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  • runners playing soccer

    Rather than rejoin the soccer vs track discussion:
    I found that my running background (middle distance HS and college, longer since then) has allowed me to be competitive in soccer games as a defender/ midfielder despite my lack of ball handling skills. There is definitly a similarity between the two regarding using the balance of speed and endurance.

  • #2
    Re: runners playing soccer

    Too much distance running can slow you down on the soccer field. You use too completely different muscles.

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    • #3
      Re: runners playing soccer

      > You use too
      >completely different muscles.

      WHAT??

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      • #4
        Re: runners playing soccer

        Too much distance running slows you down for any type of sprinting.

        However, you will still be running hard at the 90 minute mark.

        Too little distance running will find you on the bench at half time.

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        • #5
          Re: runners playing soccer

          Most of the long distance runners I knew where never really good at team sports like soccer. For one thing they had great stamina but where slow off the mark. They just did not have the ability to accelerate quickly. The thin distance runner's build is not conducive for playing soccer.

          Soccer and distance running take two entirely different skill sets. Distance runners rely on long-range stamina, while soccer players rely on short periods of speed and then slow jogging.

          Have you noticed that cross country runners where the athletes that were not successful in other sports.

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          • #6
            Re: runners playing soccer

            >>Have you noticed that cross country runners where the athletes that were not successful in other sports.

            Speak for your self. I've played many sports, yes I'm not the star or picked first, but after 30 minutes everyone is glad I'm on their team.

            I know numerous X-C runners that have excelled at other sports. Michigan HS X-C is full of top runners being the stars of their Basketball teams. Some turn to running because they are sick of the politics of the team sports. It's not always the best kids that get to play.

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            • #7
              Re: runners playing soccer

              >Have you noticed that cross country runners where the athletes that were not successful in other sports.

              Having been a cross-country runner, I'd have to disagree. Most of the guys I ran with and against were good athletes, be it fast pitch against a brick wall or hoops against the JV team. The discipline and committment needed to be a good harrier would have paid off just as well had the focus been on other sports. I never saw any basketball players, football players, swimmers, fencers, or baseball players out training before school started every morning.

              Now if you're talking cross-country scrubs, I'll have to defer to you, 15mph.

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              • #8
                Re: runners playing soccer

                Steve McNamanan (England, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Man. City) had the best engine of any footballer I've ever seen. Certainly had a middle-distancer's physique. He used to beat Curtis Robb (800m pb 1:44.92) at local athletics meets, believe it was xc.

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                • #9
                  Re: runners playing soccer

                  el g's 1st luv was soccer

                  does anything more need to be said ???

                  i will though

                  a study a while back showed that in a top class game, the midfielders/defenders ran ~ 5 - 6 miles during the course of 90 minutes - a "sprinter" woud have great difficulty doing that !

                  a good distance runner, with ball-skills is a shoe-in for the midfield/defense of a team

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                  • #10
                    Re: runners playing soccer

                    a study a while back showed that in a top class game, the
                    >midfielders/defenders ran ~ 5 - 6 miles during the course of 90 minutes - a
                    >"sprinter" woud have great difficulty doing that !

                    England captain, media whore and overrated pretty boy David Beckham was estimated to have run over 10 miles during his heroic performance against Greece i '02. Definitely feasible - and certainly never been the same player since.

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                    • #11
                      Re: runners playing soccer

                      As in most similar situations, the abilities of the individuals will color how well they perform in other sports. A soccer match is nothing more than an extended fartlek workout. Playing soccer at an early age is excellent training for running either middle or long distances, to include cross country.

                      Having had the opportunity to see some Professional indoor soccer games up close, I was most impressed by how big the defenders are in that type of game. Most were 6'2" or larger, able to accelerate quite readily, and had the stamina to stay on the floor as long as needed.

                      Of course, if the players focus is on distance running, his slow twitch fibers are getting most of the focus of his training, and that will, in fact, result in less ability to accelerate, but will make him the go-to guy in the 50th minute of the match.

