There are various cardio routines available to the public but it is important to understand why you should run certain distances, intervals, speeds and laps of a track.  By having a better understand and appreciation it will give you a better idea how close or far off you are of achieving your ideal cardio conditioning and most importantly how prepared you are conditioning wise for soccer games.  The majority of running in soccer games are short burst of speed with non-stop continual jogging around the field as the play moves.  In order to be in your best shape there are specific steps that one should follow.

Game Intensity:  If you do not train with game intensity then come game time you will struggle.  This will have a domino effect on other parts of your game including mistakes, mental errors and not to mention put you at risk of injury.  Be sure to train your hardest.  If not, you will only cheat yourself. 

Time training:  It is a myth that you need to run for hours and hours every day in order to be the most fit soccer player.  By simply running hard for 30-45 minutes each training session will bring you to peak conditioning in about two months.  Remember though that the body needs rest, therefore, three to four hard running session per week is sufficient to ensure you will be in top shape.  Conditioning is still important each day.  You can begin to focus on cone drills, plyometrics and various short distance speed exercises. 

Interval Training: No matter the distance of training or running event all athletes do what is called interval training.  Interval training consists of running your fastest for a specific period of time and then resting in between sets.  This is similar to weight training where you lift to your max and then rest between sets.  Interval running trains the body to work at its peak condition over and over again so that when game time comes you will be able to run your short interval sprints all game long.  Some of the best interval trainings include 50-100 yard sprints about 12 times.  Take a 50-100 light jog rest between sprints to allow the body to re-charge for the next set.  If you compare marathon runners, they do not train by running 42km/26miles each time they run.  Instead they do shorter interval runs to prepare their body.  Mind you, these intervals are still longer than what soccer players would run.  Conversely, sprinters also run intervals but much shorter distances such as 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m interval runs made up of different combinations.   

Long distance runs: It is still important to do one or two long runs per week.  Long runs include jogging for about 45 minutes.  Since soccer games are 90 minutes in length you will need to sustain your body for the full 90 minutes so these long runs are essential.  By incorporating interval running, with speed training and a couple long runs per week your body will be prepared for a 90 minute intense game of running.  

Training with a partner/teammate:  Running with a teammate can help bring the best out of you.  I recommend that you train with the most competitive and best athlete on your team.  This will help push you more than if you were to train on your own.  Having that extra push by a teammate might only push you 5% harder but you will be that much better off than had you trained by yourself. 

A big concept that many people do not understand is hard work and reward do not go hand in hand, especially in sport.  This means you have to put the hard work in initially and wait for the results.  However, if you take the steps which we at Goalden will help you then you will achieve the results you’re after.  Being in the best shape will help you eliminate many errors and bring the best out of yourself as an athlete.

What sort of training do you do and what have been your results?  Which professional club do you think has the best training regimes?  As always your comments and feedback are much appreciated.

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