When I started law school, I had just one goal: to try to be successful both academically and athletically. I met this goal. I have been successful at both, and rarely did one come in the way of the either. But recently, things have changed a little. We just finished another quarter of law school a few weeks ago in which I had a 20-credit course load and had four three-hour exams on consecutive days. Needless to say, both the amount of time I spent training and the amount of time I spent sleeping declined near the end of the last quarter. As a result, my training results hit a speed bump. However, I am still optimistic about this season. While some people travel to Mexico for spring break, I drove up to Kamloops and spent the week training hard with my coach and was able to make up for lost time. My first competition of the season is rapidly approaching, so I’ll soon be able to see the results of my off-season training. Read more
Training is slowly progressing and going much better than the last time I posted. I hope to be in shape to throw 65 meters at my first competition next month. I hope you get a chance to come and watch. My season will begin at the small and local Pacific Luthern University Invitational in Tacoma on April 12th. I will spend the next week training in Arizona before competing at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays in Southern California on April 20th. My final competition of the month will be the Kamloops Spring Throws Festival on the 26th and 27th. After a busy April, I do not have any competitions planned in May yet.
I don’t think anyone will ever understand all the intricacies of Dr. Bondarchuk’s training methodology. That being said, the underlying theory is easy to grasp: one step back and then two steps forward. To help explain, imagine that you want to be the world champion in pull-ups. You head to the local gym one day and do as many pull-ups as you can. You manage to do ten. Determined as you are to improve, you dedicate yourself to doing pull-ups every day. Most people will initially get very sore and tired because their muscles are not used to working in that manner. After a week, they may only be able to manage six or seven pull-ups. However, over time, the muscles will recover and strengthen and what once seemed hard will become easy. After time, twelve or fifteen pull-ups will be no problem.
I just returned from another weekend of training in Kamloops. Coach Bondarchuk changed my training program so that I am now throwing the 6 kilogram (13.2 pound) hammer for a few weeks. This should give my body a rest after throwing very heavy implements for the past month. I also am taking a break from lifting to do more dynamic bodyweight exercises. Coach Bondarchuk was very impressed with my technique and said it is coming along well. Below is a training video from Saturday’s afternoon session:
As spring approaches, I am starting my final preseason preparations for the season. Normally, this is the time of year where I tend to throw heavier hammers to build up the specific strength I need to throw the hammer further. While weight room strength plays a role in the hammer throw, it is more important to obtain specific or “special strength” and the only means of doing this is through throwing heavy hammers as well as doing similar exercises that mimic the competitive movement. This season, Coach Bondarchuk has me throwing the 9 and 10 kilogram (20 and 22 pound) hammers several days a week and the competitive hammer (16 pounds) several days a week. The variety is great, but in February I will throw only the heavy hammers before beginning to throw the competitive implement as the season begins in April. It has been two years since I have thrown the 10 kilogram hammer and it is exciting to see the progress I have made in the meantime. I’ll try and post again about my goals for the season in the next few days. Read more
I took my last final of the quarter on Friday and am already in Kamloops training. It is great to get away from things for a few days. Things were getting hectic last week and I had some of my worst days of practice this season. After 24 hours with Coach Bondarchuk, my throwing feels as good as ever. I don’t think I have ever been as consistent technically as I have been over the past few days. Coach Bondarchuk was also impressed and said I look very powerful and my technique was solid. Unfortunately, I am throwing inside, so I have no idea how far I am throwing. I’ll keep you all updated once I get to measure some throws. Read more
The past few weeks of training have been great. I am starting to hit my stride and am way ahead of where I was last time this year. In training over Thanksgiving weekend, I threw approximately 205 feet. For comparison’s sake, I did not throw that far in training last season until February. I also spent this last weekend up in Kamloops. Winter has come on quickly and it was a chilly 8 degrees fahrenheit on Saturday morning with a wind chill factor of minus 4 degrees. Luckily we threw indoors that morning, where coach Bondarchuk was also impressed with my progress. To get an idea of what the weather is like, check out my teammate Mike Letterlough’s recent blog post. Read more
Today, I thought I would introduce everyone to my coach. Since August 2005, I have been training under the guidance of Dr. Anatoli Bondarchuk. Currently, Dr. B works for the Kamloops Track and Field Club in Kamloops, British Columbia. I met Dr. B through my friend and current training partner Dylan Amstrong. I was already familiar with Dr. B as he is universally regarded as the most best and most successful hammer throw coach in the world. Representing the Soviet Union in the hammer throw, Dr. B won the gold medal in 1972 and was also a world record holder. After his athletic career ended, Dr. B served as the national coach for the Soviet Union for nearly twenty years, in the process coaching numerous world record holders and twelve Olympic medalists in the hammer throw. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Dr. B served as a national coach in Portugal and Kuwait. His current position allows him to be close to his daughter and grandchildren currently residing in Calgary.
I mentioned in my last post that I had published my first article. I have actually published one prior article back in the Summer of 2006. Track Coach, the technical periodical of the US Track and Field Association, published my article on track and field training called Rethinking Your Approach to Training for the Weight Throw (available below). The weight throw, for those of you unfamiliar, is the indoor version of the hammer throw. It is shorter and heavier, but athletes use essentially the same technique to throw the implement.
I just published my first legal article today! If you have a weird interest with tax law like I do, check it out: Client-Auditor Communications and The Privilege Doctrines: An Analysis of United States v. Textron, 26 TAX MANAGEMENT WEEKLY REPORT (BNA) 1555 (Nov. 5, 2007). Besides that, training continues to go well. Because I was working this past summer, I was not able to train as much as I would have liked to. I also pinched a nerve in my lower back that slowed me down. Since I arrived back in town I not only found more time to train, but I also have been rehabilitating my back. The process is slow, but the good results are finally starting to return. I doubt I will compete indoors this season as the main goal will be the 2008 Olympic Trials in June. Read more