THE importance of running for boxing is undoubtedly high. A well planned and correctly executed running program will have a direct correlation with your success inside the ring.
It provides the fighter with that crucial stamina. The footprint for endurance, movement, speed and even power. Running is our most basic and natural exercise. But don’t let that be overlooked. Modern fighters have grown to cross train and mix their training methods; which, proven through sports science, shows good results. However do not neglect your road work!
Running although primarily a lower body exercise, brings your arms and core into play – similarities to boxing, clearly evident. Try running with some light wrist or hand weights and you will soon realise how much your arms are used during a run.
Often a go-to exercise to trim fat and muscle from a fighter and keep him or her in a desired weight class. Long distance running can help slim your legs down too (overly bulky legs in boxing, especially in the lower weight divisions, are usually seen as a hinderance and disadvantage).
Be sure to mix up your runs. Change the tempos, distances, recovery times and intervals. Variation is the spice of life and to fight through different gears will require you to switch up your training. By not adjusting to one type of run, your body will be constantly adapting to different stimulus and grow stronger in a wider range of areas.
Running schedules can vary greatly between different weight classes and level of fighters, for example a novice four-round fighter would not be expected to run the same amount of time as a championship level 12 round fighter. So taper your running schedule to fit your needs.
Approaching a fight, a typical weekly format would be 2x moderate pace long distance runs, 2x higher tempo runs and 1x sprint session. (When starting sprint sessions, build up the intensity so as to let your body adapt, start at 60-70% maximal effort and build up over the course of a few weeks.)
Here is an example of a tempo/sprint run that can be used to build speed, power and endurance. This session can be completed solo, but I recommend training with a similar level partner. Even better would be two pairs for competition!
Known as the 20m x4, x4, x4:
Set up 2 cones 20m apart. On the whistle 1 person from each team will run to the cone and back, twice (sprinting 80m in total) they will then tag their partner who will then go on to do the same. Repeat this a total of 4 times. Myself and my running partner aim to finish a set in around 2minutes. Then take a 2minute recovery (walking recovery, do not let legs seize up) before repeating again. Complete this 4 times. Good luck!
Frank Buglioni is the new British light-heavyweight champion