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Winter 2009 $5.95
Permit #351 Bolingbrook, IL
PA I D PRST STD U.S. Postage
Kazu Eguchi, Photorun.NET
Volume 16, Number 5
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Dwight Phillips, 2009 World Championships.
Shot Put 101: Balance is Everything
Basics of Resistance Training
2009 Team Apparel
A Message From USADA
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
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p u b l i s h e r ’s n ot e
t is early in the morning of Tuesday, December 8, as I write this. I’ve spent the last few days traveling around the country. Last Thursday, I flew to Indianapolis for the USATF Convention. Doug Logan continued to astound, one year after taking the CEO position. He proposed an aggressive $21 million budget, noting that Nike tripled their sponsorship of USATF. An expected floor fight over new by-laws, which gave the USATF board direct control of budgets never happened: the by-laws were approved unanimously. On Friday night, I flew out to Oregon to watch the sixth annual Nike NXN, held at the Portland Meadows Raceway. The morning started out with fog and cold. The boys’ race came down to the final 100 meters, when Craig Lutz rushed by Joe Rosa, who was then also passed by Elisa Geydon. All three are juniors, so there’s a chance they could clash once again in 2010. Boerne XC of Texas won the boys’ team title. In the girls race, Kathleen Stevens, Caty Flood and Rebecca Mehra battled over much of the course. Rebecca was dropped with 800 meters to go, with Stevens in front and Flood second. With 100 meters to go, Flood, the 2007 runner up, took the lead from Stevens, last year’s runner up. Flood held on, winning in 17:49. Manlius of New York repeated as team champions, taking the team lead early and not letting up. I spent Sunday and Monday, after a red-eye flight, learning about track construction safety issues at the ASBA convention, in a session led by Duffy Mahoney of USATF. Before I gave out the awards for the Best Indoor and Outdoor Track Facilities, I noted that it was great being with an association where the people genuinely liked each other, worked together for a common good and did something that helped the well-being of many by building tracks. I am now packed up, heading out at six a.m., hoping to get back to Wisconsin before the first big storm of the winter. With that, we will start closing down for the end of 2009. I wanted to thank all of our coaches, athletes and track fans, all those who read American Track & Field magazine, our blog, Runblogrun.com, our website, www.american-trackandfield.com, and our twitter account, twitter.com/runblogrun or twitter.com/americantf. Whichever way you prefer to get your information, we hope that you enjoy it! We appreciate your interest, and we thank you! Have a wonderful holiday season!
Larry Eder, Publisher
Group Publisher: Larry Eder, email@example.com
In loving memory of Violet Robertson, 1913–2003
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Advertising: Larry Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org Writers/Contributors: John Godina, Chase Kough, Dick Patrick, Mary Helen Sprecher, Cregg Weinmann Circulation Changes: email@example.com Photographers: Lisa Coniglio/PhotoRun, Victah Sailer/PhotoRun Layout/Design: Kristen Cerer Editor: James Dunaway, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-261-8354 Pre-Press/Printer: W. D. Hoard & Sons Company, Fort Atkinson, WI Publisher’s Rep: Peter Koch-Weser, email@example.com, ph: 310-836-2642; fax: 310-836-7093 Special Projects: Adam Johnson-Eder firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-957-2159 Special Thanks To: Tim Garant, Alex Larsen, Tom Mack, Mary Atwell, Julie Wells
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
American Track & Field (ISSN 1098-64640) is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., PO Box 67, Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0067, Christine Johnson, President, Larry Eder, Vice President. Copyright 2009 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed, and assumes no liability or responsibility for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form without written permission of the Publisher. American Track & Field is not related to or endorsed by any other entity or corporation with a similar name and is solely owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc. Publisher recommends, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program.
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CAMERA ATHLETICA: MEB KEFLEZIGHI, ING NEW YORK CITY MARATHON
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
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CAMERA ATHLETICA: SANYA RICHARDS
IAAF ATHLETE OF THE YEAR • JESSE OWENS AWARD, TOP U.S. FEMALE ATHLETE
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
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Meb Keflezighi, 2009 ING New York City Marathon
ob Larsen has been coaching Meb Keflezighi since the distance runner arrived at UCLA as a freshman in the fall of 1994. Their coach-athlete relationship has evolved into friend-friend in their 15-plus years of collaboration. “It’s been helpful to us to have been through the good times and the not-so-good times,” Larsen says. The most recent good time — a win at the New York City Marathon in November that was Keflezighi’s first victory at 26.2 miles and the first New York win by an American male since Alberto Salazar’s in 1982 — was preceded by a tough stretch. Two years ago, at the Olympic Trials held in New York’s Central Park, Keflezighi finished 8th, with a fractured his hip — though the injury was not detected at the time. Worse, his friend and former training partner Ryan Shay died during the race. Keflezighi couldn’t attend the funeral. His legs were so swollen, “like balloons” he remembered, that he spent the next few days crawling around his hotel room on all fours. He thought his running career might be over, a feeling that would surface often during the next several months as he searched for a diagnosis and a cure. “He talked about whether he could make it back,” Larsen said. “I said, ‘If you don’t, you’ve had a wonderful career. Either way, I’m with you.’ I felt he was going to make every effort to get it done.” The stress fracture of the right hip was finally discovered months later after visiting doctors in several cities. The conclusion was that Keflezighi, dehydrated from an illness on the eve of the Trials, suffered calf cramps the last half of the trials marathon and altered his gait, resulting in the injury. In the fall of 2008 Keflezighi spent two months of 12-hour-per-day rehab at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, away from his wife and two young daughters. He had to rebuild the right side of his lower body. “You’re only as good as your wheels,” Larsen said. “That whole side needed balancing out, from the hip all the way down. The whole foundation needed to be reworked.” The preparation laid the groundwork for Keflezighi’s revival in 2009 that included two marathon PRs, the second the 2:09:15 in New York, and his 19th U.S. title in cross country. His 20th came at New York, which doubled as the national marathon championship. Right after the race, he rated it his career highlight, better than his silver medal at the 2004 Olympic marathon. It was emotional. He took the lead for good at about 24 miles. As he was pulling away at 241⁄2 miles, right at the spot where Shay collapsed in 2007, Keflezighi blessed himself. Larsen still leans to the Athens Games as their career highlight: “You have more opportunities at New York than you do at the Olympic Games. If you nail the Olympic Games, you’ve got to thank your lucky stars. Still, New York is so doggone tough. With that field, to do it there after all that time, wow.” At 34, healthy again and with a major victory as part of his resume, Keflezighi is committed to staying in the sport through 2012 and possibly the Worlds in 2013. All with Larsen in his plans, of course. He’s talking about either Boston or London in the spring. “God has blessed me with another chance,” Keflezighi said. “I have accomplished many things. It’s possible there are others to accomplish. I don’t think my God-given talent has been fully tapped.”
