AEROBIC AND INTERVAL TRAINING

Endurance is a term widely used in sport and can mean many different things to many different people. Coaches often refer to an athlete having a better endurance base or greater speed or strength endurance compared to another athlete. Used in this sense, an athlete with a better level of endurance might be expected to be able to sustain a level of activity with less fatigue being evident than an athlete with lesser endurance. 

Endurance can be divided into groups in many different ways. In our coaching philosophy we divide endurance simply into aerobic and anaerobic training. What we think is the most important one to train in team sports is aerobic endurance. It is the base for athletes physical performance in his or her sport.

Interval training can help elite athletes improve both anaerobic and aerobic fitness.

To develop anaerobic fitness, an athlete would work very intensely, - running, swimming, cycling or rowing very fast possibly above race-pace, before resting for a moderately long period, then repeating the exercise a number of times, for example 10 x 30 secs, with 90 secs rest. This is proven to develop anaerobic endurance.

It's also possible to use interval training to improve aerobic fitness. By setting the pace and intensity of endurance training correctly an athlete can be given a programme with equal work or rest intervals, for example 1 minute at maximum intensity followed by 1 minute's rest, which targets aerobic fitness extremely effectively.

For a player on a mixed training programme where they have to work on strength, endurance and speed like a hockey player during interval workouts, they can effectively improve their endurance in one or two workouts each week. Also, that is more compatible with their training programme because it removes the need for time-consuming runs or long cycles, which would interfere with their strength development.