Three muay thai fighters in thai shorts and sweat tops running in beautiful scenery to warm up for their muay thai session

Looking to Start Running ? Here Are Some Great Tips!

lady sitting down on the pavement tying up her running shoes
Running is an important part of Muay Thai conditioning

Running is a very simple activity that almost anyone can do. For those of us who train in a mixed martial art, boxing, or Muay Thai it is key to our training process. In Thailand, every nak muay is required to run miles before and sometimes after their padwork/sparring sessions. This is because running builds up stamina and endurance, two things that are important in a fight. With summer around the corner (and Antoinette’s killer outdoor Saturday class), we’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you get outside and start running!

 

Get a plan

 

Having a plan is important for your run (especially for beginners). Having a goal in mind for the workout will help give you the motivation to get to the end of the run! There are many plans online you can find to suit your needs. One that we like to introduce to beginners is interval running. You can start with a 2-minute run and 4-minute walk, and repeat 5 times for a great 30 minute run! As you get comfortable with this you can increase each running interval by 1-minute and decrease the amount of time you walk. For those who are intermediate runners, set goals by distance and time. For example, running a 5k under 25 minutes. The same would apply for running longer distances as well! Goal-setting is extremely important no matter what stage you’re at.

5 week running plan with a schedule of what to do each day in order to accomplish running goals
Its important to make sure to create a plan or your running

 

Get warmed up and cool down

 

It’s important to warm yourself up before you start going for that run. An easy way to do this is a light jog, a dynamic stretch or a brisk walk. Warming yourself up is so important in preventing injuries you might sustain later, so don’t skip out on this part! In addition to a warm up, don’t forget a nice little cool down of speed walking / light jogging and stretching after your run, rather than just stopping.

Three muay thai fighters in thai shorts and sweat tops running in beautiful scenery to warm up for their muay thai session
Muay Thai fighters on their daily warm up run

 

Breathing

 

Just like in MMA, Muay Thai and Boxing, controlled breathing is so important! Beginners will often forget to breathe and sometimes even hold their breath. Breathing will help maintain your stamina which will allow you to keep going for longer. The best way to breathe for distance running is employing a type of rhythmic breathing. A popular method is to inhale for three steps, and exhale for two steps. This may seem very methodical and tedious at first, but you will get used to it!

person trying to catch their breath and develop breathing pattern on their run. The person grabbing the side as if they have a cramp from improper breathing
Effective breathing is one of the key aspects of being a successful runner

 

Footing & Stride while running

 

For long distance running, a long stride or higher knee isn’t necessary and it will just result in a quicker burnout. Rather, focus on making smaller strides with a quick turnover to the next stride. Make sure your knees stay “soft” on impact, which means a slight flex in the knees. All of these considerations will result in a pace that you can maintain as well as less impact on the knees.

 

Thinking about anything other than running!

 

For those of you who don’t particularly enjoy running, but want to use it as part of your training program – distract yourself! Most people will get tired running because they are thinking about how much running they are doing. Music is a great distraction for this. Create a playlist that can help you feel pumped up and zoned out!

a close up at a runners feet showing the propper stride to make while running
Propper stepping and strides is imperative to a successful run

 

Get a running group together

 

A  group or a  buddy is a perfect way to foster an environment that is motivation, encouraging and inspiring. We all have experienced times where we don’t want to go for a run, or go to the gym, or get to our workout. Having a friend who is able to hold you accountable will make a huge difference!

Several muay thai students running together in a tropical setting
A muay thai class going for a group run to warmup

 

Resting is important too

 

Don’t forget to listen to your body! Running can be extremely rewarding in both it’s mental and physical benefits but always listen to what your body is telling you. Rest and drink water when you need to. For those who are just setting out on a  program, it is very important to be in tune to what your body is saying to avoid any serious injuries.

 

 

 

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