Monday, January 31, 2011

Phase Break

I leave for Florida tomorrow until Saturday and will resume my training on Sunday, giving me an eight day phase break. I'm healthy and unhurt after Reno so I want to refresh and then recharge before indoor nationals on March 5, in Albuquerque.

Penny for your thoughts? Too much to tell!! I talked to Kris today and we went over some stuff and finalized the plan. Mainly we agreed that our last plan worked and just made a few modifications. We're really pleased with the response of my poles but think the goal is that we need to bump up some training to try and get to them from one stride closer with a slightly higher grip. Not far off from that but we think it is half technical and half strength/speed. Albuquerque has a fast runway so I should be ready by then.

If you go to my Facebook page you can scroll down and see the 4.10m (13' 5 1/4") jump. Click on the New Project [HG] button for a larger and cleaner view. You can hit the pause button to see the different phases. I asked that the standards be pulled up to 70cm but they left them on 80cm, so had that bar fallen I would have gotten another attempt. I hit it harder than I remember but I also cleared it by farther than I remember. If I can get on that pole from one stride closer then I can jump 14' (4.27m) on that pole and still have one left that is bigger.!/profile.php?id=815472367

We laid out the plan for after nationals as well so my thoughts add up to far more than a penny, and so does my passion for this to work. Pretty excited. Thanks so much for your very kind emails, Facebook posts, calls, etc. It really means a lot to me. All the best! Bubba

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reno Report- 1 Video @ Bottom

This will also be my report to my coach, Kris Allison as well so there will be a few more details. Got to Reno early Thursday and did what I always do, spent a lot of time in bed. I try to stay clear of all of the activities and catch up on email, work and mindless TV rather than obsess on a big meet. I kind of go into hiding until it's time to jump.

As mentioned yesterday I had no idea what to expect. I felt good, but having not vaulted in a month, nor run a step without a sled or on the StairMaster, I could only guess. My idea was to jack up all other training in order to improve my power and conditioning. I felt like it worked well but you never know until you get out there.

Warm up went well as I'm pretty quick, usually three jumps from 10 steps and then sit. I try to do just enough to wake my body up but stop short of actually feeling warmed up. I know a few vaulters who jump a lot in warm up and don't have the energy or mental focus left to jump sharply when it counts. Plus I didn't want to risk being hurt. I like to be the first one on the runway in warm ups and be off in 20 minutes. Using this approach I almost always feel much better as far as leg quickness goes when the meet jumps start.

Reno has very large fields so to start the bar goes up in 8" (20 cm) increments, then 6" (15 cm) and then 4" (10 cm) as fewer people are left. I started at 3.55m or about 11' 7 3/4", which I made on my first. By this time we were at 6" increments.

Next we went to 3.70m (12' 1 1/2"). I bailed out in the middle of my jump because the officials were yelling at me to stop as I approached the box. Turns out they had not raised the bar yet so I had to wait for that and then go again.

Next was 3.85m (12' 7 1/2") which I made on my 2nd jump from 12 steps. Now we're at 4m (13' 1 1/2"), where I have seemed to have perfected being on the wrong pole for the past four meets. Not today as I made it clean on my 3rd attempt.

At this point I have won and I'm jumping alone so I go to 4.10m (13' 5 1/4"). First pole is too small so I move up a pole (14.4) and back to 14 steps and make it on my 2nd attempt on that pole. That pole too felt small from that run so I moved up to my biggest pole (14.2).

At 4.20m (13' 9 1/4") I took one jump and had a good jump but was a little out. At that point the officials realized that I was trying an American Record so I was stopped while they made some announcements and then sent other officials over to measure the bar. I lost a little momentum with the wait, yet came up too under at take off on the next jump and then didn't take my 3rd. My rationale was that I was very fatigued after 13 jumps on seven poles from three different run lengths. So if I didn't get in deep enough on #2, then why would I risk injury on the 3rd attempt while running slower and protected?

So Kris - surprises - I moved my standards from 80cm to 70cm for my last at 13' 1 1/2" and they were perfect. I wasn't going to have another meet where I had a ton of height and came down on the bar.

Because that pole felt small, I moved up a pole and the standards back to 80cm for the first at 13' 9 1/4" and it was too small. When I moved back to 14 steps and up to the 14.4, I went back to 80cm but for the next attempts I was at 65cm.

