Advice on balancing 2 disciplines

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by dgasmd

For a little over a year, I have been doing Karate and Jui Jitsu in addition to cycling. My work schedule has changed considerably, so I have been able to attend these classes while I would have been sitting waiting for my kids to get done with theirs. As time has gone by, I have been decreasing considerably my riding simply as a consequence of trying to juggle everything and as a consequence of increased fatigue. If I go ride for a couple of hr the day I also go to MA, I am too tired 20 min. into it. If I do the MA and go ride a few hr later, I am completely wiped out to even start riding. My mileage has suffered dramatically, and so has my weight along with my eating habits, but that is not a direct consequence.

I am not giving up either one for the other, so I guess I am asking suggestions on how to balance them both. I set the goal for the first part of the year to do the Ride Across FL (170 miles), so I am trying to increase my mileage and saddle time again. Not getting there as smooth as I planned though. Damn you age............

I set my goal to get to a least to first degree black belt in both, which I should be able to do at the same time (end of 2012 or very early 2013) as my oldest son if things continue the same. My wife will get to black belt in about 6 months, so I guess I need to start playing submissive more. :noidea: :oops: :noidea:


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by Rick

Lower your expectations ?

Even for a single sport, there is not enough energy and time for most of us to be really "good" or even just "competent".
Welcome to reality. :welcome:

by Weenie

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by SL58

As long as you can beat up your cycling friends and outcycle your karate friends
you should be able to do just fine.

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by dgasmd

Rick wrote:Lower your expectations ?

Even for a single sport, there is not enough energy and time for most of us to be really "good" or even just "competent".
Welcome to reality. :welcome:

Sadly, I think you just hit it right on the head on the first one :oops: :noidea: :oops:

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by CerveloBert

When your wife hits black belt - That's when you should break the news that you're going to quit your job to go pro in both. Tell me how the conversation goes.

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by gazrichards

I feel I am perfectly positioned to comment on this thread...
I am a full time karate instructor and amateur cyclist.
I am currently dealing with a training load of 8-12 hours of cycling a week and 20-30 hours of karate teaching/training a week. On top of this I also am a sports massage therapist and so treat clients maybe 5 hrs per week.
It is hard. It's hard to fit it in to a week or a day etc. in the last few years I have given up a few things in both sports. About 3 years ago I retired from karate competition because the training took up too much time away from the rest of my life ( teaching,family and cycling etc) I have also just last season decided to only race on the track as it fits in better with my schedule and I find it easier to be competitive on less trainng hours.
Basically I tend to try and have a couple of days a week which I treat as cycling training days. These will be days where I have a little less karate to do or maybe just a couple of classes to teach ( which I can take quite lightly-even use it to my advantage and throw in extra stretches or some core work )
I then have to do the opposite with karate days. Some days I will have. Maybe 5 classes to teach as well as a couple of hours of my own training thrown in. On these very hard karate days I won't touch the bike.
I also have mixed days where I do maybe a turbo session and a few classes.
Whatever you out your body through it will get acclimatised too ( within reason ) I have been dong karate for 25 years and obviously it still hurts - a lot. I've been cycling for about 7 years and it still hurts- a lot. I am pretty used to juggling the 2 activities and I know what my body will take and how to recover now. I would never be stupid enough to do a 100 mile ride the morning of a 3 hour black belt training session ( I have in the past but Ive learned from my mistakes )
Having said all this I realise it is possibly a lot easier for me than it may be for you - I have no kids to wear me out and no other job to stress me out - karate is what pays my mortgage and will always come first. I can also pick and choose my hard karate sessions based on how my body feels from any cycling I have been doing. You probably can't as your karate sessions are dictated too by your instructors.
It's all about give and take-if triathletes can manage to fit in swimming, running and cycling in then you can for in karate and cycling.
Good luck

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by drchull

I can't directly comment on the MA and cycling, though certainly balancing a very busy career, family and cycling is a challenge. I think great advise above about having cycling days and MA days. I tend to try to mix days in the weight room with Tuesday night crits. Early AM weight training, lots of protein through the day and a carbo load on the way to the race. Same muscle system roughly makes a good way to do a two a day.

I would really spend more time focusing on long easy rides on the bike, the strength will be there from MA just needs some tuning on the bike. Some weekly crits or other relatively short super threshold rides should be enough to keep the strength up.

I think another point made well above is prioritizing. Family always should come first, gotta earn a living and then it is cool to be good on the bike. On the bike figure out what you want, short fast crit rider would be a good goal as certainly you could use something like the time crunched cyclist program as a guideline. If your focus is essentially the cross Fl ride, screw the intense workouts and on the bike focus on long sub threshold rides. This shouldn't really stress your body too much after MA especially if you eat a lot on the bike.

