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How far do you run in a match?

Published: 02 Oct 2009 - 13:43 by cholter

Updated: 16 Dec 2010 - 08:19

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 Does anyone know how far on average people run during a squash match? This information would be EXTREMELY useful for me. I have looked all over the internet but cant find the info anywhere. It would be most useful to know how far on average professional squash players run over the course of an entire match, but any statistic would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks guys. 

Chris

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From rippa rit - 16 Dec 2010 - 08:15   -   Updated: 16 Dec 2010 - 08:19

If you look at pertiodisation it will give you a better idea of the phases of training and why at each training phase the balance of the program changes, eg Christmas (off season) is more the long runs and building up stamina and strength, etc.

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From peacewise - 15 Dec 2010 - 23:41   -   Updated: 15 Dec 2010 - 23:42

I note this is quite an old thread but it caught my eye when i joined up and had a look around.

So off I went and did some counting of the 2010 world open match recently between Wilstrop and Matthews.

On a first count through of Wilstrops first game.
Game 1.
Wilstrop’s steps, per rally.
53. 35. 43. 120. 34. 51. 15. 21. 8. 12. 41. 30. 6. 38. 26. 61. 47. 12. 44. 34. 12. 54. 14. 28. 22. 4. 30. 19. Wilstrop wins the game 11-8 in 21 minutes.
Total 914 steps in the first game.
Change of Direction, per rally.
25. 14. 14. 53. 14. 23. 6. 7. 3. 6. 19. 17. 2. 16. 8. 30. 20. 6. 23. 15. 6. 29. 6. 10. 9. 2. 15. 10.
Total 408 Changes of direction.

As you can see Wilstrop is taking about 914 steps in a 21 minute game, with about 408 changes of direction over those steps.  So to answer the question, looks to me like Wilstrop is running about 1km in that opening game, given an average stride length of 1.09 metres.  Obviously some accuracy needs to be worked on since this is a first estimation.

But the key in my thinking is that a 1km run with 400 changes of direction!

Rather than a 'mere' 1km run.

Wilstrop is changing direction about every two steps.

In the Squash Australia level 2 coaching course I participated in recently it was mentioned that steady state running training for squash is recommended to be 3-8 km, I presume there is solid reasoning behind issuing that advice.

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From rippa rit - 05 Oct 2009 - 21:10   -   Updated: 05 Oct 2009 - 21:16

cholter - did you do any calculations?  I guess this might help calculate the number of calories burned during a game too.  Here is a calorie counter saying 840 calories per hour playing squash. As far as weight loss, I guess a lot of that would be fluid. However, weight loss over time would be significant especially playing 3 or 4 times a week. 

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From mike - 03 Oct 2009 - 17:05

I wasn't sure if a pedometer would be accurate with lots of non-step movement. I know when walking they are pretty good because the jiggle of a step increments the distance, but when playing a game stamping your foot, twisting, maybe even swinging might register as a step.

Also, the distance of a step could vary greatly compared to simple walking. A lunge will be a further than a small adjustment step, or boucing to get the feet in the right position without actually moving.

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From rippa rit - 03 Oct 2009 - 08:13   -   Updated: 03 Oct 2009 - 08:19

Mike - I like the way you have set out this diagram.  I guess wearing a podometer might be a truly accurate way of clocking up the distance - that is if it would stay on with all the movement!

I guess the tactics used will vary the distance run during a rally, eg 1 drive, 1 boast, 1 drive, 1 boast, 1 drop shot, 1 drive would mean taking the opponent to the full area of the court, as opposed to hitting the ball 5 times to the back wall.  So, as you say, to draw a numbered track of each shot on court would give a more accurate calculation of the distance covered. Mike's diagram will help make the calculation so much more accurate than, eg front, back, side, etc. when plotting the course.

Whatever, the longer the rally, and the more long and short play, the more effort expended.

A great sport for fitness and weight loss.

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From mike - 02 Oct 2009 - 15:18

I don't know, but this image I prepared may help you make an estimate. (Click for larger)

Court Overlay

Each full square is 1x1m (the diagonal is about 1.4m)

So for common movements:

  • Serve position to T ~ 1.5m
  • T to back corner ~ 3.6m (when ball bounces off back wall)
  • T straight across to side wall ~ 2.5m
  • T to slighter deeper side wall ~ 3.1m
  • T to front corner ~ 5.1m

Keep in mind that I mean the actual T marked on the floor. Most of the time players return a bit behind this point, so back court movements will be shorter, front court will be longer.

The distances I estimated refer to where the players body is likely to be for the shot, not the actual wall.

So knowing this you could watch a match (or a sample of 20 rallies) and log each movement to estimate distance per minute of play. Multiply by the playing time of a match and you should get a reasonable ball park figure. Avoid using distance per points, because some points may be played multiple time due to lets.

The amount of running could also be quite different for the two players. If I played either player in this screenshot they'd probably run less than 250m to win the match

 

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