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No Mans Land

Are you a boxer that clocks up the miles with long road runs? Or use long slow runs to target fat burning?

What if we told you this isn’t the most effective way to train for conditioning? And that you might be ‘running in no man’s land‘.

Running in ‘No Man’s Land’

Running at a “steady pace” and longdistance running is very common and a traditional boxing training method. If you train like this you’re ‘running in no man’s land’.

When conditioning a boxer, we encourage either running at really high intensities for optimal fitness adaptations, or really slow ones for active recovery.

The reason why we call steadystate running for long periods ‘no man’s land’ is because this does not optimise the fitness adaptations of running at fast or slow intensities.

To ensure we get the most out of our conditioning programs at Combat Conditioning, we split aerobic training into 3 different zones.

Avoiding ‘No Man’s Land’

The zones are separated by intensities determined by rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Distributing training into these zones is important to optimise adaptations and reduce the likelihood of illness, injury and overtraining.

In theory, sessions in each zone will have a fitness (FIT) and fatigue (FAT) score, affecting the total session quality (FIT-FAT = Session quality).

Zone 1 – Training in this zone can contribute to active recovery, this maintains fitness levels whilst limiting fatigue (FIT = 3, FAT = 1, Session Quality = 2). A typical session would be a light jog, cycle or swim.

Zone 2 – Running between RPE 4-7 is not hard enough to see optimal fitness gains and will be quite fatiguing (FIT = 4, FAT = 3, Session Quality = 1). A typical zone 2 run would be running about 5 miles at a ‘hard’ intensity.

Zone 3 – Training sessions in this zone are to induce optimal fitness gains. Most sessions will consist of HIIT, with the high intensity component improving fitness levels and recovery intervals reducing the fatigue (FIT = 5, FAT = 2, Session Quality 3).

This highlights that training in zone 1 and zone 3 are the most useful for fitness gains and recovery. Whilst zone 2 training struggles to make an impact.

This is our guide, if you are serious about performance it is important to undergo physiological testing to determine these zones.

Training with a purpose

I want my athletes to ‘train with a purpose’, & constantly ask ‘why?’… are we doing this session? what is the impact? what do we have to do to get the most out of this session?

These zones provide boxers with a useful indicator so they can find a purpose for their conditioning.

Want to learn more about conditioning for Boxing? Our brand new, in-depth video workshops on conditioning for Boxing are now available to Boxing Science members. Click here to learn more about becoming a Boxing Science member.