Athletes have to exert themselves for different amounts of time in each sport. Just compare the bursts of full-out sprinting in soccer to a typical 50-second shift in hockey. Here's a quick breakdown of typical exertion times for various sports:
Conditioning should train your body’s energy system for the way it’s used in your sport. Since a play typically takes less than 60 seconds, your body uses its anaerobic energy system—stored energy—to quickly provide the fast burst of energy you need to run down a ball or leap to catch a pass. After the play, your body goes into recovery mode, attempting to replenish those energy stores.
There’s no reason to run for 30 minutes, which improves the body’s ability to use oxygen to generate energy. Instead, you should focus on interval training—running or biking at close to maximum effort for a short period of time, followed by a set amount of rest. Check out this interval treadmill program to start improving your game performance.
*Note: Base speeds on individual fitness. Use caution when performing Lateral Shuffle and Backpedal on treadmill.
For another interval routine, check out STACK's exclusive training content from Real Salt Lake.
Photo: Lamarr Woodley, Pittsburgh Steelers OLB