So I tried to stick to our rules, not be stupid, and just advance to a clean slate for the next height. I jumped on three poles I have never left the ground on and would have gotten 2nd had I not made an indoor PR of 13' 1 1/2". So this time I was fortunate enough to do it when it was needed. Jumping higher than I did to win the World Masters Games was also a nice bonus for January.

Off for eight days and then back to the grind for indoor nationals on March 5. Looking forward to the break and then the training. Thanks for being here and for all of your very kind emails and FB messages!! Bubba

This is 12' 7 1/2" according to the person who sent it. Kind of gives you the idea it would be a good night.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reno - Won My Pit at 13' 5 1/4" - 4.10m

Had no idea what to expect having trained hard but not touched a pole for a month. Took 13 meet jumps on seven poles from three different runs. More later. Exhausted! Bubba

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

OFF to Reno Tomorrow!

Got an easy stretch in and am packing right now. More to report from the scene. My flight eaves at 6 AM and I get there at 9:15. Can't wait! More soon. Bubba

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Last Training Day

I'm going to wait until this afternoon to go and do my 6 X 50m hill/sleds. It rained all day yesterday and finally today the sun has started to come out. It will be windy and around 50 but that's better than wet and 42. From there I will come home and get a long stretch in.

Tomorrow is my travel day and then Thursday I leave for Reno. I'll keep reporting as I will have my computer. I'll also have my camera so there will be photos as well. Have a great day! Bubba

Monday, January 24, 2011

One Training Day Left

Got my last lift done this morning so that leaves me an easy day of 6 X 50m sled/hills. On my strength test for my bench I got 4 X 225 which is very good for me. I got 2 X 225 before I went to Sydney.

I feel good and am reasonably optimistic I'll be good at Reno. Nothing hurts but that doesn't mean anything. When you're only jumping on big poles and haven't touched one in four weeks anything can happen. Still, my training has been really good so I'm hopeful.

I get home from Reno on Sunday, do my normal Wednesday travel day on Monday, and then go to Florida for the rest of the week. I always try and plan a break the week after a big meet since that seems to be when I get hurt trying to jump. I'll get back from Florida and get a four week ramp up to indoor nationals.

I've kind of noticed that with crappy weather I train as long and hard as I can but once winter hits I only jump at indoor meets. IF I got a rare warm day on a scheduled jump day I could jump but it seems like a good chance to grind it out for 8 weeks to get ready for outdoors. We will see if that works. Hate risking injury by jumping in the cold and wet.

That's it for today but thanks for being here. I really appreciate it! Bubba

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weird Mind Things

Can't figure out why that when I have a long and extended grind period that I can focus in and feel every rep of every set of every component. Now I'm close to a big meet and my training load is way down I'm like a kid with ADD in that I have to really pay attention to stay engaged. Short bursts of all out power. Obviously I can do it and do, but it surprises me how much harder it is to do easy training, and how easy it is to do harder training.

Senior Admirers
I do odd bar drills with ankle weights in the gym which draws some attention I guess. I say I guess because I usually don't talk in the gym during my workout, unless I'm coming or going, but occasionally someone will stop me and ask me something. I was on the 24 Hour Fitness website after I won the World Masters Games and there is still a framed summary of about eight members goals and accomplishments near the front door and I am one of those. Apparently the old guys have adopted me. One guy who I always speak with told me one day, "you're making us old guys look good" and gave me a thumbs up. He is about 70 so I guess he thinks I'm close to that too. Since then about 5-6 other "older" gentlemen have taken to speaking with me which is cool.

I bring this stuff up because I have a really nice group of people in the gym, of all ages. I see a lot of accomplished physiques and they all seem to do different things. This reminds me of some very simple advice I once read, "the most effective workout for you is the one you will always do". Lots of ways to reach the same goal but showing up IS the biggest part of the battle. The next part is give yourself something you will do no matter how you feel.

After all of the grinding, heavy weights now feel light but if I stay on heavy weights only I will grow weak and lose conditioning. It's just a big cycle that gets fine tuning daily. BUT - this is the last gym day before Reno. I lift in the garage tomorrow and do running Tuesday and that is it except for stretching.

