Tapering without Tapering
This past weekend the US indoor championships took place at in Albuquerque and weight throwers A.G. Kruger and Amber Campbell defended their titles from 2011. While Campbell threw a personal best to place second in the Visa Championship Series, very few athletes actually performed at their best. Of the 18 competitors in the men’s and women’s weight throw, just 16% threw a personal best and only 27% registered a season’s best. The throwers underperformed compared to nearly every event group in an event where altitude should be to our advantage. For comparison, nearly half of the women’s jumpers registered a season’s or personal best.
Obviously every athlete tries to throw their best at a championship meet, especially when it represents perhaps the only chance for hammer throwers to earn prize money indoors. Since the indoor world championship does not have the weight throw, there is no other meet for post-collegiate throwers to focus on unless they skip indoors entirely and aim towards the Olympic Trials. It’s also obvious that not every thrower is at their best at any championship meet. This can be due to a lack of proper physical preparation (e.g. “peaking”), mental perpetration (e.g. nervousness), injury, poor technique, difficulty in traveling, or less than ideal meet conditions (e.g. a slow ring or early start time). But I think that a lack of understanding of periodization is often a big culprit.
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