Written by: Alvin Davie. Alvin "Gorgeous AL" Davie is a Puma Master Trainer known for his out-of-the-box workouts and personality. His expertise is formed both from formal education (a degree in health and physical education) as well as personal experience (former USA amateur boxing 3X Golden Glove champion and current Cruiserweight professional boxer). Alvin is currently the head trainer and training manager at Tapout Fitness Miami. Find Alvin on Instagram: @alvindavie.
There are three types of runners in this world: those who love running, those who don’t love it but know it’s great exercise, and those who do it because they have to.
Many boxers fall into that last category: they run because they have to. Boxers know that running increases endurance in the ring and helps you when you are in the last 30 seconds of those three minute rounds.
Boxing and running are both aerobic exercises, that’s why roadwork (aka a boxer’s term for running) goes hand-in-hand with boxing. Aerobic exercise refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism.
Running for Boxing: Advantages to Running Outdoors
Why do boxers call running roadwork? Running is referred to in the boxing world as roadwork because fighters are usually sent outdoors to get their miles in on streets and roads. While there are times when running on a treadmill is necessary, there are many advantages to running outdoors, especially for a boxer.
When you run outdoors you are completely responsible for carrying your own bodyweight. If you run one mile down the road, you have to run another mile to get back to where you started. Running outdoors means you have to face and adapt to the elements of nature. It can be 100 degrees outside, or 40 degrees outside. Either way, running in the elements can build mental fortitude, something truly coveted in a boxer.
Running for Boxing: Advantages to Running on a Treadmill
Running on a treadmill can help prevent and reduce injury — a treadmill gives you a predictable, forgiving surface with a little give to every step. Another advantage of running on the treadmill is that you can more consciously maintain a certain pace. Finally, running on a treadmill is very convenient. You can run on the treadmill rain or shine, late or early without needing to pay attention to the weather or time of day.
Boxing Running Workout
Here’s a sample roadwork session for anyone who wants to run like a boxer, whether you’re getting in your miles on the road or on the treadmill.
- Start out jogging at a medium pace for 3 minutes (breathing should be normal, and you heart rate should gradually increase).
- For the next 20 minutes run at your average pace (try to keep this pace for the entire 20 minutes).
- For the next 10 minutes, at the top of each minute, sprint for 10 seconds (if running outside, sprint between every few light poles to raise your heart rate and lower it while doing roadwork).
- Progression: The next time you do your roadwork increase the overall amount of time of your run. Sprint at 45 second intervals instead of one minute intervals.