Half way through my second phase of training, I am starting to think about all the pieces that will make up the third phase. So far, I have been getting fit by working on my general strength, building my stability and working through some mechanical issues that I have struggled with in the past (mobility, flexibility and my running). All of this “base training” through 3 months will bring me to the point in time that I need to transition into more specific training, and that’s when things start to get a little more serious for me.
When I make the switch, I will still get to have fun in my training, because I love doing it, but I change gears so to speak. I put in between 15-20 hours of workouts per week, which can get pretty tiresome as the month stretches along. The best part about the first 2 phases is that I am not worried about too much. The training is meant to reconnect my body with resistance training and I’m not thinking about my competitions just yet. My goals are written down and I look at them every single day, but I don’t want to over crowd my mind at this point.
Starting in December, I get to start connecting all the pieces I have been working on and really begin to push towards my throwing goals. For 4 months (December – March), I initiate my “real training” and now start to prepare for my competitions. My coach and I have decided that instead of thinking in linear terms of picking a starting point for the season and continuing through to push towards an end goal, we have reversed the strategy and worked backwards. The end goal of the 2017 season is to compete in London for the IAAF World Championships. That competition is in August, which means I have to remain healthy and be peaking at that time. I started training in September, which means 11 months later I will be looking to reach my goal. That’s a long time! Before I get to London, though, I must make it to the end of June and compete in USA Championships, set to take place in Sacramento, California.
So that makes 2 competitions, both of which I must qualify for, so how do I get there? For starters, there is a competition qualification window in which you have to throw a legal mark that is at least a certain distance for either competition. Judging by previous years, the qualifying mark for USA Championships will probably be about 75m or 246ft. As for World Champs, the 2015 qualifying mark was 82m/268+ft, and last year’s Olympic Standard was 83m/272+ft, so I am going to split the difference and say it will be 82.5m/270+ft (official marks have not yet been released). My current personal best is 79.62m/261+ft, so I am not too far away!
As previously mentioned, more specific training will take place from December – March. Starting in April, I will be begin to prepare to compete! Finally! As exciting as it is, it can also be very tricky for me, because I have not yet mastered my training cycles while in season. My season is projected to be from April – August (5 months) and will include about 7-9 competitions. During this time, I look to maintain the strength and power I have built during the previous months while also perfecting my throwing technique to perform at my best when it matters. To do so, my body has to feel strong and fresh for those competitions.
On east coast the transition from winter to spring can delay outdoor throwing, so early season can sometimes be a struggle to find my rhythm. I usually have to travel across the country for good weather and good competitions, which means I have to alter my training schedule during a competition week and manage the trips to stay fresh going into the meet. Over the past few years, I have done a relatively good job of travel and body management, but it can always get better so I can take the next step towards becoming a professional!
I hope everyone who read along has enjoyed the information I am sharing. I want to continue thanking all my family, friends and fans for supporting me and I hope you keep doing so!