Any Taekwondo Forums Members Run To Stay Fit?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Kevin, May 8, 2012.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    In December I wasn't able to do any exercise. A combination of work, Christmas and preparing to move apartment to a new town meant that I couldn't do any exercise during most of the month.

    Unfortunately, on New Years Eve I suffered an asthma attack. I got disagnosed with asthma around 9 years ago and have never had one. I didn't have my inhaler with me as I never experienced any problems with breathing unless I was exercising or if it was really cold. So, the whole thing caught me by surprise.

    We were at my girlfriends uncles house for a party. At first I thought I'd get better and didn't want to ruin anyones night. Shortly after the bells we took the 1 hour journey home and I got my inhaler and felt better. Must admit, it scared me a little!

    Why I started Running

    When we moved town a few days after new year, I was keen to improve my fitness. We moved from a busy city to a beautiful small town that was next to farmland and had great sporting facilties. I was keen on improving my fitness so tried a 2 mile run (with my inhaler). I struggled the whole way. I had to stop several times and walk instead of running as I was struggling so bad - clearly I was still having problems my ashthma.

    I wasn't sure what was causing it. Bogota is around 8,200 feet above sea level and the town I'm staying just now is even higher, though I had stayed in the city for 4 months and never had a problem with my asthma, therefore it wasn't certain that the altitude was the problem.

    The asthma clinic I went to a few days later said the same thing. The doctor said that altitude wasn't a problem and it was mostly due to pollution, plants, trees - basically something else was triggering it. He prescribed me pils called Airbron (Montelukast). They were a god send. I went from using my inhaler 6-8 times a day to not really needing it at all.

    On my next run I was able to run 2 miles without stopping. A few days later I ran 4 miles. The following run I run and walked my way and finished an 8 mile run. From then on 8 miles would be my benchmark and in January and February this year I was doing 2-3 runs a week. Sometimes two 8 miles run and sometimes a 4 mile run as well.

    I was really enjoying it however unfortunately the drugs had some terrible side effects. I was feeling really really sad/depressed all the time. I'd wake up in the morning and find it difficult to get the energy to even get out of bed. I'm not scared in admitting that the dreams and the general feeling that the drug gave me at times was terrifying me. A quick check with the internet doctor (i.e. Google!) and I found that many other users had the same problems. Many were encouraging others not to take the drug and in a few severe cases, some people had unfortunately committed suicide.

    I stopped taking the pils a few days later.

    A strange thing happened. I didn't go back to how I felt before. I'm not sure if this was because my body had adapted to it, or perhaps the weather was causing it before, though my asthma wasn't as bad as it was before. I still use my inhaler in the morning and at night and usually once or twice at training but generally I feel great and after stopping taking the drugs I managed to reduce the time it took me to run 8 miles significantly.

    Why I stopped running and why I'm thinking of starting again

    I was really enjoying running and noticed a huge improvement in my fitness. Every week I was improving my time and I felt great. When I heard that there was a Taekwondo club in the town with 3 classes per week, I stopped running.

    I normally had sore/tight legs after a big run so it just wasn't possible to do both. Plus, even if you stretch a lot, running makes your leg muscles really tight, which isn't great for someone who already has a terrible stretch.

    The other week I couldn't make training due to my girlfriends cousins birthday party so I went for a 4 mile run. I managed to do it in an ok time though I struggled a lot when compared to before. My strength (press ups, sit ups etc) had certainly got better since going back to Taekwondo though my cardio had got worst.

    Last week there was no class on Monday. I trained on Wednesday but on Friday night there was a power cut in town and the class had to be cancelled due to there being no light.

    At tonights class I did feel that my cardio wasn't as good as it should be, perhaps in part to me only training once last week instead of three times. From running actively in January and February this year, I know that I can't blame my poor cardio on my age (32) or any other factors. If my cardio sucks in the class, it's my fault.

    We sparred at the end of the class and I could tell I was tired as my hands were down. True, I can be a bit lay with my hands as the club I am at is WTF and there are no attacks to the head permitted, though I always keep my hands up as usual anyways and fight the way I do in ITF. So dropping my hands so much is a clear indication that I was shattered.

    Cardio is something many people don't consider when they look at fighters etc. A black belt can get his ass kicked by a white belt if he's got nothing left in the tank. This happens frequently in MMA with one guy gassing out and the other guy having just enough left to take advantage of it.

    As such, I'm thinking of running again. 8 miles is probably too much as my legs are tight the next day, which isn't practical if I'm going to Taekwondo the following day. So what I'm thinking of doing is perhaps training Taekwondo on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and doing a 4 mile run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

    Before tonight, I was reluctant to run as I thought it would hinder my Taekwondo training, though I now feel that any problems with my legs being a little tight at class will be negated by the benefits of my cardio being increased and me being more active in sparring etc.

