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Durkin's Drills

This is an excerpt of an article with STACK Magazine (April 2006) on Anaerobic Conditioning.

The following are some example conditioning drills to work on “flat out conditioning.” Choose one drill per training session three days per week

Conditioning Drill #1
  • Run 4 100-yard sprints at 75%, rest 30 seconds between each
  • Rest 2-3 minutes
  • Run 4 70-yard sprints at 85%, rest 30 seconds between each
  • Rest 2-3 minutes
  • Run 8 40-yard sprints at 100%, rest 30 seconds between each
  • Rest 2-3 minutes
  • Run 1 100-yard sprint at 100%

Conditioning Drill #2
  • Sprint 20 yards to line and back in 20 seconds or less
  • Rest 45 seconds
  • Repeat 10-16 times

Conditioning Drill #3
  • Set up 6 cones in zigzag pattern
  • Place speed ladder 10 yards away
  • Sprint to first cone
  • Jump laterally over cone 3 times, sprint to next cone and repeat jumps
  • Repeat for all 6 cones
  • Sprint to speed ladder and perform a given pattern
  • Sprint out of ladder and catch a ball
  • Rest 60-90 seconds

Repeat 4-6 times

Coaching Point: You can diversify this drill by shuffling, running backwards, jumping on one leg or performing plyo pushups at each cone. Also vary the foot quickness drills through the ladder and the pattern you run after you get through the ladder.

Flat out conditioning:  (Try this) (Choose only one)
Other Conditioning Drills:
1.  Stadium Steps:  20 minute

2.  Conditioning Drill
  • Sprint 100 yards (walk/jog back)
  • Sprint 90 yards (walk/jog back)
  • Sprint 80 yards (walk/jog back)
  • Continue this until you go all the way down to 10 yards
  • Finish with one 100 yard sprint

3.  Conditioning Drill
  • Treadmill Sprints at various inclines
  • 5-10 sprints between 30-60 seconds. (If trying to train at lactate threshold, sprints will be between 90 seconds and 2 minutes)

4.  Conditioning Drill
Run 10 110’s (Rest time is 1:3 work:rest ratio)

How do you perform these drills and how often should they be done?
I really try to emphasize speed, agility, and quickness drills and make that part of anaerobic conditioning with my athletes. I will incorporate this work with plyometrics on the field 3 times per week in the off-season and 1-2 times per week (depending on the sport) during the season. Remember, each of these drills can be modified to make it more or less difficult so you can certainly do agility drills consistently throughout the season but you would just want to decrease your volume and keep the intensity high.

Anytime we can add in a ball so there is a catching or throwing aspect, I will incorporate that also. Additionally, trying to add a stimulus so the athlete has to react is even more applicable to sport (verbal cue, visual cue, kinesthetic cue, etc.)

Is there a progression to these drills that should be taken over the course of the off-season?

I like to start adding the resistance sprints, parachutes, bungees, etc. after about a four-six week base has been established. This increases the intensity and gives the athlete an additional challenge which keeps it fun. I typically do 5-6 agility drills (after some ladder work) and 3-4 speed drills (Depending on the day, we may emphasize more acceleration speed, more top end speed, or more deceleration. I will often give them one or two conditioning drills at the end of a workout but do like to vary this.  The speed drills are often preceded by a few different technique drills for form (wall marches, arm swing drill, skipping, etc.) I think it is important to recognize when working on speed if it is acceleration you are working on, top end speed, or deceleration.  The form/technique does vary on these aspects and you do want to spend time teaching on the various aspects of technique of these. Yes, our drills eventually incorporate all of “speed”. But you do want to break down speed into its components and teach them distinctly. My workouts are normally 45 minutes in length.

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