Alternative set-up to tempo runs

Here is an alternative set-up to tempo runs which I find easier to implement in a team setting. Players are working to the same time intervals controlled by the coach, but over different distances that provides the individual intensity.

Firstly, you have to determine the players’ individual maximum aerobic speed (MAS) throught testing. Then establish the physiological adaptation that needs to be developed.

Bisciotti (2002) came up with the following classifications:

The total duartion of the exericse is 12minutes for 100/105/110% MAS intensities and 8 minutes for the exercises completed at 115% MAS.

Research using a similar protocol to this, but also including repeated sprints has been published:

J Strength Cond Res. 2004 Aug;18(3):584-9.

The effect of in-season, high-intensity interval training in soccer players
Dupont G, Akakpo K, Berthoin S.
Laboratory of Human Motor Studies, Faculty of Sports Science and Physical Education, University of Lille 2, France.

The effects of in-season, high-intensity interval training on professional male soccer players’ running performances were investigated. Twenty-two subjects participated in 2 consecutive training periods of 10 weeks. The first period was considered a control period and was compared with a period where 2 high-intensity interval training exercises were included in the usual training program. Intermittent runs consisted of 12-15 runs lasting 15 seconds at 120% of maximal aerobic speed alternated with 15 seconds of rest. Sprint repetitions consisted of 12-15 all-out 40-m runs alternated with 30 seconds of rest. Results from the high-intensity interval training have shown that maximal aerobic speed was improved (+8.1 +/- 3.1%; p < 0.001) and that the time of the 40-m sprint was decreased (-3.5 +/- 1.5%; p < 0.001), whereas no change in either parameters were observed during the control period. This study shows that improvements in physical qualities can be made during the in-season period.

PMID: 15320689 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Other possible work of interest is that of Billat.


Thanks for posting this. Can you send me the full article by Bisciotti on Thanks

MAS can be calculated by full-out 6min run (Gambetta, 2006 or 07, can’t remember).

BTW, how can you implement “Players are working to the same time intervals controlled by the coach, but over different distances that provides the individual intensity” on the soocer pitch?

Looking forward for discussion!

The players are working for the same duration (e.g. 30seconds) with the time controlled by the coach with a stop watch and a whistle.

Each player has their own two cones to run in between. These are measued out for the distance that they should cover for their individual MAS.

Hope this helps.

I was thinking the same. Thanks.