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S&C UnderGround >> To Run Or Not To Run/Roadwork?


12/1/12 3:34 PM
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blacksamurai
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My trainer at ATT says running/road work sucks for fight cardio, leads to knee injuries (he says unless you have a weight cutting issue/problem then its cool), and prescribes sprints, stadium steps, hills, prowler, and sled work instead...

Other guys i train with (not instructors) give a contrary pov They say "fighters/boxers have been running/doing road work for generations it works for them" (i know Frazier ran in steel toes boots, and MMA has the Diaz bros) his rebuff would be " fighters have been eating raw eggs, trying to knock each other out in sparring fucking up their ability to take a punch, and drinking their own piss for generations too how has that worked out for them".

His final point would be "SOME guys can run as much as they want, but when they train step on the mats they will always gas hard some just innately gas hard, and some innately have better gas tanks". This makes any sense?

I've defied him, and started running and for the month of NOV i have 25 miles in and have lost 13 lbs with dieting, but now my physician at the VA says i have cretosis (creaky knee), and bursitis! My knee locks up at the end of runs (i cannot extend), but I feel really really good on my feet wrestling, and doing standup striking, but when i roll can still feel like shit from time to time... Phone Post
12/1/12 8:56 PM
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Tilla
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Running is overrated.

Stairmaster & Swimming = You're good to go ;-)
12/1/12 9:32 PM
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cdueck
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I am a big fan of running for conditioning. If done properly there is nothing better as it builds both physical and mental toughness. When I boxed as a kid I used to run 4miles three to five times a week, sometimes I would just run it and others I would do telephone pole sprints the whole way. Running is/can be hard on your joints but if you were that worried about your joints you wouldn't be doing combat sports in the first place.

As for your knee pain go see a running coach as it may be a form problem. I have fairly bad knees and until recently I couldn't run more than 3-4miles without the getting extremely sore.  I changed my running style and now I can go as long as I want and my knees don't bother me at all.

12/1/12 10:27 PM
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big_slacker
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Edited: 12/01/12 10:27 PM
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There are LOTS of runners with knee, back and foot problems. It's often due to muscle imbalances, tightness, scar tissue, bad form and so on. Yeah, you can do foam rolling, strengthening exercises, yoga/stretching, better shoes and see a running coach, chrio, ART, etc... But you have to ask yourself at that point is running really your sport? Or just something you do for conditioning? That's why your coach has taken the stance that he has, and I think it's pretty sound reasoning.

Nothing wrong with running, I love it. But there are lot of other things you can do for MMA that might no beat on your lower body so much.
12/1/12 10:37 PM
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blacksamurai
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Do you guys think in your honest opinion if Nick Diaz just stopped all his distance running, biking and swimming and just trained "sport specific", would he be able keep up the same work rate with the hands and come back from the dead like he is known for? Phone Post
12/1/12 11:07 PM
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cdueck
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The thing that everybody forgets is you can be in the best condition of anyone but if you are tense during a fight you will gas. The Diaz brothers can fight forever because they are totally relaxed and in there element while fighting. 

12/2/12 12:29 AM
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big_slacker
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blacksamurai -  Do you guys think in your honest opinion if Nick Diaz just stopped all his distance running, biking and swimming and just trained "sport specific", would he be able keep up the same work rate with the hands and come back from the dead like he is known for? Phone Post

Just a few notes here:

#1-Nick Diaz doesn't have a day job, he races tris in between fight camps which lets him focus on skill work when he's training for a fight since he's already in shape and conditioned. He's said this before in interviews.

#2-It takes TIME to build that kind of endurance. Just like for a fight, endurance athletes put in training blocks/camps. 6+ hours a week for an oly distance, 10+ for a half ironman and more fro semi pro/pro.

What I'm getting at is not that running or endurance work is bad for fighters, just that it has to be balanced with the fighter's individual life level, time commitment, durability and so on. Just emulating what an existing fighter does is very likely to not fit in to your situation unless it's very similar to theirs.

To keep it short, think and decide how to best use your time for the best results.
12/2/12 8:22 AM
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glass neck
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my purely speculative opinion:

the prevalence of crossfit-esque bro science in mma and the rejection of boxing's long-held tradition of road work

is why you see gassing so prevalently in mma and so rarely in boxing

it's embarrassing to see these guys gas so frequently in mma when it is a complete rarity in boxing, especially for sub-heavyweight fights

not talking marathon training, but being able to push your vo2 and lactic threshold for a 5 mile run is very "sports-specific" for grappling or mma

imho

12/2/12 10:07 AM
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HULC
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"fighters have been eating raw eggs, trying to knock each other out in sparring fucking up their ability to take a punch, and drinking their own piss for generations too how has that worked out for them"

Aside from drinking their own piss thing (sounds completely made up) the roadwork and sparring have been "working out" for boxers by making them world champions and multi-millionaires. In comparison i doubt your instructor is in any sort of situation to be talking down about them.

