Helgerud, J., Engen, L. C., Wisloff, U., & Hoff, J. (2001).Aerobic endurance training improves soccer performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33, 1925-1931.

Elite junior male soccer players were divided into an experimental group (N = 9) that normally and experienced additional interval training as a stimulus for improving aerobic function for eight weeks, and a control group that trained normally. The interval training consisted of running 4 x 4-min at 90-95% HRmax with a 3-min between-repetition recovery jog.

The interval group was the only group that improved aerobic function. VO2max improved 10.7% and lactate threshold by 15.9%. Running economy improved by 6.7%; distance covered in a match increased by 20%; and work level (measured by HR) increased by 3.5%.

Implication. The introduction of interval training in a season of an endurance-based sport will increase the performance characteristics of athletes in competitions.

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