Now we know Andy Robertson as the indefatigable engine along Liverpool’s left flank, charging down attackers and racking up assists for fun. The Scotland captain joined the Reds in the summer of 2017 from Hull City. Though he was ready to prove himself during the preseason, on the very first day of training he was faced with the challenge of the infamous lactate test.
The test involves basically running full out, getting from one set up pole to the next before the whistle blows. However, the length of time between whistles shortens with each interval, so the players need to run faster each time. Then, since that wasn’t enough fun, between intervals, the players have blood drawn from their ear to get their lactate levels tested.
Heavy running and getting blood drawn — add in a root canal, and you’ve hit my nightmare triumvirate.
Robertson wasn’t prepared for the intensity of the test.
“But I remember my first day, there was only six or seven of us because it was pre-season, so only a few of us in and Danny Ings was just coming back from long-term injury,” Robertson revealed.
“So he stayed behind and we had to do the lactate test that the Germans love, it’s basically running to your maximum. I remember running alongside Danny Ings and I was just sick everywhere! Actually physically sick.
“My medical took two days so I didn’t really eat, so I put it down to that and I was tired. Ingsy was talking to me on the way round and I could just feel it, I knew something wasn’t right. I tried to hold it in my mouth and I just had to let it go. It was terrible. Day one!”
If Robertson thought that manager Jürgen Klopp not being there to witness would spare him, he was mistaken.
“Luckily the gaffer wasn’t there and I thought I’d got away with it and he returned three days later and introduced himself, blah blah blah, and then he called me Mr. Sick Boy or something like that. I was gutted!”
The most rigorous day of preseason training is always that first one, which happened on Monday for the large chunk of Liverpool players returning from their summer breaks to begin their work.