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Impossible is for the Unwilling

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    I really connected with a lot of your previous post! I also feel impatient to see results in terms of my strength and fitness and can tend to pile on the challenges in the hopes that I'll see progress towards my goals faster. But since my goals are generally everything (cardio, strength, endurance, speed, mobility), I do tend to hop around a bit and pile intense cardio on to strength training and so forth. In the short term, I notice that this can also lead to feelings of failure as I feel "weak" when in reality what I'm often experiencing is muscle fatigue where my body still hasn't been given the chance to repair and build strength and is also probably confused about what it should be putting energy towards. Over time, as I continue to pile on the workouts, I find myself feeling "weak" every day when really I'm just fatigued in a new way every day.

    It is so difficult for me to grasp the balance of stress and rest. I really appreciate Darebee's approach of microworkouts and active recovery as tools to help us build a habit of exercise and combat a sedentary lifestyle. However, un-learning this "all or nothing" style of exercise will probably take me many years if I'm being honest. I end up reading the Rest, Recovery and Overtraining guide over and over again to keep me pointed in the right direction.
    The other takeaway from Darebee's guide and my own personal experience? SLEEP! Maybe it seems we should pay the same amount of attention to the quality of our sleep as our fitness routines


      calendula, TopNotch Yes! To me, this is also very familiar. But reading about your experiences with these issues is very helpful. Understanding how the body responds really is a journey of discovery!


        Day 879

        ​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 14
        ​​ Plank Hero Day 13
        Glutes of Steel Day 2

        Ankle exercises. I haven't listed these before, nor have I paid much attention to how long the whole routine took, but today I timed it and it took me about 30 minutes which was surprising. Of course, when there is a rep range, I always choose the higher one. Yeah, overachiever. Sometimes I wish I'd just be told to do X number!
        Exercise bike. This was real recovery ride speed. Or perhaps slower! I dropped the resistance to only 3/10 and managed to keep the speed around 12mph, and I cycled until the episode ended so it was just over 23 minutes. I could have kept going forever at that speed, I think. It was really slow, and I did find it difficult to keep to that speed but I eventually got into the swing of it. Interestingly, though, I quite enjoyed it. Novelty value, perhaps? Anyway, I think I can do this again, which is a Good Thing.


          Day 880

          ​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 15
          ​​ Plank Hero Day 14
          Glutes of Steel Day 3

          Taekwondo training. Running to warm up. We had a longer warm-up today because it was cold. It was grey all day and the temp barely got over 6°, with the feel temp around 1°. The gym was cold, and there seemed to be cold air blowing out of the overhead ducts. Bbbrrrr. Anyway, bit of running, then slow eccentric push-ups (my "slow" was way slower than the GM's because he was saying "up" when I was only halfway down. I think I do good slow eccentric push-ups. Now if only I can do faster normal ones! On the To-Do list. We did push-outs and flutter kicks, then normal push-ups until the GM got tired of calling "Up!" Punches - mid section and upper, a couple of laps of lunges, hip rotations, one of duck walk. Finally wamed enough, we did a few laps of instep kick, then ditto of turning kick and down kick. Then we had to partner up (which is difficult when people don't come to training), and we had to hold our hand up so that our partner's instep hit the forward hand at the top of the down kick and their soles slapped the lower, slightly further away hand. I did one with my partner but she complained I kicked too hard even though I tried to be gentle with her so she called over the GM and he held his hands up for me. I must lean a little more into the down part of the kick, let gravity help me. Finally we did hook kick. Now that my back side kick has improved, hook kick has become my worst kick. We had to practice holding the wall. My partner tried to copy me but she couldn't do it so called over the GM again. He decided to use us to demonstrate two ways you could do this kick, both being right. First he showed how she had to turn over her hip to get her leg high enough to kick him in the face because she was not so flexible in the hips. Then he showed how my leg came up high enough to kick him in the face before I had rotated to hook because I've got the flexibility. Different ways of getting to the same place.

          Part of me wanted to go for another gentle cycle but I wasn't sure it was a wise idea so I didn't. I'll take things quite slow for a little while, then maybe add a bit more cycling, but possibly it might be best not to do so on a training day. It is so hard to work out how to go slow, and how slow to go! I think tomorrow, though, I'll have a bit of a play with Marcy. I'm sure she's missed me.


            Day 881

            ​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 16
            ​​ Plank Hero Day 15
            Glutes of Steel Day 4
            Playdate with Marcy. Chest press - 3 x 5 (that was about my 5 rep max). Changed things up a little with the lat pull-downs and did a mechanical drop-set: 1 x 5, remove one plate, 2 x 10, remove another plate, 3 x 10 - not exactly a drop-set because I didn't go to fatigue but that's because at that weight I could have kept going for a while. As a finisher and after going to the kitchen to pour another cup of tea (does that count as "active rest"?!), I did my 1 rep max. Then I abandoned Marcy and did 3 x 10 bent-over barbell rows.