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s ta rt i n g b l o c k s
A Case Mishandled There are lessons to be learned from the way IAAF and South African officials handled the gender controversy of Caster Semenya, 18, the unknown South African 800 runner who suddenly ran 1:56.72 in July and in August won the World Championships Women’s 800 in 1:55.45. One lesson is that gender is not as simple as X and Y chromosomes. The other is that delayed action and public debate on private issues can be damaging, both to the runner involved and competitors, who may be facing someone with unfair advantages.
The IAAF, South African officials, and representatives of Semenya were still negotiating a resolution of the case as we went to press in early December. Two areas were involved: (1) Semenya’s World championships gold medal and prize money of $60,000, and (2) her future as a track-and-field athlete, based on still-continuing medical studies. The best bet is that she will be banned from future international competition as a female but will keep the Worlds gold medal and prize money. There was also the possibility that a second set of World
Championship medals would be awarded for the women’s 800. According to a September report by the Sydney Herald and neither confirmed nor denied by the IAAF, Semenya has both male and female sex organs, and an unusually high testosterone concentration, which would provide a huge competitive advantage. The South African federation had Semenya undergo gender testing before the World Championships and elected to enter her in Berlin despite potential problems, though the federation initially denied any testing. After
“The keystone of the process is the concept that over time with a history of repetitive motion, imbalances are created where communication occurs between the brain and muscles,” said David Ward, Life’s director of chiropractic sports performance. “We have developed in-house a system whereby we can identify communication disconnect, where it’s coming from and create a strategy of how to correct that.” Phillips had plenty of problems that were keeping him from reaching his potential. “We had to put Humpty back together again,” Seagrave said. “Basically his whole pelvis wasn’t firing right. He had inflammation of the lower abdominal region where the pubic bone comes together. He (also) had hamstring issues.” Once Phillips’ body was aligned correctly, Seagrave spotted a flaw in Phillips’ running technique, correcting his heel kick. “I shortened the backside of my mechanics,” Phillips said. “It made me more efficient, faster. I ran taller. It made me have better mechanics off the board. Loren still has the eye. That (observation) has paid dividends.” So has a drastic diet change. Eliminating favorites like pastries and cookies, the 5-11 Phillips dropped nearly 25 pounds, to the mid 170s. Seagrave also got him to realize the importance of rest and recovery in training.
“Here’s a guy that loves track and field and training so much that he over-trained to the detriment of his health” Seagrave said. “Now he understands that in a lot of cases, relative to his experience and where his body is, that less is often more.” A few more inches and Phillips could have a world record, the 29-41⁄2 of Mike Powell, set in 1991. Phillips already has an odd one: that personal best, the 28-81⁄4 from June, is the longest jump ever into a headwind. Regarding Powell’s 18-year-old world record, Seagrave consulted with Powell’s former coach, Randy Huntington, and discovered that Phillips generates sufficient runway speed to make the record attainable. “I’ve told him, ‘Brother, it never happens when you’re trying to break it,” said Seagrave. “It only happens when all of the things under a confluence come together. You’re kind of surprised yourself when you set the world record, like Bob Beamon (at the ‘68 Olympics) in Mexico City.” Phillips, who ran a personal best 10.06 for the 100 in May despite a stumble, would also like to break 10 in the 100. “He’s got this big buzz about being a 9.9 100 guy, “says Seagrave. “You’re not a man unless you run 9.9 in the 100. I tell him, ‘Brother, 9 meters (29-61⁄2) trumps 9.9 any day.”
Phillips Jumps Back on Top Too bad the sport doesn’t have an annual comeback athlete award. If it did, Dwight Phillips would be our candidate for this year’s winner. The 2004 Olympic long jump champion and ’03/’05 world champion, now 32, disappeared from sight after he was (1) injured, (2) missed making the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, and (3) was not world ranked in 2008. He put on a lot of weight, and was apparently finished as a worldclass jumper. That’s what most people thought. But when he heard about the Internet chat room remarks that he was washed up, he decided he didn’t want to be “irrelevant” in ’09. He got back into training — and with a vengeance — winning the world championship and posting five of the top seven marks of the year, led by a PR 28-81⁄4. The remake began last fall when Phillips returned to his native Georgia and began working with Loren Seagrave, who wanted to return to track coaching from his speed/power work in other sports and who had become affiliated with Life University, an Atlanta school for chiropractors. Before Phillips could straighten out his career, he had to straighten out his body, pounded by years of training and landings. Specialists at Life put Phillips through a kinetic chain neural deficit assessment (a body/muscle screen) to detect misalignments.
