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Fuel Mix Fitness > Introduction

Football is not a continuous steady state sport - there are frequent changes in running speed and intensity of effort, plus various strength and power movements like tackling and jumping. Players, therefore, require a 'fuel mix' of aerobic and anaerobic energy to sustain performance. The aim of fuel mix training is to develop a capacity to generate energy and resist fatigue, so players can perform effectively for the duration of the game. The following table illustrates the typical movement activities during high level game:-

Football acitivities Typical Percentage
walking 33%
walking backwards 6%
jogging 38%
running at 3/4's pace 20%
sprinting 11%

The intensity and the duration of an activity determines the extent to which each energy system is used. In general, certain activities can be classified as being fueled by aerobic or anaerobic energy...

Aerobic acitivities Anaerobic activities
most tackling and contact situations
walking backwards
accelerating and changing direction quickly
running at speeds less than 3/4's pace
running at speeds greater than 3/4's pace

The energy systems do not work in isolation - more often than not players rely on a fuel mix of anaerobic and aerobic energy at the same time

Aerobic Training
A sound level of aerobic fitness provides a platform for fuel mix conditioning. If you are unfit do not start your fitness plan with fuel mix drills - focus initially on aerobic (steady state) exercise and progress to interval training.. However, there is a limit to the level of fitness that can be achieved through steady-paced training - this develops the aerobic energy system and as we can see from above, it is vital that training also develops the anaerobic system.

The most effective method for developing fuel mix fitness for football is small sided games and interval training. These training modes can be predominantly aerobic or predominantly anaerobic. For example, the main fuel for 10 x 50m sprints with a 2 minute rest is anaerobic fuel, while 2 minutes of hard running seperated by 1 minute of walking relies more on aerobic energy. More examples of fuel mix fitness drills are provided in the Football Fitfiles.


© Fitness 4 Football 2008. Fitness 4 Football is owned by Better Football Coaching, trading name of Newsletter Publishing Ltd. The author and Newsletter Publishng Ltd take no responsibility for injuries caused by attempting the exercises presented on this web site. Newsletter Publishng Ltd recommends that you always learn new exercises under the guidance of a professional and consult your GP before you start

Fatigue is often the limiting factor during the latter stages of a match - with a high level of fuel mix fitness, players are better able to perform effectively until the final whistle
Focus on fuel mix drills that require a mix of aerobic and anaerobic energy such as small sided games and interval training.
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