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Ashley Young: Outrun the opposition


All you need is a full-length pitch and the pitch markings. For this exercise you can work with a partner or on your own. Start by standing on the byline and sprinting to the edge of the 18-yard box twice. When you’ve finished, your partner goes and you recover. After your partner completes his run, sprint to the halfway line and back twice, before your partner takes over. Time to dig deep for the final sprint – run to the opposing byline and back twice, before your partner takes his turn. Rest for three minutes and repeat. To progress the drill you can introduce a ball.


Traditional training methods would have had players completing mammoth cross country runs, which have no direct link to the demands of football. A 90-minute match requires a player to complete a lot of short, sharp, explosive sprints, with recovery periods in between – this is what this drill replicates. It’s not designed to help you reach top speed, but to help you complete high intensity runs repeatedly.

For more football tips see:
James Milner’s guide to the off-season
Prepare like a professional
Beef up like Bale
Gareth Bale: Boost your performance
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Maximise your training