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s ta rt i n g b l o c k s
the August championships, the IAAF announced there would be further testing. All of this was played out in public, embarrassing Semenya. “These international sports officials needed to say to themselves that they were talking about a kid here,” Mark Levinstein, a U.S. lawyer who has represented athletes in disputes, told USA Today. “That they needed to get answers, that they needed to do that privately, that there might have been speculation surrounding her, but let’s make sure she has a (legal) counselor, let’s make sure she understands
what’s going on, let’s make sure she is being taken care of. It doesn’t sound like that happened, and that’s just sad, all the way around.” John Cook, who coaches some top U.S. middle distance runners, including world 1,500 bronze medalist Shannon Rowbury, has stated that other female runners should boycott races that include Semenya. He thinks her levels of testosterone could enable her to run the 400 in 47, the 800 in 1:52 800 and the 1,500 in 3:50. “The main issue is the testosterone ratio,” Cook said. “It’s just too big an
advantage. We may as well go back to the East German system where all is legal. We will not compete wherever she is. There’s no way we can compete with that testosterone level. It’s a joke.” Looking at L’affaire Semenya from a longer-range perspective there have been enough previous gender-sensitive issues concerning women athletes that the IAAF ought to have had an early-warning system in place for such cases, rare and difficult for everyone as they are. We think that USATF and USOC ought to be similarly prepared — right now.
Bell Lap • The IAAF athletes of the year, announced in November, were Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who reset his 100 and 200 world records, and Jamaican-born U.S. citizen Sanya Richards, who dominated the 400, leading the world list at 48.83 and winning her first individual world championship. Clyde Hart, who coaches Richards and quartermiler Jeremy Wariner, was named coach of the year. • Tyson Gay and Sanya Richards were named winners of the Jesse Owens Award as the top U.S. male and female athletes. Although overshadowed by Bolt on the world scene, Gay himself had a tremendous year. He ran 100m in 9.77 or better three times and set a new U.S. record of 9.69, and led the U.S. 200m list with 19.58. All this with a sports hernia/groin problem which bothered him for most of the season, and which has now been corrected by post-season surgery. • Carmelita Jeter, third in the 100 at the Worlds, finished the season on a tear, recording the year’s two fastest times, 10.64 and 10.67. The only woman ever to run faster is Florence Griffith Joyner (10.49, 10.61, 10.62). • Elected to the USATF Hall of Fame Class of 2009 were 800 runner Joetta Clark Diggs, 400 hurdler Andre Phillips, long jumper Randy Williams, 1940’s long jumper Willie Steele and veteran coach Ken Foreman. Williams won his Olympic Gold medal in 1972, just after he turned 19: “It was my first time overseas and I was in La-La Land just from that experience. It’s almost like I don’t know how it happened.”
Phillips won at the 1988 Olympics, handing Edwin Moses his first Olympic defeat, “When I came across the line and realized that I’d won, I automatically didn’t think that I won the Gold; it was that I finally won one against Edwin.” • In November, the International Olympic Committee stripped Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi of his 2008 Olympic gold medal in the 1500. Ramzi was one of five athletes sanctioned after retroactive testing from the Beijing Games was conducted in April. Ramzi, a native of Morocco, was positive for CERA, an advanced form of the blood-boosting drug EPO. He won his gold medal by winning the 1500, one of the most prestigious events in the sport. Ramzi, who can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, also faces a two-year ban, but could be eligible for the 2012 Games. Subject to Ramzi’s CAS appeal, the official order of finish in the 1500 is now: 1, Asbel Kipruto Kiprop, Kenya (upgraded from silver to gold); 2, Nicholas Willis, New Zealand (from bronze to silver); 3, Mehdi Baala, France (fourth place to bronze medalist). “We’re entering the era where athletes can be confident that those that are considering taking alternate routes — like performance-enhancing drugs — they’re going to be looking over their shoulders,” said Nick Willis, an exUniversity of Michigan athlete who still trains in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “They might not get caught today, but down the line... This has maybe brought some aches and pains, but it’s an important part to shake some of those cobwebs free so we can enter the new era of the sport.”
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Track Maintenence on a Budget
ou’re working on your annual budget, and you keep coming back to the line items for the maintenance and repair of your track and field facility. “Hmmm,” you’re thinking. “Those numbers might be able to come down a bit. I wonder how much of this we can do ourselves …” Sound familiar? It should. It’s what athletic directors, coaches and facility managers are all thinking right now. Everyone is cognizant of the bottom line and of what they can do to help keep a lid on spiraling costs. So what can you do—and what can’t you do?
