How Long Should a Soccer Player Run on a Treadmill?

Soccer players have to keep fit because they cover lots of miles in a single game. If you have been to a soccer match, you have seen professional players always in motion, either running or walking, even when they don't have the ball. So how long should a soccer player run on a treadmill?

According to sports stats by NBC, the average distance a player can cover within 90 minutes of soccer ranges from 7-9.5 miles. However, some have covered less distance while others more depending on the player's position. Midfielders are always chasing the ball and are most likely to cover more distance.

During training, soccer players should replicate the time they run on the pitch or even more to have match fitness and endurance.

Treadmill Exercise for soccer players
Soccer players use the treadmill for their runs, jogs, and walks during training. But the focus isn't so much on developing running skills. Here is how you can prepare for a match when running on the treadmill.


Speed is essential to soccer because you need it when chasing or running away from an opponent. According to a study published by pubmed, interval training is the best way a player can improve their speed, distance covered, and performance.

The ideal workout is performing four sets while running at 90-95% of your heart rate capacity for four minutes. Then, finish the routine with a 3-4minute jog to aid your recovery.

This is the equivalent of running 6-7 miles per hour within four minutes and winding it up with a four-minute jog at seven miles per hour.


Soccer players that play the full 90 minutes need the endurance to perform at the highest professional level. To improve endurance, you can run on the treadmill thrice a week, ranging your average speed from 45-60 minutes.

You can adjust your speed or time on the treadmill with time so that you can be able to cover more distance during the match day.


All soccer players need acceleration when chasing after the ball. You need to be able to reach your maximum speed within the shortest time possible. Consider this five-minute treadmill workout.

Start running at your comfortable pace, then gradually adjust the speed to a point where you can't run much faster. Try to keep the pace for the longest period that you can and slowly reduce the pace to a comfortable speed.

You can repeat the same process after 2-3 minutes.

Sideway Running

Soccer is a game that demands players to possess full mobility of their bodies. Part of the movement includes running sideways. You can practice this run on the treadmill to help you improve speed, mobility, and balance.

To get the best practice, start at a slow speed. At least 1-2mph; increase the speed with time as you master the technique. You can make it even more interesting by including a shuffle motion.

Place your leading leg forward and hop the hind to meet the front foot. Adjust the speed if you feel that you have control and balance. For the sideway running, ensure that you switch sides and give each foot an equal time on the treadmill as the lead leg.

Should Soccer Players Run or Jog on the Treadmill?

Should Soccer Players Run or Jog on the Treadmill
Despite soccer being a game that requires lots of walking and running on the pitch, it also requires powerful and drastic movements consistently. Therefore, running for longer periods on the treadmill can negatively affect you and make you weaker and slower match day.

Long-distance running for soccer players makes their body get used to a slow tempo, which triggers the slow-twitch leg muscle fibers. As a result, this weakens the fast-twitch leg muscle fibers making the player slower.

Like sprinters, tennis players, and high jumpers, soccer players need to be explosive and have powerful bursts when running after the ball to score or defend. Therefore, they need the fast-twitch muscle fibers in plenty.

Soccer players can run during training, but they should consider high-intensity interval training to help boost their stamina and power.


Part of a soccer player's training program should include running and walking on the treadmill. However, it isn't a question of how long a soccer player should run on a treadmill but instead focus on high-intensity and practical training.

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