there’s nothing more frustrating than to be in the middle of a sparring session, having your butt handed to you by some kid nearly thirty years younger, and then running out of steam. unfortunately, that’s the story of my kenpo ability (or inability, as the case may be).
i’m hoping to change that. a few weeks ago i bought a bike. my thinking was since i hate running (read: HATE RUNNING!!!!), bicycling may be a good way for me to get my cardio up, lose some weight, and help me last longer in the sparring matches.
but i used to ride bikes all the time. they say once you learn, you never forget. similar to kenpo where they say slow to learn, slow to forget. well, i have not forgotten how to ride! my rear end has forgotten how uncomfortable the seats can be, but even that is starting to pass with the miles (i’ve logged over 170 in the last three weeks).
Q. what’s funnier than watching an old, fat guy try to learn kenpo?
A. an old, fat guy riding a bike!
i like that i can stop for a break whenever i want to. i’ll pedal for a few miles then stop. the sweat just start POURING off me and then when i start pedaling again, the breeze makes it feel like i just stepped in front of an air conditioner. AWESOME! well, at least for the first 3 or 4 minutes.
i started somewhat small treks … about 5 miles. then i decided to push myself a bit. my legs were stronger than i thought, so the problem was more with fatigue from distance or saddle sores. i pushed myself a bit more the second week. then i went out of town and everything got out of whack. but as soon as the dust settled, i was back in the groove.
last friday i went out after work. it was about 103°F … a typical july day in texas. i loaded the bike up on the car and went to a local bike trail park. i knew from where i was starting i could do quite a bit of mileage. i rode from one park to another via a bike trail connection.
on a side note, i like the bike trails because there are no extreme hills in either direction, so i don’t have to get exhausted climbing mt everest or find myself “cheating” by coasting for five miles either. they’re pretty level and that allows me to pedal, pedal, pedal. it’s about staying busy with the legs and trying to build some endurance. AND i don’t have idiot drivers running me off the road or screaming obscenities at me because i’m going about 30 miles under the speed limit.
anyway, last friday i hit the trails and went for 9 miles before i took my first five minute break. from my stopping point i knew i could go to the end of the second park trail and back and it would be another 14 miles. but could i do it without stopping? YES. so my second stop was at 23 miles. the only thing left was the ride back to the car. another 9 miles. i was tired. my speed (which is not fast to begin with) slowed some, but not as drastic as i thought it might.
for the most part, i stayed very consistent throughout the ride. about 12.5 miles per hour. i’m not trying to win any races, just build endurance. when i pulled up to the car i dug out my iphone and took a look at my bike app … 33.68 miles! i contemplated turning around and doing another 1.4 just so i could get to 35, but my legs were exhausted and i was desperate need of fluids.
so i walked, stretched, texted the two people who were checking to see if i was alright after being gone for two-and-a-half hours. then went home.
saturday my legs were TIRED. no riding. but today i’m back on the neighborhood streets. putting in 7-10 miles. i’m trying to ride about 50-70 miles a week to go along with the three kenpo work outs.
six hours of kenpo a week and 50-70 miles SHOULD help my stamina. we’ll find out in a few weeks after i’ve gotten accustomed to the routine.