Do It Yourself The good news is there are many things managers can do to make tracks last longer and therefore delay the need for professional maintenance. Be proactive about regular maintenance, say track builders. Keeping the “to do” list checked off on a regular basis can
really help the track surface last. Keeping the surface of the track clean, for example, is enormously helpful. Litter and trash should, of course, be taken off the track immediately, but so should naturally occurring dirt and debris. “Trees are beautiful; however, they should not be located where the leaves and needles and other debris from them can fall on the track,” said Carl Aiken of Aiken Engineering in East Greenbush, New York. “I have seen new facilities wrecked because of decaying leaves on the track. The debris not only stains the surface but it also retains moisture.” Make sure the entrances of the track are set up in such a way that dirt is not walked onto the surface of the facility, said Sam Fisher of Fisher Tracks in Boone, Iowa. “Grit is what cuts the binder and rubber in a track just like it cuts the fiber in a carpet. Not only does it cause excessive wear, but it becomes
unsightly at these areas of ingress.” In addition, Fisher recommends installing sand pit covers to prevent sand from being thrown onto the track while the track isn’t in use and then ground into the surface by those who run on it later. The culprits here are generally children whose parents allow them to play in the pit and use it as a sand box while they themselves are going for a morning or afternoon run. Mowers and other maintenance machinery should be used with care, according to John Wettstein of Athletic Marking Company, Inc. in Palmetto, Georgia—but they’re far from the only things that will drive across the track in the course of a normal school year. Tracks are meant for runners, after all, and not for tires. “Vehicle traffic should be kept to a minimum,” he notes. “We see schools using their tracks as an organization area for homecoming floats, bus turnarounds and, of course, a
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speedway for golf carts and Gators during football games and practices. Tracks, especially those with rubberized surfacing, are not designed to withstand vehicle traffic of any kind.” Mats and boards are used by many track owners to protect the surfaces of tracks at crossing points, and to allow for access to the field when necessary—but should never be considered a substitute for enforcing the rules about proper track use. (“Just this one time” is a phrase that allows a lot of damage to take place.) Additionally, said Carl Aiken, those mats, boards, etc., should never be allowed to sit in place for more than a short time. “Many times,” Aiken noted, “the facility will have the mat or carpet or other device laid out on the track to prevent excessive wear at locations where teams access the field inside of the track. The idea is good, except the mats or other device are often left in place for weeks at a time. This will typically cause either moisture or dirt to exist under the mat. When the mat is finally removed, the track surface is, ironically enough, more deteriorated under the mat than to the sides of the mat. I guess one solution is to keep the mats or other protector in place only when needed.” Make sure there is signage posted regarding proper use of the facility— the fact that spiked shoes aren’t allowed, that recreational wheeled vehicles (including bicycles, scooters and more) are prohibited, and so forth. Remember that formally advising users of the rules beats just hoping they don’t break them. In addition, say the pros, facility managers should do a regular walkthrough of their facilities. Daily is great, and weekly should be the absolute minimum. While on the walk, managers should keep an eye out for problems on the surface of the track, as well as in the curbing, fencing and field. Keep a log of any problems identified. Some can be fixed by the manager or his/her maintenance team. For example, gates dragging across the
surface of the track can be repaired so they swing correctly. Fences with bulges or sags can be repaired.
Don’t Try This at Home Sometimes, though, the problem is more complex. A small area where material is missing from the track surface, or a slight bubble in the rubber may be something simple—or it may be the symptom of a deeper, or even structural, problem. And while there are kits that can be purchased to help make various fixes, many track contractors advise owners to call in a professional to make a definitive diagnosis before taking action. “On items best left to the professionals, I put track refurbishing on the top of my list,” said Norm Porter of Omnova Solutions, Inc. in Chester, South Carolina. “I have had more than one facility manager contact me asking for sources of rubber granules and latex so that they can do some touch-up on problem areas of the track. I always direct them to contact the builder who installed the track. It looks deceptively easy when a work crew is laying down a track and spraying on binder. These workers have been doing this job for years and it looks easy because they have learned how to do it correctly. Even a minor mistake by an amateur can result in a costly repair job, one that might have been avoided completely.” Another thing to cross off the doit-yourself list, said John Wettstein, is striping. It’s not as easy as it looks, and correcting an improperly done “fix” can more than negate any savings. “A measurable portion of our income is gained from the repair of poor quality or inaccurate track striping done by inexperienced painters and even track coaches themselves,” he noted. “Even repainting existing lines and markings is a process with no margin for error.” Remember that the striping around the track indicates not only lane lines, but the distances runners will travel. Without clear and accurate striping, the track will look terrible,
and even worse, records set on a track may not hold up. Saving money is good, said Sam Fisher, but doing it at the expense of the facility isn’t going to help anything. “We have had five tracks damaged this year due to burrowing underneath for new electrical and/or water inside the field,” he noted. “In nearly every case, the owner thought he could do it himself rather than hire a professional. He was too close to the underside of the surface and heaved the track. The cost to fix can be nearly tenfold the expense of having a professional direct borer handle such a task. In addition, more tracks have been damaged by inexperienced contractors adjusting lights and/or working on scoreboards. They tend to use the track as a construction platform. They plunge their outriggers for their boom truck, and the result is oftentimes a huge depression. People that specialize in athletic scoreboards, as well as field lighting, know what they can or cannot do on or around track surfaces.” Being conscientious about a facility’s bottom line is part of being a good manager. So is being proactive about maintenance. And using creativity to solve problems, and to figure out what can be done to lower overall costs is admirable. Just don’t ignore the need for a professional. It’s a high price to pay for a few dollars in savings.
Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a nonprofit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality sports facility construction. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities, including running tracks. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866-501-ASBA (2722) or www.sportsbuilders.org.
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©2009 Saucony, Inc.
