Running for boxing

A running training plan

Why is running for boxing so important?

Running has been at the forefront of boxing training for a very long time. Other aspects of boxing have evolved and new tools, such as TRX or resistance bands, have been developed and incorporated into training plans worldwide. Yet, running for boxing has remained imperative, but why?

Running is still one of the best ways for a fighter to build up to competition level stamina and endurance. By adding a running plan to your regular boxing training routine, you will be able to go all out for considerably longer, your recovery time will increase rapidly, and your overall endurance will skyrocket. 

Running for boxing

Running for Boxing isn’t just regular running.

Running for boxing is more complex than just going jogging for a few miles. You are trying to build endurance and increase your ability to burst into action and recover rapidly. All of these are critical for maximum output during a match.

The three energy systems

Running can help you focus on all three of the energy systems you need to build.

  • Aerobic (Low intensity)
  • Anaerobic (Medium intensity)
  • ATP (High intensity)

Once you can master all three, your fighting prowess will be substantially higher, and you will be able to keep up with your competition at the later stages in a fight without getting gassed. 

A running for boxing training plan

We recommend that you are running 3 to 4 times a week. You can incorporate these ideas into your training plan, and if you are not sure, speak to your coach.


Aerobic running for boxing

Aerobic running is your generic jogging. If you are starting from scratch, don’t do too much too soon. Running too hard straight away can lead to injury.

2 – 3 miles of jogging will be a great starting point. You can add to this as your running becomes more advanced. If you incorporate shadow boxing into your running on occasion, it will also help build shoulder strength and stamina. 

Other additions you can make to your regular running are lateral movements. Side to side lateral movements, in addition to ducking and back-peddling (running backwards), can help you with your in the ring actions too. 

Try to incorporate hills or steps into your running routes. This will add an extra stress factor to your running plan and increase the heart rate.


Anaerobic Running for boxing

As previously mentioned, adding hills and stairs to your running can turn it from a gentle jog to a higher intensity run. If you want to keep the heart rate higher for longer, run up and down the hills a few times. If you start to get tired, stop at the bottom or top and add 30 seconds (or more if you need it) of shadowboxing as a resting period. 

Other ways of making it more anaerobic are by running trails or off the road. In addition to that, if you choose to run for 30 min, mix up the paces. Sprint some, jog some, and run some. By mixing the paces up, you are altering the intensity and teaching your body to recover on the move.


ATP Running for boxing

For higher intensity running, you can add sprint drills.

Sprinting forces your heart rate to reach its max. There are various ways of doing sprint drills. For beginners, you should either try the 100-meter sprint, followed by rest/shadow boxing for 30 seconds, then sprinting back. Rinse and repeat. 

An alternative is doing 30-meter sprints with 15 seconds of shadow boxing/rest. 

Once you get more advanced, try the wind-up wind-down. You do 15 seconds of sprinting followed by 15 seconds of rest. Increase to 30 seconds sprint – 30 seconds rest, then 45, all the way up to 60 seconds. (60 seconds of sprinting is a lot harder than you think). Once you hit the 60-second marker, make you way back down in 15 seconds increments. 


If you want to push it even further, run these sprint drills on hills.

Running for boxing

3 Famous boxers running routines

Mike Tyson

It is said that Iron Mike used to train 50 – 60 hours a week. Of that Mike ran for 3 to 5 miles sometimes followed with a 1-mile walk. He did this six days a week. 

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd used to run 5 – 6 miles a day as a part of his training. He incorporated it with jumping rope and chopping trees to get even more cardio. 

Manny Pacquiao

Manny ran 10 miles, three to four days a week as a part of his regular training, and did smaller runs on the alternate days. 


Much like a jab-cross combo, running is not going anywhere. Any serious boxer, contender, or champion understands that running MUST be a part of your training regime to build a competitive edge.

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