I do Kyokushin karate, but my stamina burns up too quickly. What's wrong with my stamina or cardiovascular system, and how do I improve them (or at least increase my stamina)?
posted by wz to health & fitness (22 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I do Kyokushin karate, and I really enjoy it -- the hard exercises, the full contact sparring, the body conditioning, etc. I do Kyokushin mainly for the fighting and for the health benefits.
My main problem however is that I have really, really, really bad stamina, and have to consciously struggle to keep up with the training, unlike the rest of my dojo mates who, although they too similarly exert their bodies, seem to fare much better during the training sessions compared to me.
For example, in Kyokushin, we usually have extended sparring sessions; e.g. 5-7 continuous rounds of 2-minute full contact fights, with only 15 seconds of rest in between. Usually, by the 4th guy I'm straining myself to even just stand; I won't even be able to see or aim properly, and I'd be too tired to even just whip a punch or a kick back at my opponent, so I'll be forced to just defend and take blows (painfully, I might add, especially those low kicks and knees). This is really pathetic of me, in my opinion.
Running exercises are the absolute worst. As we run around the dojo, the Shihan (instructor) will give out commands to shift between medium-speed jogs and exerted runs; honestly, I've never ever been able to complete one session without buddies having to forcefully push me from the back to make sure I keep running, and I've never ended the running exercises without being completely out of breath and almost unable to stand.
A friend from the dojo interestingly noted that while I tire out faster, once I am given some time to recover, I would recover fully and be able to hit the bags or go into fights full force once again, so he says that it's not as if I have fully used up all my stamina. (Well, that's what he says, but I note that during training I honestly feel like I've burned out all my energy, especially because I don't hold back, so I'm also surprised that I can 'recover' that energy if given a bit of time.)
My guess is that my cardiovascular system is too weak to take extended periods of exertion (but this is just a guess)? Furthermore, I wonder why I am able to fully recover given some time -- does this mean that I have unused stamina in reserves, or does this just mean that I have good stamina recovery (with a bit of time) despite my small stamina limit? (i.e. 'The body battery has a small load, and dies fast, but recharges just as fast as well.')
If it's a cardiovascular thing that's the problem, what can I do to improve it? (I note that I do not enjoy plain running, because it's very unsafe to run where I live and because it's not a personal preference of mine; also, I have no access to a swimming pool.)
If it's a problem of stamina, well, what can I do to build up stamina? And what can I do to make sure that my body can withstand prolonged physical exertions? (Also, please bear in mind that my understanding of the cardiovascular system and principles, and even the definition itself, may be completely wrong, so feel free to correct me. I'm here to learn.)
Thank you for your time and help, I appreciate it.
P/S: Since I have some problems with my knee, would instead walking on a treadmill for 1-2 hours a day be helpful to improving my stamina?