Organizing tempo session with large number of athletes with different abilities

I was wondering could I calculate 100m and 200m tempo time from 30m sprint test (without reaction time)?

Also, total tempo distance and recovery times should be based on recovery ability of the players which can be evaluated with ‘YoYo Intermittent Recovery Test’.

Thus tempo groups of athletes with simmilar abilities shoul be based on:

  1. Speed capacities evalauted with 30m sprint time
  2. Recovery capacities evaluated with YoYo Intermittent Recovery Test

If we split athletes into three groups of simmilar 30m time, which differs in tempo speed (for 100m; G1:16sec, G2:18sec, G3:20sec) and then futher split the group within those groups into three different groups based on YoYo test (G1:30sec, G2:40sec, G3:50sec) we can get 9 different groups of players!!!

Is this really needed, or taking 17-18sec for 100m in tempo is ok for large variety of athletes, and only calculate different volumes and recovery times based on aerobic capacity of athletes (recovery ability - YoYo)??


I don’t see why any of this would be necessary. Think of tempo as an incredibly absorbant type of recovery work. the difference in execution speed by a single individual, depending on his state of recovery will likely vary by as much or more than the speed differences of the entire group.

You’re thinking way too much. Just tell them to run 60-70%. You can try to predict 100 times based on 30m but it might not be real accurate.

Thanks for your reply Charlie.
I understand your concept that day-to-day variations in readiness (or fatigue level) will vary much more than between groups differences in running speed (if you wanted to say this?).
Yet again, we don’t use tempo as recovery as you do with sprinters, we use it as aerobic conditioning mean (that don’t interfere with speed&power work). This preparatory period I used same tempo for all players (except goalkeepers). Next preparatory period I plan to individualize tempo a little more, so I planned to organize it according to athletes abilties regadles of position played.
I would keep same volume for whole team, while more aerobically fit players will have shorter rest between reps in tempo… Thoughts?

It can still function as aerobic conditioning since the slower they go, the shorter the recovery breaks and vice verse. A very absorbent training means.

Interesting… altought if they walk 50m the slower they go, will not make any change to rest period except if the rest is done in place and timed by coach.

You’d be amazed by how athletes can vary even a 50m walk and the 100m walk between sets. Time the entire circuit a few times and check the differences- just don’t tell them you are doing it or you’ll influence the results.

Are you proposing auto-regulatory training? :eek:
When you have 30player on soccer field, you have to have a good organization, unless you want them to run into each other, which would happen if they themself pick rest pauses or even regulate running speed.
How to plan progression with this method?


For recovery stuff, do you have access to a Polar Heart Rate Team System? Or even just a regular HR monitor? Put it on an average player (avg speed/avg yo yo score) and see what type of recovery/HR response you get. Then try it with a higher level and lower level (basedon tests) player. This might give you some feedback on your questions.

I asked a similar question or two on this forum probably 4-5 years ago about estimating tempo times. CF answered it and I believe(?) it appeared in one of the forum reviews.

Over time, if you are supervising it, you just get the feel for athletes who are running the tempo sessions too fast and which are going too slow. I would simply note how hard they appeared to be working as well as how they were responding to all of the tempo work as they progressed through the session.

I was typically more concerned about those I believed were running too fast than I was the ones running too slow. Still, I would inform either ones or groups about any related concerns. Occasionally, I would time them to confirm if I was seeing things as I believed.

A pet peeve was when the 11.9 girl was running tempo with the 14.2 girl, etc.

I think what Charlie is says is that is you tell guys (for example) run a 200 and then walk a 50, repeat 6 times, each athlete will walk at a different pace.

Some guys walk it very fast while other guys will walk it extremely slow. This will account for personal differences.

I see this all the time when we do tempo runs with our baseball & soccer teams.

One thing you can do is have them run for a set time. Slower athletes run slower. Then for a timed recovery you can either have walk or jog again depending on the level of the athlete. At the end of this the better athletes will have run further and jogged more of the recovery!

could some athletes still dog it by running even slower when given set times to run.

they could do if they arn’t motivated. but if you do this 3x a week over the entire year by the end they will be running faster than at the beginning. You have to ask yourself how much does the (slow) speed of the runs affect what you want out? Of course you can always just pick out the people who are unmotivated and encourage them.

Hmmm… Everything that you guys have posted have sense, so thank you.
Anyway, if the soccer players were enough ‘mature’ and conscious that they must prepare themself and not to ‘escape the effort’ what you were telling would be great and would account for day-to-day variations in readiness.

I have talked to mine coach about kicking out tempo next season and doing only small-sided games for conditioing (4on4, 5on5, 7on7 with sprint zone…). I was thinking he would reply: ‘great!’, but contrary he said something like this: ‘Mladen, that is awesome idea, but you can’t condutct this with our socce players. Not because they don’t have technical skills, but because they are not mature and responsible for working hard and bringing themself into conditioning. They would be hiding and screwing around if we do this with them. With ‘proffesionals’ who are responsible, thats ok, but with our bastards, we must make them condition, and to do this we must time the running intervals and rest periods. This is the only way to do it with them. Contrary, they would only screw around and let the ‘ball plays for them’’.

Not everything is bad… there are some players who I must de-motivate to run slower and I very mature for preparing themself. But other…

I hope you understand the issue here guys!

Why not mix the two up to some extent? You can devise games and methods of tempo to include running with the ball and passing the ball between them (both hands and feet). I have millions of variations on tempo that I use throughout the year depending on weather conditions and motivation of the athletes.

Exactly what we do! I am just finishing one 200pages (in PowerPoint) manual explaininig my philosophy on this.

sorry duxx what team are you coaching?