Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blah Day!

Another stretch day.  Nothing special.  Found out for Italy that we have to have proof of a physical where we had a blood test and EKG, proof of health insurance, our USATF membership card and a passport.  Anything else?  Of course there's still no schedule but at least you can see the competitors as they enter.  Have a great night.  Bubba

John Mayer - "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" -

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On the Other Hand?!

NO, this is not my hand but sometimes we overlook the obvious like the hand in front of our face; this one with six fingers.  The National Senior Games Association conducts state senior games and our Southern California version is this Saturday at the Pasadena Senior Games.  Senior Games have 18+ sports where as "Athletics" is what the rest of the world calls track & field.  These two associations could care less about each other and truly know very little about the other's plans or intentions.  SO, Saturday morning is the Pasadena Senior Games and Saturday afternoon at UCLA is the USA Track & Field Southern California Championships.  What dummy thought it would be a good idea to have these on the same day?  They probably don't even know - or care.

Today was my sprint drill/skip/stretch day and it felt OK.  Each ramp down before a meet I make the decision to run 4 X hill/stadium ramps or take the easier road and do the short sprint drills.  If my legs feel great then I'll do the stadium ramps because it is too early to feel this good for Saturday.  If I feel OK or so, so, like today, I'll take the easier path. 

Since I haven't touched a pole since Texas on April 29, who knows what will happen or how I will feel.  I should be stronger and faster but I also feel a few pounds heavier.  When you haven't trained really hard for awhile it seems like you gain a little weight at first and then it goes down.  I've had a great training run but felt heavy too.  I'll just take bigger poles I guess and be prepared to grip 2-3" lower.  Have a great evening and thanks for your support!!  Bubba

Always a fun song by Bowling for Soup - "1985" -

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Easy Stretch Day!

Another beautiful day from my back deck! Please click to enlarge.

Today was a breeze as predicted.  Tomorrow I'll go out and hit some easy strides and sprint drills and get in a long stretch.  I think Thursday I'm going to head down to Chula Vista and watch a meet at the Olympic Training Center at 1 PM.  It's only about 75 minutes.

Bruce Caldwell is shipping four poles today and three tomorrow.  All poles have a special lighter weight and more flexible carbon in them.  He has also lowered the sailpiece 2" (5cm) so I can roll the bigger ones just a little easier.  I saw a couple of shots of them and he has put some stars and stripes automotive finish wrapping on them.  Very cool.  Now I just need to jump well on them.

I was just thinking yesterday that the top three places at the World Masters Games in Tornio, Italy will obliterate the current meet record for age 60 which is either 11' (3.35m) or 11' 6" (3.50m).  Since the top three guys start at or above that it will be interesting.

That's it for this evening.  Just resting my body and clearing my mind.  have a great evening!  Bubba

The Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice" -

Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Day In Paradise

Great shot of Renaud Lavillenie of France, the probably 2012 Olympic Champion!

Another picture perfect day at the coast.  I'm sure as soon as I say this twice in a row the fog of "June Gloom" will arrive.  Got my workout in this morning, the one I didn't finish from yesterday.  It felt pretty good and I was able to get a long stretch in.  The rest of the week I'll just tune up.  Tomorrow I'm going to Rick Foster's to get another big plant pole so I have one at home and at the school.  That's it for today.  Thanks for being here.  Bubba

ACDC - "Thunderstruck" -

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Brain Drain!!

Today I just didn't have it physically, mentally or energy wise.  I ran my 6 X bleacher ramps really well and felt very fast again.  I do these every other day during the grind part and then stretch to every third day as I get closer to a meet.  During the grind I always do 10 reps and as I approach a meet I go 8, then 6 next time and 4 the last.  Today was 6.  All OK there.

Came home to lift and got started but felt zapped.  I lifted bench/lat supersets and bailed on the rest until tomorrow.  Because I skip the last training rotation before a meet and just stretch, it's no problem to throw in the upper body sets I missed today.  Listening to my body.  I'm trying to feel good for meet.  Grinding through is not the answer in this case.