BECAUSE WE RUN
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CAMERA ATHLETICA: TYSON GAY
JESSE OWENS AWARD, TOP U.S. MALE ATHLETE Photo: Takashi Ito, www.photorun.NET
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CAMERA ATHLETICA: CHRISTIAN CANTWELL
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
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Shot Put 101:
Balance is everything
f there’s one basic rule that applies to all sports (and certainly to throwing) it’s this: balance is everything. Without balance, an athlete (1) can’t create power, (2) can’t harness power effectively and (3) risks injury. The first place a thrower wants to establish proper balance is in the back of the ring — at the start of the throw. For rotational shot putters (and discus throwers, as well), lack of balance at the start of the throw cascades into terrible consequences at the release. Luckily for throwers there’s a simple drill that can have a dramatic effect on balance: which I call the 360 drill. It’s easy enough for a beginner to learn and perform, and yet it’s used by even elite throwers throughout their careers to check and correct balance issues at the start of the throw. The drill, as described here, assumes the thrower is a right-handed discus thrower or rotational shot putter. Adjust accordingly for left-handed throwers. To address balance issues and give an athlete the strong, stable position needed to be able to drive from the back of the ring and create power, we perform a series of drills rotating over the left leg. We begin with a 90 degree turn, then graduate to a 180, a 360 and finally, a 540 degree turn. Obviously
360 degrees or 540 degrees is much farther than a thrower ever turns on the left leg in an actual throw. The idea is that if you can establish balance good enough to turn that extra amount on the left leg, you’ll be able to balance during the entry of the throw. To perform the 360 drill, hold your shot or disc as you would in the throw. Begin with the feet wider than shoulder width and with a good deep bend in the legs. The chest is up, and the upper body is erect and tall. Push off with the right foot and pivot on the left foot. The goal is to turn 360 degrees and return to the same position you started in. During this drill, the three keys that we work on at the World Throws Center are:
Key 1. Push off of the ground with the right side to start the rotation. Don’t pull with the left side.
Key 2. Keep the right leg the same width (as wide as possible) and height off the ground throughout the drill.
Key 3. Keep the same depth on the left leg. Don’t let the body rise and fall throughout the 180, 360, or 540. The first key, pushing rather than pulling, is actually the most unnatural one. Every thrower wants to pull with his or her left side to get the body turning. We tell our athletes to think of having their left foot on a skateboard and having to push with their right foot to get moving. This pushes the right hip around, makes it easier to balance and establishes a much wider sweep with the right leg. The second key, a wide right leg,
gives a wide radius for creating power later in the throw, but it also helps balance the body. Much like a tightrope walker wants his arms to be extended to help his balance, the thrower can use the right leg and a long left arm to maintain balance through a 360 or 540. The final key, staying low and deep on the left, is probably the easiest conceptually, but is the hardest physically. We want the legs to be in a deep bend with the hips low, and the thrower needs to maintain the same depth throughout the movement. Make no mistake — this requires some strength. Almost every athlete will have a tendency to rise through the 360 or 540. We need the leg to stay bent so that when we graduate to a real throw, we will have some depth for the thrower to use to jump and drive from the back of the ring. Begin with a 90 for a few reps. Next do the 180 for a few reps. Then do twenty 360’s. Every thrower should be comfortable with this kind of volume. Not only will the 360 drill increase balance, it will also strengthen the legs for the events. Keep in mind that this drill is never outgrown. Throwers of all ages perform the 360 drill to keep their balance and awareness at the back of the ring. From high school to the Olympics, the 360 is king of the balance drills! John Godina is a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist in the shot put, and the best shot-discus combination thrower in history. He founded and operates the John Godina World Throws Center at Athletes' Performance in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached via www.worldthrowscenter.com or www.athletesperformance.com or (480) 449-9000.
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Basics of Resistance Training
n appropriate program of resistance training can improve athletic performance in every track and field event, and at every level from beginner to Olympic champion. Of course, such training is most beneficial when it’s not only based on the requirements of each event, but also on the needs and capabilities of each specific athlete. This article is intended to help you as a coach plan the optimal resistance training program for each of the many athletes you train.
Requirements of the event Each track and field event requires a different combination of physical skills. The coach can learn these requirements either by reading, studying photo sequences, filmed or taped instructionals, contact with other coaches, attending seminars and the like, as well as by a close observation of athletes in the flesh. Whatever the means, it’s a worthwhile investment of your time — the knowledge gained will be useful throughout your coaching career. Your objective should be to analyze the movements involved in performing each event, and break them down into components that can be worked on in the training program. To
put it another way, an effective strength training program mimics as closely as possible the movements involved in the event itself — so that the athlete will be able to transfer the new strength gains into improved performance. There are the three major considerations in analyzing each event: 1. Break down the body-movement patterns by muscle involvement and limb actions. 2. Assess the physiological requirements of the event, such as muscular endurance, flexibility, strength, power, and/or hypertrophy. 3. Injury prevention: Know the injuries common to each event and know how to prevent them through proper training.
Planning for the individual athlete The key elements to be considered are the athlete’s fitness level, work capacity, recovery rate, and technical experience in the event. No two athletes will be similar in all of these areas. Let’s look at a couple of extreme examples. One is a 16-year-old male who just recently joined the track team and wants to be a high jumper. After basic fitness tests, he appears healthy; however, he is 5’10’’ and weighs 195 pounds, at least 15 pounds overweight for his age and musculature. He says he enjoys sports, but currently does not perform any other physical activity outside of track practice. In coaching him, you’ll want to start him on exercises to improve his general fitness level. Following dynamic warm-up, have him perform very basic plyometric drills, bounding exercises and body weight–reactive jump exercises to improve his own body weight explosiveness. His weight training should be comprised of basic movements to strengthen the legs, lower back and abdominals 1–2 times a week. Additionally, while not sport-
specific, 15–20 minutes of cardio 2–3 times per week may be needed to promote extra fat loss. The rest of the time should be spent on basic high jumping principles that include the proper approach, takeoff, flight pattern, leg clearing and landing. Two is an 18-year-old senior who has been high jumping for six years, starting in middle school. He’s fit, and has excellent high-jump technique. To jump higher, he needs a program that will help him produce more power. His workouts should be a combination of event-specific weight training and plyometric drills. Weight training can be performed 3–4 times a week, made up of powerful movements that strengthen the legs and core. Example exercises for this athlete should be power cleans, squats, jump half squats, deadlifts, knee lifts, abdominal variations and explosive plyometric drills. No additional cardio would be needed, and in fact it would only be a hindrance to his speed and explosiveness. Thus, even though both athletes are performing at the same event, and possibly even at the same track meets, their training regimens should be different and specific to their individual needs. And for them to get the most out of their training, you should explain each exercise and how and why it will help them reach their goals.
