Sunday, September 20, 2009

Training Journal 3- I run so far away

I run a lot. Nearly every day. A slow week will have me go out onto the pavement 4 times. Most weeks I'm passing by the landscape wearing my jogging shoes at least 6 times. My runs are usually between 3 to 5 miles. It takes me about 40 minutes. I never really ran before I started to do muay thai. Never really thought about it that much. Now though, I like it. I like the steady tap, tap of my shoes on the pavement. The rhythmic beat of my heart, and the slow breathes I take in. I count my breaths to maintain my breathing. In for one second and out for two. I like the feeling of solitude and the day dreaming.

When I run I think about my fight. I try to imagine it in as much detail as possible. I picture the way my opponent acts and my reactions. I envision the crowd, the sound of Mike and or Coke's voice, telling me what to do. I see myself getting hit, and in turn hitting. The imagery helps move me along even when I'm tired.

I don't spend my entire time thinking about the fight. I spend a fair amount of time organizing my thoughts and my goals. I think about how long I have to accomplish something and what little step I will make that day to make progress towards my goal.

I think about girls, I think about stories, I think about the landscape, and I don't think of anything at all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Training Journal 2 "Foxy Boxing"

I arrived at the gym at 7pm. Coke was running on the treadmill and the boxing class was underway. I warmed up with the jump rope. I threw it side to side, taking a hop in between, I twirled the jump rope in one rand then crossed my body. I bounced back and forth, and then lifted my knees up high. Skipping rope can be a bit dull and by "playing with the rope" as Robert says I not only become a little more interested in what I'm doing but improve my work out. Most boxing drills, skipping rope, the double end bag, and the speed ball, to name a few, are all about timing. What good is a great punch if it won't land where and more importantly when it should?

I box sparred 1o rounds tonight and stayed in the ring for a continuous 14. That's a lot for those of you who don't box. Granted the rounds were only two minutes but by round number 5 my body was becoming fatigued. I saw things coming but moved with the slow motion button on. It was as if a fuzzy fog settled on my body's reactions. Fighting through fatigue is important for the fight though.

Not only was the fatigue difficult but the training. Constantly being corrected can be difficult on the self esteem. Training not only builds your body but also your self confidence, your sense of who you are. If you give up and quit during training, well you might as well throw the towel in for the fight. Understanding your tribulations and overcoming them is what makes you strong. "A lesson from life's military school - whatever doesn't kill you make's you stronger," said the fighter's philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche.

I box sparred mainly with a young, slightly heavier mexican man named Juan. Juan has fought a few amateur boxing bouts and has sharp hands. He got a bit tired in the third round, but was able to recover later (he got breaks, I didn't). Box sparring with him helped me to learn to use my footwork better, and to move my head. I dislike getting brained... after all I do love my intellect.

Tomorrow more training. My new girlfriend's name is Muay Thai. She's from thailand. Isn't that exotic?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Training Journal

I've decided to keep a public training journal, not because I'm not writing about my training in my personal journal (I am) but as another writing exercise. This blog is mainly about me engaging in different writing exercises, sometimes I get feedback, most of the time I don't.

My fight against John Kusaba will be on October 10th in Santa Clara. I've actually trained to fight against him before earlier in the year. Unfortunately I had a sparring accident that split open my nose thus disabling me from the fight. I did, however, get to see Kusaba recently fight against Team USA's Kevin Arcero at the Fight Night at the Fox. Arcero with his diversity of weapons beat out the aggressive Kusaba.

So one of the changes I've been starting to make is in my diet. Mike, my head trainer, wants me to become stronger thus more protein in my diet. In addition he wants me to cut out white bread, white rice, and to eat 6 small meals a day. Eating smaller amounts boosts your metabolism. I'm on my third day of the new diet and I'm always, always hungry.

Along with the diet I'm going to start to do some weight training. On Thursday morning I did a strength and conditioning class. We warmed up then did fifteen dumb bell snatches (I used 30 lbs) with both arms then ran a quarter of a mile. We did five sets. I then did the boxing class.

Every day I'm doing pull ups to increase my upper body strength and additional push ups. In Thailand I don't think I did one pull up, nor that many push ups. I loathe pull ups and push ups but if you want to win you've gotta do the shit you hate.

Today my training consisted of fifteen minutes of jump rope. One of the side benefits of working on my boxing has been improved skipping skills which breaks up the monotony of jumping rope. I can now cross the rope, double under, and do a variety of footwork drills. I then shadow boxed. After shadow boxing I did some light padless sparring with Andrew. Padless sparring is good for timing and placement although one has to be careful not to bang up one's shins and or arms.

Coke held pads for me for 4 rounds. He told me to take my time within the clinch and to be more relaxed with my kicks. He got especially pissed at me when I accidentally kneed him in the balls. "Matt! I tell you to take your time," he screamed at me his voice high and cracking.

After the padwork I did five rounds on the bag and then kneed the bag. I finished with calisthenics.