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  • TopNotch
    replied
    Day 877

    Challenges:
    ​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 13
    ​​ Plank Hero Day 12

    This was mostly a day for cogitation. As usual, the current AMA has both answered questions and raised issues.
    So I'm writing out my thinking here so it's not just on a piece of paper that ends up in the recycling bin.
    There are many things that I need to work on to improve my MA and fitness. I feel that I need to improve my running, my balance, flexibility and mobility, strength, cardiovascular fitness; I need to strengthen my hips, knees and ankles; I need to be able to apply power - oh, in short, I need to become a perfect physical specimen! And so I have devised various programmes to help me achieve these aims, all the while training four nights a week - two nights being mainly cardio, strength, and sparring; and two nights being full body activation with poomsae, which, while not being obviously cardio or strength, does require that pretty much every muscle in the body is turned on for the entire session. For a while, I squeezed running in on the other three days of the week. And I was stretching. And doing the occasional other activity - cycling, walking, weights, whatever seemed good on the day. Oh, and my podiatrist had provided me with exercises that I was supposed to do three times a week. Surprise, surprise, things were not really improving. Why not? Wasn't I working hard enough? What else did I have to do?
    Having recently got a clean bill of health from the cardiologist, I felt that I had no reason not to push myself as much as possible. But then I read something, and I wondered if that were perhaps not the best thing to do. I heard about zone 2 training and it seemed to me like a Good Thing. Unfortunately, it was not as easy for me as it sounded. I didn't expect it to be "easy" as what I had read suggested that staying at such a low level of exertion was difficult, but what I found most difficult was trying to determine exactly what that level of exertion looked like in my body. Fortunately, suddenly an AMA appeared! I tried to formulate my thinking into a coherent question for Damer who gave one of his well-considered responses, and this started me thinking. And then Montserrat asked another question, and in the answer to that, Damer said two more things that resonated with me:
    "When you mix exercises the way you do, you load the body's muscular, cardiovascular and aerobic systems but in a less structured way."
    "The hardest thing for us to realize when we train is that sometimes slower delivers faster results provided we do it in a structured way."
    I had read about how it was preferable not to do two programmes at the same time because they could essentially cancel each other out, so I was being good and I stopped that. What I hadn't realised until just now is that what I was doing was something similar (only nowhere near as good as a Darebee programme!), trying to work on everything I wanted or felt I needed to work on all at the same time. Two words in Damer's response particularly stuck out - structure and slower. I had already recently considered slowing things down with z2 training, but I still lacked structure.
    Obviously, the four nights I train are going to stay there. In a couple of weeks, I'll have three weeks off until the next term starts. So I pencil those into my schedule. What else has to be there? Again, obviously, my podiatry exercises. There is little point going to any therapist if you're not going to take their advice seriously. The podiatrist had said that these exercises were to be done pretty much to fatigue, and that I needed to have at least a day between to recover properly. I said that this term I was training four consecutive nights a week, and he said in that case, to do the exercises on a non-sparring night. Yet even having 7-8 hours between the exercises and poomsae wasn't really enough because my ankles were still so tired. And on other days when I did the exercises, I'd go for a walk either that day or the next. Where was the required rest? No wonder my ankle hasn't improved and I'm starting to feel some extra stress on my knee. So I'll have to do those exercises only two days a week and give myself the appropriate recovery period. Pencil that in. Peculiarly, I never really thought of those exercises as any sort of workout, but looking at them, I have 8 exercises, with 2 or 3 sets of 8-12 reps each (except for the jumping/hopping and skipping exercises which have more reps). Step-ups, calf raises, heel walks with weight, etc - just solid focus on the parts of me below the knee. To fatigue. Do I really need to add anything more?
    Yep. I need to do some upper body work and I need some fun. I can get both of these by playing with Marcy. Perhaps I'll add a bit of leg work before I do the rehab exercises, but with a focus more on the glutes and hips.
    And that'll pretty much be it. I'll still get out for the occasional walk, and sometimes I might hop on the exercise bike for a bit - particularly during the upcoming break, but other than that, I'm going to slow down (I know, I'm not really going so fast right now, but this is a different kind of slow) and try to focus on one thing at a time. It'll be a novel approach for me, and I'm guessing it'll be a challenge. I'll give it three months - I think that's a good length of time to try something; if there's no improvement in that time - well, then I've got it wrong and I'll have to hope for another AMA!
    Tomorrow I'll scratch things down on a piece of paper and give myself some slow structure.

