Speed training while sore is not only frustrating, but less beneficial
So another totally unscientific post reflecting on my own speed training. If you follow my Facebook or Instagram feeds, you’ll see I post a lot of my solo workouts. This isn’t so much an exercise in vanity as wanting to share with others in similar situations–past your prime, struggling to advance or keep up–that you’re not alone, and remind that teachers and fighters are (hopefully) putting in plenty of time whether you see them or not, which should encourage you to do the same. Your coach can only help you so much if you show up to the next class no better than when you left the last one.
One aspect of my solo work is speed training. I like it because it’s an exercise in mental and physical efficiency. With limited partner/class time I use that to develop things that can only be developed with a live partner, such as drilling and defense. You have to have rapport and experience to work speed with a partner, and then it’s usually reaction time, not pure physical speed and efficiency. If you don’t already, you may want to consider separating the two now and again to allow you to focus purely on your mechanics.
I’m no Bruce Lee, but speed still matters.
2 things about speed training:
- I feel like crap afterwards. Lactic acid dump, no satisfying burn, some minor muscle pulls and joint hyper-extensions.
- The mind still runs at a hundred miles an hour after your body has quit. You need to calm down, cool down with deliberate reps to investigate what was limiting your peak speed.
Now on to my speed training mistake.
I’m currently in a cycle of muscular endurance training — about 30 reps of whatever I’m doing. It gives that satisfying blood rush and pump, but I noticed that the soreness has lasted a few days and it makes delivering fast strikes impossible–the muscle just won’t contract in the time I want it to, and the antagonistic muscles won’t relax properly either. In the case of a punch for example, I can get the bicep to relax, but my trapezius and lats won’t, making me tense and slow. Training speed now will just install inefficient reps in my brain and neurology.
Since I believe this fitness cycle has more good than bad, I either need to wait for more complete recovery, until my body gets acclimated, or I move onto the next thing. There’s no shortage of stuff to work on, but I think it’s important to recognize when we have be working on that other stuff.