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George Boyd: Learn to last the full 90 minutes

“I rarely feature for the full game, and even when I am on I struggle to get around. How can I improve my fitness?”
Andy Williams, via Twitter

George Boyd 
“I’m lucky – it comes naturally to me. Even at school I was good at cross country. At Peterborough, when we didn’t have the Prozone stats, I was probably covering a lot of ground, but it wasn’t as magnified as it is nowadays.

I might be naturally fit, but I work on it. At Burnley we do between eight and 13 box-to-box runs. It’s nothing different to any other club; as a pro footballer you do a lot of high-intensity training – 12 minutes is probably the longest you’ll run for.

At the start of my career we used to run for miles, but that’s changed now – it’s just shorter and sharper stuff. Sports science has brought about this change.

We train for 90 minutes and everything is done at maximum effort. You train how you play to perform at a high level.

If you’re an amateur training on a Tuesday and Thursday and then playing on a Saturday, you need to rest so that you can recuperate.

We’ll have ice baths if we’ve got a midweek game, and on Mondays we have an intense warm-down to get everything out of the system.”

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Chris joined FourFourTwo in 2015 and has reported from 20 countries, in places as varied as Jerusalem and the Arctic Circle. He's interviewed Pele, Zlatan and Santa Claus (it's a long story), as well as covering Euro 2020 and the Clasico. He previously spent 10 years as a newspaper journalist, and completed the 92 in 2017.