For a long time, endurance training in soccer was based on improving physiological parameters. This methodology comes from athletics and only aims to improve the cardiorespiratory system, differentiating physical and technical-tactical training. However, soccer has evolved toward a holistic training methodology considers together the physical and technical-tactical aspects in task design. In this regard, it is of great importance that S&C coaches know how to organize the physical load within the coaches’ tactical objectives. Such Seirul.lo established: the aim is not to enhance a specific physical parameter; players must be able to withstand the physical demands required by the game system itself and that of the opponent.  

Therefore, soccer endurance should not be exclusively considered for improving physiological parameters. Although it is not our premise, it is essential to have knowledge of physiological values such as heart rate (HR) or VO2max of our players. These parameters are referred to the intensity of the exercise. The following is a brief summary of the traditional methodology of endurance training using tables.

Pallarés & Morán-Navarro (2012) established training zones based on the improvement of cardiorespiratory capacity:

Endurance training zones in soccer (Pallarés & Morán-Navarro, 2012, modified by Guerrero-Calderon)

Pallarés & Morán-Navarro (2012) also established endurance training methods for these zones:

Endurance training methods in soccer (Pallarés & Morán-Navarro, 2012, modified by Guerrero-Calderon)


Although I have written about the traditional approach of endurance training in this post and it is essential to know how soccer affects the players’ cardiorespiratory system, it is a decontextualized training method and, therefore, inadequate, as it does not represent the real demands of soccer. The current endurance training methodology should consider the following items:

  • Specificity
  • Technical skills 
  • Playing style
  • Opponents
  • Decision taking

If you want me to talk about training methodology from an integrated approach in future posts, leave a comment or share on social networks.


Guerrero-Calderón, B., Klemp, M., Morcillo, J. A., & Memmert, D. (2021). How does the workload applied during the training week and the contextual factors affect the physical responses of professional soccer players in the match? International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching16(4), 994–1003.

Pallarés, J., & Morán-Navarro, R. (2012). Methodological Approach To the Cardiorespiratory Endurance Training. Journal of Sport and Health Research4(2), 119–136.

Slettaløkken, G., & Rønnestad, B. R. (2014). High-Intensity Interval Training Every Second Week Maintains VO2max in Soccer Players During Off-Season. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research28(7), 1946–1951. 

Solé, J. (2002). Entrenamiento de la Resistencia en los Deportes de Equipo. In Apuntes Master Alto Rendimiento Deportes de Equipo. Byomedic System.

Dr. Berni Guerrero-Calderon

S&C Coach | Rehab Therapist | Performance Analyst

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