Don't forget rest. As we get older it is more important. I find I work in blocks of 3-5 days with 1-2 days of rest between. Important for my old body and the family as well.

And for my last bit of semi-unsolicited advise don't forget the beer, beer is important.

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by Tapeworm

My advice is similar to the above. In short it is highly difficult to excel in one field, let alone two (or more). Goals are always good but given your commitments I would make a choice. Are you a karate guy who cycles, or cyclist who does karate?

I do BJJ once a week at this stage (well, on a hiatus till Feb till I get surgery done on my elbow...long story) and I empathises about how taxing it is and how this affects cycle training. I however am a cyclist first, then other stuff second, including the BJJ. Hence I will usually do sessions on a "light" cycling day and just grovel home from BJJ tying not to swerve off the road.

Though there is no reason things can't go in cycles (pun intended). Have a karate focus for a bit. Cycle on the side. Then rotate, drop the sessions a bit and ramp up the cycling etc. Whatever you do it should be enjoyable, no point grovelling day in day out trying to make two objectives. Especially with family commitments on top.
"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
"I'm not a real doctor; But I am a real worm; I am an actual worm." - TMBG

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by trustbran

You did not mention your age so I am relating this to my age(just turned 30yrs). I have been training BJJ/Muay Thai for more than 8 years now and picked up Cycling just 2 years ago. Assuming your pretty healthy and eating right you can make this happen and be competitive in at least 2, ethier Karate/Cycling or BJJ/Cycling. Once I started cycling I almost completely dropped training Muay Thai and kept the BJJ going. I train BJJ on M/W/F and Cycle on Tues(trainer)/Th(Trainer or Group Ride)/Sat(Group Ride)/Sun(if I feel up to it). On my Cycle days either before getting on the trainer or leaving the house for group ride I shadow Muay Thai box for about 40 minutes to an hour which serves as a great warm up. I think you will need to pick between Karate or BJJ (assuming you will keep with cycling) in order to highly excel at one of them.

***on a side note, I don't know much on Karate ranking but if you only have been training BJJ for only a year and expect to get a Black in another year from now, where do you train if that's possible unless your gifted like BJ Penn. Just some advice about BJJ, don't think about belt color and just focus on position before submission and the belts will come along just nicely.

Good luck and Mahalo,

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by heathhandsome

well i can't speak for martial arts, but i have taken up rock climbing in the past few years after riding and racing all my life. and i feel your pain trying to do both at a high level.
i have found balance after some time, but it certainly takes some work. i would be wiped out at first like you, but after some hard work i can do both in the same day now without suffering. i think theres a time where you just have to lower expectations while you adapt. you will eventually feel your endurance at a new level, allowing you to complete both sports. it also took me some time to realize how much more i had to eat. it really threw me off for a while but now i understand how much more to eat and drink.

finding the schedule is important too. kind of alternating which sport you are gonna go harder in on each day - and be sure to take one day completely off! no sports- nothing! very important or it certainly feels like you build twice the fatigue.

and finally i think its very important to listen to the body - when one sport is going so good and the form is there, just follow it. enjoy it, dont worry about the other sport. eventually that peak is done and by then your head is ready for the other sport! its actually very nice!

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by artray

My partner and my eldest son both do kung fu. I think my partner started kung fu, so that she physically can shut me up if I mention the words "carbon" or ti bolts"

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by dgasmd

Thanks for allt he replies. First of, I don't do Brazilian Jui Jitsu. I do traditional Japanese Jui Jitsu, which is somewhat different than the Brazilian bastard son version :mrgreen: Age is 41, so not like I am an old geezer, but not the 25 y.o. wiper snapper either. I also should correct a couple of things I said. I said I started "a little over a year ago", but in reality is more like closer to the 2 year mark. Also, when I said I was getting to black belt by the end of 2012, I meant black belt training, which in itself is another 6 months minimum.

Frankly, Karate (traditional Japanese style) is not as taxing physically, at least for me, as the Jui Jitsu is. I have been trying to be more realistic about my goals on each, but the reality is that I am very competitive at everything I do. I want to be the "badest mofo" I can be when I am in MA class and do my best to train hard, but I also do the same in cycling. I don't plan it that way or think about it, but it is who I am. I am trying to set more defined goals for each of the disciplines so I can continue to enjoy them all, but I think it will take some time. Also, I think that I have been seriously ignoring the fact that I have been fighting a bunch of "colds" over the last few weeks, which in itself have contributed to my chronic fatigue. Let's not even talk about the gained weight, which I can feel 24/7. I am addressing the later, so hopefully I'll be feeling some extra energy as I shed some pounds again.

Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions. :thumbup:

by Weenie

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