            Poomsae training. I wasn't feeling it tonight because I had a wobbly tum. I went to training but I didn't really participate. We were learning about scoring poomsae and had loaded various free scoring programmes on our tablets or phones. The coach took us through them, and then they paired up and one person did pattern 1 while the other person scored, then they swapped. I watched one pair and thought of how I'd score them. I moved to another pair when they moved on to doing pattern 7. Then we all got together for another discussion. We watched one person do pattern 4 and compared scores, which were pretty similar, at least as far as accuracy was concerned. Then the coach said to go away and this time score not only accuracy but also presentation, which is quite subjective. So I watched the last pair doing pattern 7 again. It was very interesting, and made people a lot more aware of exactly what they were doing - oh, was that a 0.1 I just got? Do I have enough volume of movement to get a good presentation score? Must confess that I was glad I wasn't up to it tonight because I wouldn't have liked to have seen what I would have scored! Glad I went, though, because I did want to learn about scoring.


              Day 882

              ​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 17
              ​​ Plank Hero Day 16
              Glutes of Steel Day 5
              Exercise bike. I so wanted to play with Marcy again today but in keeping with my current Go-Slow programme (and to ensure proper recovery, anyway), I didn't let myself. But I did say I could go on the exercise bike for a bit. Oh, see how I treat myself! It seemed more difficult today to stay around the 12mph mark, and I did drift up occasionally to 13mph, but I tried to keep it closer to 12. When I stopped, I was surprised to see that I had been cycling for about 35 minutes (I thought it had been less) but I had kept it gentle the whole time so that should be all right.

              Taekwondo training. The coach decided to have us play games to start off. Well, after the running of laps and relays! We each got two small plastic hoops. They are flat circles, of about 60cm diameter. We had to throw one ahead of us, jumping into it, throw the next one, pick up the one we were standing in and pull it up over ourselves before we could jump into the next hoop and repeat the process. Fortunately we didn't have any of the larger people there today! Then in facing pairs, one partner had to throw the hoop over the other person's foot, and if that worked, each person had to take a step back and do it again. The next challenge was to catch it on our own foot. Everyone could do it fairly easily with an instep kick, so the coach had us do it first with a side kick, then she decided to try us on a down kick! It seemed that I was the first person who managed to do this and it was more by fluke than design. The last one we had to try was a back side kick, and that just resulted in hoops rolling or flying all over the place! Good thing there weren't so many of us. One of the young coaches-in-training took us through punches - 10 midsection, 10 upper, 5 midsection double, and 5 upper double. The other coach-in-training took us through floor stretches and then we did some stretching against the wall. The first c-i-t then took us through kicks - 10 each side. First lot was instep, turning and side, followed by about a 30-second break, before we did push, down and hook. The last lot was axe, out-swing and in-swing. I was pleased we ended on my good leg doing the in-swing, because even tired, I can get good height with that one! The coach finished us off with a 2-minute plank.


                Day 883

                ​​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 18
                ​​​ Plank Hero Day 17
                Glutes of Steel Day 6
                ​ Exercise bike. I'm not sure if there is a limit to exactly how often I should do gentle exercise, but I'm reckoning that as long as it is gentle, there's no real limit necessary. So I got on the bike again, listening to a few episodes of Zombies, Run!, and pedalled my way through Ohio, marvelling at the idea that there are places that have long, paved, dedicated bike paths! Anyway, the episodes were very exciting and I kept listening, and tried very hard to stay around 12mph (but found myself creeping again up to 13), and then finally I said enough and stopped. I had been cycling for 73 minutes (no wonder I had started wriggling on that seat!), and covered 14.9 miles. I was surprised because I didn't think it had been so long. I had managed an average speed of 12.25mph, or a shade under 20kmph, and I had done it so gently that I'm sure I could have cycled another 73 minutes (except perhaps for that seat...).

                Poomsae training. Oh. My. Goodness! Side kick training day. Everyone hates side kick training days. They are hard. After a bit of warming up, including laps of side kick preps and full side kicks, we lined up and worked the first side kick of Pyongwon - the part that starts off in long stance, has an instep kick, then goes into a back side kick. We did this 5 times each side. Then we did the next side kick station, but this one was a little different in that the left side kick ends with an elbow strike while the right side kick ends in a compression strike (generally they are the same only opposite). After that, we did the side kick station of Taebeak, again 5 times es. Each time we had finished, we had a rest while the coach explained what was next. This was technical training so there was comments on what might seem little insignificant points. We were supposed to be "resting" in the splits, because that's what Poomsae athletes do (!), but we were allowed our choice of splits. Next up was the double side kick of Koryo, and then the single side kick station. We finished with the easier side kick station of pattern 5, and we did the whole station, so both sides at a go, five times. The coach then said we would do a couple of drills to end the session, and he held up his hand, curving his fingers and thumb slightly, fingers at the top. There were groans. What this meant is that one person held their hand so, while the other did a side kick and held the foot between fingers and thumb - but not touching either - for 3 seconds. My partner was a second dan who had come to Poomsae for the second time. I had to hold my hand almost as low as I could get it without bending over and he kept falling over backwards and didn't make the three seconds. I got my foot level with his head and had little trouble holding for three seconds, except that right ankle let me down a couple of times when I was holding up the left leg. As a finisher, the coach led us to the wall. He had told me before the session that there wouldn't be any wall work! This was a new one. I don't think it will be anyone's favourite, though! We stood with the support foot facing away from the wall and put our kicking foot, in side kick position, against the wall, pushing through with the supporting leg as we are supposed to do. Our hands were to be at our chests, and we were to hold that position for two minutes. It sounds easier than it was! At about 1 minute, the coach changed his mind and said it would only be 1 minute, 30 seconds! Oh, my abs! We had a couple of minutes off to recover before we did the other leg. I don't think we could have done anything else after that, and we all staggered off home!


