Hopefully all your goals were met for the pre-season and your team is ready to start the regular season. Now it is time to change your training emphasis for the in-season.
Here is an excerpt from The Hockey Conditioning Handbook chapter on the in-season. Your focus now is on maintenance.
In-Season Training Emphasis:
1) Aerobic maintenance
3) Explosive Energy maintenance
Training in-season should be focused on maintenance sessions. This is assuming you have reached the necessary fitness levels prior to the start of the season. If not, you may find there are not enough practice hours in a day or week to do everything that needs to be done. Concentrate on aerobics, flexibility, and explosive energy, regardless of the fitness levels. The game cannot be played well without these.
Following are some suggested programs for in-season conditioning maintenance.
Sample In-Season Training Programs
Aerobics is still the foundation for training. A good practice will usually have an aerobic drill package built in. Cycling and running are two common ways to do aerobic work off ice. Skiing, both water and snow, is excellent for hockey players because it includes upper body work.
Flexibility should be done daily with emphasis on proper warm up/cool down stretching before and after practices and games. Add at least one weekly flexibility training session.
Explosive energy can be done as outlined in the pre-season section. You can also incorporate stair sprints (2 steps at a time), or stair hops (up and down) using one leg only for each 5-10 second work bout.
Maintenance of strength/endurance and high energy can be accomplished by exercising at least the level attained in the pre-season. If a player’s ability to sustain high energy is still weak, players will need to do additional training. Continue to do high energy training 1-2 times per week, depending on game schedule. High energy work should not be done the day prior to a game. Try to do at least one of the two sessions on the ice.
All aspects of conditioning should be done at least to the level attained in pre-season work using programs and drills as outlined in the pre-season section. To save training time, or for variety in training, exercise circuits can be designed to meet all components of conditioning, except flexibility.
Flexibility should be done separately before and after workouts. A complete on ice training circuit is presented below.
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