Posts

January Update

I apologize for the lack of updates this month, but January has been quite busy.  While the rest of the Kamloops training group has spent the month in Arizona, I have spent the month in Seattle with my family.  While the training facilities are inconvenient in Seattle, I have managed to maintain my training regime and am still about ten feet ahead of where I was last year at this time.  I am throwing the heavy 8-kilogram and 10-kilogram hammers especially well and have been very close to my personal best this week with the latter.  I am also throwing a few light hammers, but I have not been able to throw those nearly as well.
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November Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so bear with me as I have a few different topics to update everyone on.

First on the agenda is a lesson in cultural literacy.  While today is Veterans Day in America, it is Remembrance Day up here in Canada and other members of the Commonwealth.  One interesting fact about Remembrance Day is that many people around town are wear red poppies to commemorate the day.  The red poppy represents the flowers that bloomed on the battlefields in the aftermath of World War I.  The poppy was used as an emblem after Canadian poet John McRae wrote about the topic.

In other news, I just returned from a weekend in Seattle where I finalized the formation of a non-profit corporation.  I will post more information as our plans come together, but I envision that the corporation will be used to help support local Olympic hopefuls such as myself, Will Conwell, and Aretha Thurmond, as well as other deserving athletes.
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Dinner with the Olympians

Our training group (l-r): Me, Vanessa Wilhelm, Galina Bondarchuk, Deanna Zelinka, Coach Anatoli Bondarhcuk, Megann VanderVliet, Michael Letterlough, Jennifer Joyce, Kibwe Johnson, Crystal Smith, and Justin Rodhe.

Last night I attend the Dinner with the Olympians event hosted by the Kamloops Track and Field Club.  It was a great chance for the community to hear our local Olympians speak about their experiences in Beijing.  We heard from Gary Reed (800 meters), Dylan Armstrong (shot put), Catherine Pendrel (cross-country mountain biking), and Sultana Frizell (hammer throw).  The first three all placed fourth and barely missed bringing home a medal.  Ms. Pendrel’s talk was especially interesting. It is always fun to gain some insight on how elite athletes train in other sports.  She also told one heartwarming story about how her husband sometimes would follow her in his car on her winter training rides so that she could exchange water bottles whenever the water in her water bottle froze over. The dinner was a great success for the club and raised more money for us to purchase equipment, improve our facilities, and pay our great coaching staff.
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Looking back at the first month

I’ve been in Kamloops for one month now and my training for the 2009 season is well underway.  So far, everything is going as planned.  I am making quick progress now that I able to train full-time.  My training currently consists of throwing a variety of hammers ranging from the competition 16-pound hammer to the heavy 10-kilogram (22-pound) hammer.  My best progress has been with the heavier hammers.  This week I threw personal bests of 51.70 meters with the 10-kilogram hammer and 61.60 meters with the 8-kilogram hammer.  For the metrically challenged, that is 169’7″ with the 22-pound hammer and 202’1″ with the 17.6-pound hammer.  Based on his years of experience, Dr. Bondarchuk estimates that these results are equivalent to a throw of 67.50 meters in competition, just inches shy of my personal best.  The best part about it is that today is October 2nd and I have another nine months until the season really begins.  With continued progress like I’ve been having, this should be a real break through year. Read more

Video Update

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:
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Throwing the heavy stuff

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

Return from Europe

In order to keep everyone updated on how my training and life are progressing, I will regularly update this section of my webpage. I returned from working abroad at the end of September and immediately began training for next season. This quarter of school has been hectic, but things are beginning to calm down and I am beginning to get into my normal routine again. Luckily, although busy, my schedule is also flexible now and it has allowed me to travel to Kamloops, British Columbia to visit my coach three times during October. I have not been able to travel up there since April, so it was nice to see their new indoor throwing facility. Coach Bondarchuk currently has me throwing light implements and doing general training to get back into shape before starting more intense training during November. Read more