Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Road Work

Ok so cardio training sucks.  Have you ever been on a tread mill just watching the seconds on the clock tick by wishing you were anywhere else?  I think we can all agree that cardio vascular fitness is a key element to surviving violence and just general wellbeing.  Running is a martial art that has been taught to every military - ever.  Running to the battle.  Running to safety (cover – concealment).  So if we can agree that running is a necessary evil, how can we make it more necessary and less evil (relevant to close quarters combat / self defense)?

Road work is what you sometimes see boxers do.  Boxers practice throwing combinations while they run.  That’s great for boxers but how does it improve quarters combat / self defense  and making cardio suck less you ask?  Well, you will have to customize things for the style you train but this is how I do it.

1) Run outside
  • Learn to adapt to the weather
  • Learn how different conditions effect movement
  • Learn the terrain around where you live
  • Active Threat assessment training
  • Much greater freedom of movement to do more than running (Road Work)

2) Activity Specific Performance Enhancement
What I mean by this while you are running also periodically do fundamental motions or skills of your close quarters combat / self defense style.  For example every 3rd step I’ll do one of the four basic motions I teach (Irimi, Tenkan, Hiraki, Yoko Sabaki)
  • Plyometric – explosive power training along with cardiovascular training
  • Opportunity do move outside the Dojo in the real world
  • Fun

3) Keep a recordEvery road work session try to go further, or faster (not both be careful not to over train) than the last one.  If you have a gps enabled smart phone there lots of free apps that allow you to do this.  Or a simple stop watch for you low tech off the grid types (how are you reading this?)
  • Stress inoculation - Competition, even just with yourself increases hormonal stress.  Learning what that feels like and how to deal with / overcome it
  • Pride – Steady progression encourages you to go out there and get on it even when the devil on your shoulder says “It’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s raining, it’s snowing, your bed is so comfy”

I train this way twice a week with 2 or 3 days rest in-between.  Give it a try, even if for only 20 minutes before work and you’ll never run on a treadmill again. 

1 comment:

  1. I can attest to the fact that road work is much less boring when you are chased by a 200lbs gorilla ;-)
    You are right. Training should be fun... and purposeful