Physiological requirements of the various events Muscular Endurance Events. For athletes who perform repetitive movements for a prolonged time, i.e., distance runners, the focus should be on muscular endurance. The weight training prescription needs to be lightweight loads of less than 67% of the athlete’s one repetition maximum (1RM). You should have them perform 2–3 sets of each exercise for a minimum of 12 repetitions. Rest peri-
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ods should be short, and no longer than 30 seconds. Events that Require Strength. For your athletes in the shot put, discus and javelin throw, a prime requirement for success is strength. When training for strength, they should use weight equivalent to 85% or more of their 1RM. Each exercise should be performed for 2–6 sets with 1–6 repetitions. You can allow them longer rest periods of 2–5 minutes so that they can continue to use heavy-weight loads throughout the duration of the workout. Events that Require Power. Power is a main component of many track and field events, including the high jump, long jump, triple jump and sprints. Speed is an important component of power; for that reason, it’s important that you don’t have your athlete use maximal weight when performing lifting exercises. The weight should range between 75–90% of 1RM, and be performed explosively for 1–5 repetitions. Rest periods should be 2–5 minutes so that each set can be performed explosively. Events that Require Muscle Hypertrophy. Throwers can also benefit from muscle hypertrophy. Their training should rely onvolumes of 65-85% of 1RM for 6–12 repetitions. Generally rest periods should be between 30 seconds to one and a half minutes. Exercise Order. Exercise order is another key component of a successful resistance training program. In most cases, you’ll want your athletes to begin with power and multi-joint movement exercises first, proceed to other core movements, and finish with the remaining single-joint movements. Another simple approach to designing a program is arranging exercises from larger to smaller muscle groups. Training Frequency and Duration. The number of sessions you have each athlete perform each week is very important. While it’s common that at
least 48 hours be provided between training the same muscle group, there are many other factors you should note when designing your training program. Elements to consider include the athlete’s level of fitness, the type of exercises performed, if the athlete is currently in or out of their sports season and if the athlete is involved with any other training activities. In general, you should design strength training sessions to take no longer than 60 minutes to complete. Longer sessions may become ineffectual due to the reduction of athlete mental attentiveness, exercise form and intensity. Recovery. For sufficient recovery time, beginner athletes may require fewer training sessions per week when compared to advanced athletes. Likewise, if advanced athletes are performing several other modes of training simultaneously, they too will need to reduce their strength training to ensure proper recovery. It’s imperative that you ensure each athlete understands proper sleep patterns, nutrition, and stretching to enhance recovery quality.
Conclusion While the basics of resistance training may seem somewhat elementary, it’s imperative that program design begin with fundamental training principles for each event. Likewise, each athlete must be individually assessed for his or her individual needs. By doing so, proper development and optimal performance will be created. Future articles will focus on proper strength training for the high school athlete, strength training for sprinters, as well as proper pre-season strength training protocols.
Chase Kough (pronounced “Coe”), a summa cum laude graduate of Oral Roberts University in health and exercise science, is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and has been Tyson Gay’s strength coach for the past three years.
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
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Team Apparel 2010 Here’s our annual snapshot of apparel options for your cross country and track & field teams. There are technical fabrics available at a variety of price levels, and the options for personalizing the gear range from custom screenprinted graphics to the nearly infinite possibilities available with sublimation. In addition to the options for uniforms, we’ve looked at a few warmups. You’ll find even more possibilities by browsing the websites of the manufacturers.
adidas The adidas team apparel lineup includes singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, boy shorts, and speedsuits, as well as warmup jackets and pants. It also offers in-line technical apparel for training, and style options for the coaches. Team Clima Singlet $28 adiBody Compression Short $30 The adidas women’s range is completed with the addition of this compression-style short, adidas’ take on the boy short silhouette. The technical polyester/Lycra fabric is great for moisture management, fit, and support. The singlet continues the team look with the expected performance of moisture-wicking polyester. Each available in 9 team color combinations.
ASICS The ASICS team apparel line includes singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, and boy shorts, in technical polyester meshes and nylon fabrications. It also offers several styles of warmup jackets and pants, as well as team accessories, including bags. ASICS offers a full line of innovative in-line training apparel. Intensity Singlet $38 Intensity Short $20 The Intensity Singlet is constructed of a knit microfiber mesh fabric that’s lightweight, wicks moisture well, and dries quickly. The Intensity Short features a smooth, thin microfiber fabric that reduces friction, is lightweight, and wicks/dries efficiently. Both are available in 8 team colors accented with white inserts, as well as solid white. www.asicsamerica.com
Blue Star Sportswear
The Blue Star team apparel line features singlets and shorts in several grades of quality and fabric types, along with the option of semi-custom sublimation and traditional screenprinting of your team graphics.
The Boathouse team offerings include singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, boy shorts, and speedsuits, as well as warmups. It has options for workout apparel and there’s a line for coaches, as well. Customized sublimated uniforms are available on the Boathouse website.
