• Steve

Cross Training - Cycling

Updated: Jul 31

One of the first things I did when I started my journey was attempt to find what other Karateka were doing alongside their training to support their health and fitness. I struggled to find anything online, and this was one of my reasons for starting this blog, to share my knowledge and experience with others who may be asking the same questions.

Last night was my first non-karate night of the week, and I completed an event on Zwift. If you've not heard of Zwift before it's an application that allows you to cycle with/against others online using a turbo trainer and a bike. Now my setup is reasonably basic compared with many, but it works for me. The turbo trainer itself was the biggest purchase at £180 for a Tacx T2200. There were many cheaper options, but this one allows the Zwift app to control the difficulty appropriately based on inclines/declines, and also if you're on a training ride where you're aiming to generate a certain amount of power, it can adjust for that too. The turbo trainer connects to my iPad using Bluetooth, and I also use a heart rate monitor too. Lastly the bike itself is one I’ve had for many years which I added a training tyre to. It's far from perfect, but for a couple of rides a week it's perfectly fine. Oh, and an old table I found in the garage perfect to rest things on.

The ride I completed was a training ride designed by Matt Rowe ex professional cyclist, and the great thing about these rides is that Zwift sets you power goals for each interval which are based on your ability. So, the rider next to you may be producing 3x the power that you are, but on screen you stay together. There's also a chat feature, but I’m generally too busy trying to breathe.

I'm not a fan of road cycling simply due to the state of the roads themselves, and the risk involved so this seems like a perfect alternative. Whilst in general cycling is an aerobic exercise, the ride I completed pushes you into the anaerobic training zones too, which is more aligned to martial arts training of short rest times between bursts of high intensity movement. This to me makes it a perfect way to supplement your Martial Arts training.

I will be covering other methods which I use to supplement my training as time goes on. Currently I have Costochondritis so I’m being extra careful not to do anything outside of Karate which could impact this. Was this not the case I’d certainly be incorporating a lot more strength exercises at this stage. However, once I’ve made a full recovery, I’ll go into that in more detail.

Tonight, I’ll be focusing on some of the Karate basics; Mae Geri, Age Uke, and Soto Uke.

Edit: 31/07 - I was thinking last night whilst cutting the grass and figured this was worth adding. I already had access to all of the above equipment which makes this an easy option for me. Had I not, hill sprints would have been my next choice of training, which absolutely anybody can do without spending a penny!


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