Thanks for being here and for your support. Everything feels good at this point. Bubba

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Good Training Day

I haven't tested my groin since 1/1 so today I decided to alternate sprint drills with a huge pole while wearing ankle weights, in between my 6 X 50m hill/sled. Everything felt outstanding so I am good to go. Will probably repeat on Tuesday and be set. Today I did the following over 50m slight hill;
  1. carioca/side shuffle
  2. 50m w/sled
  3. high knees
  4. 50m w/sled
  5. straight leg march
  6. 50m w/sled
  7. step out
  8. 50m w/sled
  9. power skip
  10. 50m w/sled
  11. butt kicks
  12. 50m w/sled
VERY please with how my body felt. Have a great day! Bubba

Friday, January 21, 2011

Unplanned Off Day

Today my shoulders were a little sore and my hips were a little tighter than I would like, so I bailed on training today. I'm really very ready so I saw no sense in annoying something that is nothing. I'm just stiff from the higher intensity training so it's fine to skip.

Later in the day I ran across the parking lot to avoid some cars and felt pretty quick. Overall I feel really good. Tomorrow is another hill/sled day and it will be cold again (25). I'm planning for 8 X 50m with 6 X 50m on Tuesday. I'm fine to go 6 each day if that feels right but right now I plan on 8 tomorrow followed by a long stretch. Overall I feel pretty outstanding so I'll just chill and not be stupid.

The poles left for Reno today and a week from today I will also be there. I'm finishing up on a big work project with one more coming up before I leave next Thursday. I like to ramp up a lot of work stuff when my training winds down so I don't think too much. Or like my dad says, "me thinking is working without tools". So I will report back tomorrow on how things go. Thank you so much for being here. Some times are much more challenging than others and all of this uncertainly is more than a little stressful. That said, nothing will happen between now and Reno so I just need to go and enjoy the ride. Thanks again! Bubba

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Had my next to the last hard lift today with a ramped down cardio and ramped up bars. After tomorrow everything slides down pretty quick except for the stretching. So here's what else is going on in my life;
  • Though I feel pretty good in that groin I occasionally make a weird move and it lets me know it is there. That makes me a little nervous but the best thing to do is rest. If it flares at all at Reno I will shut it down.
  • Speaking of shutting down, I'm buried in some work projects that could possibly have me moving to Florida, beginning some extensive travel, or BOTH. Because of that I'm going to indoor nationals at Albuquerque, and hopefully the National Senior Games here in Houston. How ironic would that be if I had to travel to a meet in my hometown from Florida, IF I can get the time off.
  • My real plan is to continue training like I'm going to the World Championships this summer in Sacramento and see what happens.
I'm not worried that I won't be able to train as that is an understood condition of my participation. I'm an independent, and for the most part make my own hours and schedule. The coach at the university where I might move has already extended an open invitation to train there. The problem is juggling my schedule. Where I am now I can come and go when I want, but it may not be the same when I'm at a university and working in and out of an office working environment. I'm not a 9-5 guy but I'm sure there will be meetings and responsibilities that will affect my ability to make my own schedule from time to time and that's OK at the beginning. Here I schedule business around my training schedule. It will end up the same way in any of these situations but the first few months will be very hectic. So Sacramento is 50/50 and that sucks!!

This is the place in the story where most people lose touch with vaulting and training, but it's too dang hard to make up that lost ground. No matter what happens I'll train HARD. How much I get to vault and compete may or may not be another story. Lots of good meets in Florida. The funny part is that Nancy and I had already decided to investigate Florida for retirement. We will see what we shall see but it sure makes training harder with no real definitive goal.

In any case, thanks for being here for me! Bubba

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Last Hard Run Day

Forgot to post yesterday as I'm swamped on a business proposal and other work. Today I ran my last day of 10 X 50m sled/hills and they felt really pretty good considering I had driven all day to meetings. Tomorrow is a stepped down version of my lifting cycle and each successive training day is also a step down in quantity and intensity yet the stretching is still full.

I'm a little apprehensive having not jumped in a month but I'm in better shape than I was, which I felt was pretty good to start with. So cautious optimism is how I feel. I leave a week from tomorrow and our poles leave Friday. We will pack them up and get them to the loading dock tomorrow. Kinda tired of waiting but I still have 9 days.

