Summer Running and Conditioning Plan  

Summertime fitness prepares us to stay strong and healthy during our fall, winter and spring seasons.  That being said, we strongly urge all athletes to take some time off, and the early summer is the perfect time.  Championships are over, seasons have ended, and the time to relax is here.  So please take off two full weeks, do no training; sleep and read and rest and relax.  You’ve earned it!

After that, let’s get back to the basics.  And one of the basics of all aerobic sports is running.  If you’re not ready to run, you’re not likely to perform your best and to enjoy playing soccer, basketball, lacrosse and all the other sports our team members sign up to do! In soccer, we run a whole lot; Michael Bradley, the midfielder and captain of the US Men’s National Team, has been documented to run 8-9 miles per match, and most of that is not jogging… 

Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to get on a three-day per week running program, at a minimum.  This will prepare you to handle the rigors of two to three days of practice as well as one to two games each week.  

Below is one suggested approach.  Note that in this plan, there is no specific conditioning on Saturdays and Sundays! 

This plan is separate from (ie, in addition to) the daily ball touches, dribbling and shooting that many coaches suggest.  It is also in addition to all the usual summer fun, like playing in the backyard and going to camps, which we strongly support!! ☺

Please read this over from the beginning to understand what is expected.  There are photos at the end to help with your conditioning technique.  And why not encourage your family and friends to join you? After all, it will be great to be outside together!  

Congratulations on embarking on this 10 week training plan… you’ll be well prepared to begin your coming season!  

Weeks 1 and 2

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: slow running.  

U 9 and U10’s: run 1 mile per day (slow! ie 10 min per mile)

U11 and 12’s: run 1.5 miles per day (slow! ie 9-10 min per mile)

U 13-14’s:  run 2 miles per day (slow! ie 9-10 min per mile.)

U 15 and up: run 2.5 miles per day (slow! ie 9-10 min per mile)

Tuesday and Thursday: core conditioning…Everyone should do: 

Pushups: start with 5-10 per rep

Situps: start with 10-20 per rep

Swimmers: start with 10-20 seconds per rep

Side lying leg lifts: start with 5-10 lifts on each side per rep 

Do one full rep, then repeat.  Total workout time: < 10 minutes

Weeks 3 and 4 

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: slow running. Try to add one full mile to the whole week.  Split this extra mile to add a little to each day or do it over the course of two running days but do not add it all in one day’s running. 

U 9 and U10’s: run 1 to 1.5 miles per day (slow! ie 10 min per mile)

U11 and 12’s: run 1.5-2 miles per day (slow! ie 9-10 min per mile)

U 13-14’s:  run 2-2.5 miles per day (slow! ie 9-10 min per mile.)

U 15 and up run 2.5-3 miles per day (slow! ie 9 min per mile)

Note: You should not be exhausted at the end of this running.  If you find it too much, spend an extra week at the distance prescribed during weeks 1 and 2.  However, you may also be running too fast, so consider slowing down!  

Tuesday and Thursday: core conditioning… Everyone should do: 

Pushups: increase by 1-2 pushups per rep more than what you did during Week 1&2 

Situps: increase by 2-4 situps per rep more than what you did during Week 1&2 

Swimmers: increase by 2 seconds per rep more than what you did during Week 1&2 

Side lying leg lifts: increase by 1-2 lifts on each side per rep more than what you did during week 1&2 

Do one full rep, then repeat.  Total workout time: < 10 minutes

Weeks 5 and 6

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: same distance as weeks 3&4, this time slow running, with 20-30 second pickups on Monday and Friday. Pickups are bursts of speed, as fast as you can go.  Try to do one burst every half mile.  Thus, if you’re running one mile total in a day, you’ll run slowly to get warmed up, then run as fast as you can to complete a half mile, then run slowly again, then one more 20-30 second burst and finish up your last half mile.   If you’re running 2.5 miles, do five total bursts over the course of your run.

U 9 and U10’s: run 1-1.5 mile per day (when not doing pickups, go slow! ie 10 min per mile)

U11 and 12’s: run 1.5-2 miles per day (when not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9-10 min per mile)

U 13-14’s:  run 2-2.5 miles per day (when not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9-10 min per mile.)

U 15 and up run 2.5-3 miles per day(when not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9 min per mile)

Tuesday and Thursday: core conditioning … All: 

Pushups: increase by 1-2 pushups per rep more than what you did during Week 3&4 

Situps: increase by 2-4 situps per rep more than what you did during Week 3&4 

Swimmers: increase by 2 seconds per rep more than what you did during Week 3&4 

Side lying leg lifts: increase by 1-2 lifts on each side per rep more than what you did during week 3&4 

Do one full rep, then repeat.  Total workout time: < 15 minutes

Weeks 7 and 8

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: same distance as weeks 3&4, and this time slow running, with two 20-30 second pickups per half mile on Monday and Friday.  Thus, if you’re running one mile total, you’ll run two 20-30 second bursts per half mile, or four bursts total.   If you’re running 2.5 miles, do ten total bursts over the course of your run.

U 9 and U10’s: run 1-1.5 mile (if not doing pickups, go slow! ie 10 min per mile)

U11 and 12’s: run 1.5-2 miles (if not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9-10 min per mile)

U 13-14’s:  run 2-2.5 miles (if not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9-10 min per mile.)

U 15 and up run 2.5-3 miles (if not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9 min per mile)

Tuesday and Thursday: core conditioning

All: 

Pushups: increase by 1-2 pushups per rep more than what you did during Week 5&6 

Situps: increase by 2-4 situps per rep more than what you did during Week 5&6 

Swimmers: increase by 2 seconds per rep more than what you did during Week 5&6 

Side lying leg lifts: increase by 1-2 lifts on each side per rep more than what you did during week 5&6  

Do one full rep, then repeat.  Total workout time: ~15 minutes

Weeks 9 and 10

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: same distance as weeks 3&4, and this time slow running, with three 20-30 second pickups per half mile on Monday and Friday.  Thus, if you’re running one mile total per day, you’ll run three 30 second bursts per half mile, or six bursts total.   If you’re running 2.5 miles per day, do 15 total bursts over the course of your run.

U 9 and U10’s: run 1-1.5 mile (if not doing pickups, go slow! ie 10 min per mile)

U11 and 12’s: run 1.5-2 miles (if not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9-10 min per mile)

U 13-14’s:  run 2-2.5 miles (if not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9-10 min per mile.)

U 15 and up run 2.5-3 miles (if not doing pickups, go slow! ie 9 min per mile)

Tuesday and Thursday: core conditioning… everyone should do: 

Pushups: increase by 1-2 pushups per rep more than what you did during Week 7&8 

Situps: increase by 2-4 situps per rep more than what you did during Week 7&8 

Swimmers: increase by 2 seconds per rep more than what you did during Week 7&8

Side lying leg lifts: increase by 1-2 lifts on each side per rep more than what you did during week 7&8  

Do one full rep, then repeat.  Total workout time: ~15 minutes

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See below for photos to demonstrate core conditioning.    

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Pushups: hands slightly wider than shoulder width, keep back straight, go all the way down to touch chest on floor but do not rest until back in the “up position”

Situps: support feet under couch or other stable furniture, flex stomach muscles to bring head to knees, then back to lying where you relax all the way down to floor before beginning next situp.

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Swimmers: while lying prone on the floor, lift arms legs and head off floor, then flutter arms and legs up and down for full count of your rep.

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Side lying leg lifts: lay with head supported, bottom leg supporting you in front of your body, bring upper leg to full extension then back to touch but not rest on bottom leg.