"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"
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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.
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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.