Special Endurance for Sports

I’m aware that special endurance doesn’t transfer over directly to sports (i.e. you don’t break out for a 300m run in a game), but are there any benefits to doing special endurance when training for sports?

What have you got in mind?? :cool:

Hmm…interesting question. I would like to hear more on this as well…

Maybe just psychological (mental toughness)… just thoughts?

How driving an athlete’s overall well being and mood down with hard non specific,non necessary and extreemely draining efforts may help in building mental toughness?

Let them feel good and WIN,and overtime
you’ll see their self confidence spontaneously drive their comfort zones up,or mental toughness as you call it!

Absolutely true…
So, pakewi, do you think that they have any purpose at all?

Not really…

Pakewi, I really agree with you… But sadly some people tend to use them, and in fact those people are my faculty proffesors… Take a look at this one: http://www.charliefrancis.com/community/showpost.php?p=110479&postcount=101

So, special endurance in soccer (ability to recover between HIIE), is developed with tempo work (it is higkly correlated with aerobic capacity - look at the SVASS articel), but in later prep period can be also developed with short sprints with short rests (7x30 with 25 sec rest), and not with 300s and 400 as propsed by my “freakin’” proffesors… :slight_smile:

England Rugby team used a lot of lactic sessions to develop mental toughness during thier World Cup winning season (2003?). They said that they tracked work rate via ProQuest (?) and found that a lot of athletes were working in a lactic acid zone for quite a bit of the game - ummm not sure if i believe this :confused: . One point they made was that Rugby was a game that used the whole body so you got tired quicker and therefore had to do lots of interval training.

Unfortunitly this is all from memory so I can’t remember the details…

Personally I think you should just get someone who thinks they need SPE to run a flat out 400m and then ask them if they ever feel like this in a game. If it was real SPE you needed you would have to sub the players on an off every 50seconds! Once you’ve run a 400m you can’t do anything else for at least 10min let alone tackle or perform fine motor tasks!

Boxing is another example. You can’t hit someone for 30s in a row repeatidly. If you do and they survive you are a sitting duck. Rumble in the Jungle style.


In one of the manuals(I think forum review 02), didn’t Charlie say that all the benefits of creatine supplementation could be achieved by special endurance work? Or something along those line…

I really feel that generally the short sprints/short rests protocols are understudied and underestimated as means to develop general (aerobic )fitness. Thoughts?

How would you best employ these vs. other elements during the season, pakewi?

Do you think that once a week a session like what duxx proposed (7 x 30m with 25 sec rest) would be useful?

Please check out Charlie’s comments on this thread:


“Can special end make you faster when introduced early? The answer is probably yes and no. SE does have an effect on the density of muscle and cross-linking, similar to that produced by maximal efforts in lifting or short speed, though achieved via another, complementary mechanism. In terms of perfecting execution patterns, the small number of reps possible and the physical state in the late stages of the runs, makes SE a poor primary learning opportunity. I think, for most people, SE is most complementary when introduced after most of the speed and almost all of the technique is already in place.” - Charlie Francis

"Q1: Can SE replace weights for someone bordering on being too big?
A: No. SE will be synergistic with the strength from weights so long as the stimulus from weights is maintained via a maintenance phase, otherwise the qualities will begin towards endurance but away from current strength. Bodyweight will likely be maintained- or, at least will only drop slightly when SE is emphasized, but cross-section will reduce and the muscles will take on a longer appearance.

Q2: What is the complementary mechanism.
A2: There are probably several mechanisms at work. First is the enhancement of overall fibre recruitment by another means, (serially vs all-at-once as in max weights, or, to a slightly lesser extent, pure speed) which can be advanced even after the primary means have reached a plateau. Second is the increased density (cross-linking) which causes a given amount of heat, generated by work, to be contained in a smaller volume, which, along with increased micro-capillarization from tempo, concentrates more heat within muscle fibres. Greater heat and proximity of fluid around the MM neurons lowers electrical resistance allowing the Int Fibres to take on FT characteristics." -Charlie Francis

My original question I posed was about the other mechanisms at work when special endurance runs were introduced into training. Q2 answers this to some extent, I was looking for a more elementary answer which I could understand easily.

For what? (read the later part of the post)
7x30m with 25sec rest is a test in soccer (I saw it somewhere) to measure ability to recover between HIIE (high intesity intermitent exercise), thus giving some index (faster rep/slowest rep) of that ability…

Yes, they are under-studied, but there is somekind of myoglobin training proposed (I think so) by Bulgarian expert Zheljaskov (5-10secs run, 5-10sec walk/jog, repeat, but I must check in the book for real numbers)… after all there is some info about sprints in aerobic development at powerrunning site!

I am not pakewi, but I will give my opinion…
The ablity to recover between HIIE is strongly correlated with aerobic capacity (VO2max), so tempo is done to improve this ability, but in homogenic groups of athletes with similar high VO2max, ability to recover is not so well correlated with VO2max (article by Scott Vass, svass), thus suggesting that this ability is also dependent on something else… this imply that tempo could not be enough to improve this ability in highly trained atheletes(?? Thoughts, opinions?), thus other regimes should be done, like doing speed (and SAQ) work with reduced rest period…
As I proposed in my Model of year-round soccer trainning, this kind of training (speed work with reduced rest periods) can be done only when the other abilities are well developed (aerobic capacity and general preparedness, technique, SAQ qualities), so in other words, this can be done in later PREP period (middle SPP)… The question is how much during a week (1-2times)?

Why would you use SE training when other more convenient options merely from a cost/benefit point might be available?

So you think that speed and tempo work are all that are needed in training for sports? What about the benefits of SE in Q2?

I’ve been training with only speed and tempo sessions. I was just wondering what this special endurance stuff was and how 300m runs could benefit a sprinter.