On a more scientific level, the evidence showing that sprints and interval training influence the aerobic system very poorly has been growing for years. Try looking up Lyle's articles on the effects of aerobic training vs interval training.
12/2/12 1:03 PM
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1800champagne
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Roadwork is king for building an aerobic base. I do my running at ~ 150 bpm. This is not taxing on my body at all. My anaerobic conditioning is sparring/rolling.

Your coach seems to be suggesting that you need to do ONLY anaerobic conditioning. I will let someone with more knowledge than myself weigh in on this, as I am only a hobbyist.
12/2/12 6:17 PM
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419
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There are lower impact methods of improving one's aerobic base.
12/2/12 6:57 PM
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Chocolate Shatner
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If you can handle the running on your body, do it. Really there is no cheaper way to build a decent aerobic base.

On the other hand, if you have problems or running causes problems, then don't do it. There are still plenty of good ways to go out there and build a good aerobic base without running.

For me personally, I have a rebuilt right knee (rebuilt ACL and MCL, arthritis). Doing distance running for more than 15 minutes fucking kills my knee, no matter how soft a surface I run on, or what stride type I use.

So, I don't do distance running for more than 15 minutes at a time. I follow it up with jumping rope and bag work. Or I do other exercises that don't hurt, like bicycling or rowing.

So in some aspects, your coach is partially wrong. Building a decent endurance aerobic base is important. On the other hand, he is still partially right in that killing your joints just to say you do roadwork is fucking stupid. No one in the UFC has a championship belt for roadwork, they have it in fighting.
12/3/12 1:43 AM
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blacksamurai
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glass neck - my purely speculative opinion:

the prevalence of crossfit-esque bro science in mma and the rejection of boxing's long-held tradition of road work

is why you see gassing so prevalently in mma and so rarely in boxing

it's embarrassing to see these guys gas so frequently in mma when it is a complete rarity in boxing, especially for sub-heavyweight fights

not talking marathon training, but being able to push your vo2 and lactic threshold for a 5 mile run is very "sports-specific" for grappling or mma

imho

It doesn't hurt that most high level boxers have been boxing since kindergarten where as MMA fighters, the early guys started in sport karate, american kickboxing, pro wrestling and BJJ then picked up boxing along the way

Its awesome they're young pee wee wrestlers training BJJ and striking arts on the weekends, and after wrestling season so in 10 years we don't have to watch two guys shadow box for 5 rds ala Penn Edgar 1...

Although people talk shit about USA Boxing its 100x's more organized than amateur MMA some states let guys fight for free with no shin guards, and 4oz gloves or use a honor system.

For example a young guy i train with gets to a show in NOLA 10 hrs away, and his opponent is like "Aye bro i didn't bring 6oz gloves i only got 4oz you still wanna this" fight goes on anyway wtf could you imagine that happening in USA Boxing?

Hopefully in our lifetimes we'll see the same level of proficiency/professionalism at EVERY level of MMA not just the UFC... Phone Post
12/3/12 1:51 AM
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blacksamurai
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1800champagne - Roadwork is king for building an aerobic base. I do my running at ~ 150 bpm. This is not taxing on my body at all. My anaerobic conditioning is sparring/rolling.

Your coach seems to be suggesting that you need to do ONLY anaerobic conditioning. I will let someone with more knowledge than myself weigh in on this, as I am only a hobbyist.
How much is a heart rate monitor, and do they have heart rate apps? Im broke atm moment until payday what kind of mile a min pace will get me to 150bpm as a novice/beginner runner? Phone Post
12/3/12 10:06 AM
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vermonter
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I think running is excellent for fitness, and although BS said it takes time (which it does for elite fitness), you can find a substantial improvement in a short time, as you have.

People seem to say all the time "if you can handle it" but i don't get this. People are made to run. Maybe not on concrete, but find a trail if you like. Running and walking are about as natural as it gets when it comes to exercise, and they certainly seem to help people improve cardio on the mat.

Also, i'm sure you have a fine coach, and you should pay heed and respect to his wisdom, but he is no logician. Boxers have been boxing for generations as well. Should they stop that too? You've already noted improvements after only 25 miles. Has anything else you've done besides skill work itself given you an improvement like that with so little?

All that said, running might be contraindicated for your particular ailments, so it may be moot.
12/3/12 2:06 PM
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disbeliever
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Running, like swimming, requires you to learn proper form. You can run with bad form, like you can swim with poor form, but you will gas very fast and be very sore.

I suggest taking the time to watch form videos if your body has no major issues.

I was always in great shape from grappling/fighting, but very rarely swam. The first time I switched over to swimming I could not do very many laps without getting tired. I found a guy at the pool who was willing to check my form, and when he made several adjustments a few days later I was swimming laps without getting tired.

