Long Distance vs. Sprinting For Fight Training

by Erik Paulson

(originally printed in TapouT – Issue 11 2006)

If you’re fighting and not running… YOU ARE NOT FIGHTING!

I have experimented both ways for fighting and found that my overall fitness, footwork and well-being were much better after putting in miles. Bruce Lee said running was the king of exercises and I believe that to be true. Running is moving meditation, think time, and self-visualization for a fight. Running gives you the polishing touch, the icing on the cake. When you’ve done all your pad work, heavy bags, sparring and jump rope, running gives you freedom and clears your head.

It’s controversial whether or not you should do more long distance running or sprints, but I say both. Loong distance running gives you that sustained energy you won’t get from sprints. Sprinting gives you explosive ability that allows you to blast out of a situation.

Near my house there is a steep dirt hill that’s about a half mile long. We take fighters there three to five times a week. Hill running adds a little spice to the same old path or straight, long distance run. Running out in the woods or eilderness is also recommended, as the nature runs wild, the energy is serene and the air is pure.

My all-time favorite run is on the beach either early in the morning as the sun rises or in the evening as the sun sets. The semi-wet sand has a certain energy and spiritual feel to it.

I usually prefer to do sprints at the football stadium and I’ll run the bleachers or the field – sprint 50 percent and jog 50 percent. I read recently in several studies that putting your sprints on the end of your long distance run can produce the same results as isolating each.

My fighters sprint 40 yards then hit the Thai pads, first doing the jab cross or crisscross, then the skip knee and double kick. Also at the end, try to do a focus mitt speed reaction drill and hand speed exercises to help you hit fast and think fast when you are totally fatigued.

When the mind gives up and the body is ready to quit, the spirit takes over. Train your spirit to no matter what, never, never give up! Sweat is the lubricant of success and nothing on this earth replaces hard work. The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war. Train Hard, Train Smart.

13 thoughts on “Long Distance vs. Sprinting For Fight Training”

  1. i hate running long distances!! what about some other long cardio workouts like swimming? running for long distances makes my knees hurt really bad and im only 17! (probably cause i was a monkey jumping off trees a roof tops when i was a little kid) what about biking?? thanx p.s. if you trained babalu for his last fight agaist mike whitehead you did a great job. his striking looked great!! was that you or does he have a boxing and kickboxing coach! thanx again

  2. oh yea, and i was very impressed with josh’s perfomance and K.O vs pedro rizzo, cant wait for his fight w/arlovski! do you think the winner of josh vs arlovski will fight fedor? ive been wanting to see josh vs fedor since they were both in pride hope that fight happens some day! Keep up the great work at CSW Training Center!!

  3. Hi Erik here-
    First off, thank yiou for the support. I’ve helped both Babalu and Josh for their fights, but cannot take full credit for their striking performance. Both B & J have their own boxing coaches that they work with due to the recommendation that they work seperately with a boxing coach to hold pads and get them to focus severely on their punching angles, combos, footwork, and high reps ofjust punches. As far as the kickboxing goes, I work weekly with the team on tons of kickboxing combos, drills, stx rules and mindset, but most of all, lots of timing, clinching, and live gos. p.s. emanuel, if your legs hurt you so much at such a young age, you might have damage to your knees,
    secondly, your legs are weak…you need to go to the gym and do leg extensions, hammercurls, calfraises, thighs, hammys, and calfs…every day,four days a week, three sets each, with med to heavy weights. Focusing on three things…positive, negative, and holds til failure. The Affliction card got
    postponed til Jan of next year. Stay tuned for the next fights up and coming this year!!!

  4. then there boxing trainers did a great job and you did a great job for there stx kickboxing and overall mma training. and yea my legs are very weak, thats why i hate working them out so much! Do you think i should just work out my legs and not my upperbody until my legs catch up to my upperbody strength?? thank you for the respond, take care

  5. Hi emanuel-
    You need to work all your body parts. Your core is your overall stregnth center so focus on that by getting the paulson power package from lifelineusa.com and use these products daily with your 30 minute 4x a week 30 minute 2 set per body part antagonistic (opposite) eg bis tris, chest back, quads hammys, forearms calfs, shoulders abs, workout!!! work your core, neck, 30 min of cardio, and flexibility, to get completely strong. Swim, run, padwork,heavybag, the motionmaster ground bag. A good diet w lots of protien and veggies, and collotial mineral supplement will turn you into superman. Proper rest and rerhydration is a must. Hope this helps you!

  6. wow thats a lot of stuff!! thanks Erik. by the way i love the grip trianing vid you have on your website…i bet Bruce Lee had the strongest grip and forearm strenth in the world!!! thanks again

  7. Hi erik here-
    Grip, arm, shoulder, and back strength are essential in grappling. Greg Nelson and I were both gymnasts that competed against each other in high school. Don’t make that public… hee hee. The grip and the pulling strength were so needed in gymnastics that it was par for the course. It rolled over perfectly for the grappling arts. So is a strong stomach hips and a lower back! Don’t forget about your flexibility and endurance. Get up there!!!

  8. hi erik I just became a member at midamerica martial arts here in omaha,ne and your having a seminar there november 1st and 2nd,im just getting into mma and want to attend would it help me out or do i need more experience to attend a seminar your holding.

  9. Hi, Erik here-
    I got all my fighters running again daily. This is of the utmost importance for moving meditation and self-visualization of your fighting. It helps you kick harder and definately helps you to be light on your feet! Train your heart as much as your body’s muscles. Now that summer is upon us, you will geta tan also and clear your head and eyes from toxins with fresh air! Make it a habit to run inthe morning first thing on an empty stomach or in the evening after training…you will not regret it! Maybe even thank me. Bruce Lee said that this is the Mother of all exercises. This will also make you a better athlete! Remember… we run so we can perform all our other Martial Athletic excercises better!
    Enough said!
    Happy Trails… Erik

  10. If you are a fighter and you don’t run… then good luck. This is what puts you over the edge! This is what helps you become a top athlete . It’s in amlost every sport. I love athleticism. This is what we do. Come up w another successful method …. I wanna see it ! Run a mile, do a hundred crunches, do a hundred pushups , and a hundred Hindu squats.
    You are in good shape… then you spar! perfect

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