5 simple easy steps you can follow to ensure you stay on the training pitch and not on the sidelines

Written by: Matthew Koroneos
Published: April 11, 2022

It’s nearly summer and not too long before Christmas holidays come around and schools out!

Exciting times I bet.

For most of you, this year was plagued with stop-start interruptions to your sporting or activity endeavours (how annoying I know!) and as a result of less training, you can bet your strength and fitness levels are not quite where they use to be or where they need to be for your sport.

Something I see very commonly as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist & Strength and Conditioning coach is PREVENTABLE soft tissue injuries… especially around pre-season time.

Here are 5 simple easy steps you can follow to ensure you stay on the training pitch and not on the

  1. Slowly increase running frequency (I.e. If you have been doing nothing and then begin 4-5 days of running you will almost guarantee an injury such as a hamstring/calf strain, achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis or shin splints.
    Start with 2 days per week of running and progress to 3 in a fortnight then to 4 in the following fortnight.

  2. Next is to slowly increase running duration (I.e. Don’t go from running 15-20 mins one week to then running 40-60 mins the next. 5 min increments per week is a safe progression!

  3. Do a variety of different running styles. Too often it is the case of slow steady state continuous runs. I.e. slow paced 20-30 min or 5km turtle paced jog. We need to be incorporating stop-start running to mimic the faster running speeds used in your sport. High intensity intervals such as 30 seconds of fast running followed by 30 seconds of walking/slow jogging and repeat x10 reps or even 4 mins of hard running followed by 2 mins of walking and repeat x4 reps would be an excellent starting point.

  4. Begin a simple structured resistance training program. There are multitudes of research which shows how lifting some iron significantly reduces your risk of an injury. Parents, don’t worry…. It won’t stunt your child’s growth. Evidence has shown that children aged as young as 6-8 years old can engage in some basic body weight strengthening exercises. A nice by product of lifting weights is your speed and strength will also significantly improve. My suggestion is x 2-3 days per week for beginners and 3-4 days for those a bit more serious.

  5. Work on your sleep. Random sleep routines, late night movies and too much blue light from your phone (watching too much TikTok) all disrupts your health and performance. Did you know research shows that anything less than 7 hours significantly increases your chances of injury? As young adults we want to be aiming for at least 8 hours of good quality shut eye.

I am currently working from the SPLASH Leisure Centre in Craigieburn for my business – MK Movement. If you would like to have a session to go over some resistance training in the gym or some fitness or speed technique on the athletics track, I’d love to help you out!

If you need some assistance with a tailored running, speed or gym program for your sport, then hit me up on socials (MK Movement) or email coachkoroneosaep@gmail.com for more info!

Matt Koroneos has worked in the industry for over 7 years and has spent time working in elite sporting teams such as the Melbourne Rebels as well as assisting VFL/NAB athletes with their strength & conditioning.

Check out a sample 2 week running program to try out:

2 week running program sample plan
Matt Koroneos while in training