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The RAF Football Association's top tips for rebuilding your fitness after lockdown

From 29 March, outdoor sports facilities in England can reopen, but many of us may be feeling less fit than usual. In this guest blog, the RAF Football Association explain how you can start rebuilding your fitness again as restrictions are eased across the country.

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on everyone's fitness regime. The stoppage of football, reduction of station-based circuits and lack of gym access during lockdown has forced serving personnel to undertake a lot more individual training.

Many people have embraced and enjoyed a lot of online interval training as well as really getting into running. Plus with the pressures and worries of the pandemic, running can become a genuine release and opportunity to think and reset, benefitting an athlete's wellbeing far beyond physical fitness alone.

However, an extended break from football training will have undoubtedly impacted the team's fitness. Our top three tips for building your strength back up after a break from the field are as follows:

1. Start slowly
Don't jump into the deep end by immediately attempting to return to the level of fitness or sharpness you had prior to the lockdown. You may find you need at least two friendlies and three weeks of training before you are ready for a league game again.

2. Focus on the small things
There are plenty of areas of fitness you can keep up with limited resources. For example, close control and short passing can be maintained with a ball and a small bit of space.

3. Vary your training
Running short and long distances, sprints and recovery, strength training and interval training are important areas to focus on. They all support different parts of the game and will help keep things interesting for you, too.

The RAF Football Association are proud supporters of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

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