of stop start, so build up your runs slow, stop start..
You do not need a lot of space for that, and you could do that even at home.
That’s again small steps, but it adds up, rather than just waiting to go for a run, do not overlook these small steps, everything counts and adds up, you will find that short bursts and stopping and then going again will be harder than you think, if you’re not used to it.
Then over time it’s nothing, that’s what I did, when I was home, or had a few mins to burn, it all adds up and will give you the edge vs the next man/woman who are just laying on the sofa for hours.
Get Those Runs In
Running/treadmill either one of those will help you, I’m not telling you to run for miles and miles, but I’m telling you, do not avoid getting those laps in, it will really show you how much you need to improve, it may even make you tired and hurt, but once you overcome it, your confidence will skyrocket!
I go on runs all the time, and get my laps in, day or night, I’ve been doing it so long that I can choose to run at whatever pace that I feel like, and not have to worry about not making it, as I kept doing the work and practice, practice, practice.
If you need to stop of course, please do, but I always liked to keep going, as once you stop it sets the tone to keep doing so, unless I got hurt like a bad ankle or something I’m not stopping, also have water on you and a snack for after like a Banana that can help your body for the after care.
Other Methods That Help
Cycling on a bike machine helps too, you can build up your cardio that way too, but really as far as improving your cardio for football, you should really be running, as you are training for what you’re doing when it comes to the game right ?
Also, HITT (High Intensity Training) I used to do this all the time for my workouts, not so much now, every now and again..However, I do them when helping my clients often.
Anyway, this really helps you as it’s stop start, you are never really doing any of the lower body workouts for very long, and it will improve your cardio, it’s not just about having your legs get stronger in the looks, but also increasing your tank, that is more important when coming to improve your cardio.
The outer comes when the inner is defined, keep doing the work, and it will come, I kept working on my endurance to out last everyone that I play football with, to keep on my attacks, or to get back to defend, up and down the pitch.
As a speed merchant, I never wanted to have to pace myself and time my runs, in case the tank was empty, I wanted to be able to do as many runs as I can, so I worked on all of these above and more so that, I can help my teammates going back or forward.
Examples for you that I think will help you, from my own experience, In many positions next.
Tips In Your Position
I would advise keepers to practice doing the runs in a small area like your goal is, run forward and then back, run sideways and run back & keep going, of course in a game you may have to do some running, but normally after a save, so it makes sense to add throwing yourself on the floor and getting up quick (I’m sure you already do that part) also, running and jumping for your catches, will help you.
What I’m getting at here for you Goalkeepers is you do more running in your practice, so that in the real game you are quick on your feet, more alert and best of all not gasping for air from very little running from your goal, or trying to stop a chip, as you left your goal a little.
HIIT will really help you Central defenders, again you are not normally the fastest of players, you get your body in the way and make blocks though, so as you are more than likely going to get run ragged by the wingers or forwards you need to be able to outlast them.
Reading the game to make a tackle is one thing, but having better cardio than the attacking players, is something you don’t see often, you will have the edge over them, as they will not be able to keep that pace up, and you will know you can out last them, get on to HITT ASAP!
If you add that in your rough tackles and I would imagine you would be rock solid to move, vs an attacking player, you’ll have a much easier time, hey even get your partner at Center back on this too, you won’t regret it!
Fullbacks/ Wing Backs
Now I don’t know about you but to me LWB, RWB, RB, LB have to do the longest runs up and down the field than any other position on the park!
They best Fullbacks/Wing Backs have very good cardio, and can run up and down the pitch many times like it’s nothing, you don’t see overweight ones often, at the highest level…
Of course, the one that springs to mind (I’m sure I’m not the only one) Is Luke Shaw.
You see most of his weakness come from the fact that he cannot do the runs, and spends his time walking a lot, or not even being back in time, as he is not fit at a level someone in that position should be.
I would advise long distant running, going to a park and running but on the edge of the grass and running as that’s where you would be in your position, jog all the way to the end of the park and jog back, then sprint back, as this is what you would have to do a lot of in a real game.
CM/ CDM/ DM/AM
Midfielders in my eyes need to be able to a mixture of long and short distance running.
You are in constant war to win the ball, keep the ball from the opp & in all of the action trying to direct the game, start the game or add that final touch to a master class (AM).
So I would advise you work on HIIT, Sprinting, Jogging, Bike machines, running on the treadmill & whatever else you can find, as it will give you the edge over midfielders who are poor in cardio and are lazy with no work ethic, thus your midfield wins the battle, which means you win the game (9/10).
RM/ LM / AMR/ AML
Wingers which are close to fullbacks, but they run at a shorter distance going forward,
but now a days are being told by their coaches to run more than ever before, to help out the defenders
so you will have to run back now!
I would advise you to run on the edge of the park up and run back and keep doing it,
working on your sprints, this is your bread and butter here.
Adding long distance running to your workouts, also running with the ball up the pitch to the end and backt this will improve your cardio, you will feel really tired at the end of it, but you could have anywhere between 2 to 5 opps looking to tackel you, you have to be able to run without your cardio tank gassing out, and run when fatiguedand still keep the ball!
Other than the goalkeeper do the least running, so what I would suggest you do is work on your cardio via short sprints, do your HIITS too.
If you want to go jogging add that too, bike work would great for strikers, running and then jumping would be great for headers whilst getting your cardio up with the run into the box over time.
You could also face your back towards the goal, so I would work on running backwards and then spinning and sprinting forward until you reach the midfield area, then you run backwards again.
I’ve enjoyed sharing this with you Di1’s!
Please let me know your thoughts on this too & where do you play in football ?
Until next time ciao 🙂
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