Drills and Advice to improve your Endurance with Mendo Fitness

Drills and Advice to improve your Endurance with Mendo Fitness

Skill is hugely important obviously, but sport, by and large, comes down to who has the better endurance. Who can run faster, for longer, and come out on top. 

Pre-season is the perfect time to build that foundation of speed and endurance. Using our soccer GPS tracker, Apex Athlete Series, you can monitor your total distance, max speed, amount of high speed running and heat map in each training session and game, making sure you don’t get left behind.

As pre-season continues in earnest, we asked Dave Mendonca of Mendo Fitness for his top drills and advice for improving your aerobic endurance.

Box to box /Aerobic runs

This drill incorporates all the facets you need in a match with bursts of speed, jogging and walking.

Run continues from 18-yard box to other 18 yard box for 40 seconds at 60/70% speed, then walk for 20 seconds. Then sprint for 20 seconds, at 90% speed, followed by a walk for 10 seconds.

  • 4 reps = 1 set
  • 90 seconds rest between sets
  • Attempt 2 sets
  • 15 mins total.

3-2-1 interval runs

Run for 3 minutes around a pitch, aiming for 60 seconds a lap, resting for 1 minute. Run again for 2 minutes, then rest for 2 minutes. Then run for 1 minute, rest for 3 minutes. Repeat for one more set. 12 minutes in total.

This training will help your body deal with high levels of lactic acid in your muscles and sustain a high workload.

This means come pre-season or game time you will be able to sustain a high intensity as you train at a higher level in training.

Speed and speed endurance

This drill will help you hit max speeds for longer as you’re replicating match speeds in training.

  • Sprint to 18-yard box, max speed, walk back recovery.
  • Sprint to half-way, walk back recovery.
  • Sprint full length of pitch, walk back recovery. 2/3 sets, no recovery.

Interval training


This drill works the players for a set time period and then an equal time period of rest.

Football being an intermittent multi-directional sport involving high intensity movements such as sprints that are then followed by walking or jogging, before again high intensity occur again.

Interval training is an effective training method to develop match fitness and endurance levels:

  • Run from 18-yard box to half way and back in 15 seconds, 15 recovery.
  • Run to 18-yard box to half way and back to goal line and 6 yard box in 15 secs, 15 recovery.
  • Run to other side of the half-way D and back to 18 in 15 seconds.
  • Repeat 1,2,3 again. 6 sprints in total. 1-minute recovery. 2/3 sets.

Max speed drills

How can you expect to hit top speeds and last 90+ minutes if you haven’t achieved it in training?

This max speed drill will enable you to sustain high level sprints for longer in a game, as the recovery time is low, so you will be conditioning your body to cope with higher stress and workloads, with short recoveries like in a match.

  • 8 x 40m 90% effort ( 40 rest)
  • 10 x 20m 100% effort ( 40 rest)


Gym work

Circuit training is great as you can again work for bursts of speed and active rest.

Plyometric training is great for building explosive power and speed.


Rest and recovery is essential when working at such a high level.


Nutrition is key for recovery, sustaining energy levels and staying fit and healthy.

For more fitness drills and tips, you can follow Dave on Instagram and Twitter. And you can get your own soccer GPS tracker, Apex Athlete Series, here.