Friday, June 15, 2007

endurance sports and kung fu (part 4) - technique work

anybody who's ever gotten coaching in any sport knows about technique work--the sets of exercises that are frequently prescribed to ingrain into muscle memory the sport-specific movements optimizing injury mitigation, power, and efficiency for a chosen sport. there's technique work for just about every sport, focusing on helping the athlete develop what is considered good form.

technique work is usually mundane, often tedious, sometimes monotonous, and occasionally embarrassing to perform in public. but it is always considered important, and taken as a fundamental element of any training cycle. as a result, it is invariably taken seriously and with concentration by any athlete dedicated to improving competitive performance.

triathlon is no different. if anything, it's even more awash in technique work than other sports, because triathlon is composed of 3 separate events, each of which requires its own sport-specific tailored technique. as a result, triathlon training often features constant technique drills and technique exercises interwoven through all its workouts, and it sometimes becomes very rare to ever have a training session that does not contain at least some attention to technique.

for all this, however, i'm finding the technique work in triathlon insufficient. i'm finding it insufficient in that it's still not resolving some problems i'm having in terms of pain--pain, which while expected, is actually great enough that it's affecting my performance, and hence something that i really do want to see resolved.

which is where kung fu comes in. i'm finding that kung fu has its own technique work, and that for some reason its technique exercises seem to be helping my problems in ways that triathlon (or sports in general) technique exercises do not.

to see what i mean, you can check out my cross-post on my kung fu blog:

what i'm finding is that the technique work for kung fu, while radically different (or perhaps because it is radically different) from triathlon technique work, still seems to help in developing better performance for each of triathlon's various disciplines of swim, bike, and run. i don't think it supplants the sports-related technique exercises, but i do think it should be considered as an additional option supplementing them. in fact, i'd go so far as to say that the technique work for both triathlon and kung fu can complement each other, and that superior results might actually be found by using them in conjunction.

i don't have definitive evidence, but what i've found in my own experiences is encouraging, and to me warrants further investigation and analysis.

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