No more endurance runs in preparation
Why forest runs do more harm than good and what you can do better
Reading time 4 min

Sun, summer, sunshine or snow, winter, ice storm — from now on, they are threatening again:
Endurance runs in preparation. In shimmering heat or freezing cold with either Arctic or Qatari temperatures.

It is not only the already maltreated soccer fields that will now suffer again. In the coming weeks, amateur players will also be trotting across training grounds or forest meadows again — by coaches who really only want their best.

What could be better than an honest and tough endurance run? A lot!

In today's blog post, we'll show you why endurance runs should only be chosen carefully and how you can train your soccer fitness as an alternative.

Our opinion: Eliminate the classic endurance run from your preparation

To make one thing clear in advance: Basic endurance is extremely important — it is an important basis for all sports. If it is well trained, it primarily increases physical performance and thus also optimizes recovery capacity.

This often also results in increased injury prophylaxis.

Football is dynamic — it should also be specific endurance

Football is a highly dynamic sport. The realisation that soccer has become ever faster in recent decades is probably no news to anyone. Mileage is exploding and so-called “Hard Runs” (i.e. maximum Sprints) feel like they are increasing from game to game.

This means that the requirement profile of a soccer player — whether district or Bundesliga — has also changed. From trotting strategist to Series Sprinter.

Endurance training is therefore more than preparing for widespread forest running. Simply put, you could hardly train more specifically than doing a constant forest run. Time is often a limiting factor in training, so why waste time with unspecific units, which also result in hardly any adjustment and therefore improvement?

A variety of studies show a direct relationship between maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and game performance. And the good news for this point: the VO2 max is very good and also time-saving to train. Because the decisive training stimulus is the turnover of oxygen per unit of time, which in turn is synonymous with intensity in training.

Apart from physiological principles and scientific wisdom, interval training with higher intensities also appears significantly closer to the target load when viewed alone. Now the answer cannot be to focus exclusively on short maximum loads, as training management is, as is often the case, about the right balance between load and relief in order to prevent injuries and not provoke overload.

If the forest runs smoothly, the energy turnover per unit of time and therefore also the turnover of oxygen per unit of time is quite low. The mere expansion of the scope as a soccer player can therefore even be regarded as counterproductive. Runs of over 30 minutes are much more used to burn fat and undermine the goal of adjusting VO2 max.

Simply put, a purely volume-based training approach in soccer is rather slow and this is certainly not effective for performance on the pitch.

In the end, there will be no black or white, because training must ideally be tailored to individual needs. However, since in soccer, as in other ball and team sports, there is often a balance between different content, its necessity and the available time budget, the available time should be used as wisely as possible.

This is exactly what our training, which is tailored to the requirements of soccer, offers you.

Series sprints and as many changes of direction as possible

It is therefore only logical to train endurance with a sport-specific movement pattern. What do you need for that? Short, intensive activities and active breaks in between! It is important for you to understand that you don't have to simulate the length of a game with your runs, but its speed. And this simply means: sprinting, changing direction, break, running duel, duel, break — and so on. During ninety plus X minutes, your endurance requirement is an alternation between brief, intensive exercise and rewarding relief.

Research has shown that around 450 of all movements performed involve a change of direction of over 120 degrees — that's around 50% of all player actions in a game.

Do you still think that running in the woods in winter will optimally prepare you for your soccer game?

For the soccer player, this means:

It must include starts, stops, and changes of direction.

Movements that are rather rare during a typical endurance or forest run.

Alternative HITT: specific and sports-oriented

A great way to effectively prepare soccer players in preparation for the “faster” game is HIIT (High Intensity Intervall Training) — approach. HIIT alternates intensive work with active breaks. This means, for example: sprints or jumps as an intensive load and then an active break. There are no fixed rules as to how long the intervals must be.

In our Performance program Over the years, we have now had the perfect mix of Power, stability and mobility worked out.

The training units are in the high-intensity interval range. They therefore also meet the energy requirements that are relevant in soccer — namely ATP, anaerobic and aerobic supplies. In addition, regeneration processes are specifically accelerated with mobility units, which from now on not only protect you from injuries on the pitch, but also allow you to float efficiently and gracefully across the pitch.

The GAMECHANGER This gives you everything you need for perfect training during the winter break. The workouts push athletes to their limits so that they need an above-average amount of oxygen and thus stimulate their metabolism, which therefore significantly improves endurance.

What we're trying to say is that running in the woods without a change of pace in summer preparation is simply no longer in vogue in current soccer — regenerative However, it is also not fundamentally wrong. We therefore hope that your trainer will no longer use such old-fashioned methods in the future.

We'll also show you another alternative of how you and your team can work on your soccer endurance:

B42 Running: soccer-specific effective endurance runs with GPS tracking

This is a special endurance program to improve your running performance — especially for soccer players and varied. The program will be available in three levels of difficulty (easy — medium — difficult) and will be a mix of interval runs, tempo runs and regenerative endurance runs. Whether you complete the program on a well-known running track, on the tartan track or on the pitch is completely up to you.

In order to be able to track it precisely, we use the latest GPS technology. This allows you to always optimally compare your services.

Better than endurance runs in preparation. Now with the B42 app Start preparing.

Reading time 4 min
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