footballers jog
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How Often Do Footballers Jog? – Complete Guide

Jogging is defined as running at a slow pace for extended periods of time. Jogging, when done for an extended period of time, is done to improve fitness and endurance. Athletes and professional athletes frequently use it as a warm-up or cool-down to more intense exercise.

In the following paragraphs, we will look at why, how, and when football players jog. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started right away!

Benefits of Jogging

According to a Stanford University School of Medicine study, jogging increases the human lifespan and has benefits for the cardiovascular system, which include heart performance and blood circulation. Jogging has also been shown to have health benefits such as cancer prevention and weight loss.

benefits of jogging and should footballers jog?

However, jogging outside rather than on a treadmill in the gym provides additional benefits. These advantages include increased energy and concentration, as well as a more positive mood.

the ‘science’ behind it:

Jogging is an aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is any light activity that you can do for an extended period of time, such as walking, jogging, or casual cycling. Anaerobic exercise is the polar opposite. Anaerobic activity is defined as short bursts of activity, such as sprinting. Anaerobic activity cannot be sustained for an extended period of time.

Football involves both aerobic and anaerobic activities and movements. So, because football players jog frequently during games, does this imply that it is an effective training method?

Should Footballers Jog?

Football players run almost constantly for 90 minutes, occasionally walking when the ball is out of play, but mostly jogging. Football players should have good aerobic fitness because they are constantly on the move and jog a lot, and football only has one stoppage at halftime. To gain aerobic fitness, players would need to jog frequently and over long distances.

While football players do require some aerobic fitness, jogging, and long-distance running are ineffective training methods. In fact, football players should not jog at all. Long-distance running and footballers’ jogging can actually be detrimental to match performance and reduce match fitness.

Why Jogging Negatively Affects Footballers

Football, on the other hand, is a sport that rewards powerful and quick movements. This is evident when considering the best players in the world and what distinguishes them. The lightning-quick movements and turns of Lionel Messi, the powerful leap of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the explosive bursts of speed of Kylian Mbappe.

moment of truth!

Football is a “power sport” that requires a lot of strength. The truth is that jogging does not produce these results. They frequently get the opposite. Jogging can actually make football players weaker and slower. This is because muscles contain fibers, some of which are slow twitch fibers and some of which are fast twitch fibers.’

Footballers, as well as other elite athletes who perform high-intensity, explosive movements, such as sprinters, high jumpers, and tennis players, have a high proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers. They enable the fast and powerful movements required for the sport.

Harmful to football performance:

Football players who jog or run long distances actually stimulate the slow twitch muscle fibers, so they work those fibers while ignoring the fast twitch fibers. As a result, their bodies and muscles adapt and become accustomed to these slow movements, implying that their slow twitch fibers outnumber their fast twitch fibers.

Footballers who jog at a consistent pace, on the other hand, are hurting their performance on the field and should instead incorporate exercises like sprinting to maintain optimal levels of fitness and muscular development.

should footballers jog?

Do Footballers Jog in Training? 

As sports science and analytics have advanced significantly across all levels of the modern game, teams are constantly striving to prepare players for games in the best possible way. Footballers run for approximately 70 minutes of the game, according to game analysis.

But what we really mean by running is jogging, walking, sprinting, jumping, backpedaling, shuffling, and turning. The distance covered is approximately 10 kilometers, but the majority of this is done in explosive movements and sprints rather than low-intensity jogging.

Jogging is simply recovery time for football players in between these high-intensity bursts. In training, players must practice and become familiar with these explosive movements, and their fitness should be measured by how well they can perform these movements and how quickly they can recover and sprint again.

What does Training Look Like for Footballers?

Footballers will not be running the day after a match because it is a rest day. Following that, players concentrate on resistance training, which includes gym sessions with the goal of strengthening muscles. Lifting weights, squatting with weights, and using kettlebells and resistance bands would all be part of the workout. Football players would repeat this later in the week to break up the running sessions.

running; a primary training part:

Footballers will run in all other sessions. However, this running would include sprints for conditioning as well as agility and acceleration work. Sprinting in repeated sets, sprinting with resistance and from stationary positions, and then high-intensity sprinting and jumping with twists and turns for agility would be included in these drills. Jogging is a minor component of training and would be included only as part of warm-ups and cool-downs at the start and end of training sessions.

football training; adaptive to roles:

Of course, training programs are tailored to the position of the players. Sprinting drills and strength conditioning may be more important for players whose speed is critical, such as wingers and attacking players. Aerobic fitness is more important for central midfielders than for others. This means that interval training would be emphasized more, with regular sprints interspersed with periods of jogging.

To summarize, doing drills that mimic movements in a football game is essential for getting fit for football, which is the goal of training.

Do Footballers Jog to Stay Fit in Pre-season?

When the football season is over, players leave the training ground and go on vacation for about 4-6 weeks before returning to training to begin the pre-season routine. So, do footballers jog during that time to stay fit?

During their vacation, the football club expects their players to stay fit and adhere to a prescribed fitness and diet plan. In reality, each player is unique. Some may take advantage of their time off by not training at all, whereas others with a professional mindset will work hard to maintain their fitness levels and return to the club in top condition.

Interval Training 

In addition to a healthy diet, players are advised to engage in gym work and cardiovascular exercise in the form of interval training. This is transitioning from sprinting to jogging, but it can also be done on a bike.

Using the edge of a football pitch as an example, footballers jog the length of the pitch, then sprint full speed along the width, jogging the length again and sprinting the final width. This exercise can be repeated in several sets and is far more effective for football players than jogging alone.

GPS Tracking Apps & 5K Runs

Some footballers may be seen recording their runs on the popular GPS tracking app Strava. During the lockdown, Ross Barkley posted a picture of his 5k run, which quickly went viral on social media. He completed this in 16 minutes, which is an insanely fast time and the reason it went viral.

Those familiar with the app, on the other hand, noticed that the elapsed time of the exercise was around an hour, as Barkley was doing sprint sets, pausing Strava in between each set. You’d think that footballers known for their ability to run for 90 minutes, such as James Milner and N’Golo Kante, would be excellent joggers.

Central midfielders jog more than most other players on the field, but their fitness is determined by their recovery time between sprints, and the majority of their distance is covered in high-intensity movements rather than jogging.

footballers jog & gps tracking apps

the limitations:

It’s not uncommon for football players to go jogging during the offseason, but running more than 5k is unusual. Fitness professionals recommend that if football players are going to run at a steady pace for the duration of the exercise, the distance be limited to 2 miles. This means that it remains a high-intensity exercise, and most footballers would aim to complete it in 10-12 minutes, which is no easy task.


Overall, jogging plays a significant role in football games, but the sport is more concerned with powerful, high-intensity movements. Football players run a lot during practice, the preseason, and the off-season. Football players undoubtedly need to have high levels of fitness for running but don’t expect them to be able to run a fast marathon.

Sprinting paces are used for the majority of their running during preseason, off-season, and training. Examples include shuttle runs, sets of high-intensity sprinting, paces as well as quick maneuvers involving spins, hops, and twists.

With that, let’s call it a day! Fitness is a topic that can be extended in an unlimited manner, but due to our limitations, we have to say goodbye. If you want to read more, do visit our soccer section. See you there!

With that, let’s end the day here! The subject of fitness is one that may be discussed indefinitely, but due to time constraints, we must end. Visit our soccer section for more information if you’re interested. Hello there!

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