Conditioning options during the week

As a national player you need to be keeping yourself fast, strong, flexible and powerful throughout the season. This can’t be achieved to a high level by ONLY doing team trainings. You must find time to do additional training in your own time. If you have rugby training once a week you need to do one conditioning session. If you don’t have rugby training during the week you need to do two conditioning sessions. The following optional sessions are set in 2 different fitness categories, aerobic endurance and speed. When choosing which session to complete, consider your weakness (ie. What element of your fitness that needs the most work).


Aerobic Endurance

A term for someone’s aerobic fitness capacity - their ability to do prolonged exercise without fatigue. Aerobic means ‘with oxygen’. During aerobic work, the body is working at a level that the demands for oxygen and fuel can be meet by the body’s intake.


Speed can be broken down into the following components:
• reaction time
• speed of thought
• acceleration over the first 20 to 40m
• ability to hold top speed from 20 to 70m
• ability to accelerate from 70% to 100% top pace
• ability to sprint on a curve and change direction on either foot
• ability to move either segment of the body or the whole body at speed from any position be it lying
• to standing or vice versa.

Training Notes

You must always warm up and cool down your body through the use of stretching and actively slowing your heart rate down. Dynamic stretching uses speed of movement, momentum and active muscular effort to bring about a stretch. These type of stretches should be done before your training to ready your muscles for the work ahead. You should attempt to get your heart rate up before your stretching also.

Your recovery is very important when doing your training sessions. Too little or too much recovery can effect the quality of your workout so be sure to adhere to the recovery times stated.

Your cool down will usually consist of lowering your heart rate (usually done by a jog around the pitch for example) and a series of static stretches. Static stretches differ to the pre-workout ‘dynamic’ stretches in that they are generally held in one position for around 15 seconds or more.

Aerobic Endurance #1 (approx 25 mins)

Warm up & dynamic stretch. Try to run on grass or forest tracks (stay off the roads). Run hard for 10 minutes (aim to cover as much distance as possible). After 10 minutes stop and rest for 2 minutes. Run back the same route, attempting to get back to start point in less than 10 minutes.

Aerobic Endurance #2 (approx 20 mins)

6 * 2 minute runs with 1 minute recovery. You should mark out a track/trail/loop in which you can complete the course in around 2 minutes if you run hard. This will ensure consistency and give you a goal which is important when doing these repetitions. The correct pace will have been achieved if you complete the runs and state the following: “Although the first runs felt easy, I am glad I didn’t run faster otherwise I would have never have completed the last three runs in 2 minutes”

Speed #1

Warm up, dynamic stretch, and drills.

1. 2 * 4 * 15m (work:rest ratio of 1:5) with 2 minutes recovery between sets. Carry a ball if possible on every other rep, and vary your start positions eq. 3 point, crouch, on the ground, walk-ins etc.

2. 1 * 4 * 30m (1:5) 3 point start. Warm down and static stretch (very important).

Speed #2

Warm up, dynamic stretch, and drills.

1. 6 * 10m starts (explode out of a crouch or 3-point start - head down, pure acceleration).
2. 4 * 20m (walk 5m, jog 5m and accelerate as quickly as possible into the 20m acceleration.
3. 3 * 30m (Emphasise running tall and smooth with a strong acceleration phase for these 3 reps).

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