Using A Treadmill to Train for Soccer
Soccer players are some of the fitness athletes on the planet. During a 90-minute match a soccer player can cover up to 12km. Soccer Fit Academy informs that for 2/3 of a soccer match players will spend it walking or jogging and for 1/3 they will spend it sprinting, running and changing direction. In order to get into the right shape soccer players have to tailor their training to increase their stamina and reactions to sudden changes in speed. The treadmill is the perfect equipment for getting ready for the soccer season and is a core part of any player’s preparation.
Treadmills can be used in a multitude of ways making it essential for soccer training. The ability to sprint ahead of opposition defenders can only be achieved through building up stamina and speed over a period of time. Healthy Living recommends interval training on a treadmill as a great way to imitate the bursts of speed a player will need on the pitch. The health site writes that you should “spend 10-12 minutes increasing your pace from a walk to a fast jog, and then alternate between two minutes of sprinting at top speed and two minutes walking 0.5-1 mile per hour.”
As readers of this site will know, there are many ways to use a treadmill depending on what you need to train. Health and fitness site Live Strong notes that during a soccer match players will spend a portion of the game running sideways. The site suggests practicing this movement on the treadmill at a low speed “in which your front foot steps forward and your back foot hops up to meet the front foot.” As you master the shuffle you can increase the speed. As a counter to interval training, Live Strong also states that soccer players need to build up endurance and this should include at last 3 one hour sessions a week on the treadmill.
Both endurance and interval training are essential to becoming a successful soccer player. 101 Great Goals reported on a Barcelona paper called Sport that had the front page headline of “Walking is for Geniuses” alongside a picture of soccer superstar Lionel Messi. The paper noted that despite only covering 8.4 km in a Champions League game against English team Arsenal, Messi had the biggest impact on the match and was named man of the match. It was worked out that Messi runs an average of 7.9km a game compared to his biggest rival Cristiano Ronaldo who runs an average of 9km.
However, soccer journalist Michael Lintorn, who writes for football site Betfair who cover the Premier League among other top European leagues, believes that Ronaldo will exceed Messi in the coming years. Lintorn argues that Ronaldo has a better work ethic than Messi, as perhaps shown through the distance covered, and with Ronaldo beating Messi to the Ballon d’Or in 2016 it looks like those extra workouts on the treadmill have paid off. Yet despite the difference in the average distance covered it is clear that what makes these two players the greatest is what they do during the match in combination with their stamina and speed workouts.
The treadmill is the ideal equipment to prepare for soccer or any other sport that requires aerobic and anaerobic exercises. If you are currently a soccer player or thinking of joining the sport, be aware that off the training pitch a treadmill is the most practical way to continue your preparation.