How to Gain Speed and Run Faster in Soccer
Soccer is one of the most intense and
physically demanding games played in an open
field, and players who wish to succeed in this
sport should be able to run fast and change
direction at will, without twisting their ankles
or injuring themselves in any other manner.
What’s interesting here is that the running
requirements of soccer are very similar to the
requirements of running in marathons. You have
to keep up your speed and endurance, and you
have to continue running for long stretches of
time. If you want to run faster and gain speed
whenever you need to, you have to keep these
important guidelines in mind:
1. Proper foot contact is probably one of the most underrated components of a person’s running form and yet, it dictates whether or not you will be able to gain speed and sustain that speed when you are running. Your foot contact is ideal when you are not clomping on the concrete and your toes are not overextended with every stride. Your weight should be equally distributed throughout the foot. Most of your weight will be supported by the arches in your feet, so if the inner region of your foot is getting too much pressure, you’re doing it incorrectly. Sometimes, running shoes with extra support encourage people to maintain incorrect foot contact because you can strike the concrete and the springiness of the shoes will compensate. Your feet may not complain, but trust me, your knees and shins will be taking a lot of punishment if you do not even out your foot contact.
2. Use your arms to distribute and channel kinetic energy while running. Don’t clamp your arms closely to your upper body while running. You will only be expending additional energy if you try to limit the movement of your arms. Instead of clinching your arms at your sides, swing your arms regularly at waist level. Let the natural momentum of the run dictate the distance and force of your swings. There is no need to consciously swing your arms in any manner. The swinging motion will occur naturally because you are running.
3. Before the big game, learn to taper off your training. Don’t run too much the week before a game, and keep your miles to a low 3-4 miles per run. Unless you are training for a full marathon, there is no need to exhaust yourself with too much running.
4. If you are having trouble navigating the field because you are new in soccer, visualize what you have to do, and train accordingly. Your mind needs to be familiar with the entirety of what you have to do before you can accomplish it in the actual game. This includes the type of running needed for the game.
5. Eat and hydrate yourself like a runner. It is important that your body gets the right kind of nutrition and the correct level of hydration before and after a game. Focus on consuming as much whole food and avoid junk food as much as possible. If you need a quick source of carbohydrates, eat trail mix, and other soft and easily digestible foods.