the best way to get match fit fast
If you've ever felt unfit in a game - then this article is for you. Let's face it, we've all been there -- starting a game and feeling exhausted within the first 5 minutes, struggling to make those crucial runs in behind, or just not feeling fit enough to play in general. Being fit all comes down to training the correct way in order to build match fitness, and taking care of your body so that your body can adapt to the training load you are doing.
Doing cross fit or cross country running, or only doing sprinting or high intensity interval training won't get you match fit...getting match fit requires way more, and is a bit more complex than what meets the eye. Luckily, we've developed a science-proven method to allow you to get match fit pretty quickly - without having to run yourself into the ground.
Firstly, let's take a look at the science. For different situations during matches and training sessions, our bodies have different energy demands based on how hard and how long we are running, sprinting, etc. With that being said, there are 3 different energy systems that our bodies use to perform at the various levels of intensity that we play at during training sessions and matches; the ATP-PC system, the Glycolytic system, and the Oxidative system. Each of these systems are used based on the duration and intensity of jogging, running, and sprinting you are doing:
ATP-PC system: short, high-intensity intervals lasting for up to 10-15 seconds
Glycolytic system: moderately distance, moderately intense running lasting from 30 seconds all the way up to roughly 3 minutes
Oxidative system: low intensity, long duration exercise lasting for 2+ minutes of continuous work - this system can go on almost indefinitely
So as you can see by the above description of each system, each energy system is used during different times throughout a match or training session. The key is training deliberately to improve each one - this is the secret to building complete match fitness. If you don't train one of these systems, it would result in an impaired ability to be fit for a full 90 minute match - because each game requires each one; interval sprinting, moderately intense running, and constant low-intensity running/movement.
training each energy system
Now that we know the energy systems and the importance of training each one, we need to understand how to actually create sessions/workouts that will train each system so we can get fit overall, and increase our game-specific stamina.
Let's first talk about the ATP-PC system, this is the short duration system that it used for up to 10-15 seconds of high-intensity work - this one is basically sprinting, fast change of directions, explosive movements, etc. To train this one specifically, think about high-intensity interval training (or HIIT training). I recommend training the ATP-PC system both on the ball and off of it. For example, you can do activities such as shuttle runs (repeated sprints with change of directions every 5 yards), 50 yard sprints, fast agility training with side shuffles and forwards and backward movements, fast cone weaves with the ball, explosive and quick finishing drills, and so on. Training the ATP-PC system is simple - any high-intensity training will do the trick.
Secondly, let's talk about training the Glycolytic system. This one is used for more of your moderate distance and moderately intense training - when you do fast running over a moderate distance, but you aren't all out sprinting. To train the Glycolytic system specifically, focus on doing moderately intense training with and without the ball such as full field runs, box to box running, circuit-style training on the ball, boxed freestyle dribbling with the ball for around 30 seconds, the Ronaldinho dribbling drill for around 30 seconds, and so on.
Lastly, there is the Oxidative system. The Oxidative system is just a long term energy system used for continuous work at a low-intensity. Training this system is very simple; running a couple miles for time, constantly moving throughout your training session, long duration jogging, etc. This one is trained as you cover ground throughout your sessions - just make sure not to rest for long periods of time.
the bottom line
You should now understand why each energy system is important, and why each one needs to be trained in order to develop game-specific stamina. It's also important to note that you train all three energy systems by simply playing 11v11 matches - so if you can play in games then that will help you get match fit pretty quick. If you don't have access to matches, you can still train each system and get match fit that way.
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