Should I complete sprints or long distance runs to get ready for rugby?

Rugby is a multi-directional sport that requires athletes to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction multiple times during a game. Only focusing on distance training will neglect appropriate conditioning for the proper energy system a rugby player uses for the majority of the game. It is a good idea to build a cardiovascular base before engaging in more rugby-specific conditioning. Focus on longer, slower distance training early in an off-season program to establish a foundation. Once a proper foundation is established, it is wise to incorporate sport-specific cardiovascular conditioning exercises along with speed, agility, and quickness drills. Remember to maintain a high level of quality while doing speed and agility work. By ignoring quality, faulty movement patterns and bad habits will develop. As the quality of movement increases and recovery time decreases, volume or quantity can be increased. Set up circuits that require moments of bursting and constant movement for different durations during conditioning sessions. Doing this will increase a player’s suitability to rugby’s demand for bursts of speed and change in direction throughout the game.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.