The Swiss-Power Stone

At least once a year I go out, pick up a stone, and throw it. More often than not I have some success, but I always have fun. Stone throwing is one of the main three traditional Swiss sports. It is also easiest to explain, a point that is even more clear after watching Hornussen for the first time on TV this afternoon. During a long season, a stone throw competition provides the perfect break from the action. It is a chance to try something different, meet up with some new people, feel very “Swiss,” and not worry (too much) about the results.
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Portugal Training Camp: Wrap-up

Alongside a former Olympic champion and a couple of 2012 Olympians.

As my training camp came to a close yesterday, I couldn’t have been happier with the progress I made over 10 days and 16 training sessions. My season plan may have been interrupted by setbacks in May, but now I am in the best shape of my life. In addition to the personal best with the 9-kilogram hammer on Monday I had personal training bests with the competition weight 7.26-kilogram hammer on both Friday and Saturday. First I launched 67.30 meters (video below) and then came back the next day to toss 67.70 meters. I had only thrown over 67 meters twice in training before, but this week I had nearly a dozen throws at or over that distance and am capable of more.
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Portugal Training Camp: Halftime Update

Our throwing field is the green field on the left side of the photo.

I’m about halfway through my training camp here in Portugal and things couldn’t have gone better so far. I really didn’t enjoy the lifestyle of training full-time year-round; I need some distractions and really like to work while I am in training. But training full-time in short periods is the perfect solution for me. I can do everything I want the rest of the year, and then use the training camp to make sure I don’t burn out from all the stuff I get myself into. And Sultana makes sure of that too.
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Just What The Doctor Ordered

An ocean view from the ring in Portugal.

The first half of my season is now officially complete and despite some great results this month, it did not end that way I had hoped. Just prior to the Luzern competition on Tuesday I threw a season’s best in training. But come meet day I let my focus wane. I missed my train to the competition and showed up to the meet just 45 minutes before the event started and 15 minutes before I was expected to be warmed up, weighed in, and ready to go in the call room. My adrenaline got pumping, but not in a good way. My technique in training has made some great progress this month, but when I stepped into the ring I reverted back to my old bad habits. I threw four fouls and had a best of just 62.80 meters. While my fouls were further, they were still far less than I am capable of throwing.
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Meet Recap: Fourth Straight Swiss Championship

Experience is one of the most underrated traits for hammer throwers. You mostly need it when training is going poorly, and at some point that happens for every thrower. My season started off terribly in May and June with marks consistently around just 61 and 62 meters. It was frustrating to hear the officials read off marks that I could have easily achieved six or seven years ago. A few small speed bumps in training set my training down the wrong path and I had to scramble to save the season.
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Meet Recap: Season’s Best in Olten

It is amazing how fast things can change once you start to focus on them. At the start of June I was extremely disappointed with my results at the Swiss Club Championships. I had been coming off of several things that had disrupted my overall rhythm and wrote that the meet was a wake up call for me to focus again. Since then I have made sure to get plenty of rest, stay health, and most importantly make a few technical adjustments. The results yesterday was a new season’s best of 66.50 meters at the Olten Abendmeeting.
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Meet Recap: Swiss Club Championships

The LCZ team at the 2012 Swiss Club Championships.

Let me start with the good news: I’m finally feeling healthy again. My rib has slowly reached a nearly pain free state thanks to help from my massage therapist and physiotherapist. The bad news is that this small problem set me back more than I thought it would.
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Watching Fraenkisch-Crumbach From the Stands

For the fourth year in a row I ventured north for the memorable Fränksich-Crumbach Hammermeeting in small-town Germany. I’ve been explicit in stating that this is my favorite hammer meet around. Attendance looked a little higher at this year’s tenth edition of the meet, but the results were a little down and so was the excitement. I think everyone was expecting a world record and some mere international calibre results left them wanting; Betty Heidler defeated perhaps the best women’s field the meet has ever had, and Markus Esser convincingly won the men’s title. There is still just something unique about the meet. Nearly every one of the fans embraces the event in a way that makes the athletes feel like we have been adopted by a family. To take an example, I stepped into one of the local hotels to look for Sultana. I had never been there before, but as soon as I walked in the proprietor said: “You must be Mr. Bingisser.” He then explained to his wife that I had written a great article about Fränkisch-Crumbach on the internet.

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Restarting the Engine

The top six finishers at the Memorial Kops Ludivig Reuter.

If you ever drive a manual car, I’m sure you’ve stalled it at least once at a stop light. You know the feeling of just sitting there, ready and waiting for the green signal to give you permission to start off. But as soon as it flashes you let out the clutch too early and stall the car. With others impatiently waiting behind you, you panic and try to restart the car as soon as possible. I think this accurately describes my first competition of the main season last weekend.
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April 2012 Training Update

Sometimes I get so busy writing about various hammer topics that I forgot to update everyone on my own training. It has been two months since I last wrote about how my training has been going and that was when I was at a training camp on another continent. Since then, the only thing that has been relatively consistent is my throwing. After all, the weather certainly hasn’t been. It was nearly 80º in March and then snowed briefly on Easter Sunday. Today we saw a bit of both worlds with several hail storms interspersed with bright sunshine.
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