Over the past ten days I have taken a trip back in time. I returned to my former home and training partners. I returned to working with my coach in person. I returned to the routine of a life 100% focused on training. In other words, I returned to Kamloops.
After nearly a year away from coach Bondarchuk, I needed to touch base with him. We talk or exchange emails every week, but that isn’t the same as getting in person feedback from him. The feedback is something he also needs, since it is also difficult for him to determine my progress without observing me first hand.
The trip was more beneficial than I even imagined it would be. I had a great time with all of the hammer throwers in Kamloops. My technique improved significantly. And I was able to corner Bondarchuk for several one-on-one discussions about training theory mixed with funny anecdotes from his decades of experience. As I got in my car to leave this afternoon I had a contended smile on my face, but I also already missed the group.
Technically, the focus of nearly every training session was my entry. This was something I was slowly working on in Zurich, but progressed at much faster with a coach there. In short, I have been trying to be more patient as I enter the first turn. I have the tendency to turn ahead of the hammer, which throws my balance over my right side and reduces the radius. Instead, I need to increase the radius by transferring more weight over to the left and being less active with my lower body. Bondarchuk gave me a variety of ways to work on this and they seemed to help. As you can see in the video of the 7.26kg hammer below, it is much better (although I stood up on the final turns of that throw). I also included a video with the heavier hammer that shows how the balance and rhythm has simultaneously improved.
Despite temperatures around -5º celsius, I was throwing results I did not see until April last year. I nearly threw a personal best with the 8kg hammer and was within a few meters of my best with every other implement. Even better is that I finally have gotten back into “normal” weight lifting and should start to feel some muscles again soon. If I can keep continue to improve my technique in Zurich, it will be an exciting year.
Now I am back in Seattle for one day before heading to the UK this weekend and then back to Zurich and the normal routine on Monday. As always, I will keep you posted.