    Are there any other members here who run actively in order to keep up their fitness. I'd love to hear from members who have been running actively in conjunction with their Taekwondo training for years.

    Perhaps if I spend more time warming up and stretching before and after my run I can increase my distance without having too much pain in my leg though I don't want to overdo it. I plan on doing a 4 mile run tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday so I'll let you all know how I get on after next Mondays class.

  2. ninjanurse

    ninjanurse New Member

    I run daily...about 3-4 miles average. I never stretch before but spend 10-15 minutes after stretching all the important leg and core muscles. If anything my flexibility has improved....due to the consistent routine I am sure.
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    That's good to hear that running has helped rather than hinder your Taekwondo. So you're running on days you train Taekwondo? You must be as fit as a butchers dog!! :p

    Do you incorporate sprints into your routine as well?
  4. dojo

    dojo Member

    phew, this is a hard one for me. I hate running. Never liked doing this and it bores me. I presume I have some sort of an ADD, since I really get bored and lose any pleasure/focus with it. I tried going to the gym too and it was again such a drag. I do love going to whatever classes possible (even aerobics or tae bo), since there's always something new to keep me entertained. The only 'long distance' effort I'd make would be to ride my bike. Now that's something I like, since the scenery goes by faster. Otherwise I really have no motivation :(
    Intercept likes this.
  5. Joe

    Joe Member

    I do run, about once or twice a week. But I don't do long distance, I do timed sprint intervals, usually 15sec sprint then a 15sec cool-down. and do this for about 5 minutes. I found it really helps training for a tournament and over all fitness. And it keeps the boredom out of an extremely long run :p
  6. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    I've read that sprinting is better for Taekwondo as it's a 'sprint sport' with lots of bursts etc, though I do still think endurance plays a big part, particularly when sparring at the end of the class when you're shattered.
  7. Joe

    Joe Member

    You are 100% right with the endurance, you need to be able to recover during that break between rounds, and have the aerobic fitness to be able to go through all the rounds you need to. I personally find that with the bursts of speed and the active 'rests' which the cool-down I referred to early was supposed to be, shows the recovery period between rounds, while the sprint shows the active rounds of a fight.
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    It's not something I really want (need!) to improve. I'm not very quick at the moment. I know that if I can be quicker in sparring I will get the upper hand much more. I'm aware this is because I'm at a WTF school where students have had speed emphasised to them since the day they started. Hopefully, I'll be able to adapt to it soon :)
  9. Don

    Don New Member

    Hi Kevin,
    I get very bored as well road running...tried triathlons but, snooze. So now I trail run and have been mountain biking for a long time, so participate in 'adventure races'...mbike, trail run and paddle. I'm past wanting or needing to get faster for my martial arts fighting (I find old and tricky matches up pretty well against young and speedy:) but I don't find my running has hurt my flexibility. There is nothing like this combination though for overall fitness when matched with regular Taekwondo training.
    Great to see your site is attracting a lot of very good martial arts people.
    lynM likes this.
  10. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah it's been encouraging to see so many Taekwondo practitioners join up - beginners and veterans. Hope it continues to grow :)

    I did a 4 mile run yesterday. Didn't manage to get out until 5.30pm. Felt sluggish as we had did squats at training the night before and my legs felt like tree trunks. Usually do 4 miles in around 35-37 minutes but I took 40 minutes - I was dragging my ass the whole way haha.

    That's a trail run too. It's a country road next to farmland and is made up of dirt, stones and potholes. When I do the 8 mile run I usually do a loop and the first 4 miles are on the trail with the last 4 being on the road (though a lot of it can be considered as trail as I run in the dirt at the side of the road).

    Fitness is something I definitely want to keep working at. My breathing was quite bad yesterday morning so I suspect my lack of fitness the other night has something to do with my asthma playing up because of the rainy weather we've had here the last week or so, though I still think that I'm going to really benefit from doing extra cardio work. I'll need to see how tight my legs are in training though and change my running schedule accordingly.

    Cycling is something I've never really considered. With me travelling so much, it's probably more practical to keep running but would be good to do a cycle every now and then :)
  11. John Hulslander

    John Hulslander Active Member

    I run, but have arthritic knees so I have concerns about continuing running.

    I do 4 miles, 3 days a week now, and am working up to 5 3 days a week. In the summer I will add a long distance day on Saturdays.

