Even though the Japanese footy season is drawing to a close (Albirex play their last home match this Saturday), I've been getting plenty of footy in. I still have my regukar Tuesday night session with Kawaji FC. I've also attended the Saturday night session when I've been in Tokamachi at the weekends. These sessions are great for keeping my stamina ticking over, but the best aspect is seeing how training is affecting my fitness. The most recent case in point was two weekends ago.
In the weekend, I trained with Kawaji on Saturday night, then headed up to Niigata for a training session with teh other ALTs. Ryan has been doing a lot of research into fitness training and he'd drawn up a fitness menu for the day. We started with a jog around the training pitch to warm up. Then we did sprints with reverse sprinting (surprisingly difficult). Mixed running next (jog, stride, sprint, jog) followed by boxer bastards (20 quick steps on teh spot, followed by ten squat jumps; repeat until chest explodes). Then the strangest of the lot; kangeroo jumps. Accordingto Ryan's research, to increase acceleration, you need to lengthen your leg muscles. The best way to do this is to jump, legs together, for a distance, then sprint, then jump, then sprint. I was a bit sceptical, but I had seen the basketball club students do something similar in teh corridrs at school so maybe there is something in it.
So, two training sessions in two days, I rested on teh Monday. On the Tuesday I went to Kawaji to train and within teh first couple of sprints I noticed a difference. I felt lighter and my legs felt, well, more springy. Either I'd lost a couple of kilos from last week, or this kangeroo stuff was having a positive effect. The same was true last night at Kawaji; a lighter feel and springy steps.
Another difference I noticed after last night was that my legs didn;t get as tired as they had done in previous sessions. I wonder how much this is to do with just footy training (last Wednesday I played in a futsal tournament for four hours) or whether this was to do with teh ten hoursof dancing I did at Electraglide last weekend. Either way, I feel my fitness is improving, bit by bit. Bring on Saitama!!