- Early last fall I jumped a PR 13' / 3.97m from 8 steps, yet later in the year could not jump it from 14 steps. Even though I was a better athlete, I lost my timing by not vaulting.
- I got 14' 7" / 4.45m poles to pick me up better and they worked great but I lost over a month getting used to them in meets. I would boom 12' 6" / 3.81m on the 14' 1"s and then move to the 14' 7"s and be lost. Ultimately I had to cut off 5.5" / 15cm to make them feel right. Now they are awesome!
- I decided I would not vault unless I was on these poles so I could get used to the way they feel. I would start at 11' 6" (3.51m) instead of 12' / 3.66m so I could work my way through the new poles before the bar got high.
- Vaulting in practice is a risk anyway so I chose only to vault in meets when I felt good since I would only use the 14' 7" poles.
- I got a PR 13' 5 1/4" / 4.10m from 14 steps in Reno when my goal was to jump on bigger poles from longer runs. GREAT!!
- I jumped 13' at indoor nationals and got a hamstring strain.
Logic says that if I would have continued the progression I was on when I jumped 13' from 8 steps that I would have had a far better year. Probably, but I argue that I needed to get used to using the next pole series and that training to do so would reward me later when I would be in great shape. I'm happy today with how that turned out. MY important year is 2013 when I turn 60 right two weeks before Worlds.
My logic also says that I was going to skip the big meets this year because all of the young studs were coming into the age group and I would be outclassed. I decided instead to challenge myself to compete anyway. Another reason to focus on my speed and strength for the future.
This next year I will stay in touch with my short run jumping by using small poles and short runs as a warm up. I will vault two days a week and have the poles for no matter how good or bad I feel. My 1st 14' 1" / 4.30m pole is the same flex size as my biggest 13' 1" / 4m. My 14' 7"s will probably only be used in meets or if I feel my three new 14' 1"s are too small in practice. I'm also running more but have actually cut back a little on my lifting and bar work.
I'm confident that this is a good plan and really enjoy getting to know my vault again. I'm far from any respectable consistency but I think that will happen by the end of the month. At that point I can progress.
Have a great Sunday and thanks for being here! Bubba