Just my 2 cents. Running is great for aerobic work outs, and it's free and can be done anywhere unlike swimming/elipticals etc
12/3/12 3:20 PM
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Seul
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The bro science hypothesis makes a lot of sense to me, too. Phone Post
12/3/12 6:16 PM
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Leigh
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If your aerobic system is the weak link in your conditioning (ref Joel Jameson) then running is a good exercise to correct it. If your aerobic system is not the issue, then address what is Phone Post
12/3/12 7:30 PM
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big_slacker
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My comment about it taking time was specifically in reference to Nick Diaz's triathlon training, and not that you can't benefit from doing some running. Just wanted that out there. Running is great for overall fitness and having an aerobic base won't hurt you. But fighting isn't aerobic (in the sense that running a marathon is) so you should really think about where to spend your time. I don't really have anything else useful to add if that doesn't make sense. ;)

On the subject of HRM, you can get a base model Polar HRM for under $50 on amazon or ebay, used even cheaper if you're really broke.

On the subject of HR vs. pace it varies wildly person to person. The only real way to know is to throw on a HRM and do a lactate threshold 'field test' and plug the results into an online calculator to get your training zones. Running at 150 BPM might be too low or two high depending on who you are.
12/3/12 11:03 PM
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blacksamurai
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big_slacker - My comment about it taking time was specifically in reference to Nick Diaz's triathlon training, and not that you can't benefit from doing some running. Just wanted that out there. Running is great for overall fitness and having an aerobic base won't hurt you. But fighting isn't aerobic (in the sense that running a marathon is) so you should really think about where to spend your time. I don't really have anything else useful to add if that doesn't make sense. ;)

On the subject of HRM, you can get a base model Polar HRM for under $50 on amazon or ebay, used even cheaper if you're really broke.

On the subject of HR vs. pace it varies wildly person to person. The only real way to know is to throw on a HRM and do a lactate threshold 'field test' and plug the results into an online calculator to get your training zones. Running at 150 BPM might be too low or two high depending on who you are.
Anything under a 10 min miles makes my chest feel like its about to explode is that my low glycogen storage that makes me feel that way when i happens i eat a rice cake while on the run and that sensation goes away i pack one in ziplock, and slide it in my nike pro combat shorts... Phone Post
12/4/12 10:12 AM
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LiftStrong
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Leigh -  If your aerobic system is the weak link in your conditioning (ref Joel Jameson) then running is a good exercise to correct it. If your aerobic system is not the issue, then address what is Phone Post

As someone who is a very poor distance runner, I really like Joel's RW 2.0 program. Traditional roadwork takes a toll on my body, so being able to acheive a similar result without getting beat up is great. I have really started to appreciate heart rate based conditioning methods.

Back to the OP, I get what your coach is saying but things arent always one way or the other. Sprints and sled work are great, but they are not the end all be all of conditioning, just another tool among many.
12/4/12 11:10 AM
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cdueck
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blacksamurai - 
big_slacker - My comment about it taking time was specifically in reference to Nick Diaz's triathlon training, and not that you can't benefit from doing some running. Just wanted that out there. Running is great for overall fitness and having an aerobic base won't hurt you. But fighting isn't aerobic (in the sense that running a marathon is) so you should really think about where to spend your time. I don't really have anything else useful to add if that doesn't make sense. ;)

On the subject of HRM, you can get a base model Polar HRM for under $50 on amazon or ebay, used even cheaper if you're really broke.

On the subject of HR vs. pace it varies wildly person to person. The only real way to know is to throw on a HRM and do a lactate threshold 'field test' and plug the results into an online calculator to get your training zones. Running at 150 BPM might be too low or two high depending on who you are.
Anything under a 10 min miles makes my chest feel like its about to explode is that my low glycogen storage that makes me feel that way when i happens i eat a rice cake while on the run and that sensation goes away i pack one in ziplock, and slide it in my nike pro combat shorts... Phone Post

If a sub 10min mile makes your chest hurt that means you are in terrible shape and has nothing to do with glycogen stores. You feel better after eating a rice cake becuase you take a rest while eating. 

Everybody talks about running working only as an aerobic tool but depending where you live run it can and will be used as both. You can run at a steady heart rate with a monitor of course but most places are not flat therefore you will have to run some hills on your route. When I use a heart monitor I try to keep a steady heart rate but I also don't change my pace on hills but instead try to get my heart rate back into my target as quickly as possible without stopping.

12/6/12 10:50 PM
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ruggerbouy
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run on the sand, less impact great work-out, also running uphill or stairs shortens the amount of time your punishing your knees
12/7/12 2:50 AM
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blacksamurai
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Off topic i should have made a disclaimer about my trainer the guy literally subscribes to skeptics magazine monthly... Phone Post
12/9/12 5:16 PM
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big_slacker
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ruggerbouy - run on the sand, less impact great work-out, also running uphill or stairs shortens the amount of time your punishing your knees

Trail running as well, every serious distance runner I know does most of their training on dirt/sand even if the race is on pavement.

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