Have a great evening and thank you for your support. More deeper thoughts and plans tomorrow. Had a lot on my mind so I will work it out here. Bubba

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Think I'm getting There

Backed off the reps and bumped up the weights lifted again and things feel very good. Taking my time on long stretching and upping my bars. I have two more rotations after tomorrow so that should put me about where I need to be. Of course by Reno I will not have vaulted for a month but that is not that unusual. I went six weeks before indoor nationals in Boston last year and did fine. Looking forward ti the challenge to focus when it counts. Have a great evening. Bubba

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Plan Develops

I got on the stairs today and set the wrong time and level (too high/too long) so I cranked through it for 10 minutes, as planned, instead of the 12 I set so I jumped off. Felt quick and powerful so that "seemed" to be enough. Skipped the bike because I wanted my legs to have more tension under them. This allowed me to get to my leg lifts earlier and fresher so I could raise the weights up quite a bit. Don't need speed endurance 11 days out from a big meet. Upped my bars a little as planned but everything else is starting to feel really good. I'll do some big pole drills tomorrow, Thursday and Saturday and that should get me ready. Calmly starting to get excited for Reno. Have a great Sunday and thanks for your support! Bubba

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Almost Forgot

I was trying to post this on Nancy's ipad and did something wrong so I'm back at my computer. Got my 10 X 50m hills in between rain and cold. Long gym day tomorrow. Short but at least I'm here. Have a great night! Bubba

Friday, January 14, 2011

Two Weeks Until Reno

At 5:30, in two weeks from this moment, I'll have finished my warm up and be waiting to start jumping in the meet. My final plans are starting to shape up. I changed my lifting today from 8,8,6,6 to 6,6,4,4 with a 20 rep max (instead of 28) per secondary exercise. Not surprisingly in two weeks I have already gotten stronger as I'm doing my "6" sets with what I use to do for 4s. The most important thing now is to make sure I get my full stretching in each day and miss no scheduled workouts no matter what the weather or how I feel.

Monday I'll hit the diet correction. I like to train 3-4 lbs. (2 kg) heavy and then lean down for the meet. I'm faster on the runway, hold my positions better and the poles throw me harder. Everything feels quicker. So I've upped the bars and added about 25% to my stretches.

I think that is about it for now but I will have more thoughts as I get closer. Have a great day and thanks for your support. Bubba

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Odd Day @ the Gym

Got on the stairs and bike today and felt really good so was cranking away like usual. Got to the lifts and bars and they felt good so I was going hard at that too. Then a guy I haven't seen for a long time came over and started talking to me. Fortunately I was almost done, but it just completely took all of the steam out of my session and actually made me feel tired. I had four exercises left and people were on them either reading or looking at their phones and I just wanted to yell - GET THE HELL OUR OF THE WAY!! THAT IS NOT WORKING OUT!! Instead I left without stretching. This is a FAILED day in my eyes because I rarely let anything else throw me off of my appointed task.

If I had it to do over again I would do the same because Sal is the manager of a restaurant we always go to and he is being transferred back to the one by our house. I had gotten enough done but this shows why I don't talk to people at the gym; I'm working out. So after a nice visit with Sal, checking up on his son and dog, transfer, etc., he gave me a hug and said, "great to see you GREG!". That about sums up the day at the gym and I suddenly find that very ironic and funny. Have a great day and thanks for being here. Bubba - AKA - Doug or Greg

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Back At It

Sled/hills felt heavy and sluggish today but I got all 10 done. It was 25 degrees this morning and 44 when I ran this afternoon. As usual for Texas, it will be 74 on Saturday, and raining.

Two weeks from tomorrow I head to Reno so I need to start refining my final ramp up. Though my legs felt dead today my body feels healthy and uninjured. Tomorrow will be a little test of the groin on the leg press again after cardio but I'll go a little easier and report back.

Kris isn't going to Reno this year so I think we may be shipping our poles through Shipping is the only way to go because they are picked up from the high school, arrive at the venue, and then are returned back to the high school and you never touch them in between. We can send two bags for a total of about $120 each for three people. The airlines, IF they take them, charge $80 each way and then you have to rent a car to transport them. We'll decide tomorrow or let Kris ship them if someone is getting a car.

I'm not going to Joshua even though I feel like I could jump. Not smart I don't think. Stick to the plan and train through it and start getting mentally and physically primed for Reno. Can't wait to jump at the big event and see all of my friends. Unbelievable experience. More soon. Bubba

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Time Off

I made the decision to take two days off so I don't have to crawl back out of being trashed and HOPE to recover by Reno. After cardio the other day I felt the groin thing a little on leg press. It wasn't injured but it woke it up a little and I don't like that. I also added hang cleans back in and that jacked up my glute nerve thing a little.

