Running is Fundamental to Youth Sports

Running will make you a better soccer player!

By, Brandon Frank

Running is a foundational movement and is vital to becoming a better soccer player.  Every world class youth soccer program spends considerable time running, moving, and training without the ball…you should too!       

Here are some tips on how to improve your soccer ability through running:

Time on your feet:  A youth soccer game usually lasts for 70 minutes and most players will run for 40-50 minutes.  To prepare, it’s important to run for at least 40 minutes to strengthen your feet and lower legs. 

Interval Running:  Alternate between running faster and slower.  For example: Run fast for 1 minute and slow down for 30 seconds; run fast for 2 minutes and slow down for 45 seconds.  The target for any interval training program to increase heart rate and put the body under more stress.  Focus on breathing and recovering quickly.  Sound like running in a soccer game?  Exactly. 

Build Strength and Speed with Plyometric movements:  Add squats, burpees, one-legged jumps, jumping jacks, etc in between your interval runs or as a warm up or cool down activity.  These "cross-training" movements are very important and should not be skipped. 

Keep it chaotic and fresh:  Mix it up!  Keep doing new exercises that surprise new muscle groups.  Your body should be flexible, strong, and ready for anything.  Run on trails instead of roads whenever possible. 

Fuel:  Drink water and electrolyte replacement drinks (your urine should be clear).  Have a healthy and well-balanced diet.  Limit or eliminate fried foods, soda, and other high sugar drinks.  You can have the fastest car in the world, but it’s not going anywhere if it’s out of gas.  

Friends:  Running on your own is not nearly as fun and running with friends and family.  Find some running buddies and head out on the greenbelt or up into the foothills.

Fleet Feet Meridian is a specialty running store with expert shoe & sports bra fitting specialists.  Visit      


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