                      Also, consider how cross country differs from racing similar distances on the road or track. Harriers employ rapid speed changes more frequently, and have to deal with undulating terrain. I see a strong correlation between that sport and soccer.

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                      • #12
                        Re: runners playing soccer

                        Kevin's post put it well. Physically soccer is very similar to interval training - fartlek.

                        Midfielders require incredible stamina. Yes, a 90 minute game requires approximately a 10k in the middle (some very active outside mids can run 15k). This combines walking, jogging, running and all-out sprinting. Fast recovery is required.

                        Full backs and strikers don't run quite as much as the mids. But they require explosive sprint speed - the first 3-4 steps are vital.

                        Regardless of the position soccer players use the same "muscles" as runners - the sport of soccer is running with a ball at the feet. Fiber type is another story. Since explosive strint speed is required for the backs and forwards fast-twitch gifted athletes will prevail. Mids are more like middle distance guys - requiring a combintion stamina and sprint ability (slow twitch/fast type one and two).

                        As far as cross guys being poor at other sports -that's crap! Maybe true for the back of the pack guys but the guys battling up front can often excel in other sports. As Eldrick mentioned - El G (soccer), Rupp (soccer), Webb (swimming), Hall (basketball), Scott (baseball) the list goes on. It just happens that they excel more on the track or XC course than in the other sports.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: runners playing soccer

                          >Steve McNamanan (England, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Man. City) had the best
                          >engine of any footballer I've ever seen. Certainly had a middle-distancer's
                          >physique. He used to beat Curtis Robb (800m pb 1:44.92) at local athletics
                          >meets, believe it was xc.

                          Thats pretty impressive, i had not heard that tid bit before. He was wasted in Real Madrid it seemed he was on the bench a lot.

                          It would be interesting to see if he scored a disproportionate amount of goals at the end of a game when others get more tired. Or does he just run harder all the time and get tired at the same rate?

                          There is no doubt that the fatigue will kill your ball skills so it is a huge factor.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: runners playing soccer

                            I agree fartlek simulates what the game of soccer is...

                            also, there's lots of contact and jumping in soccer so basketball has some simularities too...

                            still, soccer is more about skill than fitness...

                            being able to play one touch soccer is required at the highest levels of the game...

                            you don't really see much one touch in the american game...

                            although dc united, historically has show more than most american sides...

                            san jose probably plays the most advanced, technical style of the game, more one touch than anyone else, a lot of interchange of personnel in a variety of roles...

                            san jose isn't clockwork orange of the 1970's dutch, but they're evolving into an advanced brand...

                            new england plays more directly, with very discrete roles, and players who fill the roles precisely...

                            shalrie joseph of new england, currently a Grenadian international is the best overall player in the league...

                            big, athletic, very skilled, consummate d-mid with the ability to get forward...

                            some euro side will gobble him up soon...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: runners playing soccer

                              >I agree fartlek simulates what the game of soccer is...

                              also, there's lots
                              >of contact and jumping in soccer so basketball has some simularities
                              >too...

                              still, soccer is more about skill than fitness...

                              being able to
                              >play one touch soccer is required at the highest levels of the game...

                              AZ-

                              I agree. However, at the HIGHEST level of the game skill is essential but so is an extreme level of fitness. But, while one can get away with a little less fitness by playing fewer minutes, one cannot play at a high level without skill.

                              Your comments about the one-touch game are interesting. I do agree 1-3 touch soccer is a great game BUT dribbling skills are also required to play at the highest levels. A one-touch game requires incredible team coordination and use of space. More often we see the first touch (most crucial) to recieve, follwed by 1-3 more touches to move around a mark and find the best option. Occasionally the best option will be a run through space but more frequently a nicely weighted pass. Of course we see a lot of one touch in the middle and defensive thirds where less pressue permits the players to manuever for an attack. Also, one touch in the attacking third is beautiful to watch and is what the the Brazilians do so proficiently.

                              Because off-the-ball movement is essential for a proper passing game a fit team will have a huge advantage in the late stages of a game.

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