steady state cardio

As mentioned before, I’m going to give a quick overview over the workouts that are listed in my workout plan. As a reminder, during July and August I’m doing off-season training in preparation for the TAGB „British Championships“ on November 22nd 2009.

Although I don’t believe in running – on its own – as a suitable method of getting in shape, when done correctly, it can be a great tool to complete a workout plan. I’m using steady state cardio training as an active means of recovery and to keep my cardiovascular system healthy. Being able to breathe throughout a fight is very important. You see, it’s not about what you can pull off after 30 seconds, it’s about what you can do in the third round.

If you’re not able to think clearly, if your reaction slows down, if your technique gets sloppy because your lungs are screaming and all your thoughts revolve around catching some air, you’re done.

Now running – especially steady-state distance running – will definately not prepare your body for short rounds of two, three or five minutes during which you have to muster all your speed and strength and use all of your body. The only thing that’ll prepare you for this kind of stress are short, all-out efforts that approximate your round duration and the intensity of your style.

However, aerobic exercise strenghtens your heart and allows for an improves oxygen transportation. Also, it’ll lower your resting pulse rate, thus relieving your heart and improving your overall health.

Given the fact that steady-state cardio will actually help your body regenerate if you keep intensity low, along with the beforementioned benefits, buys this form of training a place in my book.

Keep in mind, however, that running will put additional stress on your joints, which confines its usefulness especially in times when you’re already keeping intesity and joint strain high, like in the weeks before your fight. In those times, it’s better to find another means of steady-state cardio and/or active regeneration, like cycling or swimming.
Also, aerobic exercise will shift your hybrid muscle fibers towards slow-twitch fibers, which will make you slower and less powerful. Just compare a sprinter to a marathon runner and you’ll see what I mean. Aerobic exercise therefore has to be accompanied with power-work, or else you’ll just be weak.

For me, running for 45 – 60 minutes at a heart rate of 150 – 170 bpm is a good way to improve my aerobic endurance. While running, I pay attention to technique in order to avoid further knee injury. I think it’s important to pay attention to what you’re doing, so I really despise the idea of running on a threadmill while watching some silly sitcom on a small screen in front of me.
Just as a side-note, I’m not doing my cardio on a threadmill, I’m running outdoors. My location here in Vienna offers some wonderful jogging routes.

I guess I’ll go on about running and why I don’t see it fit for everybody soon.
Until then, take care.

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