[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Training during the Christmas/New Years Period.
You have just completed an intense block of training pre-Christmas working on building up some volume and hitting some good speeds throughout drills while always working on the skills, often involving kicking the ball at speed over 50m. Some sessions building up towards the 9-10km session distance.
Now the club has given you a “break” over the Christmas/New Years period varying anywhere from 2 – 6 weeks “off”. There are a couple of ways in which you can view this period of time:
• A well earned break after an intense training block – enjoy yourself over the Holiday period
• Don’t stop training and maintain the really high training loads throughout the period
• Getting a balance between enjoying the holidays and completing the required training
Personally, I like option 3 – you have been given a break from training at the club but are still required to complete training in your own time- but this doesn’t mean you can’t relax a little bit and enjoy the holidays with friends and family – getting the balance correct is crucial though.
If you don’t do anything during your break from the club, you have pretty much wasted all of the hard work you put in pre-Christmas……. Losing the training improvements quite quickly. But the biggest downside of not completing the required training over this break is the increased risk of injury on returning to the club.
The first 2 weeks after the holiday break can be a scary time for your club, as you don’t really know how the players are going to come back. Ideally you should be able to kick off training at a pretty similar volume to where you finished pre-Christmas – and building the speed/ change of direction over the first 1-2 sessions. But……. Those that have done nothing over the holidays are at a massive risk of breaking down because they won’t be able to cope with the big jump in their training loads (their acute to chronic training load ratio….no good…..).
Once again a couple of ways to view this issue:
• Back training right back off and cater for those that haven’t done anything, taking 2-3 weeks to build back to any real intensity or volumes.
• Set a clear standard an expectation that as a club we can’t sit around and wait for the slackers to catch up. It is the individual’s responsibility to come back in good condition. Allowing training to start at a much higher intensity – progressing towards Round 1 much quicker.
So we have established that during the holiday break you need to have a balance between training and relaxing with friends and family, but what exactly should the training involve?
Yes, running volume is certainly important and the key part to this block. Strength work, speed, change of direction and kicking are critical elements to include though! Getting all of these elements ticked off during the break certainly makes the transition back to normal club training 100 times easier.
Maintain your strength training completing 2-3 sessions per week – a stronger athlete is a better athlete and they are more resilient to injury!
At least twice per week complete 4 x 20m accelerations – easiest time to do this is after your warm up for the main running block. And once per week complete some higher speed work over 40-60m gradually building pace to be a top speed by 50m mark.
There are a variety of basic change of direction drills you can do using the goal posts, goal square or a partner. Any drill where there is forwards, backwards and lateral movements will help.
Kicking is essential during the break but often you don’t have someone else to kick with, so see below for a couple of drills you can complete yourself, while also getting some conditioning out of the drill.
The Holiday break is a crucial part to the whole season mess it up and it delays everything else. In saying that, enjoying the holidays with family and friends because it is a long season with minimal rest until September – just make sure you get the balance right between holiday and training!
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