I'm not a big fan of jogging in the winter to improve your cricket fitness.
I have talked about using more specific methods in the past. What type of workouts can you do to improve your fitness in a cricket specific way? Especially during the winter when you are not doing fielding drills. Here are a few examples that you can use as general conditioning workouts. Remember that these are designed to allow you to build a base to become more specific as you get close to the season. You would also need to factor in some resistance training. You need to mix things up as much as you can to stop your body adapting over time to different demands. So use different training methods, footwear and surfaces.
I'll being doing some of these workouts as part of my off season training this autumn and testing how much fitter I get as a result (or to put my lab coat on, to see how much my VO2Max improves).
- 100m Intervals - The simple staple of any conditioning plan. Run 100m on flat ground at a high intensity (not sprinting), rest for 30 seconds and repeat. To progress, increase the pace every week but keep the number of sets the same (up to 18 sets). For variation you can alter the distance, bust start with 100m as it's simple.
- 5m/3m Intervals - This is as close to jogging as you should get, and is a good way to get back into aerobic training. Run non-stop at a good intensity for 5 minutes then walk or jog 3 minutes. Repeat up to 5 sets.
- Cross Training -I'm not a fan of using bikes, swimming or rowing to improve cricket fitness as the crossover is much lower than running. However, if you are just beginning a fitness program or want some training that is less intense on the joints then use cross training. Try heading to the gym and doing 5 minutes on each machine for 15-30 minutes total.
- Circuit Training - You can use circuits of exercises to up your heart rate and maintain your strength. This is especially true if you have access to weights, a sandbag or other heavy items but you can use bodyweight just as effectively. Try 6-8 exercises for 30 seconds and a 1:1 work to rest ratio.
- High Intensity Training - This is the hardest workout on the list so should really only be used sparingly (say 1 high intensity workout per 4 standard workouts). Quality is more important than quantity and you should really go for it. Sprint for 15 seconds, Run at a good intensity (80%) for 15 seconds then Walk for 15 seconds. Repeat as many times as you can. A good measure of fitness is when you can do 15 sets.
As with any workout, make sure you get the OK from your doctor (especially the last one). I'm not a doctor and you take this advice at your own risk. The last workout is particularly intense so don't be a hero. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
If you want a more comprehensive guide to reducing injury risk and increasing cricket specific fitness, check out county strength coach Rob Ahmun's guide on PitchVision Academy.
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