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Beginner needs help: what should I do to run/sprint faster and longer?

Raph

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Hello there, folks.

First of all, I'm new here. So I sincerely apologize if I break any TRF rule. If it happens, it'll be unintentional!

And sorry also for my broken English!

Well, I'm a late starter in playing rugby (I'm 30 - I live in Brazil, where rugby is still a minor sport, even though it's growing really fast) and I'm having an awesome time. I absolutely enjoy every single aspect of the sport. But I really need to improve my sprint/running skills. Problem is: I'm totally clueless in how I'm supposed to improve my fitness skills.

I've going to the gym for quite a while and I've been seeing my general strength really improving lately. But when I'm on the pitch, either training or eventually playing, I lose my breath really fast. And I'm slow. I mean, really slow. I'd say glacial...lol. This is something that really puts me off and I'm really trying to come up a solution for this.

One of the things that I started doing is going jogging. It really did improve my general condition, but I'm still way too far from where I want to be. I can run for a longer period, but I still get tired faster than I wish I did. And I don't feel it has helped me sprint faster.

So, knowing that most of you guys come from places where rugby is played since early ages and aknowledging that you've got a fair share of experience in training (at least more than mine), I wonder if any of you could give me some advice in how I should train, either jogging, sprinting or both.

Thanks in advance, lads!
 

Pieter Steph du Teague

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Hello there, folks.

First of all, I'm new here. So I sincerely apologize if I break any TRF rule. If it happens, it'll be unintentional!

And sorry also for my broken English!

Well, I'm a late starter in playing rugby (I'm 30 - I live in Brazil, where rugby is still a minor sport, even though it's growing really fast) and I'm having an awesome time. I absolutely enjoy every single aspect of the sport. But I really need to improve my sprint/running skills. Problem is: I'm totally clueless in how I'm supposed to improve my fitness skills.

I've going to the gym for quite a while and I've been seeing my general strength really improving lately. But when I'm on the pitch, either training or eventually playing, I lose my breath really fast. And I'm slow. I mean, really slow. I'd say glacial...lol. This is something that really puts me off and I'm really trying to come up a solution for this.

One of the things that I started doing is going jogging. It really did improve my general condition, but I'm still way too far from where I want to be. I can run for a longer period, but I still get tired faster than I wish I did. And I don't feel it has helped me sprint faster.

So, knowing that most of you guys come from places where rugby is played since early ages and aknowledging that you've got a fair share of experience in training (at least more than mine), I wonder if any of you could give me some advice in how I should train, either jogging, sprinting or both.

Thanks in advance, lads!

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a great place to start. It involves working at a very high intensity for an amount of time, then resting for a short amount of time, then repeating. For example, one that my forwards coach showed to us was where you start of doing 5 press ups then sprinting 25 metres, doing 5 press ups and sprinting back. That counts as 1 rep. 3 reps is a set. Aim to do it 5 times. 1 minute rest in between sets. It's designed to replicate getting to the breakdown, working when you get there, and then hitting the next one.

You can substitute the 5 press-ups with any exercise (Sit ups, squats, burpees - although they'll kill you, or if you have access to one - tire flips).

To help more with what will be appropriate for your position, what position do you play?
And good luck, I hope this helped.
 

Raph

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Joined
Jul 8, 2016
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Brazil

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Brazil

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a great place to start. It involves working at a very high intensity for an amount of time, then resting for a short amount of time, then repeating. For example, one that my forwards coach showed to us was where you start of doing 5 press ups then sprinting 25 metres, doing 5 press ups and sprinting back. That counts as 1 rep. 3 reps is a set. Aim to do it 5 times. 1 minute rest in between sets. It's designed to replicate getting to the breakdown, working when you get there, and then hitting the next one.

You can substitute the 5 press-ups with any exercise (Sit ups, squats, burpees - although they'll kill you, or if you have access to one - tire flips).

To help more with what will be appropriate for your position, what position do you play?
And good luck, I hope this helped.

