High Intensity Training Sessions

High Intensity Training Sessions are very important for referees. Most fitness tests focus on this type of referee training. The FIFA fitness test is also called the High Intensity Interval Test  (HIIT). It shows the importance of interval training sessions. But how do you train then? Harvey Newstead, a young and talented referee from England, shares his experiences.

Harvey gets help from his referee association. They give him training schedules so he can improve his physical ability and endurance as referee. “Since officiating is an aerobic activity, you should train to optimise your aerobic fitness”, is the advice. His referee association mentions five benefits of aerobically fit match officials.

Five benefits of fit match officials

  1. Keep up with play easily for 90+ minutes
  2. Maintain a fresh mind and high level of concentration throughout a match
  3. Possess the ability to perform multiple high-speed runs when required
  4. Recover quickly between sprints and high-speed runs
  5. Recover quickly in the hours / days after hard training sessions and matches.

Rate of Perceived Exertion

In the blog post about 4 types of referee training there’s info about heart rate. KNVB advises you to measure that during your training session. Today I’ll introduce Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). It’s good to know these terms, because you’ll see them in lots of training examples. RPE is a scale to indicate how much effort it costs you. 10 means maximum physical effort (exertion), 9 very heavy, 8 heavy and so on.

Examples of high intensity training sessions

It’s always import to listen to your own body, because that is the best indication of your abilities. These examples need to be performed at your own intensity rate. But they give a good indication for everyone on how to do high intensity training sessions.

Pitch-based high intensity aerobic training (RPE 5-6)

Perform six complete laps of the following exercise (= 12 runs)

  • From the corner flag, run to the far opposite corner flag and back again at very high speed
  • Walk along the goal line to opposite corner flag between each run
  • Time yourself for each run and try to maintain a consistent pac

High Intensity Training Sessions example

Pitch-based high intensity aerobic trianing (RPE: 6-7)

Perform 2 sets of 10 runs of the exercise with a minimum 3 minute rest between sets (= 20 runs)

  • Run from corner of penalty area around far penalty mark and back to opposite edge of original penalty area at very high speed (>86% HRmax)
  • Perform a recovery walk across edge of penalty area between each run
  • Change the shoulder you turn on for the second set – so turn right for 10 and left for 10

PS: Will try to get this image later this week, but due to work it has to wait a little while.

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