Running to cricket success | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Running to cricket success

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Have you ever pledged to improve your cricket fitness by doing more running? If you are like me you have often failed to keep it up.

The good news is that there is a way to go running without the disadvantages.

On the surface things are straightforward: The longer you run the fitter you are. But fitness is rarely that simple.

Long runs are boring to most cricketers and its very hard on the knees to pound the streets.

But the key is this: Long runs do not train you well for cricket because they are not specific enough.

Cricket is a stop/start game that involves short bursts of fast running (chasing in the field, running between the wickets and a bowlers run up). So long running is unsuitable.

The answer to this problem is interval training.

Intervals involve many short bursts of work followed by rests to recover. You can do them indoors or outdoors as long as you have a space of a couple of hundred yards.

Here is a sample interval training workout that you can do any time of the year:

Please note, before beginning an interval training programme you will need to have a good basic level of fitness. Make sure you can run at continuously for 20 minutes.

Cricket Interval Training

  • All runs should be completed at a fast pace. After each set rest for 3 times as long as the run took. For example if your 20m run takes 5s then rest for 15s.
  • After each group, rest for 3 minutes.
  • Remember to warm up and cool down.

3 sets of 200m (followed by 3 minutes rest)
4 sets of 100m (followed by 3 minutes rest)
5 sets of 50m (followed by 3 minutes rest)
10 sets of 25m (followed by 3 minutes rest)
10 sets of 10m (followed by 3 minutes rest)

The great thing about intervals is that you can adjust the distance and rest as much as you like. Shorter distances with less rest trains your speed, longer distances and rest trains your endurance.

You can also adjust the angle of running, the start point (for example with back turned or lying down) and involve a ball for skills drills.

I will be providing more cricket specific fitness training soon, so subscribe for updates.

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[...] 1 interval-based run. [...]

[...] A well-trained aerobic system is vital for cricket but you are being sport specific, which means long slow exercise is better replaced by interval training. Intervals are harder on the body so you would probably not need more than 2-3 sessions a week unless your fitness is very high (and that, of course, includes actually playing cricket). [...]

[...] The clear solution to this is to use interval based training or SAQ cricket training to reflect this ratio, while long runs or swims have much less value to your cricket performance. [...]

[...] It’s not a technique that is right for everyone. You need to be conditioned as it is very hard work. But if you have built a base of strength and running fitness then consider forgetting about the flat and head for the hills to vary your interval training. [...]

[...] Running to success Running technique Fielding drills Combining nets with conditioning Work to rest ratio [...]

[...] best training method to use would be high intensity intervals; repeated all-out sprints of 10-60 second durations with recovery periods two or three times the [...]

[...] you know, I’m a big fan of intelligent, cricket specific fitness work. Running is the cornerstone of this for all cricketers but there is one [...]

[...] help you be a better cricketer though. For this reason I would replace slow steady exercise with interval training. I would also recommend more cricket practice and playing. If it is the off season, do something [...]

[...] Treadmills encourage steady exercise over longer periods. While this will improve the efficiency of your heart and lungs it will not improve either your speed and strength, even if you crank the treadmill up to something that feels fast. It’s more cricket speed specific to sprint on the ground in shorter intervals. [...]

Hi David, This is a very well organized website so well done! Can you please tell me what should be the standard for running between the wickets training? In how many seconds should a junior player and a first class player be running, ones, twos and threes in training? What about the volume be for training running between wickets. Appreciate your input.

these tips are good but how would you get people that are not that camited to join crickket.

What do you mean toni?


I'm looking to improve my fitness - specifically in relation to my running - that is I'm quite a quick runner say over 100m but my 2nd attempt is considerably slower and so on.

So I was wondering, what would you say would be better, the above interval training programming or the HIIT workout you linked to at

My aim is for when I'm batting and fielding primarily given I'm a spinner.

Ta much

HIIT is good for fat burning and general conditioning, intervals as above are good for cricket. So it depends on your goal.

Hmm, maybe I'll start with HIIT to get rid of the winter fat and build on base fitness level and then, go onto intervals during the season.

thanks for the prompt reply!

Let me know how it goes Arif.

Actually David I have another question for you.
The other day I was reading about Majid Haq, a Scottish player who was trialling for Warwickshire this month. He has always been criticized for his lack of fitness (a few extra pounds) and I noted that an article stated that he was due to do 20 100m sprint within a day or something along those numbers - I can't seem to find the article again but I was wondering do you know of some tried and tested methods of testing my speed endurance along those lines?

[...] Back in 2006 I answered that question with a post about the best way to run to cricket success. [...]

Hi David,
Looking at your sample workout, how long recovery time would you be looking at before you did anyother activity after completing this?
Would you be able to rest for an hour and do this again, or would it be a full days rest? This is all considering I have quite a high level of fitness as it is.


It would be pointless to do 2 of these sessions in a row in my view. That session elicits a training response and should leave you fully gassed. A 2nd session won't get you any fitter but might injure you due to fatigue. If you want to improve your conditioning, do that workout, wait a day then repeat. This will give your body good recovery time.