Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training: Why Both Are Both Important in Reaching Your Fitness Goals
Soccer is such a fantastic game because not only is it magic to watch, but it consists of such a large physiological demand on the human body.
Muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, speed, quickness, agility, power, flexibility… The list goes on and on.
Often we think of soccer as a predominantly aerobic sport. Whereas in reality, it is the opposite and there is a heavy amount of anaerobic. Understanding this and the difference between the two will not only help your game, but also the training you should do throughout the year.
Let’s take a look at both of them.
What Are the Differences Between Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise?
Aerobic activity is defined as an activity lasting more than 2 minutes, where oxygen must be present in order to generate what’s called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Often this is referred to as the aerobic system.
Anaerobic activity is defined as an activity that requires shorter bursts of energy usually lasting anywhere from less than 10 seconds up to 2 minutes, where oxygen is not present in ATP production.
This is often classified as two separate systems; the immediate energy system (0-10 seconds) and the non-oxidative energy system, or the longer energy system (10 sec to 2 minutes).
The Two Types of Endurance Training
Many believe that endurance training is only focused on long slow duration activity such as jogging or biking, but there are two primary types of endurance training.
The first of which is aerobic endurance, this type of training is important for developing a solid base endurance. This will allow the player to continue running for the length of a soccer match.
But we all know the average soccer match isn’t played at a jogging pace. There is getting up and chasing, sprinting, driving, change of direction, jumping, and bounding.
This is where anaerobic endurance comes into play. This type of endurance is higher intensity and shorter time periods with limited rest. Training the anaerobic is more sport specific, and it requires more skill.
It isn’t enough to only be able to run for a long time, as it isn’t enough to be able to sprint very quickly, it is the deadly combination of both that will create a well-rounded soccer player.
What is Interval Training?
The concept of “Interval Training” has given coaches a means of incorporating all the necessary energy system components vital to soccer performance and customizes conditioning workouts.
Interval Training involves repeated bouts of exercise (low, moderate, or high intensity) with specified rest periods.
It is possible to train components of both Aerobic and Anaerobic systems in one workout using interval work. It is wise to incorporate all 3 types of running (low, moderate, and high (sprint)) in these workouts, as this will specifically tax those energy components mentioned earlier.
So when you’re developing your own personal training regiment, or one for your team, remember that both anaerobic and aerobic are both important aspects of both are needed to reach your top fitness goals.