Thanks for the help, dude. I'm gonna give it a go and I'll let you how it works out for me.

I understand this HIIT drill will help me getting fitter, but it also works to increase one's speed?

And should I do this everyday, or maybe every two or three days?

Btw, I've been playing as a hooker and I really like it. But since I'm a beginner, I don't know if the coach has any plans for me to try something different.

Thanks for the help!
 

Pieter Steph du Teague

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Thanks for the help, dude. I'm gonna give it a go and I'll let you how it works out for me.

I understand this HIIT drill will help me getting fitter, but it also works to increase one's speed?

And should I do this everyday, or maybe every two or three days?

Btw, I've been playing as a hooker and I really like it. But since I'm a beginner, I don't know if the coach has any plans for me to try something different.

Thanks for the help!

Due to the sprinting it should help you to increase speed as well. However, as a hooker speed shouldn't be such a high priority, your fitness and skills (Lineout throwing, hooking, tackling, rucking etc.) should be more important. None the less, yes, this drill will increase speed.

How often you do it a week depends on what else you do (How often your team trains, how often you go to the gym etc.) but you should probably be aiming for 2-3 days a week while still jogging on a couple of the other days.

You say you're a hooker, a lot of your training will depend on what kind of hooker you are. By this I mean that, in the modern game there are 2 distinct types of hookers, the fast flanker-like ones (Dane Coles, Harry Thacker), or the strong prop-like ones (Dylan Hartley, Ken Owens). If you are more the fast-type then focus a lot on the HIIT stuff as well as doing more power based lifts in the gym (Power cleans, jump squats etc.). If you're the strong kind, then focus more on heavy lifting in the gym (Bench press, squats, deadlifts) while still doing the HIIT sessions, but less of them. Jogging is essential to either one, forwards are meant to be the fittest players on the pitch.

Once again, I hope this has helped and good luck to you.
 

Raph

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Joined
Jul 8, 2016
Messages
3
Country Flag

Brazil

Club or Nation

Brazil

Due to the sprinting it should help you to increase speed as well. However, as a hooker speed shouldn't be such a high priority, your fitness and skills (Lineout throwing, hooking, tackling, rucking etc.) should be more important. None the less, yes, this drill will increase speed.

How often you do it a week depends on what else you do (How often your team trains, how often you go to the gym etc.) but you should probably be aiming for 2-3 days a week while still jogging on a couple of the other days.

You say you're a hooker, a lot of your training will depend on what kind of hooker you are. By this I mean that, in the modern game there are 2 distinct types of hookers, the fast flanker-like ones (Dane Coles, Harry Thacker), or the strong prop-like ones (Dylan Hartley, Ken Owens). If you are more the fast-type then focus a lot on the HIIT stuff as well as doing more power based lifts in the gym (Power cleans, jump squats etc.). If you're the strong kind, then focus more on heavy lifting in the gym (Bench press, squats, deadlifts) while still doing the HIIT sessions, but less of them. Jogging is essential to either one, forwards are meant to be the fittest players on the pitch.

Once again, I hope this has helped and good luck to you.

Thanks for the reply. It's being really helpful! I'd definitely accept some other drills and hints, in case you're willing to share some, haha!

Regarding the kinds of hookers in the modern game, I think the prop-like one is the one that fits me better. So I'm really focusing on weight lifting. But since I have a very busy daily schedule (working eight hours Monday-Friday, then going to college and being a young married man, hehe), sometimes it's hard to accomplish all my tasks. So I was wondering if it would be okay for me to do the HIIT sessions you told me right before or after going to the gym. Do you think it's a good idea?

Thanks again for all your help.
 

Old Hooker

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HIIT's great, but a lot of people believe that it should only be done on top of a solid endurance base. And while rugby is stop start, matches also last 80 minutes....

Find someone close to you who can give specific advice, rather than asking us keyboard warriors. One final thought though - if you've identified running as your weakness, why do say that you've really focused on your lifting? To get better, focus on your weaknesses, not your strengths!

Good luck.
 
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