Tuesday, March 6, 2018


If you've read my other 29 posts on pre-season training do's (a book in the making surely?), then you must be aware of how I think it's best to structure your running.

Most teams will spend little, if any time building a base/foundation of aerobic capacity which is just plain stupid.

The base/foundation training is what will enhance your ability to recover between bouts of sprints and without it, you'll go full glycolytic (blow up) in the 1st quarter and you're essentially done once you hit that point.

You will NOT be able to hit your top speed, your recovery will be way SLOWER and you're endurance is compromised because of the fatigue already in your system - that shit doesn't just go away during a quarter time break you know?

Once it's in there it's pretty much stuck in there if you don't have the aerobic capacity to deal with it.

If you;re gonna remember anything about these 30 posts then remember this - it's how much you can do once your tired (sweet FA), it's how much you can do before you get tired.

Anyway, if you have done your training correctly,and you've built up your acceleration and max velocity speed and aerobic capacity to levels higher then this time last year, then you're ready to get all lactic.

The lactic energy system is the one in the middle - you have alactic at one end (speed x 1 - 6secs @ 100% with full rest) and aerobic at the other end (10 - 30mins @ 60% continuous).

The middle child is always the black sheep and it's no different here as lactic training is where you reach a point during activity where your speed slows dramatically, blood pooling in your muscles start to burn, neuromuscular activity starts to cut out and your activity level has also reached a level where you your demands for oxygen in your muscles cannot be sustained - all this results in a performance drop.

Right now there are practice games being played all around the county, or you're about to have them.

Ideally you'd have the lactic phase completed BEFORE any practice games but if you need to carry this phase into the first or second practice game then no biggie.

We had a practice game 3 weeks ago (yep very early!) and we have our second one next weekend so I'll have my lactic phase completed before then.

The point of the lactic phase is to simply expose the body to high levels of fatigue with incomplete rest of a general nature.

Once you hit the practice games, you'll be exposing the body all the same but in a much more game specific/simulated way.

The program I'm doing is a 6 session phase using a method from Cal Dietz called the lacate retention method.

For the lactic phase you might do sets of 60 - 90secs where you can barely move after each set you're so out of breathe but you know what, the lactate retention method makes this EASIER.

Yes, easier.

Instead of doing 1 entire set of 90secs, Cal suggests doing a 20 - 40sec set and then immediately following the set, go down into a bottom squat position and hold it there x 40secs.

So you build up maximal fatigue by going as hard as you can in the work set, then by holding the squat position you "trap" the fatigue by-products in the muscles so you build up the same amount of fatigue in half the time.

This decreases overall fatigue and body stress and you'll achieve the holy grail of training - getting the most from the least - leaving more time for skills and tactical training.

As I said it's 6 sessions and this is how I'm doing mine:

Session 1 - 4 x 20secs + 40secs squat isometric, 90secs rest

Session 2 - 4 x 30secs + 40secs squat isometric, 90secs rest

Session 3 - 4 x 40secs + 40secs squat isometric, 90secs rest

Session 4 - 4 x 20secs + 40secs squat isometric, 90secs rest

Session 5 - 4 x 30secs + 40secs squat isometric, 90secs rest

Session 6 - 4 x 40secs + 40secs squat isometric, 90secs rest

I'm doing bike sprints for this to decrease body load even more.

If you have time then try and do this before your practice matches where you could do 6 sessions in 2 or 2.5 weeks.

If you will start practice matches during this phase then do 2 sessions in the weeks you don't have a game and 1 session in the weeks that you do.

If you want to do this with your team, then I;d recommend doing the goal posts drill where you start on the point post and sprint to the goal post and back, goal post and back then far point post and back.

I think we all know the drill but I'd make one little change by backpedalling back, instead of turning around 180 degrees just to decrease the load a little - plus the backpedalling will keep constant tension on the leg muscles the entire set which means more fatigue which is exactly what we're after.

If in there is more time then these 3 up and backs allow then start going back down the ladder to fill the time so goal post, goal post, point post, goal post, goal post, until time is up.

The go straight down into your squat position holding onto the goal post and.or boundary fence to hold yourself up.

This can be run very easily in a team setting.

This might be the last one of these as once practice games start, then you should enter the in-season training model as the fatigue in early practice games are far higher then anything you'll see during most of the in-season and needs to be accounted for so running volume needs to decrease and you need to be even more diligent in getting the most of the least.

Here's a vid by Cal Dietz on the lactate retention method:

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