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Pedestrianism
Rehab Training Notes


Bareknuckle fighters did not run, but rather walked, to stay fit. Before modern sports medicine you had to be careful not to get a use injury or you were done. In that vein, if you are training to be able to survive an attack or simply get in shape using functional survival methods for training, why would you want to risk hobbling around in an air cast, unable to defend yourself or your family because you were pushing your roadwork?

For young fighters I like Jason Van Veldhuysen’s precision striking system, which focuses on running intervals and other focused running, not simply pounding the pavement in a high impact low work rate fashion. If you are going to run, run, don’t jog. If you are going to jog, walk. When running do it on soft surfaces, preferably up hill, for durations that will mimic your competition or survival needs. If you are training to fight 2-minute rounds, run two minutes at a time.

Walking, if you are over 35, would be your basic cardio tool, if you area a fighter. Biking burns more, but who fights like that? Walking at various paces, in various strides and gaits over a variety of terrains can do the fighter a lot more good than peddling on a bike or plodding on the pavement. If you do a hard surface conditioning drill on your feet it should be skipping rope.

Your default stride should be kept short and quick, better for your heart rate and more closely associated with your basic boxing foot work. This stride brings the heel barely in front of the other foot, is used for warming up, warming down, quick stepping, direction change and walking up and down hills. This is also your basic rehab stride for injury recovery.

For supporting my stick and blade fighting mobility I like to walk zigzags, walk backwards, do forward-backward zigzags, walk circles and spirals [this was an ancient sand surface barefoot exercise the Greek boxers did called the tiptoe circle] and practice stopping with a switch step and changing directions.

Vary your stride and pace and if you have no leg injuries add some bounce to your stops and starts and direction changes, particularly when walking trails.

Don’t walk 20 minutes without doing some high stepping in place.

Don’t walk 40 minutes without doing some standing stretches for the legs and hips.

When done your walk, do some slow motion footwork drills and stretches. Don’t just sit down.

In extremely rocky and elevated terrain, such as the section of the Rocky Mountains I have recently been hiking, running could get you killed and would certainly sprain an ankle. On these trails, which are often dry gulches that carry torrents of water down the mountain in a storm, you can use the banks of the gutter-like trail to practice direction change steps, taking the trail in zigzags for safety and increased work.

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