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  • NancyTree
    replied
    Looks like a great hike! 😊

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  • Lady Celerity
    replied
    Looks like you and the lad enjoyed beautiful clear air

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  • Anek
    replied
    Ah well, then it's good that I don't actually have the brand of the seat, as it was installed by the shop they kept the package

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  • TopNotch
    replied
    Day 876

    Challenges:
    ​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 12
    ​​ Plank Hero Day 11. Challenging.

    It was sunny today but still quite windy, and when I went out, that wind brought the temperature down from 11° to 4°. Still, went up a new-to-me mountain. Not a bad climb and great views, but not terribly exciting. The Lad came with me and he quite enjoyed the walk. We were out for just under an hour and I don't think we walked more than about 3k. The elevation was only a little more than about 120m.
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    Poomsae training. As promised, we were taught Shipjin tonight. I'd like to say "we learnt" but I'm not sure I've "learnt" it at all! Every pattern builds on previous patterns but throws in something completely new. This pattern has two, possibly three, "completely new" things, which makes it as interesting as it is challenging.

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  • TopNotch
    replied
    Just teasing, Anek

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  • Anek
    replied

    Do you mean about a comfortable bike seat? I would need to look up what I got, I don't have it here. But it's a wide and I think gel-filled seat, no idea of the brand. Sorry! I can check tomorrow.

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  • TopNotch
    replied
    Day 875

    Challenges:
    Easy Core Challenge Day 11
    Plank Hero Day 10
    Exercise bike. About an hour at about 30kph. Still working on this zone 2 training, and at this speed with a tension of 5/10, I think I managed to stick in the zone. Maybe. Depending on what that zone actually is for me. It was quite sustainable except my bum didn't like it. Perhaps Anek can advise me here!

    Taekwondo training. A bit of running to warm up, lunges, reverse lunges, joint warm-up. Then some kicking - 5 instep es in own time, then 10 es, followed by 10 es turning, and 10 es side. On to the wall where we working the hip flexors for a bit before - oh dear - some fun stuff that was done with the children! We each got a small, light plastic hoop and had to put it over an ankle, holding the leg out to the side, and we had to get that hoop spinning. Hmm, yep, that was interesting. Then our partners had to throw the hoop over our extended, side-kick leg, and we had to try to catch the hoop by moving our legs if necessary. A lot depended on whether or not your partner had a good aim, or thought that you were holding your foot up somewhere about 30cm higher than your head. Or was that just my partner? Bit of hilarity there! On to pad work - first just cut kick on the spot, then up the line. My partner kept flinching... We then pushed our partners back and, while holding onto them, did two turning kicks to the pad, which meant you had to stick your bum out. Very elegant! My partner couldn't hold any more, so I got a new one for the next drill - punch with the back hand, then inner crescent kick with back leg over partner's head. My new partner was taller than me but he didn't have to duck much, though my inner crescent isn't so good as my outer. Finally the coach gave us five minutes to do any kick, so my partner (I think he was a third dan) held the body shield, and the four remaining adults did back side kick. The holder was giving good feedback, telling people to pick up the knee first, or not to swing out. To me, he said that my technique was good, but I had to kick him. Ah, too poomsae again! We don't need to worry about actually making contact with anything. I am very pleased, though. Last year, my back side kick was absolutely rubbish. First term this year, it was marginally better - I didn't fall over so often! Now I am relatively confident that I can do something that is recognisably a back side kick!

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  • TopNotch
    replied
    Thanks, DorothyMH

    Day 874

    Challenges:
    Easy Core Challenge Day 10
    Plank Hero Day 9

    Poomsae training. Before training started, I asked our champion how I can get that waist "snap". It constantly eludes me. He said that one drill he used to do was a quick waist twist, just back and forth, but quickly. He said after a little while, you really feel it down your midline. So we had a go (you can do stuff like that at training because we always do odd things and nobody seems to notice!), and he asked me if I felt it but I had to confess that I didn't. Perhaps that's because I've got a relatively strong core? Anyway, I'll keep doing that for a while, and he showed me something else that I'll also practice. Today we learnt another pattern. Or rather, I and two others learnt the pattern - the other three knew it already. Pyongwon. We'd started to learn it quite some time ago, but had never finished it. Today we went through it all, but my memory failed me a few times, and I totally screwed up the end, mostly through memory failure, but that was okay; I'm pleased with what I learnt. I'll go over it again tomorrow. On Friday, we're scheduled to learn the next pattern - Shipjin (which is the fifth black belt pattern, so if all my prospective gradings go as planned, I'll be grading on this pattern in 2035!). We have to download a scoring app on our tablets if we have one, because next week we'll be learning how to score.

