Boxers need the endurance to stay in the ring until that final bell. Finely tuned skills and pure punching power mean nothing if you can’t outlast your opponent. One of the best ways fighters can increase their endurance is cardio training – specifically, running.
Running for boxers is a critical element of roadwork drills that include long-distance running, jogging, and sprints. Professional boxers know that running translates to improved boxing performance. As the legend Muhammad Ali once said:
“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses—behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Is Running Good for Boxing?
Running is great for boxing, that’s why it is such an important aspect of boxing training. Building endurance is one of the main reasons boxers do roadwork, but it is far from the only benefit. Running is a way to prepare both body and mind for the challenges of a fight.
Benefits of Running for Boxers
Builds Endurance & Stamina
Running is one of the best exercises to increase endurance and stamina, especially through long-distance training.
Improves Cardiovascular System
Running strengthens the heart and lungs while increasing oxygenation levels throughout the body.
Strengthens Lower Body
Running builds muscle throughout the legs, abdomen, and lower back.
Long-distance running can be especially challenging, providing a great opportunity to practice commitment and find the fortitude to fight your way through.
Enhances Mental Clarity
Much like boxing, running can be a form of meditative movement that clears your head and focuses your mind.
What type of running is best for boxing?
Running training for boxing falls under the umbrella of roadwork, which entails different types of running. Each type has unique benefits for boxing.
To practice the kind of explosive energy you might need to knock out your opponent in the ring, interval training with sprints gives fighters a leg up. To achieve the greatest increase in overall endurance, long-distance running is the best.
Long-distance running is considered steady-state cardio. It elevates the heart rate consistently for a longer period, which strengthens the entire cardiovascular system, increases oxygenation levels, and builds endurance over time. Endurance is crucial to boxing because it prevents a fighter from tiring too quickly.
How Long Should I Be Running for Boxing?
Professional boxers will put in the miles in preparation for a fight. This can mean at least 5 miles per day, several times a week. This is in addition to 3-4 days of sprints and other roadwork.
If you aren’t planning on stepping into the ring just yet, incorporating running doesn’t have to be as big of a commitment. Just 10 minutes of running can have enormous health benefits, including lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease. To feel the difference in your boxing performance, challenge yourself to a steady increase in distance as your endurance improves.
Fighters use running to build endurance and stamina, increase lower body strength, and train their minds. It’s a foundational aspect of roadwork.
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