Is Running Bad For Soccer?

kids running during training but Is Running Bad For Soccer?

Soccer players are required to stay in peak physical condition to meet the rigors of the game. Players may want to run as much as possible to build up endurance levels to outlast opponents on the field throughout the 90 minutes.

This article answers the question “Is Running Bad For Soccer?” by revealing whether players can improve performance via running exercises. We also discuss the best types of running for soccer players if any and the impact on their bodies especially as they age.

Is Running Bad For Soccer?

Long-distance running is bad for soccer players because it shows down their pace which could be determinantal to performance. Players should focus on short-distance running drills like 5-yards, 18-yards, and 120 yards to improve their speed and explosivity.

Regardless of a player’s position, running is inevitable at certain periods during the game. Impressive pace can be the difference between outwitting opponents in their half and mounting successful defense against attacks in your team’s half.

Speed could come in handy even for goalkeepers who relatively spend the majority of the 90 minutes in their goalposts. Keepers may have to act as sweepers during certain periods of the game to defend against attacks and speed can be critical in such instances.

Sweeper goalkeepers like Germany and Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer are known for displaying excellent pace in the game.

Is Long Distance Running Good For Soccer Players?

player runs on the soccer field but Is Long Distance Running Good For Soccer Players?

Running is a vital aerobic exercise that helps build endurance to play the beautiful game but long-distance running could do more harm than good. Long-distance running gets players’ bodies used to slow tempo by activating the slow twitch muscle fibers in their legs.

Eventually, the fast-twitch muscle fibers make way for the low twitch fibers ensuring that the player’s legs become conditioned to a slower running pace. This is why no premium soccer training programs rely on long-distance running drills.

Is Short Distance Running Good For Soccer Players?

Short-distance running drills are great for soccer players because it enables faster runs that create scoring chances in the opponent’s goal. The ability to outrun the opposition also comes in handy during defense since it may limit the number of dangerous chances created by the opposition.

Speed is essential to the game of soccer and the majority of players flex their superior pace in explosive runs to outwit the position. Here are a few of the best short-distance skills that can be valuable for soccer players.

  • 5-yard shuttles
  • 18-yard shuttles
  • 25-yard shuttles
  • 120-yard shuttles
  • 300-yard shuttles

Can You Play Soccer In Runners?

Soccer can be played with virtually any type of shoes including runners. However, performance is likely to be inhibited because runners are not built to offer the same stability on the field as standard soccer cleats. Amateur soccer games could be played with all kinds of shoes but there’s a reason why professionals stick to cleats on the field.

Also, referees are mandated to make sure players wear the right gear during professional games, and the use of runners may get players into trouble. The referee will likely demand that the player in question goes off the field to change into the right soccer cleats before the game begins.

Runners are common in amateur soccer games because referees are less strict on what players wear to the field.

Is Running 5K Good For Soccer?

Running 5K is not good for soccer because of the long distance which forces players to maintain a slow pace to reach the finish line. Since maintaining explosiveness throughout the run is impossible, 5K sessions can be detrimental to the player’s speed in the long run.

As previously stated, soccer players are better off focusing on short distances like 5 yards, 25 yards, 120 yards, and 300 yards. Such distances enable stimulation of the fast twitch muscles to guarantee top speeds during the 90 minutes of play.

5K distances can be run once in a while by soccer players to add variety to their training regimen but making it a staple could backfire in the long run.

Do Soccer Players Run Everyday?

2 men run in the bush but Do Soccer Players Run Everyday?

The best soccers players on the planet do not run every day because it may lead to negative consequences for their health. Players typically train 2-3 times per week and are advised to have rest days where no rigorous physical activity should be entertained.

The rest days enable their leg muscles and other body parts to recover from the rigorous training programs followed by these elite athletes. Rest also allows players to heal from knocks and minor injuries that could be picked up during training and games.

Running every day should be avoided as a soccer player or an athlete in any discipline because the long-term effects may be negative.

How Far Do Soccer Players Run?

The average soccer player runs 7 miles to 9.5 miles during the 90 minutes of play. Obviously, some positions require more running than others and usually, goalkeepers are the least runners on the field with an average of 2 miles per game.

Midfielders are known to cover more ground than other positions like forwards and defenders since the game hinges more on them. Players like Lionel Messi are known to run less than teammates but produce some of the most impressive moments on the field.


Running is good for soccer as long as players focus on short drills that help them gain explosive bursts of speed. Long distance running like 5K drowns fast twitch muscles in the legs and stimulates slow twitch muscles that slow down players on the field.

Most soccer fitness coaches focus on short-distance drills like 55-yards, 25-yards, and 120-yards to build up the endurance of players without sacrificing speed. Such drills also train players to maintain explosive speeds which can be the difference in the outcome of many games.

Players are recommended to have rest days from running and other forms of physical activity to speed up recovery from the rigors of training and playing official games. This ensures maximum performance during practice and gameplay.

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