                  We stood with the support foot facing away from the wall and put our kicking foot, in side kick position, against the wall, pushing through with the supporting leg as we are supposed to do. Our hands were to be at our chests, and we were to hold that position for two minutes. It sounds easier than it was!
                  Trying to picture this... it doesn't seem easy at all!


                    Day 884

                    ​​​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 19
                    ​​​​ Plank Hero Day 18
                    ​​ Glutes of Steel Day 7
                    Walk. It was a beautiful day so I simply could not resist getting out for a walk. Surprisingly after last night I was still able to move, so I took advantage of that fact. I added a bit to my usual route, and I did my best to keep it relatively gentle, so it took me 1½ hours to walk a bit more than 6.6km. When I started off, I was a bit cold, then I got a bit warm and contemplated removing my jacket but then I stepped into the shade and brrr! It was a warmish sort of day though, and when I was out it was 13-14° and as there was only a slight breeze, it felt 10-11°, so quite pleasant for this time of year.
                    Ankle exercises. Did these right after I came home so those poor old ankles got well fatigued!

                    I'm currently conflicted. I really enjoy doing Poomsae. I really need to get my ankles as strong and stable as possible, which will (I hope) reduce or even eliminate my knee problem. I'm not sure I can work on both of these things with appropriate intensity simultaneously. So right now, I am contemplated pausing Poomsae for a term. I think last night's side kick training, being very focussed and requiring full 180° rotation of the support foot, made me think. But I don't know. As I say, I'm conflicted...


                      Day 885

                      ​​​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 20
                      ​​​​ Plank Hero Day 19
                      ​​ Glutes of Steel Day 8
                      Exercise bike. Another leisurely ride through the countryside. This time my bum was so not into it - I think I need more than just one day off between lengthy cycles on this exercise bike! Anyway, still managed to go for 66 minutes and covered about 13½miles/21.6k, which gave me an average speed of 12.2m/19.6k which was a little more controlled than last time - except when my younger daughter wanted me to help her make her own crochet doll and so I had to sit up which made me pedal faster.
                      Playdate with Marcy. Chest press: 3 x 5; lat pull-downs: 1 x 5, reduce -> 2 x 10, reduce -> 3 x 10. Then to finish, 3 x 10 bent-over barbell rows.


                        That video makes me wish I had an exercise bike! The music is so relaxing... I guess it's cheating if I just leave it on in the background while I'm hanging out on the couch?


                          calendula There's music? I just prop my android up on the bike and watch the video, while I have ZR transmissions and my own music playing from my phone.


                            Day 886

                            ​​​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 21
                            ​​​​ Plank Hero Day 20
                            ​​ Glutes of Steel Day 9
                            Ankle exercises.

                            And that was it for today.


                              Day 887

                              ​​​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 22
                              ​​​​ Plank Hero Day 21
                              ​​ Glutes of Steel Day 10
                              Walk. On the treadmill because it was cold and raining but I wanted to walk. Had myself walking gently for about 50 minutes (can't remember the distance, though) through some rather nice state park.

                              Taekwondo training. The coach in training said, "Run 10 laps at a sustainable pace." So we did. Then he said, "Run another 10 laps." We did some drills with a pool noodle but they could just as easily (or better) have been done on an Iranian - quick low alternating kicks up the line, then one leg each lap, then two kicks each leg, then high instep kick to noodle, swapped to Iranians for more and faster kicks, including two low instep with one leg and then high turning with other leg. We did some stretching. We have a white belt and I stretched him, but one of my usual stretching partners offered to stretch my side kick as the GM had shown her (and me) exactly how to do it with me. Then, for a major change, we did patterns, starting at 1 and stopping with 6. We are all guilty of forgetting our lower patterns! The coach said we'd do 7 through to Keumgang on Thursday.


                                Day 888

                                ​​​​ Easy Core Challenge Day 23
                                ​​​​ Plank Hero Day 22
                                ​​ Glutes of Steel Day 11

                                Quiet day today because I had to go out. Also not feeling quite at my peak today. I did go over pattern 7 today though because yesterday, when we were on the brink of doing it, I went a complete blank. I know that seeing the first move would have reminded me, but I wanted to remind me! Better go over 8 too because I hate that pattern, but I'll do that tomorrow.