By David Halpin
As most would know from back at school biology class, the body is like a machine which requires energy to run it. Running at different speeds involves a greater proportion of specific energy systems. If specific training is carried out, the specific energy system will be improved. The energy systems can be broken down into 3 energy systems, which are detailed below:
Aerobic Energy System (meaning ‘with air’)
* Oxygen provides the catalyst for a chemical reaction in the muscles to generate aerobic system
* Base fitness and required foundation, necessary for all ball sports
* Distance Running
* Easy, casual running at 80% HR max
* 4+ reps x 1km at 80%HR max to 1k at 90%HR max
* 10 x 400m (60sec short recovery)
Lactic Energy System (meaning ‘without oxygen’)
* The energy is supplied by the breakdown of sugar (“glycolysis). Only a small amount of energy can be resynthesized and so the system cannot be relied on for an extended period of time.
* Up to 8min
* Efforts lasting between 1 to 3 minutes, such as 1500m running
* Sudden increases in speed for football
* 5-8 x 300m @100% (45sec recovery)
* 8 x 300m (3min walk recovery)
ATP-CP Energy System
* The energy (ATP) is stored in the muscle cells and when broken down with CP a large amount of energy is instantly released, generating explosive power. However only a low amount of energy is stored, and thus only small amounts are available
* 1sec work : 10-12sec recovery (2-3min to recover)
* Explosive sports under 100metres
* 3sets x 10reps x 30metres (30sec recovery per set, 3min recovery per set)
* 15 x 60metres (60sec recovery)
Why this is important
During football, the anaerobic energy system is used for sudden sprints to the ball and to become free to receive the ball. However overall, the aerobic system is the main system being utilized. Thus a combination of steady state longer runs (80% HR max) is critical. As well as during training sessions, higher speed training taxing the anaerobic lactic training (300-400m with approx 3min recovery) and very short sharp bursts (15 x 60m, 60sec recovery) are also important to increase speed and recovery by training the body to replenish the high energy phosphates used to generate bursts of energy as well as increase muscle strength.
David Halpin is a full time Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Capital Clinic Physiotherapy. David prescribes safe and appropriate exercise programs for clients with musculoskeletal conditions and chronic disease or for those who just want to improve their fitness and performance.
David also facilitates our popular Running Assessments which incorporates video analysis, designed to improve your running performance and minimise the risk of injury.