Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

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Beau Geste
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Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby Beau Geste » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:20 am

It seems that every elite boxer in the game today runs long distances almost every day in training. We know all the old school greats ran long distances to get in shape.

So why do so many on this board say long distance running is not applicable for boxing?

What do the champions know, that the some on this board do not?

Here is a short list of current elite's and their daily roadwork routines.

Floyd Mayweather - 6 to 8 miles
Joe Calzaghe - 6 miles
Tim Bradley - 8 miles
Paul Williams - 5 miles
Arthur Abraham - 6 miles
Carl Froch - 5 miles
Lamont Peterson - 8 to 12 miles
Manny Pac. - 6 miles
Bernard Hopkins - 3 to 6 miles
Fill in most other elite fighters today and it will be similar

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albinofreak620
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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby albinofreak620 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:26 am

So many people on this board say that? I haven't noticed.
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Beau Geste
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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby Beau Geste » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:29 am

albinofreak620 wrote:So many people on this board say that? I haven't noticed.


There are quite a few threads on this board where it is claimed that distance running is not applicable for boxing. I am just trying to understand why a disparity seems to exist from what many pros do versus the more "scientific" approach.

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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby albinofreak620 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:35 am

While there might be some threads on that, I don't remember seeing one in a good amount of time (indicating that most have learned better) and there was also lots of people (notably Ross) who are pro long distance running.

The reason is that boxers need aerobic endurance, it keeps their weight in check, and can provide intangibles like improving ones state of mind.
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Balrog
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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby Balrog » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:41 am

First up, IMO running is a great way to train (but 6 miles is not long distance).

All boxers need endurance in their legs so there is nothing wrong with roadwork and you're right that many past champions ran for miles.

However, it is a good idea to mix things up and vary your training. Interval training for instance mimics the unique requirements of a fight - the intensity is high throughout but with peaks and troughs. This gets the body accustomed to periods of exertion and periods of lower intensity to recuperate.

Also, distance running does not involve the arms as much as enhanced interval training (with exercises like push ups and pull ups that involve the entire body).

Long distance running takes time (pro fighters have more time to train and recover). A short high intensity interval sessions takes less time yet will elicit a similar adaption in the body in terms of aerobic endurance (with the added benefit of anaerobic improvements too).

Less time devoted to conditioning means more time for sports specific training and skill sessions.

I enjoy running but it places stress on my knees and this gave me patellar tendonitis. Personally, I find interval training with short sprints, burpees and calistentics better for me.

Ultimately, it's up to you. If you enjoy running and you have time then do it.

You can't really look at other people, especially pro athletes, to find the right way for you. Like Ross has said countless times, some fighters run and some don't. Some fighters lift weights and others don't.

Just be sure that you don't run too much and leave yourself drained.
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Balrog
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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby Balrog » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:43 am

One more thin to add.

Many trainers are set in their ways and old school. While that is not neccessarily a bad thing, it pays to keep an open mind.

I ran for miles and miles and competed in a couple of half marathons.

Now, I don't run nearly as much yet I am much fitter and far stronger than ever before.
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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby NeilD » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:55 am

Yeah, there's been some great stuff posted on this topic.. Ross posted a great article from his point of view, I can't find it anywhere.

There's many opinions behind it.. I like some longer distance running, less stress on the body, and a fighter especially a pro fighter has a lot of stress on their bodies as it is so it provides a great way to clear their mind/cut weight without adding too much more. Some guys don't feel complete without long runs.
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Beau Geste
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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby Beau Geste » Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:22 pm

Balrog wrote:One more thin to add.

Many trainers are set in their ways and old school. While that is not neccessarily a bad thing, it pays to keep an open mind.

I ran for miles and miles and competed in a couple of half marathons.

Now, I don't run nearly as much yet I am much fitter and far stronger than ever before.


Thanks for the detailed responses. When you refer to enhanced interval training, would the following serve as way to incorporate intervals along with my distance running?

Over the course of six miles, doing a set of 25 pushups after every mile and sprinting for 30 seconds within every mile?

Zee Deveel
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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby Zee Deveel » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:22 pm

A 6 mile run in the morning for a professional athlete is nothing. These guys are likely doing 3 - 4 far more intense workouts every day. A run like that is just a warm up.

The problem with distance running is some people believe (as I used to) that's all they need to do to get fit for a fight. When I started BJJ I was running 5 miles several times a week, I thought I was a fit guy but literally 1 minute of sparring and I was exhausted.

Longer runs increase your aerobic capacity and are a good way to get your metabolism kick started in the morning, but they aren't a complete fitness workout for a modern fighter.

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Re: Elite boxers run long distance. Why?

Postby WilliamK8987 » Sat Dec 26, 2009 2:39 pm

A pro fight is 10-12 rounds, that is 30 to 36 minutes of fighting and being on their feet using their legs. One thing running for the amount of time is you get your legs use to moving for that long. It keeps weight off.

Like Lee above mention too, they are working out a few times a day. A boxing training session is very intense. It is actually considered a interval workout.


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