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My name is Dardan. I am 16 years old and I am a good football (soccer) player who has been linked with academies. The main part of my game is my dribbling, and for this, I have always been very fast and could accelerate very well. This was when I was 12 - 13 ish and younger.

Now, I can't seem to sprint. I can't accelerate, I can't reach my top speed. I don't have that energy, explosiveness that I once had, anymore. My legs always feel heavy in matches. I see people my own age in my school and my football club still accelerating and sprinting, while I am slower and heavier.

I don't know why. Nothing major happened to cause this. I just have somewhow slowed during the last few years.

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  • What kind of training do you do specifically for running? You probably are much faster than when you were 12-13, but your contemporaries have been training more heavily, keeping their bodies lean, and taking their training more seriously. – Eric Nov 20 '14 at 19:23
  • Well the thing is firstly, is that my 'contemporaries' are just about everyone. Not just players. I can't run at my full. I do the same training as them, we just play football, all the same. I thought maybe it is because I overdo it because I train Monday, sort've play tuesday, play wednesday, train thursday, REST FRIDAY and then play matches on saturday and sunday – Dardan Bajraktari Nov 20 '14 at 20:52
  • Other than that, training with my school and club, I don't do any running training or sprint training. And neither do my friends. – Dardan Bajraktari Nov 20 '14 at 20:53
  • I just don't feel light anymore. My legs, especially in the thigh, feel heavy. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR REPLYING! – Dardan Bajraktari Nov 20 '14 at 20:55
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You should probably get checked out by a doctor just to make sure you don't have any type of illness or ailment that needs to get treated medically; there are some nasty things out there that can present themselves as heavy legs.

Assuming you get a green light from your doctor, you may need to adjust your training a bit. You're probably either over or under training. It's hard to tell from just hearing your situation because plenty of runners manage (and do well) running six or seven days a week, and plenty of others run every other day to give their bodies some time to heal up.

Some options you may want to consider:

  • Take a week off. Go for walks, but don't play anything or train anything. Often times when you're training hard a week off can do wonders for addressing nagging problems.
  • Sprints / shuttle runs. These are really hard on your body, but in particular hill sprints can really turn you into a rocket ship when it's time to hit the gas pedal.
  • Plyometrics will help with your power output.
  • A jump rope would be a cheap investment as well.

You want to beat up your body enough to cause adaptation, but not so much that you over stress beyond what you can physically repair. If you start training harder, stay on the safe side and put in more complete days off.

It's worth remembering that you get slower and weaker when training, you get faster and stronger recovering from training.

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  • Thank you very much eric for your information. It has been very helpful. Thank you – Dardan Bajraktari Nov 20 '14 at 22:51
  • @DardanBajraktari , if you consider an answer as helpful you can give it the little plus arrow there, and hit the checkbox. You may want to wait a day or so to mark it complete until you hear from other people; your call. – Eric Nov 20 '14 at 23:16

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