Dash Singlet $15 Charger Short $12 A new and dynamic design in the Blue Star line, the Dash singlet features the proven Hy-Dry polyester fabric that’s in all its top-end singlets. The Charger shorts are also Hy-Dry, V-notched, and unlined. They’re available in 2”, 4”, or 6” inseams to cater to athletes in all events. Both singlets and shorts are available in 10 team colors with custom printing available. www.bluestarsportswear.com
Genesis Full-Zip Jacket $70 Arena Pant $55 Originally known for its warmup suits before broadening its line, Boathouse provides quality and styling in all its garments. The Genesis FullZip Jacket is made of a heavyweight knit with zippered side pockets and a sharp team look. The Arena Pant has a comfortable stretch thanks to the same knit fabric, a 12" ankle zipper for quick changes between events, and side seam pockets. www.boathouse.com
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The Brooks team apparel line comprises singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, and boy shorts, as well as warmup jackets and pants, and valuepriced team training apparel. In-line apparel is also available for training.
The GTM team apparel line is composed of singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, boy shorts, and speedsuits, as well as warmup jackets and pants. They also offer value-priced team training apparel and a line for coaches.
Mach IX Shimmel $36 Podium Boy Short $28 One of two Brooks team shimmels, the Mach IX Shimmel handles moisture and is as durable a technical top as any on the market. Available in 6 colors, most teams should find what they’re looking for. The Podium Boy Short is Lycra and polyester, and is as functional as it is popular. Moisture management is excellent, with good looks to boot.
Performance Singlet $28 Performance Short $14 Catering to the budget-conscious, the GTM Performance singlet and short provide value without sacrificing features. Both are constructed of smooth-finished polyester that wicks moisture well. Shorts have 4" inseams and the women’s singlet features an additional front layer for modesty. Both are available in 8 team colors.
Hind The Hind team apparel line consists of singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, boy shorts, and speedsuits, as well as warmup jackets, pants, and tights. 3200 Meter Singlet $50 Event Short $50 The 3200 Meter Singlet/Short duo is new to the Hind line. The waffle-textured polyester knit allows customization with sublimated graphics in addition to the moisturemanaging properties of the fiber—both significant improvements in uniform technology for the line. The styling and construction are first-rate, providing a toplevel team look that performs. www.hindteamsports.com
New Balance purchased InSport and folded the New Balance track team apparel business into InSport’s business. The InSport team line includes singlets, shorts, briefs, shimmels, boy shorts, tights, and workout apparel.
In addition to warmup jackets and pants, the Nike team apparel line is composed of singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, and boy shorts. Customization is available on niketeam.com. Also available is its well-known, innovative in-line training apparel.
Vault Singlet $22 Interval Short $19 InSport continues to offer each of its team styles in wears-likeiron tricot nylon fabric. The Vault Singlet and the Interval Short have adorned state championship teams for more than 20 years and still offer continuity without busting the budget. www.insport.com
Track & Field Muscle Tank $40 Harrier Short $35 The Track & Field Muscle Tank adds a new silhouette to Nike’s sublimation customization package. The Harrier Short is one of three styles available in moisture-wicking polyester for performance equal to your athletes’ best efforts. www.niketeam.com
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The PCS team apparel line consists of singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, and boy shorts. Its focus is consistency of product, ready availability in a wide array of sizing for the entire team, and 30+ years of on-time delivery.
Puma’s team lineup consists of singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, and boy shorts, as well as warmups. It also offers innovative in-line training apparel.
Reliance Spandex Top $40 Mantra Spandex Short $32 The tricot nylon/Lycra combination provides compression and durability, as well as ready availability in colors and styles to make reordering simple. Two inseam lengths make the shorts a versatile choice that suits both track and field athletes. In addition, its broad size range fits every athlete on the team.
Phaser Warmup Jacket $45 Phaser Warmup Pant $40 This warmup suit features polyester microfiber that’s easy-care, feels comfortable, and offers water- and wind-resistance. The jacket is fully lined in mesh, and the pants are lined to the knee and feature the convenience of 19" ankle zippers for quick changes. Handy zippered side seam pockets in both the pants and jacket are another practical feature. The jacket is available in black or 4 team colors with contrasting white trim. The pant is available in black, navy, or royal blue.
SportHill SportHill team apparel runs the gamut from singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, and boy shorts to warmup jackets and pants to value-priced team workout gear. Its quality in-line apparel is also available for training. Speedplay Singlet $15 Gemini II Short $20 The Speedplay Singlet is a knit microfiber polyester top that provides a basic team look coupled with the performance inherent in the fabric. The fully lined Gemini II Short is constructed of microfiber polyester so it offers low friction and moisturewicking, as well as unimpeded freedom, thanks to the half-split design. Both are available in 5 team colors. www.sporthill.com
Sugoi’s team line consists of singlets, shorts, shimmels, and fitness shorts, as well as warmup jackets and pants. The customization of sublimated graphics makes intricate designs possible and is available on its team website. It offers excellent in-line apparel for training, as well.
The VS team line consists of several levels of quality and fabric types in singlets, shorts, shimmels, briefs, and boy shorts, as well as warmup jackets and pants.
Mesh Singlet $40 42K Short $40 Sugoi’s reputation for quality technical apparel is available to teams and events through its customization program, made more accessible by permitting quantity orders of 24. The Mesh Singlet is lightweight and quick-drying/moisture-wicking polyester and features the fine detail of sublimated graphics. The 42K Short is the most competition-oriented short in Sugoi’s line, with cool polyester microfiber for softness and excellent freedom of movement.
