Let's face it, conditioning is the last thing we want to be doing with our summer. We would much rather be at the pool, hanging out with friends, or basically anything but doing suicides and running around a track. The problem is that we need to get fit for the upcoming season. Here are a few tips to help you get fit for fall season.
Putting off conditioning was always a problem for me when I was in high school, and even a little bit when I was getting ready for my first season of college soccer. I always told myself that the season was more than two months away, and I would just work really hard two weeks before so that I would be fit enough.
Yes it can be done because, well, I did it, and it was awful! I had to work twice as long a day and three times as hard as I would have if I had started earlier. Every inch of my body hurt. My legs were so sore it was hard to walk, and I was too tired to do anything else the rest of the day. To add to my misery, a week after tryouts I ended up pulling a muscle because I was fatigued from getting into shape in the first place.
My advice is to start early. This not only helps prevent injury, but it also gives you time to do other things besides conditioning with your day. Ease into it at the beginning and then gradually increase the intensity of your workout. Remember, conditioning doesn't have to be an all afternoon thing. 30 - 40 min of hard work can get you the results you're looking for if you stick to it and start early.
Yes, being able to run 5 miles in under 35 min is pretty impressive, but unless you run track or cross country, it's not very practical when it comes to getting ready for tryouts this fall. Almost every sport known to man is not just continuously running at the same speed the entire game. Most sports include sprinting, jogging, walking and even standing around for a few short moments. This is why making your workout sport specific is so important.
Think about your sport and the movements you make during a game. If it's sprinting 100 yards down field, practice running 100 yard sprints. If it's running 90 ft, practice running 90 ft. I would still recommend being able to run a few miles because that will benefit your overall fitness and endurance.
However, the best way I have found to get game fit is to, well, play games. So find a summer league, go to summer workouts or even just play pickup with some friends. Just get out there and play.
Growing up my dad would always tell me "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." This statement never rang more true than when I was preparing to play college soccer. It is very easy to say "I've done enough today" or "I will skip this last set because I worked hard today". I've been there. I've thought that before. That's where having a plan helped me tremendously.
Having a plan got me mentally prepared for the day's workout. I knew how long I was going to work, what I was going to do, and how hard I was going to work. In my mind working out is 20% physical and 80% mental. Being mentally prepared for your workout will definitely help you get through it so find a plan, stick to it, and let the results speak for themselves.
Throughout my life I've heard many people say "I will rest when I'm dead". My response is always, "That's true, but you will also rest on the bench when you pull a muscle". Our bodies are only meant to do so much. That's why there is an offseason.
Staying healthy is half the battle, so make sure to rest. After a workout, make sure to stretch, hydrate, and if you need it, ice. It's important not to overdo it, so make sure you give your body time to recover. Take a day or two each week to rest and recuperate from a hard weeks work.
A great way to recover and also get some work in is at the pool. For most people the pool is a place to relax and enjoy the sun, and it is, but you can also use to stretch and even swim a few laps. The point is that rest is important. You don't want to get an injury before tryouts, trust me!
Fitness is one of the best ways to gain an advantage over the competition, especially during try outs. So start early, work hard, and be the best that you can be!