A great amount of preparation is needed when you undergo martial arts training. As I’ve already mentioned in previous posts, conditioning does not only take place immediately before training sessions. It’s a way of living and spending your time in beneficial activities that can help you improve your body’s performance during training. There are many activities that can help. Some may be effective while others may only be for lip service. However, among this many activities, trail running can be helpful.
Conditioning and training has one common goal; that is to help make your body apt for the physical requirements of martial arts. To most people undergoing training, this means becoming stronger and faster. They spend long hours building their stamina through cardio. Some even spend time lifting weights to increase muscle mass. However the key concept of effective conditioning is approaching it holistically. The length of time spent in conditioning is not directly proportional to how conditioned your body will be. In other words, the main principle is cost effectiveness. More than enhancing your muscle strength, does lifting weights improve your agility? Does cardio training help improve your concentration? When you engage in conditioning activities, make sure it enhances not just one aspect.
This is where trail running as a conditioning activity comes in. To put it simply, trail running is basically a cardio workout. It helps train your body, specifically your heart, to adjust along with the demands of an increased level of activity. However, it also improves concentration. As opposed to running on pavements or sports centers, you encounter natural obstacles in trail running; be it a root of tree or a lump of rock. In trail running, your body doesn’t run on autopilot. You need to be mindful of your movements and always be on your toes. This significantly improves concentration which is also vital in martial arts training especially in sparring. Lastly, trail running strengthens your lower extremities as you engage in it more frequently.
There are many other benefits a martial artist can gain from trail running aside from the ones I’ve mentioned above. Since different things work for different people, I suggest you explore other conditioning activities as well. But if you want to know more about trail running and its importance in martial arts training, I suggest you read this helpful article entitled Trail Running and Martial Arts Conditioning.