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Why Running For Long Distance Is Ruining Your Golf Game

Distance Running Is Not Helping Your Golf Game

Distance running is not ideal for golf.  This is not to say you should stop running altogether, especially if running long distances is something you love to do.  This is also not say that cardio is not important.  Cardiovascular activity is, without a doubt, very important for your overall health.  But overall, distance running is the complete opposite of the golf swing.

What Is Distance Running?

Let’s first define what distance running actually is.  Distance running is a form of continuous running, typically for at least 2 miles.  It is an aerobic activity, which means there is plenty of oxygen available to the muscles so that they can sustain the activity for a long period.  Usually, when an activity is aerobic, it is done for a long duration and performed slowly.  When you think about it, walking for 9 or 18 holes is technically an aerobic activity.  So, why would distance running be bad for golf?

Golf Is More Like Sprinting

Sprinter in the blocks

Yes, you do need to have enough stamina and aerobic capacity to be able to walk 9 or 18 holes.  But my guess is, you aren’t playing badly because you’re out of breath.  That’s why running for distance isn’t ideal for your actual golf performance.

The golf swing itself is more like a sprint than it is a marathon.  The golf swing takes less than 2 seconds and most sprinting can not last more than 35 seconds.  This is because the muscles do not have enough energy stores to work that hard for that amount of time.

Train Like A Sprinter

If you train slow, you’re going to be slower.  If you train fast, you’re going to be faster.  It’s pretty much that simple.

If you’re already walking while you play golf, odds are your cardio is pretty good.  Therefore, spending more time working solely on cardio is not going to provide much benefit to your golf game.  You’d be better off working on mobility, strength, and power.  By doing intervals and performing explosive movements in your workout, you’ll get a great cardio workout at the same time without actually having to slog and spend time on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical.

If you’re not walking while you play golf because you don’t have enough stamina, you can start walking for 20-30 minutes at a time for 3-4x/week.  You can also workout as described in the paragraph above to work on improving your cardiovascular health/stamina.

Overall, most golfers are looking to get faster.  Again, if you want to get faster you need train fast.  I’m not saying don’t do any long and slow cardio, especially if you love it, but you’re most likely going to get the same benefit from doing power, speed, and strength work in your workouts if programmed correctly.  So, you might as well get the most bang for your buck by doing some jumping, sprinting, and weightlifting, which will not only improve your cardio, but also improve your golf game!

If you’re looking for more ideas on what you can do to become faster so you can hit the ball further, you can schedule a no-obligation call or in-person appointment with me for no charge at all.  I want to help you get better, so you can be your best on and off the golf course!

Here’s a link for 9 workouts that I made specific for golf performance.  You can also give these a try to really start working on your golf performance.

If this was helpful I would love to know, feel free to send me an email.  If you have more questions or any other comments, I’d also love to know.  You can send me an email directly at and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours.



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