Tapering for Boxing: Winding down prior to a fight (and comparisons with marathon training tapering)
One of the mistakes that fighters make is peaking too early before a fight. With our “Never Give Up” boxing show (which was ultimately rescheduled), I had everyone plan their weight cut and scheduled their training.
For marathon runners, the taper is a three-week long process. With a grueling 26-mile race, you really need the time to recover from any nagging injuries during that time. After hitting your “long” run in training camp (usually 20 miles), you slowly decrease your mileage until race day.
Boxing is much different in that it is a high-intensity sport, which much shorter competition time. Particularly for amateur fighters, who fight three rounds that last 2 or 3 minutes (depending on experience). Fighters keep their intensity high very close up to the actual bout. But some coaches keep them sparring until the actual bout, which is a mistake.
In running, the taper is 3 weeks prior to the event. The taper for boxing is only in the final week of preparation. I keep my team training during this period, but keep the intensity low and focus on keeping them sharp. Instead of sparring, we’ll focus on drills. They’ll do a 6-minute running test on the Tuesday prior to competition, but skip their Thursday track workout. This allows them to feel fresh for their fight.
Boxing instructor Lomalito Moala preaches the same concept.
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About the Author:
Coach Ian is an ultra-marathon runner and a volunteer coach at the non-profit boxing organization, Dreamland Boxing, in San Jose, CA. He competed in boxing for both Dreamland and collegiately at UCLA. His goal is to empower all to be the best that they can be, in boxing and in life. You can find Coach Ian on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.