Thursday, August 12, 2010

End of the Season Reflections

This week marked the start of my two weeks off at the end of the season.  I chose to train beyond the USA Championships this year for a couple reasons.  The first reason is that I want to get my body accustomed to throwing through the summer to be ready for international meets in the future.  The second reason is that I threw terribly at the USA Championships and couldn't let it end on that note.  

In the weeks leading up to the USA Championships I did not train very smart.  My technique had become a little off, and I began pressing too hard for distance in training.  I try to take most of my training throws at a range intensity (85-93% of max), and the increased number of high intensity throws really burned me out.  On the day of the meet, I knew I would need to throw around my PR to make finals.  I gave it everything I had, but my body just wasn't in condition to throw that far.

I took one week off after USA's, and since then training has been much better.  I ended my competitive season at the end of July at two meets in Ashland, Ohio.  Jud Logan put together 2 great meets with the top 3 throwers in the US and I walked away with 2 of my better marks on the year (67.86m and 68.44m).  The week following I had some fun producing a new 5k training PR of 85.10m, and now it is time for rest.

Time off is difficult at first.  To go from training twice a day to just hanging out is a weird feeling.  I'm spending my time reflecting on the changes I made this year (both good and bad), and starting my plan for next year.  I made some big strides this year, but there is much more to come.  One main change I have planned for next season is adding training with a 10kg hammer (previously I only went as high as 9kg).  I'm hoping this will help me to improve my special strength and provide disciplined technique.  A second change I am planning is moving from 6 throwing sessions/week to 8-9.  As long as I'm smart about my throwing intensity I think this will be a very positive change.  In the meantime I'm trying to enjoy the down time, but also counting down the days until training resumes!



Monday, January 4, 2010

The "Catch Up" Post

I always said I wouldn't be the guy to fall behind on my blog, but here we are. A lot has happened since my last post, and overall it was a good fall of training. I'm currently recovering from bronchitis, so I can't bring myself to go throw outside in single digit temperatures right now. I'm hoping to get my training back to normal soon.

ISU Redbird Open (12/5/09)

I hadn't really planned on throwing in this meet, but being that it was essentially a home meet, I decided to have some fun and do it. It started off a little shaky after only throwing the weight 3 times, but I found my stride in finals and ended up with a PR at 21.66m. There is still plenty of room to improve (see video here). This was only my second meet ever over 70 feet, so it was a good feeling. I don't have a lot of plans for throwing the weight this year, it was just nice to have something break up my usual hammer training.

Training at Home over break

I was able to spend almost 2 weeks in Minnesota with my family over the holidays, which was great since I usually only get to be there for a few days at a time. The hard part, which I'm sure others experience as well is trying to train at home. The closest hammer circle to my parents' house is nearly an hour away, and I have to pay to use a weightroom while I'm there. In order to get some good training in, I spent 2 days training at my alma mater, UW La Crosse. It was a great 2 days of throwing in the snow (see video here) and getting good lifts in, but the rest of the break did not go so well. The day after Christmas I came down with the flu, which was immediately followed by bronchitis. I'm just now getting back to a point where I can train again.

Looking toward the new year

2010 looks to be an exciting year for me. Throwing wise I had a great fall of training, and am excited to see how far the hammer will soar this spring and summer. In grad school, I am starting some research in motor learning, and am hoping to be able to apply some of this information to developing the best ways to teach the throws to new throwers.

Hope everyone had a great holiday season and is back ready to throw far!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A change of pace

Over about the last week I've modified my training to incorporate more speed... a lot more. I've been throwing a 4k, 5k, and 6k. My reasoning for doing this started with the idea of finding what 80 meters feels like again. I did that last Friday with the 4k, having about 5 throws over 80m. I think being able to throw something over 80m is essential if my goal is to get in the mid to upper 70's with the 16lb. The feel of an 80m throw is very different from a 60 or 70m throw, so I think it's important to learn what that feels like, then try to transfer that feel to heavier balls. So since then I've had some nice numbers with the 5k (81m) and 6k (72m), and more importantly they are feeling more like the technique I produced with the 4k. I think trying to transfer this technique down to my 16lb will encourage a technique that could someday throw a 16lb near 80m. Only time will tell...

Season Bests so far:

4k- 81m
5k- 81m
6k- 72.20m
14lb- 70m
16lb- 65m
18lb- 60.20m

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall Update

I'm about a month into throwing for the new season, and things are progressing nicely. I eased into training pretty slowly this year, because I think jumping back in too fast is what caused some injuries last fall. The main emphasis of my throwing has been on developing my technique, and eliminating some flaws I've had in the past. For this reason I've only been throwing 16lb and lighter hammers. I feel I've made some good progress over the last month, and I'm just starting to add some heavy hammers. My training distances have had decent conversions between weights so far. Here are my season bests for the first month:

6k- 70m (0nly threw one day early on)
14lb- 70m
16lb- 65m
18lb- 58m

I've set a variety of goals to achieve by Christmas, some related to strength, some related to technique, and some related to throwing distance. I'll elaborate on how those are going later on...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First throws of the season!

Last Friday I took my first throws of the 2010 season. My last throwing session was nearly 3 months ago, and I picked up just about where I left off. I took 10 throws with the 16lb hammer, the lowest being about 61 meters, the farthest being 64.90m. If you look down at my training PR's on this page, I'm not far off. The last month of the season last year I thought I made some big technical advances, and while I didn't throw over the last 3 months, I did do a lot of reflecting about technique, and why things got better in June. This apparently paid off as my best throw was about 4-5 meters better than I've ever started off the season. Should be an exciting year!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Start up

With the start of a new season, I'm also starting this blog to talk about my training, competitions, and anything else interesting. This will be my second year training with no coach and writing all my own workouts. Doing this last year helped me to learn some things the hard way. I made some mistakes, had a couple injuries, learned what worked well, and ended up with a decent season. I'm excited to have a whole year with well planned training, improved technique, hopefully no injuries, and some huge throws!