Friday saw Spartak players take attempt one of the hardest pre-season drills: the Yo-Yo Endurance test. This is a type of shuttle running, where the participants gradually increase their speed, based on the computer programme signals - a variation of the beep test. The physio closely monitors the players’ indicators and determines their physical readiness. At every subsequent level of the test the number of participants shrinks until only one is left.
The coaching staff also held the usual theory session. Tactical details aside, the main focus was on the practical use of every drill: which in-game aspect it enhances, which muscles it affects and so on.
For the Yo-Yo test the team broke up in two groups. The goalkeepers didn’t take part in it and were instead working together with Daniel Tudor. Bocchetti, Eschenko, Gigot and Fernando, still going through their recovery, were also left out.
Aleksandr Tashaev clocked the best result in the first group, while Roman Zobnin and Leonid Mironov were the finalists in the second, with the latter eventually going on to win. He then took time to answer a few questions from our press office.
— How are you feeling? Need a lot of time to recover?
— Couple of minutes and I’m alright. I’m familiar with this test, we do it every year. Especially taking into account this is my strong suit.
— Not everyone knows how the Yo-Yo test works. Can you explain it?
— We sprint through a number of short distances, gradually increasing our speed. The main performance indicators the coach looks at are pulse and distance covered.
— The first pre-season tour is the most important, functionally speaking?
— Yes, we lay down the marker, get into the swing of things. We need to up our physical condition right now. Then we’ll work with the ball more and more.
— Is it the norm for you, winning at this particular test? Or did you outdo yourself today?
— There were exceptions to the rule, but generally I clock the best time every year!