"If you were to play a game at the pace you'd do a 5k, you'd have people passing you out all day long"
You could run all day but if you can't get to the ball first...
Distance running is booming in Ireland like never before but with a GAA season finally in sight, it's time for the players to ditch the road running for the sprinting.
There's a big difference between a 5k run and a 60/70 minute match. Arsenal's S and C coach Barry Solan shared his expertise on Monday's GAA Hour and the Mayo man insists it's time for players to integrate some sprinting into their training programmes.
"There's been a big increase in people doing steady state running, like people doing 5ks and 10ks.
But if you were to play a club game or an inter-county game at the pace you'd do a 5k," says Solan, "all you'd have is people passing you out all day long."
"People need to be careful with the emphasis on that because really while people might cover 7 or 8k in a club game - a lot of it is jogging or walking - but it's the five or ten percent of it that's done at high speed that really what makes the difference. So a portion of high speed running where people can open their legs is needed," he added.
There's a reason why incessant laps have become a thing of the past and Solan feels that GAA players would be better served by mirroring the demands of a game, with some high intensity speed-work.
"Like, even though the high speed stuff is only a small percentage of the game, that's the difference between getting to win a ball, making space for a shot or closing down an opponent. So you're trying to get your training to reflect the demands of the game.
"Someone running a 5k at a good pace might be travelling at 4 or 5 metres a second. But someone sprinting in a game would be doing 8 or 9. It's very hard for a car to go from second gear to fifth gear, there needs to be a bit of work done there in third or fourth to get people there safely. So a bit of a high speed running and sprinting should be planned in in a common sense approach..."
"You could do that with the ball too, like say 5 v 5 in a 20 metre box. That'll be intense... It's getting the blend right. It's about getting them used to the game situations, getting their skills in - I think if coaches are turning up and running the guts out of lads, it's a complete waste of time."
Before Barry Solan made the move across the water to take on his job at Arsenal, he worked with a number of GAA and rugby teams on these shores, including his native Mayo.
You can listen to the Solan interview and much more from Monday's GAA Hour Show here.