Velocity Warmup Top $55 Velocity Pant $55 The Velocity Top is a textured polyester pullover with a half-zip. The heavyweight fabric keeps muscles warm with a stylish look and a zippered right-side seam pocket. The Velocity Pant features the same heavyweight textured fabric, along with 9" ankle zippers for easy on/off over shoes, and side seam pockets for convenience.
CREGG WEINMANN is the Running Network LLC’s footwear and apparel reviewer. He has been an observer of the footwear and apparel business for over 30 years. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. Copyright © 2009 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Reprinted here with permission.
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A MESSAGE FROM USADA
hen you hear the name USADA, drug testing is probably one of the first things that comes to mind. And while it’s true that USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) is responsible for the drug testing in the U.S. of Olympic and Paralympic athletes, our reach extends far beyond just testing. This includes critical education efforts to combat, at a young and developmental age, the antecedents to doping. Our education efforts have a significant focus on elite-level athletes, helping them navigate the rules and regulations of the anti-doping program, but they also bring values-driven messages to these athletes as well as to younger audiences, instilling positive attitudes and behaviors before the point when the decision to dope might arise. Ethical decision-making skills, positive body image, informed consumerism about potentially risky supplements, and healthy nutrition for maximum performance are some of the themes that our education focuses on. Our mission is clear about how seriously we take this. Along with preserving the integrity of competition, and protecting the rights of U.S. athletes to compete healthy and clean, we aim to inspire a commitment to the core principles and critical life lessons of sport which can make such a great difference not only on the field of play but also in the classroom, business, and community. To further this clean sport message, we have several exciting endeavors underway at USADA. For student-ath-
letes, we have just launched the exciting programs That’s Dope (for ages 14-20) and 100% Me (for ages 10-14). Fully interactive, with complementing curriculums and websites available for free to coaches, schools, athletic directors, teachers, and youth program facilitators, these programs explore relevant themes such as facts about performance-enhancing drugs, dietary supplements and energy (stimulant) drinks, and the importance of safe training, sleep/recovery, nutrition, and healthy body image. We have also just launched the USADA True Sport Awards program, in partnership with Discovery Education. This dynamic program empowers and challenges educators and facilitators to creatively reinforce the clean sport message in schools and community organizations, and honors their efforts with project funding and professional support. Interested? Feel free to check it out at www.discoveryeducation.com/USADATrueSport. Anyone educating or facilitating youth can apply. USADA’s website remains another key tool in the fight for true sport, sport that is played clean and fair, and free of performance-enhancing drugs. Featuring the latest antidoping news, an online library of helpful publications and materials, and updates on USADA’s clean sport campaigns, www.usada.org is a tremendous resource.
Your daily updates on the latest in track & field, cross country, road racing, and marathon running. Sign up at www.runblogrun.com and get your athletics fix at least 350 days a year. (Hey, we need a break once in a while, too!)
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USATF and USOC are mortgaging their future by ignoring the Title IX Crisis
s noted in this space two years ago, the very admirable idea of Title IX has been twisted over the past 30-odd years into a form that threatens the future of the United States’ performance in the Olympic Games. Since Title IX was enacted in 1972, and the bureaucratic promulgation of “guidelines” which have gradually hardened into fiat law, university after university has dropped participation in a number of men’s varsity sports, citing Title IX as the reason. The worst hits have been taken by men’s wrestling and gymnastics. More than 400 collegiate wrestling teams have been discontinued, and according to the NCAA only 17 Division One men’s gymnastics programs are still competing. Seventeen! Track and field and swimming have also been hard hit. Among the men’s swimming programs dropped are UCLA and Miami, which between them have produced 27 Olympic medals. The scores of major discontinued men’s track programs include Southern Methodist, Bowling Green, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Oregon State, Ohio University and James Madison. From 1896 through 2008, according to the latest numbers I cold find, America’s athletes have won a total of 2,197 Olympic medals. 1,,132 of them (51.5%) been won by male athletes in just four sports -- men’s track and field (619 medals), men’s gymnastics (58), men’s swimming and diving (341), and wrestling (119) -- the very sports that have suffered the most from the restructuring of collegiate sports brought about by the current Title IX “rules.”
If that isn’t a crisis for the USOC and USATF, what is? Where is the USOC going to be if the four sports that have won 51.5% of all U.S. Olympic medals go out of business? Where are our great track and field athletes going to develop their skills if colleges continue to drop the sport? Equity in Athletics (EIA), a non-profit organization, has sued to change the Title IX “rules” which universities say is the reason why so many men’s programs have been chopped. I believe USOC and USATF should support EIA financially, organizationally, and with amicus curiae briefs, and so should the leaders of every NGB involved with an Olympic sport. If they don’t recognize that this is a crisis and start thinking about ways to solve the problem, U.S. medal counts will go down and not up. This has already happened in men’s gymnastics and wrestling, which brought home only three medals from Beijing. It may not happen in 2012 (Doug Logan may get his 30 medals), but it will happen in Rio and beyond. The American development system for most Olympic sports is our high schools and universities. This has proved to be an excellent way to develop Olympic medalists. Title IX is being used — misused — to destroy this system. If USOC and the NGBs don’t do something about Title IX, it sure as hell will do something about them. And it will happen in the next 10 years. — James Dunaway
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Published on Dec 31, 2009
Winter 2009 $5.95 Volume 16, Number 5 Kazu Eguchi, Photorun.NET U.S. Postage Permit #351 Bolingbrook, IL ATF_winter09:ATF_XC 09 12/9/09 9:50...