Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How To Improve Your Speed Endurance

When I played college football, the teams who were stronger and faster in the fourth quarter often won the game. This applies to any sport, whether individual or team.

Speed endurance is the ability to maintain maximum velocity or a percentage of maximum velocity for a prolonged period of time or in a fatigued state. When you are fatigued, it is important to maintain proper running mechanics. Doing so will give you an edge over your opponent.

Several sports require speed endurance including football, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, field hockey and tennis. These sports require repeated sprints followed by short periods of rest (walking or jogging).

Interval training for speed endurance is different than regular speed training. Speed endurance sprint intervals last from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Also, recovery time is reduced to prevent complete recovery by the athlete.

A variation would be to use metabolic speed endurance training to simulate actual game time activity. An example would be for an offense in football to simulate the entire game in practice (i.e., huddle, run a play, huddle, run a play).

Some drills that are used for speed endurance training are:

Shuttles - Place cones at 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 yards. The athlete would sprint to the 5 yard cone and sprint back to the start. The athlete would then sprint to the 10 yard cone and sprint back to the start. The same would be done at the 15, 20 and 30 yard cones. That is one set. Rest for 2 minutes between sets. Do 5-6 sets.

Pyramids - Place cones at 10 yard intervals for 60 yards. The athletes would: sprint 10 yards and walk 50 yards, sprint 20 yards and walk 40 yards, sprint 30 yards and walk 30 yards, sprint 40 yards and walk 20 yards, sprint 60 yards and sprint back to start for 60 yards. That is one set. Rest 3-5 minutes between sets. Do 4-5 sets.

Hollow Sprints - Sprint for 30 yards and jog for 30 yards. Do this for 2 minutes. That is one set. Rest for 2-3 minutes between sets. Do 5-6 sets.

Run and Sprints - Set a distance of 80 yards. Start out running and build up to full speed at 50 yards. Sprint the final 30 yards. Slow down, turn around and repeat. That is one set. Rest for 2-3 minutes between sets. Do 5-6 sets.

Remember, the strongest and fastest athletes/teams at the end of games are the ones who win!

Train hard and smart!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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