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  • DorothyMH
    replied
    Congrats on Better Arms!

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  • TopNotch
    replied
    Day 873

    Challenges:
    Easy Core Challenge Day 9
    Plank Hero Day 8

    Taekwondo training. The temp barely crawled above 8° with the feel temp not going over 1.2° today, so it was hard to get out of my nice warm clothes into my dobok. As we were running laps for our warm-up, the coach commented on how the cool air shoots up our flappy sleeves! After the running, we did 30 seconds, without a break, each of jumping jacks, push-ups, leg raises, push-outs, mountain climbers and pre-squats. Some more stretching. Partner running and balance drills. Then kicking to pads - cut kick and then cut kick and turning kick.

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  • TopNotch
    replied
    Day 872

    Challenges:
    Easy Core Challenge Day 7
    Plank Hero Day 7
    20x3 Running Day 5? Actually, I'm not at all sure that what I did today counts as a run. I tried, you see, to do it in zone 2, but even loping along really slowly (more like a loping walk, really), I couldn't keep my HR in the right range. So I ended up walking, but I had to walk faster than I'd normally walk. Even then, though, my HR kept dropping so I'd have to ramp things up a bit to raise it again. Occasionally it went too high, and into zone 3. So I'd walk again, and when the HR dropped, I picked up the weights that are part of the treadmill, only they are quite light - the heaviest is 5lb, so what's that, 2.5kg? Anyway, swinging them around and pumping my arms while holding them got the heart rate up but I didn't really enjoy that. Finally, I found that if I walk normally, but every few minutes do a lot of little mincing steps to raise the HR, then walk normally again, I can keep the HR in zone 2. Phew! All up today, I walked/ran/loped/minced for 55 minutes which was about 5k. This had better be worth it, but from what I've been reading, it takes months of working in zone 2 before you see any real difference. Still, if it works... Anyway, so that's why I'm not sure that today's workout counted. I did run for a bit, but not for 20 minutes. I think I'm going to have to stop this challenge, and just do my walking 3 or so times a week for the next... year? Nah, it shouldn't be like that, because the more I do it (according to the research I've done), the better I'll get and the harder I can work while remaining in that zone. Well, we'll see.

    I struggle with two of the exercises the podiatrist gave me. One is heel/calf raises. Not that I have any difficulty doing them, mind you, but on my bad foot, now that I have to do them one-legged, they hurt my big toe, so I'm doing the "toe push-ups" the physio told me about ages ago to see if that helps. The other is the hop-and-stick exercise, where I hop to one side (only a little hop) and stay/stick, making sure I have good balance before I hop back the other way. I wonder if this problem is connected to the toe more than the ankle... Doing well with the other exercises though.

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  • TopNotch
    replied
    calendula It seems a good thing to do, and what with my peculiarly high exercise heart rate, it might be the solution, so I'm going to stick with it as best I can. Plus it gives me a really good excuse - I mean, reason - to run even slower than I do already!

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  • calendula
    replied
    I've tried zone 2 training in the past and experienced the same thing - my heart rate seems very happy at zone 3 for what seems like the most basic cardio effort. Glad that you've found the "golf course pace" keeps you within that zone!

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  • TopNotch
    replied
    Day 871

    Challenges:
    Easy Core Challenge Day 6
    Plank Hero Day 5
    20x3 Running Day 4. Another ab day - Classic Abs. I've been working to avoid the ab workouts that are planks, partly because of the challenge and partly because I ought to do ab exercises that aren't just planks.
    Exercise bike. 30 minutes.

    I've been looking into Zone 2 training and thought I'd give it a bit of a go on the exercise bike. It was harder than I thought to get my heart rate up to zone 2 but not into zone 3. I kept dropping 20-30bpm below what I was aiming for, but if I really cranked things up, I'd shoot past, and that would be a waste of time too. This Z2 training is harder than I thought! Apparently, though, according to my Fitbit record, my usual walk around the golf course has me in the right zone, except for a few parts when it drops, so that might be the best thing to do, and walking around the place is way more interesting than sitting on an exercise bike for an hour. The weather today, however, was not propitious - a bit wet, very windy, with the feel temp hovering between -2° and 2° all day. It's been quite cold already, with another week forecast to be around 8-11°.

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