It’s too easy to over indulge during the summer months and think, “I’ll get fit in pre-season”.
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Start that six-week slog from scratch and you’ll struggle. Not only will you be blowing after the warm-up, your risk of injury will be increased.
To start pre-season on the front foot you need to keep match-fit during the off-season, says England physio Steve Kemp.
"When you’ve been playing week-in-week-out, you have to try to maintain yourself in some way,” he explains.
“If you stop for six weeks then suddenly start training hard again, you’re in a real high-risk zone for injury.
"In the first couple of weeks you’d be looking at about 60 minutes of exercise - three 20-minute sessions that will jog your heart rate. Don’t kill yourself, but just keep it ticking over.”
"As you get closer to pre-season you want to up that doing sprints the width of the box, 85 per cent effort.
"Give yourself 45 seconds recovery, do that five times. Rest for three minutes, repeat that. Then you might up that to 100 per cent speed in the next couple of weeks."
Watch this video and find out to stay on track this summer with essential tips from Kemp.