After an embarrassing 2-0 loss last week to a team that we totally outplayed, I decided to take action and get the members of my soccer team (university of toronto alumni - also known as Toronto Blues FC) in better running shape.

See the problem with playing men's soccer is that, unlike professional soccer or competitive youth soccer, the commitment (and thus fitness level) from each player is limited due to family, work, etc...

Nonetheless, we are playing in one of the most competitive soccer divisions in the province of Ontario and we've all committed to giving it our all. Unfortunately, there are players who can only last 20-30 minutes while others are exhausted after just a few full field sprints.

So here's what I did...

On top of our regular Monday night training sessions, I initiated a optional (yet highly recommended) interval training fitness session to take place on Wednesday nights. This would give our guys plenty of time to recover from Monday's session and optimally prepare our bodies for the upcoming game on the weekend.

The interval training fitness session would last no more than 45 minutes and consist of soccer-specific running. The beauty of soccer is that there is a change of pace (and direction) every 5-6 seconds. At the same time, the average elite player covers around 9-10 km in a 90-minute game.

So taking full advantage of the beautiful weather and the wonderful running track at the University of Toronto, here's what our first interval training session looked like.

The goal of this interval training workout was to increase aerobic endurance and speed endurance via short-duration (no lactic acid production) intervals.

Warm-up: 4 x 400m @ light jog/talk test pace (final 100m was faster)

Dynamic stretching with light accelerations: 5 minutes

Sprint Interval #1: 50m @ 100% : 150 @ 65% recovery x 8

Recovery: 1 x 400m (+plus rehydration)

Sprint Interval #2: 100m @ 100% : 300m @ 65% x 4

Cool down: 1 x 400m + core exercises + static stretching + rehydration

Total distance covered = 4 km (800m run at full speed)

Note that this was our first session and as such was not "vomit-inducing" by any means. That was never the goal. The goal was to get the guys used to running repeated short bouts at their maximum running speed. Again, I wanted to keep it soccer-specific.

Next week's session will build upon this one but feature slightly more distance and a reduced recovery time during the intervals. Stay tuned for that workout later next week.

For now, if you access to a running track, then give this interval training running workout a shot. It's an awesome sport-specific training session for any sport really and even a great for 5k runners to start building some more running speed into their training.

Author's Bio: 

Fitness Expert, Yuri Elkaim helps millions of busy health conscious individuals lose fat while bettering their running performance with just 2 interval training runs per week. Watch his new You Tube Video for a complete guided interval training workout! And as a special bonus, you'll receive a FREE special offer to receive one of Yuri’s FREE Treadmill Trainer™ iPod running workouts to help you get fit and running faster with just 2 short runs per week!