Free Expert Tips To Train For A Marathon Need advice to run a marathon? Or maybe you want to complete your 42km in a faster time? Check out these free expert tips and nutritional advice to assist your training.
Improve Your Reflexes...
This ancient form of Chinese martial arts improves your agility, coordination and even your flexibility after a few training sessions. But most of all, you'll develop superb reflexes, says 25-year-old Yong Kai Qing, a 10-year wushu veteran from the Xin Ying Wushu Training Centre. Originally meant as a combat sport, modern wushu has been elevated to the status of performance art in recent years. It’s a great martial art if you’re not keen to face the pressure of a sparring match, though it’s still a taxing discipline to embark on – practitioners do hundreds of repetitions of a single movement in one session to perfect a move. “Accomplished wushu exponents become very refined people and have the tenacity to deal with tremendous mental stress,” says Loh. Training Tip:High flyer
Try this double kick, a classic wushu move.
1. Begin with your arms held out straight, one in front, and one pointing behind you.
2. Windmill your arms backward, and take a step forward, doing a rotation of your arms with each step.
3. Now on your third step, clap both hands above your head, kick up your leg and slap your instep. Keep your toes pointed, leg as straight as possible throughout the kick, and don’t raise the heel of your supporting leg off the ground. Repeat with the other leg.
Condition Your Body... With Akido
“Akido is not about repelling force with force,” says first dan akido master, Colin Stuart. “The art emphasises on redirecting force. The harder an opponent attempts to strike, the harder they’ll fall.” It’s also a non-competitive sport that focuses on non-violence. But that doesn’t mean it’s a pansy pastime though, as it’s a Japanese martial art that delivers a taxing, full-body workout. “You’ll definitely find yourself aching after the first few sessions,” says Stuart. “Your stamina, agility and cardiovascular endurance will improve, because we focus on repetitions to hone our technique.” This art that primarily consists of joint locks and throws can still be practiced by an individual in his 50s or older as it causes less impact to your body as opposed to full-contact martial arts. Once you’ve mastered the movements, you’ll then need to master your breathing, and your reaction towards different situations, so it's quite a complex sport as well. For more infomation on aikido, visit www.aikidoshinjukai.com Training Tip: Power swerve
Aikido is also about the art of breaking your fall. Here’s a way of doing it.
1. You’re facing your opponent, just on the verge of being thrown backwards from a wrist or hip throw. If your left foot is facing forward, be prepared to flip to your right. Don’t resist the throw but go along with it.
2. If you’re practicing the move by yourself, swing your left arm in an overhead arc to your right for momentum and tip your left shoulder in a clockwise direction, tucking your head in. In a swift motion, lower and flip your body in a somersault, cushioning your fall initially with your left forearm and shoulder.
3. The force of the rotation should carry the movement through to your body and legs. If you’ve done it right, you’ll be able to stand up easily after the roll.
Better Hand-eye Coordination... With Fencing
When it comes to fencing, it's more important to think like a tactician than fight like a brute. And while it might not help you in a toe-to-toe brawl, it'll certainly hone your agility and hand-eye coordination. “You’ll know when to take your chances, and you’ll learn to take them fast,” says James Wong, director at Z Fencing. Fencing offers a whole body workout, even though small wrist movements are sufficient to guide each thrust and parry. Your core muscles are roped into play to balance the body with every movement, and to strike fast you need your entire body’s assistance. Three different styles of fencing comprise the sport: foil, epee and sabre. All feature different weapons and target different areas on the enemy’s body. The foil is only limited to the opponent’s torso while the epee is allowed to hit any part, including the hands and feet. The sabre on the other hand, is a cutting weapon, meaning its movements include slashes, instead of thrusts. The sport is based on counterattacking and discovering openings, so much so that after studying a stronger fencer’s weak points, it’s possible for the weaker opponent to beat him. Training Tip:Get the point
The lunge is a classic move that all fencers need to perfect. Try these tips on how to execute this move that’s easy to learn, but difficult to master.
1. Take the en garde position with your feet positioned in a L-shaped position, shoulder-width apart. Point your front foot at your opponent and keep your weapon arm bent with your forearm parallel to the ground.
2. Lift your foot off the ground and thrust forward at your opponent simultaneously, while straightening your rear leg to propel yourself forward.
3. Raise your non-weapon hand for balance, keep your torso as straight as you can and jab your opponent. Touche!