I learned a long time ago that when you have an issue you go right after it. So yesterday I said, SCREW this back/nerve glute thing and did straight legged deadlifts as well as lunges and hang cleans. It worked as I actually feel a little better today. That said, I keep hearing my friend, the late orthopedic surgeon, Glenn Almquist warning me of "sunburn". This means when you first go out in the sun your skin isn't ready yet so you back out and then you can go out again for a little longer the next time. So after blasting my direct issues yesterday I'll take today off and resume tomorrow. HATE it but it's the thing to do.

Hope you are all having a great day. Thanks for hanging in here with as I try to figure this stuff out. Bubba

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stronger & Better

One week ago I decided to bump all of my reps up to 28 so that means any combination to hit 28. Previous to that I was going 18 one day (8,6,4) and 12 (6,4,2) on the 2nd day. I also added three cardio days where I go 12 minutes on the Gauntlet (actual stairs, not the tip toe up and down) and 12 minutes of stationary bike. I'm doing this instead of 200s/150s/100s. Instead of sled/hills on days of 8, 10, and 6 all days are 10. So one week later, I'm not only still standing but all of my lifts are almost up to where I was with the fewer reps. I know I have been in a maintenance mode in all areas while I got used to the 14' 7"/4.45m poles, but apparently I have more strength and endurance in reserve.

As I have gotten more aggressive I feel small hints of the groin deal but had I jumped last Saturday I would probably be jogging at 20-30% instead of running sled at 80-85%. I feel REALLY good about that decision last week. As hard as it was I needed to be cautious. Along the same lines, I will skip Joshua to be 100% at Reno. And yet again in a precautionary move I have asked to be put on Pit 2 instead of Pit 1 so I don't have to be on huge poles right from the start. All in all I'm where I need to be and am surprised that my body has responded so well to the bump in all loads. But that can change as time goes on. Have a great Sunday and thank you for supporting me! Bubba

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Good Sled/Hill Day

After barely surviving yesterday's lifting I was a little surprised to feel so good running today when I did my 10 X 50m sled/hills. Got up to about 80-85% and never felt the groin cramp I had last week.

Cold day with ice on the pit this morning. Next week will be in the teens. Not my idea of Texas weather but we have been lucky so far. I expect the usual two months of crap now.

I saw on that the entries are now posted for the World Championships in Sacramento in July. Normally that's a BIG complaint, you don't see the list until a week or so out. You can check it out here -

I wasn't tempted to vault today but I was tempted to reconsider and jump at Joshua next weekend. I decided against because I feel so good only one week after a scare at the Belton meet. Might as well keep cranking on the training and get it totally clear.

Hope you have a great Saturday and thanks for checking in on me! Bubba

Friday, January 7, 2011

HARD Day!!

Some days just flat suck and others are even worse. Today was the worst. EVERYTHING felt really hard today plus I couldn't start until later in the day because of meetings. I knew it had to be coming but it hit all at one time. We will see how tomorrow feels.

Three weeks from tonight and I'm jumping in Reno. I'm hearing that we are jumping at 5:30 like last year. The elites go at 7:30 so that will be cool to be finishing up on the floor when they are warming up. Can't wait. KRIS -we need to schedule pole shipping Dude!!

I'm guessing/hoping/expecting to feel good. Right now I feel like I could vault next weekend at Joshua but I won't as a precaution. I want to go into Reno completely healthy and in great condition. I know how to vault so those things are more important.

Have a great weekend and thanks for being here! Bubba

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rolling Along

Another lift/cardio/bar day. Everything going as planned. Some things feel harder and some feel about the same. I expect it will get considerably worse over the next week to 10 days when I back off. But after day 5 I'm hanging in there pretty good.

Found out that we are getting a new pit today. We have two, one on each end of 120' runway, but one is pretty beat up but better than some others. Just goes to show why our high school was rated the #1 high school program last year by ESPN. GREAT support of all programs and nearly every one makes it to the state championships and then does well there. I'm very fortunate they let me hang out there.

Have a great evening. Having trouble typing on my little netbook. Bubba

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Travel Day

Nice clear day with 73 degrees but supposedly it will be in the teens next week. Since I'm only running and not jumping I'm not so concerned about the weather. That said, I still hate the cold.

