Developing speed endurance
is important for maintaining a near maximal speed. Speed endurance is important in track sprinting events (100m to 400 meters) and in team sports, such as soccer and football, where there are repeated bouts of sprint that may last from 4 to 10 seconds. In the case of soccer, speed endurance is critical for maintaining near maximal efforts of sprinting interrupted by bouts of lower intensity effort. To best achieve this ability of repetitive bouts of high-end speed (intensity greater than 90%), the effort must be interrupted with rest, or decreased work intensity, so that lactic acid does not accumulate. If this is allowed to take place the speed will decrease. The glycolytic (anaerobic) energy system will fatigue, and the oxidative (aerobic) energy system will resume responsibility as the primary supplier of energy.
Training the aerobic energy system
is important for speed endurance. This is particularly the case for the soccer athlete where continuous work is performed for sustained, yet varied intensities and durations. The athlete’s capacity to perform sustained work will be maximized by an improved aerobic capacity. An athlete that has a good aerobic base is better prepared for the recovery that is required between short bursts of speed (high intensity effort). Aerobic training is performed at lower intensities than speed endurance, or anaerobic endurance training.
The sport-specific aspect of training the soccer athlete for speed endurance must consider change of direction, acceleration and deceleration.
Example of speed endurance training:
- Place two cones: 30 meters apart.
- Run 30 meters up and 30 meters back (60 meters)
- Repeat this 3 times with no rest for total of 180 meters.
- Rest 2 minutes (no lying around, walk/jog slowly)
- Repeat (2nd Rep)
- Jog slowly around field for 6 minutes
2nd set (2 x 180 meters)
- The reps of 180 meters are interrupted with 2 minute rest.
The goal of this workout is to perform each bout of up and back sprints at >90% of the 30 meter sprint. This can be determined by 30 meter speed endurance testing. Determine the average, or top speed in seconds (example 5 secs. for 30 meters).
The 90% mark for 5 seconds in 30 meters is 5.5 seconds. The repeated 30 meters will include acceleration, deceleration, and change of direction. This will give a healthy burn of lungs and legs.
If the intensity of the speed endurance workout is not maintained, greater than 90%, the anaerobic capacity of the athlete will not be challenged, and the workout becomes an aerobic training session. T. Bompa
It will also add some time to the 30 meter mark, for the effects of change of direction on each up and back. This will have to be factored into the allowed time in completing the 180 meters. The end goal of this workout is to achieve improved testing on the speed endurance testing. It is desired that less than 10% decay time is seen with fastest to slowest repeat 30 meters with 25 second rest intervals over 6 repetitions.
Use some imagination with designing your speed endurance training programs. Consider the sport-specific movements of the game, and the fitness of the athlete. For some, this may be a goal, for others a starting point. Good Luck!