I’ve been running a few days a week at five in the morning. There are no hills on these runs. While riding on my mountain bike last weekend (the first time in two years), I found a road that goes up the mountain near my house. The other day I decided to run up that mountain road.
I’m not ashamed to admit, I had to walk a few times as it is a very painful hill to climb. Hill, I mean mountain. My lungs and legs were on fire. I could have simply turned around and gone home, but that would be quitting. The run back down the mountain road wasn’t much fun either as I had to do everything in my power not to lose control of my legs and fall over.
Guess what? I will continue to run that mountain road. Why would I do that? The same reason other boxers run; to supplement their training. Running is used as a supplementary training aid for many sports, not just boxing. It isn’t just a good work out, it challenges ourselves mentally. If you truly push yourself while running, it becomes an agonizing activity. You’re constantly fighting the will to quit. This makes a boxer a fighter. If you can overcome your pain, you can handle the challenge of a fight.
Let’s be clear, running doesn’t always have to be a game of how far you can run. A good running routine should include distance some days, hills on others, and some track work and/or speed work. Maybe running 400 meters, walking 200 meters then running another 400 meters, doing that 4 times followed by (6) 200 meters, etc..
Long story short, if you want to take your boxing to another level, find a track coach. That person will push you to your limits. Speaking as someone who ran cross-country, indoor and outdoor track all four years in high school, I can attest to how well-conditioned running can make you.