I can’t lie, when I was playing in college, I knew absolutely nothing about speed endurance training.

But now that I know what it is, I damn near wanna kick myself for not doing any speed endurance training back when I was playing.

Related: The Truth about How to Increase Speed in Football

Free safety Kenny Vacarro’s rare mix of on-field speed and size makes him one of the top safeties heading into the 2013 NFL Draft. (ICON)

Today, I’m going to talk about speed endurance training in football, how you can implement it into your training regimen, and most importantly, how it can help you on the field.


What Is Speed Endurance?


Speed endurance gives you the ability to maintain top speeds over an extended period of time.

Speed endurance plays a vital role in a player’s ability to have breakaway speed.

A running back that can burst through the hole at top speeds, but can’t maintain that speed is destined to get “hawked’down” by defenders on the regular.

A db who might be able to keep up with the other teams’s fastest receiver in the first quarter, might lose in a speed battle between the two in the fourth quarter.

You catch my drift.

Related: How to Get a Faster 40 Time – Part One


Using Interval Training

One of the most common methods I’ve seen used for building speed endurance is interval training.


Interval training programs tailored for speed endurance, require training sessions where you go through high-energy periods of activity (like sprinting) followed by long rest periods.


Long Rest Periods are Critical

The long rest periods are crucial for speed endurance training.

As I mentioned, the purpose of speed endurance training is to help you run at top speeds for longer periods of time.

So in order to run at top speeds during the training, you have to get the rest necessary between sets; otherwise you won’t be able to run at full speed on the rep.

Instead of running at lower speeds for longer distances (and longer periods of time), the goal is to train your body to maintain high speeds at “shorter” intervals of time.

If you think about it, the average football play lasts about 5 or 7 seconds (I don’t know if that’s an official average, just a guesstimate).


The Science Behind Speed Endurance Training

Speed endurance training works your glycolytic energy system.

The glycolytic energy system turns sugars, like glucose, into energy.

Related: POWER Football: How to Increase Energy Levels Naturally – Part One


If your speed training a part of an organized plan, or are you “winging it?” (Courtesy: 1stringsportstraining.com)

Speed endurance training can also improve the amount of lactate that flushes out of your muscles, in addition to raising your body’s tolerance of the lactate.

In case you’re wondering, lactate is what causes that burning sensation you’ve felt in your muscles when you’re playing or training.

Here’s an excerpt from an article I read entitled Speed Endurance Training, that explains it:

The accumulation of blood lactate (from running over time) disturbs the excitation-contraction coupling and cross-bridge formation. In other words, the muscle’s mechanical properties are disturbed. The result? A decrease in force production, peak force and velocity…

I figured that it would be better to just quote somebody, other than sound like an idiot trying to explain it myself.

Anyways, both of these things help you maintain that high speed.

Related: What Everybody Ought to Know About Improving Football Speed


How long have you been training for speed endurance, or are/were you like me, and didn’t know anything about it until recently?

Leave a comment below!

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Web References:

Interval Training For Sport Specific Endurance (via sport-fitness-advisor.com)
Interval Training (via www.lovemygym.com)
Speed Endurance Training by Dr. James Meschino (via YouTube.com)
Speed Endurance Training (via sports-fitness-advisor.com)
What Is the Burning Sensation From Working Out or Running? (via livestrong.com) 

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