Why Pitchers Should NOT Run Long Distance

As a college baseball player and strength coach, my biggest pet peeve is watching pitchers condition immediately following starts and in between starts. It amazes me that many coaches still believe that long distance running will increase stamina and help the recovery process. Pitching is a very fast and explosive movement.If you want to be fast, you need to train fast. If you train slow you will be slow!
Why Long Distance Running SUCKS
  1. Will lead to overuse injuries because your joints take a pounding.
  2. Very boring and monotonous
  3. There is no lactic acid buildup after pitching
  4. Trains the WRONG energy system-
  5. Trains you to be slow
Solution
Conditioning for any sport is a matter of training the correct energy system and this has to do with the work to rest ratio and the physical demands of the sport. Pitchers perform a very explosive movement and then rest 20 seconds or so before they throw again. Since long distance running trains the aerobic energy system, and the phosphogen energy is the predominate one in baseball, long distance running has absolutely no carry over to baseball. Instead baseball players should train more like sprinters, not like cross country runners. Other than all out sprints, pitchers can perform hill sprints, prowler pushes, sled drags and battling ropes. These forms of conditioning are absolutely brutal and will build mental toughness.


Joe Meglio

Performance Enhancement Coach

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