Conditioning days in the fall were enough to make me lose sleep, I felt nauseous from the time I woke up until the second we started the workout. But once it was over I felt this tremendous sense of accomplishment, and it made me that much more excited for the season to start (partly because once the season started conditioning drills were worked into practice, rather than being a standalone workout!). Most of the things that we did for fall conditioning were centered on the premise that in a game the average player runs 2 miles. Doing a little bit of research it seems as though the number has risen to 5 miles. I’m very grateful that my coach’s research pointed to the 2 mile average!
With a few months until the start of season, now is an excellent time to focus on the longer distances, working your players back into aerobic shape. As season starts to get closer, switch over to work on the anaerobic side of conditioning. It’s important to start with a good aerobic base; this will help your players get into their sprinting shape quicker when the time comes.
The track…The track was about a quarter mile away from the Fieldhouse, but on days when we were heading out there for conditioning, it felt like a 50 mile walk. While all track workouts were on my most dreaded list, they are also on my most affective list! They will kick your booty into shape and they test your mental toughness at the same time.
Here is a good track workout to start with. It is a simple one, and will total running 2 miles.
Start with an 800 (2 laps) as a warm-up. Although this is a warm up it is still part of the workout, so make sure players are jogging at a decent pace. They can start slow and pick the pace up as they become warmer.
Work in dynamic stretching before you get into the actual workout.
4-400s. Sprinting the straight, jogging the curve, the curve is the rest, so this can be a slower jog to catch their breath and recover a little bit before hitting the corner for the straight and getting into their sprint.
Here you will take a 4 minute recovery, this gives players a chance to walk around, shake out their legs, and grab a drink. This last little bit is going to test them. They should be pretty tired and are going to need to give a hard push for the end of their workout.
They will run one last 400, this should be fast. Doesn’t need to be an all-out game pace sprint, but the intensity should be there.
Take a 3 minute recovery, get in a little dynamic stretch, grab water and catch their breath, they will do 4 100 yard sprints, with a minute and a half recovery in between each sprint. Make sure during this minute and a hf they’re walking around and staying moving.
You have hit 2 miles of running, mixed in both anaerobic and aerobic conditioning, and have pushed your players to use mental toughness to get them through the end of the workout.