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Wave run


When fighting in long sparring sessions or when fighting many rounds in competition, you need to learn how to pace yourself. If you go at it too hard in the early rounds, you may burn out in the later rounds and give up a lot of points. If you fight at too slow a pace at the beginning, you may give up a lot of points and not be able to make them up later. If you fight at the same pace throughout, you may give up points because there are times when you needed to slow or speed up the pace. To be able to pace yourself correctly, you need to train by running the “Wave.”

Running the Wave

To run the Wave, you need a stopwatch and a distance that you mark at the 110, 220, 330, and 440-yard distances. You can use a track or any straight distance, but the distances must be marked so you know exactly where they start and end.

Each a Wave session, you run each measured distance for two cycles, starting with the 440-yard distance. For each cycle, you run the distance at a hard pace and then return with a recovery pace run. Then run the next shorter distance for two cycles, until all 4 distances have been run. The hard pace run is the pace that you want to be able to maintain during a round of fighting.

Once you have run a few sessions, you will be able to establish your fighting pace and be able to set a goal time for yourself for each distance and the overall session. The goal time you set for each distance is a subset of the goal of the overall session. You want to try to hit these goal times during each session.

At the end of a session, you will have run 2.5 miles. If you up the session to run each distance for 3 cycles, you will have run 4 miles. Run the Wave at least once a week.

What running the Wave accomplishes

While the Wave may seem to be the same as interval training, it is much more. In interval training, either the distance or the time is set and does not change, while in Wave training, the times and distances both change. In interval training, the hard pace is usually above your normal fight pace, while, in the Wave, the hard pace, regardless of the distance, is always at the fight pace you have set as your goal. In the Wave, you learn to pace yourself to be able to hit measured distances consistently in specific times.

The objective of interval training is to better your ability to take in oxygen and deliver it to the working muscles, which then develops a higher tolerance to the buildup of lactate, which helps to forestall the effects of hitting the wall when muscles begin going anaerobic, working without oxygen. However, the objective of Wave training is to learn the discipline of pace without ever going anaerobic.


  • Thomas, B. (2007). Catch the "Wave" for a better run time. Navy Times. November 26, 2007.
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