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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:32 pm    Post subject: Running to improve sparring performance Reply with quote

Hi all.

I regularly receive compliments on my sparring skills. For an overweight middle aged ex smoker I move pretty well. For a short while.

I burn out far too early.

I've worked out this is partly psychological. I get so pumped up with adrenaline when a round begins that I think I'm not relaxing enough. I'm working on that. But the bigger issue is lack of cardio fitness especially when my legs are working hard. To fix that, I've added running to my training plan.

Here's the thing. I've been a fool for a the last few years. I figured I regularly practice kicking. That's high energy leg work. Why should I bother with running? Well, I now realise it's all about which muscles are employed and how. In sparring it's not so much the kicking that burns me out, it's more the sharp manoeuvring I employ to maintain the positioning I want. In kick drill my legs are working at intervals. In sparring my legs are working non stop.

So I've added running to my plan. And I'm shocked to find I'm terrible at it. I can run about 1.5km in one go then I'm burned out. And that's at a steady jog. About 10 minutes.

This is where I'd love some tips and advice from the good folks here please.

I track all my runs so I can measure progress. But I can't decide on the best plan. Should I focus on improving on distance first, or should I keep it short but work on speed? Or perhaps go for intervals, with a brisk jog for say 500 metres followed by walk 500 metres, the jog again and so on?
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect working on both wouldn't be a bad idea. Going for distance will definitely improve your stamina. Sprints should add to your bursts while sparring. Mixing it up will also keep things more interesting for longer.

An additional thought: What about adding swimming, as well?
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(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14183
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, you're going to hate my answer...

Consult with your doctor first!! Then go from there!!

Having said that...

Running builds up stamina, for one thing. Boxers routinely run as part of thier daily workouts, and not because it sounds good, but it builds up the body across the board.

Varying one routine...topography, distance, and speed, to name a few, make the workout beneficial to the runner.

Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the mark of insanity.

Stretch before and after the run, of course.



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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the good tips so far.

Singularity6, I like the idea of mixing it up a bit. Trouble with me is I tend to focus on one objective at a time. Sometimes that works out well for me, sometimes not so. I think you're right about mixing things up with the running objectives.

With regards to swimming, I used to love swimming. In more recent times though I've grown bored of it. Well to be more accurate, I've grown bored of paying money to swim at a predefined time in a featureless rectangular pool. I'm lucky enough to live on the coast, so once the sea warms up a bit as we head into summer I might get myself out there a bit.

Sensei8, you say I won't like your answer. I do. It's a good answer. I can easily mix up the kind of runs I do because I'm quite lucky where I live. We have plenty if completely flat routes, with different surface types, and within a few miles we've got lots of hills and countryside.

I hear what you say about consulting the doctor first, but I don't think that's necessary in my case. That's just because not too long ago I had an 'exercise stress test' at the hospital. They wire you to an ECG, stick blood pressure and blood oxygen monitoring gear on and various other pieces, then make you go on a treadmill with steadily increasing intensity until you physically can do no more. The results were quite honestly astounding. I was told, and I quote, 'generally the only time we see higher scores in this test is when we're testing professional athletes or serving military'.
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DWx
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6100
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Running to improve sparring performance Reply with quote

OneKickWonder wrote:

I track all my runs so I can measure progress. But I can't decide on the best plan. Should I focus on improving on distance first, or should I keep it short but work on speed? Or perhaps go for intervals, with a brisk jog for say 500 metres followed by walk 500 metres, the jog again and so on?

So I'm certainly no expert (and there are professional trainers on the forum) but I do coach a high level sparring team. In general we expect people to work up to running 5 km comfortably to build a base of fitness and then to gradually improve on their time. If you struggle with 5K, search for the Couch to 5K program or C25K, plenty of stuff on the web and loads of apps available. It has you alternate running and walking and gradually gets you to run the full distance.

However for sparring, what really counts for sparring fitness is short fast bursts and quick recovery. Sparring rounds are 2 mins or maybe 3 mins and even then it's short flurries and then rest. Best way to improve fitness for this is anything high intensity with tempo changes. So sprints, hill sprints, skipping sets, rowing, tabata, all out bag work... You get the idea. At first you'll not be able to do much but as a rough guide aim for 20 secs of work flat out, 10 secs of rest for multiple sets. The key is to make sure you're working max intensity while doing it and keep going till you complete your sets.
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good tips there DWx. Thanks.

I've looked at the c25k program and can see it's appeal. It's probably the right thing for me, but I like to just wing it.

I went out again today. Different route, different terrain. Probably a bit harder than I'm used to. Mostly on grass with small hills, rather than my usual completely flat pavement route. I only managed 3.5km and even that was with short walking breaks in it, but it's an improvement on my previous stats, so everything is slowly heading in the right direction.
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tubby
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 12 Sep 2015
Posts: 49


PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

its nor a popular idea but i am a big fan of treadmills for this sort of thing. your current oace is about 9kmh. jogging starts for me at least over 6.5. a treadmill acts as a pace setter so see if you can jog for 3km at 7.5 or 8 ans build from there. some find them boring. i out kn a fan and good musoc and am haply.

treadmills also work great for intervals. mine has a 400m lap.counter so i run 260m at a pace i can just finish, then walk back to the start point. repests 7 to 20 times. as a decent sized and middle aged guy, the extra bounce is welcome to my knees.

just dont think a mile ona. flat treadmill is the same as a mile kn the road. that aside they make a great training tool
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tubby wrote:
its nor a popular idea but i am a big fan of treadmills for this sort of thing. your current oace is about 9kmh. jogging starts for me at least over 6.5. a treadmill acts as a pace setter so see if you can jog for 3km at 7.5 or 8 ans build from there. some find them boring. i out kn a fan and good musoc and am haply.

treadmills also work great for intervals. mine has a 400m lap.counter so i run 260m at a pace i can just finish, then walk back to the start point. repests 7 to 20 times. as a decent sized and middle aged guy, the extra bounce is welcome to my knees.

just dont think a mile ona. flat treadmill is the same as a mile kn the road. that aside they make a great training tool


Treadmills are a good training tool, I agree. But alas, I don't have the mental resolve to use them. I'm lucky enough to live somewhere with such diverse scenery. I live right on the coast so I can run by the sea, or I can drive for a few minutes to woodland or open countryside.

My pace is improving too. I'm sub 8 mins per km now. Still too slow but getting quicker. Also that time is slightly misleading, as I believe most people start and stop measuring on the actual run, where as I start mine as soon as I get out of my car and stop it when I get back, so in essence my warm up and cool down are skewing the results. My favourite route by the way is on grass with lots of gradients and uneven surfaces. I think that makes it harder than some routes. That's not an excuse. I still need to speed up and increase my endurance capacity, but it's coming I think.
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