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James Milner’s guide to the off-season


“With the amount of miles you cover in one week during training and games, your body is aching by the end of the season – so it’s nice to have a two–week period where your body settles down.”


“Try out the dickie bow drill. Jog along the width of the 18-yard box. Once you reach the corner of the penalty area, run diagonally to the opposite corner. Then you jog along the other side of the penalty area and run  diagonally back to the start. Do that six times.”


What Milner lifts on the leg press

4x4 minute runs

“There’s no point doing a six-mile run. Football requires interval training. Your running needs to  be specific to the position you play.” “Run as hard as you can for four minutes, then rest for four. Reduce the rest time as you get fitter.”

“After a fortnight off, your body stiffens up. You have to get out the WD40 and get the body going again.”

Milner's top three training tips

1 “Getting fit is your primary objective during the off-season, but you need to supplement that training with work.”

2 “You don’t have to lift heavy weights to strengthen your legs, upper body and core. Start with bodyweight exercises.”

3 “Proprioception exercises improve your balance and awareness of how the body moves, reducing the risk of injury.”

1 The number of daily meals Milner has when the season is over

“I’m a bit strange during the off-season – I don’t eat much because I enjoy not having to eat. We play so many games that we’re always forcing food down ourselves to either recover or prepare for the next game.”

“People always think ‘train, train, train’, but your rest days are as critical as your training days.”

The time Milner eats his pre-match meal before a lunchtime friendly


“You need a balanced diet, making sure you’re getting all the major food groups on board.”


“Pasta, sweet potato, rice or noodles will all give you a decent dose of carbs, which give you energy for training.”

Scrambled eggs on toast

What Milner has for breakfast ahead of a hard day’s training.

“Eat plenty of fish. You can take fish oil supplements if you don’t like seafood. Chicken and eggs are other great sources of protein."

James Milner wears the Nike Magista Opus and Nike Revolution Jacket available at