Muay Thai fighters utilize running as an integral part of their training, from strength, endurance, and even recovery.
Running is one of those necessary evils known in the Muay Thai community to be something you just gotta do. But why is it so universally used as a staple in almost all training regimens? Here are a few of the most prevalent reasons.
1. Priming the body – running before work outs gets the body ready to primed to push just beyond it’s edge in training. It gets the blood rate going better than a shot of caffeine and gets the joints ‘lubricated’ to shake off that morning stiffness (no pun intended
2. Weight loss – there aren’t many other exercises which push the body to burn fat like a good jog/run first thing in the morning. Muay Thai fighters always need to keep that weight in control and this is a potent form of doing that. Mixing up your runs with short sprints followed by long intervals of jogging is a formula for shedding through body fat.
3. Leg strength and stamina – of utmost importance in a Muay Thai fighter’s repertoire is leg strength, primarily the quadriceps and hamstrings. Those legs need to be strong, explosive, powerful while at the same time allowing you to go the distance if you need to.
4. Cardiovascular strength for Muay Thai – Almost nothing can test your cardio like a hard set of wind sprints. (If you don’t’ know what they are, click here) It can push your anaerobic capacity to its edge and help you discover that ‘second’ wind inside when you think you got nothing left, champ. Sprints and wind sprints are quick and easy and if you’re short on time, you can get an equivalent of an hour work out in a short 15 minutes. This sort of work out is known to naturally boost testosterone and growth hormone as well, giving those who do it that extra edge over the competition.
In addition, here are a few other compelling reasons Muay Thai fighters run and why you should too.
5. Removes lactic acid – Hard sprints and an intense Muay Thai training session will push your body to it’s edge. As a result, the body responds by producing lactic acid in the muscles, that feeling of soreness. This lactic acid can prevent muscle recovery and isn’t great to have stored up for too long in the muscles. At the end of work outs, many Muay Thai fighters and boxers engage in a short low intensity jog to use this lactic acid up in the form of energy, releasing the body of these toxins. This leads to overall faster recovery times than if they hadn’t jogged.
6. It strengthens the immune system. Unlike the blood circulatory system which pumps blood through the body automatically, the immune system , referred to as the lymph system, needs to be ‘pumped’ manually. This is achieved primarily through movement of the body. Running is a great way to achieve this because it activates all of the major muscles in the body and the vibratory effect caused by the up and down motion of the body.
Jogging, Running, and Sprinting go together with Muay Thai like cookies and milk!
You don’t have to be a Muay Thai fighter to use this time-tested, age old exercise to stay physically strong for the long haul. If you’re looking to stay vibrant and strong for years to come, get your sneakers on and get running, either outside in the cold or on the treadmill. Don’t, wait, start now!