I'll just grind away until I'm 9-10 days out and then do a quick taper down in order to feel good for Reno. So what seemed like a four week grind really comes out to be 2.5 weeks of every day training. Kinda looks like this;
  • M - AM - Lift garage/bars - PM 10 X 50m hill/sled
  • T - Cardio at gym then garage lift #2
  • W - 10 X 50m hill/sled
  • Th - Cardio at gym + gym lift and bars
  • F - Lift garage/bars
  • Sa - 10 X 50m hill/sled then garage lift #2
  • Su - Cardio at gym + gym lift and bars
Lift 6 days, bars 4 days, sled 3 days, hill/sleds 3 days, big pole plant/sprint drills every running day.

If this works how I think it will I will do it for 3.5 weeks after Reno before indoor nationals. About the time my body completely rebels the ramp down comes in. The rest allows me to start back at a higher level for the next ramp up. That's the theory anyway. Have a great evening and thanks for being here! Bubba

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

So Far So Good

I ran my first 10 X 50m sled/hills yesterday and was able to get up to about 60% with absolutely no groin discomfort. That's a really good sign I think. I was pretty sore after my first hard cardio sessions on Sunday so I expected to have to be really careful. Today, after my 2nd cardio session, everything feels even better.

A couple of revelations - 1) I'm in pretty good shape. Having done zero cardio for a few years I never even broke a sweat on the stairs or the bike even though I got near the edge of being winded. That surprised me. 2) I have gotten pretty strong. I normally lift 8,6,4 one day and 6,4,2 the other day for my main exercises, and 18 and 12 for my secondary exercises. This combination of strength and endurance has kept my weights up pretty high as I have switched to sets of 8,8,6,6.

When I was a lead instructor for the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles for 11 years(Legacy of the 1984 Olympics), I was given lots of study projects, the results became classes that I taught to high school coaches through a program offered by the AAF. One of them was that you can lift sets of 10 forever and not do much to improve your 1 RM (1 Rep Max). BUT, you can greatly increase your 10 reps by how much you can lift for 1 rep. As an experiment I put 165 on the bench for my 8 set and was able to do 22 reps. I remember a couple of years ago I was excited I could do 8 X 155. I got there by the 8,6,4 and 6,4,2. I kept the conditioning from the 18 one day, and 12 on the next.

The down side of this is that when I went from the cardio to the legs the weights felt much heavier because I was fatigued. I'm guessing that if I leave my weights at their regular levels and lift this way, than when I am fresh, I will get much stronger. BTW - because I do bars each day, I have ankle weights on when I'm doing the stairs so this is extra work for the hamstrings, hip flexors and groin. I like it.

That's it for today. I'm sure it will feel like a grind soon but right now it's a breath of fresh air to have new challenges. Thanks for tuning in. Less than four weeks to Reno! Speaking of Reno I've asked to be put on "Masters Pit 2" to avoid having to start at such a high level that I could jar what I hope will be a completely healed groin. Have a great day!! Bubba

Monday, January 3, 2011


After I warmed up at Belton on Saturday, I was pleased that I had cleared 12' 6" (3.81m) twice easily on my smallest pole but I was bothered by the tightness behind my left knee. I haven't had that this year. The problem with missing your training rotations is you go too long between one segment and too short before the next. Not that it really matters, UNLESS you have a meet. The short rest cycle fell on the meet day and I just didn't feel right. This will sound strange but after warm up I didn't even want to jump. I really felt that I would be at risk of SOME little ding and things had been going too well to knowingly put myself in that position. Even as the bar started getting up near my starting height I really just wasn't that interested in jumping. I have never felt that way before at a meet and I can only attribute it to the mental side telling me it wasn't worth the risk.

I share this because it's really ironic that I train my ass off to jump in big meets, and this is one of my favorites, yet I didn't even feel like jumping. That's not true really as I felt pretty good and was very excited until I started getting these warning signals from my body during warm up.

Here's the biggest reason I'm revamping everything and cranking up all of my running, lifting, bars, cardio, etc. - In this post I talked about a guy who was done for the year because he had already reached his physical and technical potential. Though I haven't reached my technical potential on the longer poles, I have been in a holding pattern on advancing my physical skills so that I would be fresh enough to use the new poles. Well now I can jump on them from 8 steps (44') I need to get my butt back to work and what better time than a four week period before Reno, followed by a five week period before indoor nationals? The goal is to jump high in June and July, NOT January or March so NOW is the time. Besides, it's too cold to jump so I might as well get in better shape.

