Posts

June Training Update: Getting My Groove Back

When I got to Europe and saw my distances in training and competitions fall by five meters, I was a bit mystified. This happened to me last year, but I thought I had fixed the problems that led to it then. As I posted at the time, I knew that the five meters didn’t just vanish. My results were down, but I kept up hope that it would come back with the right adjustments. But after a month, my patience was starting to wear thin. I e-mailed Coach Bondarchuk to let him know how things were going and eagerly awaited his response. I thought he might be able to identify some new critical flaw in my technique, or perhaps alter my training program since things were not going well. Instead I got a short reassuring response that I will reprint in its entirety: “Hello Martin. Continued program. Dont vory. A.B.”

He was right. I took his advice, and things got better.
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Ask Martin Vol. 3: Make your own hammers

Question: I was looking online and asking other throwers where they get their equipment. Because most of us are bargain-looking buyers when it comes to training I was wondering if you could start a thread somewhere where we could all share how/where we get our hammers from. -Freddie Hannie
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Ask Martin, Volume 1

Happy mother’s day! Like most other throwers I know, my mother has been very supportive of my throwing career as well as my schooling and professional career. Without her support and help I know I wouldn’t be able to pursue as much as I have or even possess the confidence to try.

Despite that introduction, today’s post isn’t just about mothers. One of the best parts about writing on this site is that I get a lot of e-mails from throwers across the world. Whether it is a high school athlete or masters thrower, I try to take the time to answer every question and help people learn about the hammer throw. My mother has reluctantly convinced me over the years that I do not have all the answers, but I do have some unique experience that I think can help others.

Most of the questions I get relate to technique or are follow ups to posts I do. Starting now, I’d like to start posting questions that I think everyone might be interested in hearing. Here are a few to questions from hammer thrower Thomas DiCiaccio to start things off. If you have a question, please send it my way. I’ll answer almost anything, including tax questions if you are so inclined.

It’d be cool to know what Dr. B is like as a person and his coaching style. We all know about his amazing success as an athlete and a coach, but what’s the guy like in every day conversation and what would you say his coaching style is?
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Mt. SAC Recap

I made a last-minute trip to compete at the Mt. SAC Relays over the weekend. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was originally planning on training through April, but since training had been going so well I decided to fly down to Los Angeles for the Mt. SAC Relays. Mt. SAC always puts on a good meet and it keeps me coming back year after year. They can virtually guarantee good weather, a great facility, an energized crowd, and stellar fields. This year’s meet saw a new world leading mark by Slovakia’s Libor Charfreitag and a new top U.S. mark by my training partner Kibwé Johson. I was also very happy with my results. I placed seventh with a new season’s best of 65.88 meters (216-02). As with my last competition, there were both positives and negatives to take away from the meet, but the positives outweigh the negatives.
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The Best Track and Field Blogs

It’s been two and a half years since I started writing about my training on this thing called the interweb. Since then, many other track and field athletes have also started their own websites. Now, there are so many blogs that it can be hard to decide which ones are worth the read. Some are updated often and some rarely. Some provide a superficial look at the athlete, while others are more personal or contain detailed accounts of training. Below is a collection of my favorite sites across all the events.  If I leave out any great blogs, feel free to add them in the comments below.
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Kibwé and Crystal’s New Website

My training partners Crystal Smith and Kibwé Johnson

I helped my training partners Kibwé Johnson and Crystal Smith launch a website on Friday.  Check it out if at www.turntheright.com if you get a chance.  Both of them are very accomplished throwers. In 2007, Kibwé won the silver medal in the 2007 Pan American Games and competed at the World Championships.  He also holds the collegiate record in the weight throw. Crystal, a native of British Columbia, is the former Canadian national record holder.

Kibwé and Crystal moved to Kamloops after the 2008 season and have slowly transitioned to a new style of training.  Their old style of training was very strength-based.  The new style of training is, in many ways, the exact opposite.  We have ten throwing sessions every week and never lift heavy weights.  It’ll be interesting to follow their website as they discuss their training, their progress, and the transition to this new system.  For example, in one of the first posts, Kibwé compares the two styles of training:

Where most coaches and athletes train for the “fast track” to achieve distance, Dr. B’s system takes time … He said if you take two groups: one group lifts heavy, and the other group is his system, the lifters will grow faster at first and achieve better results. However, after about 4 years, according to his studies, the hammer inclined group always passes the lifting group.

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