GOLD Coast speedster Adam Saad says an off-season of training with Australian distance running legend Craig Mottram has helped him to career-best form.
Through a connection with Suns fitness boss Justin Cordy, Saad got in touch with Mottram to train in the lead-up to the pre-season.
"I feel like it helped my game massively," Saad said on Tuesday.
"I was training with him twice a week and I feel like I've improved my game and my endurance."
Saad said Mottram – a four-time Olympian and world championship bronze medallist over 5000m – had him doing 35-40 minute runs.
Saad is know for his explosive speed, but said working on his endurance was crucial to more consistency in his game.
"At the start I was struggling a bit because I hadn't run 40 minutes straight in my life," he said.
"To get that under my belt now is something I pride myself on."
Saad, 22, has played all 11 games this season after succumbing to soft tissue problems in his first two years at the Suns.
His effort to win a one-on-two contest in the first quarter against Hawthorn on Saturday was evidence of his improvement with repeat efforts.
Saad is in the middle of the month of Ramadan, where he fasts from food and drink from dawn until dusk.
The 22-year-old said it was something he does "every single year" and that the club had helped him adjust training and his diet to accommodate.
"It may sound challenging … but it's more of a mental game," Saad said.