As with every sport, lacrosse requires a great deal of cardiovascular endurance; improve your overall fitness with these lacrosse running drills. Lacrosse players need to have the stamina to play an entire game without tiring, yet they also need speed to keep up with or break away form opponents. While adding some general running (either in the form of long runs or wind springs) to practices will help you in this area, these lacrosse running drills will add more variety to your overall routine.
- Fartlek. Fartleks are one of the most commonly used running drills for building speed and endurance in all of sports. You will alternate between light jogging and faster sprinting, but you should be constantly running the entire time. While you can designate the amount of time you spend jogging and sprinting yourself, it is best to have a partner do this by blowing a whistle, to keep you on your toes.
- Ladders. The best lacrosse players on the field are not simply fast—they are able to stop and go and change direction quickly. Like fartleks, ladders are used as a running drill for sports in general and not just lacrosse. All you need is a plastic and rope ladder that you can purchase at any sporting goods store. Practice running in between each of the ladder steps, with an emphasis on running backwards and side to side. This will help you improve your lateral quickness and in-game mobility.
- Field Sprints. Practice sprinting from one end of the lacrosse field and back as fast as you can. Possession of the ball can change in an instant in lacrosse, and a change of possession usually means the ball will be advanced to the other end of the field fairly quickly. This running drill will ensure that you handle the all the running up and down the field you'll be required to do in a game.
- Stairs. Usually reserved for punishment in practice, running up and down stairs is a great lacrosse drill. As running up stairs is more difficult than running on a flat surface, your glutes and quads will get a much tougher workout. You can either do a continuous run or sprints up and down the stairs, giving yourself a rest in between each interval.
Tips and Warnings:
- To ensure recovery and prevent injury, make sure you properly stretch before and after each of these lacrosse running drills.
- If you will be sprinting, do some light jogging beforehand to warm up your body.