    Until I pick up distance days on Saturdays I do fartleks on Saturdays (interval training) and follow it up with the P90X plyometric program.

    Goal is general health and I want to run a marathon in 2013.

    To be honest it helps with Taekwondo training a little, not a ton but a little. Someone suggested fartleks (interval running) to prep for tourneys, I could not agree more. Distance running gives you the wrong kind of endurance training for fighting.
  12. Joe

    Joe Member

    If you have good technique then the speed behind each technique will come. Technique is more important than the speed is, which is unfortunately not mentioned enough. No point in doing something fast if you can't do it properly. As such you will get the kicks faster the more you practice, even doing continuous round kicks for 1 min as fast as you can, 1 min rest and repeat will help speed it up. :)
    lorraine likes this.
  13. Pat Thomson

    Pat Thomson Member

    I run a fair bit street runs(long distance), Sprint runs 50 metres 10 second break then do another 50 etc, and stair runs (60 stair steep staircase near were i live sprint up jog down the road back to the bottom). Has halped my sparring a heap and has increased kicking power
  14. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    Once I get my fitness up, I'm keen on doing sprints or interval training in order to improve my overall speed.

    I know what you're saying but I don't think technique and speed go hand in hand. Many people with great technique aren't fast and don't have as quick a snap as others. I do agree that technique is vital though.
  15. Pat Thomson

    Pat Thomson Member

    Only way to improve technique is practice, there is a no limit to the speed but too many people ake shortcuts with techniques to get high speed sacrificing their technique.
  16. Christina

    Christina New Member

    I hate to run, and when I do, I look too I need to add a weight building regimine to my life, in order to become more able to do the harder things associated with brown belt and higher.
  17. lynM

    lynM Member

    I think the conventional wisdom is running for cardio doesn't have to be a lot of it. Something like 3-5 miles for 3 times a week. Not being a runner, I don't know for sure. But the distance people are doing it to gain endurance for marathons, etc. Just to keep fit, moderation is the key word. At least that is what I understood.

    But then, I am one of those who abhorrs running. I don't like doing it, I don't like the way people look while doing it, I don't like hearing the fanatics talk of their love of it. (I take it a little personal, don't you think? Don't mind me....)

    That being said, I think I am talking about long distance running. To me that is anything longer than a 5K. Up to that, you are just doing some cardio. :- ) Like Dojo above, I get bored. Bored, bored, bored. And I just don't get the meditation part. Blah. I just don't think I am cut out for it. I can do about 5 minutes before I start to rebel inside my mind. Same thing happens when we are doing drills and the instructor forgets to switch to something else... over 5 mintes and I am off in la-la land dreaming of laundry or lunch; looking out the windows.....

    I also get bored with yoga, pilates and weightlifting. I have tried each of them and I just can't stimulate my mind doing those things. I know you are supposed to count or something, but - sheesh - I need something else going on.

    I like the interval training tho. And for cardio in class we will do 3 minutes hard and fast combos on the punching bags then 30 seconds of continuous something else (skip-knees, jumping jacks, speed crunches) to catch our breath, then back to 3 minutes of some combo. Maybe a 1 minute rest after a few rounds of that. That was amazing when I got up to a good level that I could do it without needing to rest in between.

    I also ran my first obstacle "mud" run (no mud in the desert) last month. A 5K and, no, I didn't "run" it all. But the terrain and obstacles were fun to do and I kept up a slow run/fast walk the whole way. My time was better than I expected. I do know it was the cardio from kickboxing that put me in shape to do the whole thing.

    My next bit I want to add tho is running stairs. I know, sounds boring on the surface. But I think the power challenge and the fear of falling from some height will keep me motivated. :- ) And after the obstacle run, I think I need it to get better.....
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Administrator Staff Member

    I don't mind weightlifting so much as you can get a lot done in 45 minutes if you put your mind to it. I used to enjoy swimming too but that can be very boring. It's a fantastic way to stay in shape and lose weight though.

    Running up stairs for exercise is my idea of hell haha ;)
    lynM likes this.
  19. lynM

    lynM Member

    Well, haven't started the stairs. Everything around me is flat. Got to work on that. And yes, I expect it to be boring to some degree. I don't think I will be doing it for much, just maybe 5 minutes at a time..... We just picked up some jump ropes and I think I will try doing that during commercials while doing some tv wathcing... if the dog with let me.
  20. lorraine

    lorraine Member

    I agree with Joe. Technique equals both power and speed and its not mentioned enough .With correct technique , kicks begin to flow and feel less cumbersome .Without correct technique , it does'nt matter how fit you are , the speed and power won't be there. In fact you will just end up injuring yourself.

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