Tag Archive for: Competitions

Italy Training Camp: Wrap-Up

I returned from Tuscany on Saturday, but my training camp actually ended only yesterday since I still had a few extra vacation days remaining to focus on training back here in Zurich. Overall the training camp was a success. Above all I have come back to Zurich refreshed with renewed energy to start the core of the season. I have also made definite technical progress, which is more and more difficult as I approach my 30th birthday. As I explained at the start of the camp, my technical goal was to get get more radius after landing on the first turn. Rather than utilizing an early double support phase to patiently push the hammer, I try to force the hammer around and thereby reduce the radius of the implement. I focused on this point entirely for the last two weeks and it seems to have paid off. While the error is still there, my small improvements are now present in nearly every throw rather than just one or two throws each session. And I had a my best results with every implement so far in this training cycle. In the coming weeks I’ll post some more video showing the differences.
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Meet Review: European Cup Winter Throwing 2013

Last weekend I travelled to Castellón, Spain for the annual European Cup Winter Throwing. After a mediocre start to the season last week, I was hoping for more in Spain. But it didn’t happen for me this week.

The new national team uniforms feature my employer UBS as the top sponsor.

The new national team uniforms feature my employer UBS as the top sponsor.

I’ve been searching for a reason why my result was so bad and I still can’t put my finger on it. As a result, I am still quite frustrated two days later. Normally I can point to my technique as the problem, but surprisingly my technique was improved compared to last week and much closer to what I’ve been doing in training. I can point to a dozen things that may have contributed: too much overtime, strong winds, slow competition, tense arms, etc. But even all those points still don’t add up. I threw just 61 meters. Even in bad conditions with little rest I should be able to throw a few meters better. It would be best to forget it all and move on, but as much as I try it is more difficult than normal since I cannot just point to what went wrong. I feel completely exhausted now, but I have two months until the regular season starts. I will keep on the same path with faith that this was just a bad day and everything will line up by then. And with the pre-season now over we will get back to regular programming on this site: more talk about training and less talk about me.
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Meet Recap: 2013 Zurich Winterwurf

Yesterday’s competition, LC Zürich’s second annual winter throwing competition, was a tale of two people: Martin the coach and Martin the athlete.

Martin the coach couldn’t have had a better day. Six of my youth throwers were entered in the competition and all six set personal bests. All six also met their qualification standards for their respective Swiss age-group championships. The group has been throwing the hammer once or twice a week for the past four and a half months. While most competed in other events indoors, this was their first chance to measure their progress in the hammer throw. Each one has reached new bests in training, so I just hoped the competition results would reflect that and motivate them even more as the real season approaches. The next meets for them are not until May and their championships are not until September, so there is plenty of time for improvement. After setting a personal best of nearly 10 meters, I reminded one athlete that this does not happen every day. I have to remind myself that too. Not every day can I see so many of my throwers celebrating a personal best at once.
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Time to Put the Uniform Back On

After training with Peter on Sunday he asked me what my training plan was leading up to my first competitions over the next two weeks. On Saturday my club will be hosting a small throwing meet in Zurich and next week I will be traveling to Spain for the European Cup Winter Throwing event. I told him that I had no special plan; training will continue as normal. “Why compete then?” he asked.

Coming soon to Sihlhölzli: the season.

Coming soon to Sihlhölzli: the season.

He posed a good question. But I have a better question: “Why not?” I can list a dozen reason why I likely won’t have a good result. Most importantly I plan to do normal training up until and including the day before the competition, I will be throwing alongside six of my youth throwers making it almost impossible to focus on my own throw, I have worked with a coach just a handful of days in the past months, I have not touched a competition weight hammer for more than four weeks, and since we are in the middle of the tax season I’ve been working overtime the past few weeks. But there is still no reason not to compete. My fear of having a bad result next to my name vanished after a few bad seasons throughout my career. Why not compete?
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Let the New Year Begin Already

new-years-resolution-calvin-and-hobbes

This is the time of the year when many athletes are posting their New Year’s resolutions. You won’t find that here. I’m not a big person for New Year’s resolutions. For me, the new year starts in October when I begin training. January 1st is in the middle of the year, with months of training behind me and many more months ahead.

I’m also not a big goal person in general. I tend to think that specific goals are mostly needed when you do not know what direction to go. Sure, I want to throw over 70 meters, but writing that down on a piece of paper is not going to help the matter at all. My biggest goal is vague: I want to throw as far as I can. As long as I work my ass off towards that goal, everything else will fall into place. I know what direction I am heading, the question is only how far along that path I will proceed this year. And in many ways that is out of my hands.
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Elite Hammer Throw Comes to Switzerland

For the first time in more than a decade, a truly world-class hammer throw competition will take place in Switzerland. Switzerland has a long history of hosting elite competitions. The small country already has just as many Diamond League meets as the US, including the finale in Zurich. But the hammer throw has disappeared from these competitions. Ever since the Weltklasse am Rhein throwers meet was canceled around 2000, it has been rare for more than a few 70 meter throwers to show up at the same time. Things got even worse after Switzerland’s own two 70 meter guys retired after the Athens Olympiad.

Szymon Ziólkowski, who will headline Luzern 2012, is seen striking a pose for sponsor Polanik.

Therefore tomorrow’s Spitzenleichtathletik Luzern meet will be somewhat historic as many of the world’s best hammer throwers will be coming to Switzerland. Four throwers with season’s bests over 78 meters will headline the event, including 2000 Olympic champion Szymon Ziólkowski. While Ziólkowski just turned 36 a few weeks ago, he has shown he is still among the world’s best by winning bronze at the 2012 European Championships. The field is also very deep and includes some up-and-coming young throwers such as 2010 World Junior champion Conor McCullough and 2011 German junior champion Tristan Schwandke. Nearly all of the throwers are having the best season of their lives as shown by the fact that Oleksiy Sokyrskyy and Lukáš Melich, two throwers who have been under the radar for awhile, just placed second and third at the Madrid IAAF Hammer Challenge event. Luzern will serve as a final Olympic tune-up for many of these throwers and they will have an extra incentive to throw far in the form of a diamond for the winner and a share of a special $20,000 jackpot for anyone throwing over 79.50 meters. Read more

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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