How Long do Athletes Prepare to be Ready for the Post-Pandemic Competition?

If the Covid-19 or Corona Virus outbreak has been successfully overcome and football competition returns, the physical readiness of the player is one aspect of concern. Is the player ready if he has to compete right away? Moreover, every competition has entered crucial weeks to determine the title.

In the usual season calendar, players are always given a pre-season period as a time to recover their physical condition after the competition. Unmitigated, as quoted in the research of Daniel A. Boullousa and colleagues for the La Liga season 2010-2011 players get a pre-season for 8 weeks (July-September) with an average duration of training per week reaching 606 minutes divided into in 8 practice sessions.

Players need time to restore their physical condition to the highest performance again. Why? Because physiologically, the body also needs time to adapt to the exercises that have been undertaken. The question is, how long does it take for the body to adapt to exercise so that physical ability returns to peak performance?

According to Anita M. Rivera-Brown, PhD and Walter R. Frontera, MD, PhD it takes at least 7-10 days for athletes to experience an increase in plasma and total blood volume resulting from endurance training. Both parameters are very useful for increasing blood distribution to cells and increasing oxygenation in the muscles that work.

Exercise can also increase the diameter of arteries which is useful to facilitate increased blood volume due to exercise. But in the research of Ylva Hellsten and Michael Nyberg, it was explained that to increase the diameter of arteries, it takes around 6-12 weeks of aerobic exercise.

Football is also a sport that requires a lot of muscle strength. In the research of Folland and Williams explained that adaptation to strength training takes at least 8-12 weeks.

In Daniel A. Boullousa’s research also explained that players need time to adapt to training. Daniel explained that within 8 weeks of the pre-season the players showed an increase in mileage on the Yo-Yo IR1 and Maximal Aerobic Speed ​​(MAS) tests. However, when viewed in more detail, the average player only shows an increase of 4.5% per week for the Yo-Yo IR1 test and 0.4% per week for MAS.

The Manchester City midfielder from Belgium mentioned this. He said that it took at least 3-4 weeks for the players to prepare themselves and restore their body condition to be ready to enter the competition. If the competition starts suddenly without time to prepare, the players will be very vulnerable to injury.

We all certainly hope that the covid-19 outbreak will be quickly resolved, all in good health, and domestic competition will be rolled out again. But if you want to hold back the competition, the federation must also give players space and time to restore their physical condition. Stay healthy and keep your spirits up.


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