Sometimes I get jealous of distance runners. While runners need a coach, they can also train alone easier. This comes in handy when traveling home for the holidays. In hammer throwing, there is no replacement for the eye of your coach, critiquing your every move at practice. I was back in Seattle for less than a month over Christmas, but it was enough time for my technique to acquire some rust. Since arriving back in Kamloops two weeks ago, I’ve been busy fixing it up again.
As was the case in the fall, Dr. Bondacrhuk has been focusing on the start of the throw. The start of the throw is the most important part of the throw; if a throw does not start out well, the thrower’s balance and rhythm get thrown off. It is nearly impossible to correct these points when accelerating through turns with several hundred pounds of force pulling away from you. My start has had two problems. First, I don’t keep my knees bent throughout the first turn; once the hammer’s orbit starts to rise, I often rise with it. Second, I cut the hammer’s orbit short on the left side of my throw. With the hammer, you want it to have a long orbit; cutting the orbit short will slow down the hammer and ruin my rhythm. I was making progress with both of these points in the fall (see the video and post here) and am slowly getting back to that level. Take a look at the video below to see how I looked at practice last week. The one positive is that I am still in great shape and my power is better than ever. I am throwing the 8.2-kilogram (18-pound) hammer in the video and making it look lighter than I ever have before.
When I returned to Kamloops, Dr. B also switched up my training. At the start of January I was in the heart of some intense workouts that focused a lot of special strength. While I gained a lot from the workouts, they were some of the hardest I’ve ever done and my body was ready for a break. My new program is just that: I am throwing more light hammers and doing minimal lightweight lifts in the weight room. This is Dr. B’s version of active rest.
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