So now the 2010 track and field season is very much underway; not just for me, but for the majority of people who intend on competing indoors (and even some of those who aren’t attempting to head to Doha in March). This weekend, I’ll be competing in my “2nd” meet of the year at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, to be held at the Armory in New York City. I say “2nd” meet because my interesting experience at an All-Comers meet a couple weeks ago ended up being more of a practice than anything…and not even a glorified practice. Couple that with the 3 rather than 6 jumps that I got at Texas A & M the week before and the two together might equate to one full competition. In any case, I’m pretty excited about competing this weekend.
Being from NY, I competed at the Armory while in high school so it’s always great to go back, not to mention the fact that my family and a couple friends usually make an attempt to come check me out at the meet. There’s also usually some worthwhile competition and this year will be no different. It all makes this weekend the perfect occasion to put a big mark out there and let people know I mean business (although other people’s expectations for me going into Worlds make no difference in the end). So, I figured I’d briefly share a preview of sorts on what I’m aiming for, expecting and looking to work on this weekend.
Coming off of my competition down in College Station, I admitted that although I was somewhat dissatisfied, the performance marked a season opening best for me and thus something to be pleased with. Still, heading up to NY I want to jump farther, much farther…but that’s always the case right? As a result, the exact distance the official calls out after my jump becomes far less important than properly executing the things I’ve been working on in practice. Besides, that’s what will get me to jump far on a consistent basis.
The two major things for me to focus on for Saturday and beyond are my approach and my arms in my hop phase, particularly the left arm. I may or may not have mentioned in a previous post that at Worlds last year, my approach length looked like it was half the distance of some of my more experienced competitors. Now, my 16 stride approach treated me quite well for a long time, and that’s not to say that an extra long approach automatically results in better marks but my coach and I still decided to move back to 18 strides. Doing so allows me to drive for a longer period of time in my first few steps and gradually accelerate so that I can bring more speed as I come through the board. Since I’m accustomed to a shorter approach though (and 2 strides is actually significant enough to disrupt one’s rhythm), I blasted out in the beginning portion of my approach in the first couple of meets instead of gradually building through the entire 124 feet. As a result, my rhythm has been off and I haven’t really felt ready to hop once I get to the board. I’m definitely looking to work on that so that my approach isn’t something I have to think about going into Doha and beyond. Of course, NY is where I’ll be unveiling my new and improved, more patient approach; so it should be good.
I’ll save the truly technical triple jump talk about my arms for people who are really interested in the event itself. That said, I’ll just note that I had…past tense…an efficiency issue. Rather than making sure my arms were constantly moving forward and back, always keeping as much of my momentum and speed moving down the runway and to the back of the pit, my left arm in my hop phase would constantly flail out to the side. I’m sure you can imagine the problem this poses when you’re running full speed and take off on one leg to come back down on that same leg. My balance and posture tended to suffer as a result and at the same time I was losing more speed than I would have liked. I made it a point to note that I had an efficiency issue because I am certain that I’ve got things figured out. It will take more than a couple of meets to perfect what I’ve changed the adjustment will be more than enough to take care of business this weekend which will spell trouble for the rest of the field from here on out.
Time to get to work…
P.S. I did some approaches and light bounding in some new spikes on Tuesday evening and all systems are most definitely a go.