So there is my frustration that hit me after Saturday. Sure I can jump 13' (3.97m) every day in practice and can probably jump 13' 6" (4.12m) but that's just not going to be good enough. To step up I will have to be a better athlete and challenge my bigger poles from closer runs and use that success to progress to longer runs and still bigger poles. That has always worked for me but I can't realistically do that until the weather gets better. That will happen about the time I finish this nine week blast of training. So that's the plan and I'm sticking with it. Thanks for being here!! Bubba

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Good Decision Yesterday

This morning my groin is only about 20% as sore as it has been any time that I have jumped in the last month so it must be about well. That said, it probably would not have pulled yesterday but I sure feel better this morning having not pushed It. As much as I hated pulling the plug yesterday I feel reasonably intelligent about it today. As I told a friend, "yes I'm disappointed, but if I would have gotten hurt I would have been pissed". The good news is that this is not a true groin strain but a kind of stretch weakness that follows my hip stretch. Whenever I have dropped that out this goes away in a week.

I've decided to skip Joshua on the 15th and get back to full training. I've been thinking a lot about things that I have done before that have worked and it dawned on me that some of my biggest breakthroughs have come after a hamstring rehab where I hadn't jumped in 4-5 weeks. What did I do then? Bumped up the weights to reps of 8,8,6,6 with five breaths as a rest, did 12 minutes on the Gauntlet (StairMaster with actual stairs), 18 minutes on the bike, 100m grass running, tons of pole drills with a huge pole gripping 16' 5" (5m), massive bars, etc.. I'm on it and started today with all but the grass strides.

The reasoning is that my body is not used to so much quick twitch in the groin and hamstring areas and this fixes and conditions that plus gives me the speed endurance to hold my legs together at higher speeds from longer runs. I was watching some high school kids yesterday gripping higher than me, running twice as far with average to below average technique and soaring. I can do that but just have to have my body hold together.

The good news - NOW, yesterday my smallest pole was too little for the first time. In fact I easily could have jumped on it from 8 steps rather than 10 and I haven't been close to that. But my legs can't handle the quick twitch explosive stuff without better conditioning. I won't jump until Reno and my belief is that I will go there and my first two poles won't even be usable because they will be too small. That is my mission.

The reality is that my marks don't show how high I'm jumping because I clear 12' 6" easy with room to spare and then don't dial in the next pole. Now the next pole, and maybe the next one will be too small. How do I know this? Before I won Nationals in 1997 I was out for five weeks with a hamstring strain and Boston was my first meet to jump. I was up three poles from where I left and hadn't touched a pole in over a month. Just 23 days from Worlds in South Africa in 1997 I cam off of a hamstring strain and got the bronze in a big headwind. What I did is exactly what I started today. BTW - I have yet to be injured this year - knock on wood.

MY goal is to jump high this summer. So if this plan delivers the dividends I expect by Reno, then I will maintain it for the following five weeks until National Indoors. Nine weeks of a new kind of grind should get me through to all of my bigger poles and put me at the next level instead of just on the outside of it. What have I got to lose. The bottom line is to STEP UP the training in the weak areas. If I am unable to handle the increased mental and physical discipline then I don't deserve to be there anyway.

Hope you have a great day and thanks for being here. Bubba

Saturday, January 1, 2011


In meet results terms that means I did not compete (DNC). I felt tight behind the left knee during my warm up but made 12' 6" (3.81m) twice easy on my smallest pole so thought it would be a great day. When it was time to get on the runway I started feeling a little twinge in the right groin. Ran down and did not take off on run through #1, and then did the same for #2 and called it a day with no meet attempts.

I had this same feeling in Wisconsin in 2009 and took three more jumps and got a little ding. That ding strung out and cost me the chance to jump at the National Senior Games at Stanford, and threatened my trip to Australia. So YES, I could have probably jumped but it wasn't worth the risk. I never felt it during my warm up so I'm not hurt. TOUGH call but it had to be done.

WHY? I ran Thursday and not Wednesday and my body needs that one day longer. When I stretch my hip/glute with traction it tugs on the groin so I will stop doing that. Lesson learned without injury.

The plan now is to crank my butt off on sled, lifting and bars and show up to Reno ready to rock. I will skip Joshua in two weeks to assure total health. I'm really pumped about this plan because I need to get back to some serious training. Glad I was cautious but VERY excited that it resulted in this plan. If that works as well as I think it will I will do the same and not jump during the five weeks between Reno and Indoor Nationals in Albuquerque. Have a great New Year! Bubba