GORGEOUS Southern California day both yesterday and today.  Of course I miss friends and family in Texas but I can handle 59 last night and 68 for the high today.  NOW - I'll try not to eat too much.  Have a wonderful day and thank you for your support!  Bubba

Pat Travers - "Crach & Burn" -

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting Stronger

What I have learned as I have been aging is that when I take a 1-2 rotation (3 training day rotation) break after 3-4 straight and hardcore rotations, I am stronger when I come back.  Probably four rotations beats me down a little too much but my schedule for this year is three rotations on and a one rotation break.  Today was day three back of a four day rotation (I have a four followed by a three) and I feel again very strong.  I'm hoping I can use this little step up ladder as a way to continue to rise to the next level.  I still feel like a fat ass but under there somewhere is starting to show signs of maybe an athlete.  ONLY if I stay consistent.  Have a great day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Rush - "Something for Nothing" -

Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving On!!

Very good lift day.  Just trying to be careful as I bump the weights up considerably.  I was able to do bench step ups with the Olympic bar today so that's a big breakthrough.  Considering tomorrow will be four weeks since my injury and I have a meet in one week, I'm cautiously optimistic.  Body feels good but I need to not let my diet get away from me this weekend.

I've been inquiring on poles to Italy and Brazil and all of the elites say to fly to a big city and then rent a car and drive.  Hmmmmmmm - Rome to Torino is 6.5 hours and Sao Paulo, Brazil to Porto Alegre is 16+ hours.  I think I'll be shipping.

Have a great day and be safe this holiday!  Bubba

Tom Petty's, "Running Down a Dream" -

Thursday, May 24, 2012


OK I had my normal apathy getting going again today.  Partly because I was brain dead from my Denver trip and partly because when you've had two days off it's hard to make yourself go back to the grind.  BTW - when I go to Denver I get up at 3:15 AM Monday to get ready to get to the airport for the flight.  Tuesday starts a bit later so that's cool, but Wednesday I'm up at 4:15 AM (3:15 AM California time) to come home.  So my body is resting from the workout but my brain is busy and my sleep is limited.  No big deal; it just adds to making it hard to get going.

I go to do my stadium ramps today and I notice my left ankle has some pain when I go to stop.  Actually I had noticed it is sore for the past few days but not during my training before I left for the trip.  So here we go with weird pole vault dings. 

First the good news is that I felt quick and fast so good results from the training and rest.  The left ankle is from trying to slow down to quickly so it's getting a little jammed.  Obviously I can fix that.  What's funny is that you may remember when I was having a jammed right hip from trying to slow down too fast from the sled on my right foot.  No big deal; I just find it funny that I now have had two dings while trying to slow down either at the top of a hill or at the end of a sled run.  I must be fragile because I ain't THAT fast.  Funny!

So I was playing guitar today after hearing Megadeth's, "Symphony of Destruction" and it occurred to me that this is the perfect title for my workout plan.  All of the ins and and outs and rationale of cycling does just that; creates a symphony of destruction.  My job is to be a better conductor  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Got home from Denver today and went out to check out my new pole - CRUSHED!!!  At least is was the one test pole and not all eight. 
Click to enlarge
To add insult to injury, their truck ran over the Fragile / Handle With Care sticker!!

Have a great evening!  Bubba

Stevie Ray Vaughn - Tightrope -

Monday, May 21, 2012

Laying Low in Denver!

It's my every other Monday/Tuesday trip to Denver which means lots of work and lots of rest for my body.  I'm a little beat up but I should be after 11 straight days of training.  I think it's going to be a great rotation.  Have a great evening and thank you for being here!  Bubba

Here is The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again", in honor of the London Olympic Committee who invited the long deceased drummer, Keith Moon, to the Olympic Games -

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rest Sucks!!

OK, maybe not on rest sucks, but it's sure hard to get the body moving after the break.  I need to remember to stretch on the non-training days.  That's going to be a big deal as I go to Denver tomorrow.  This two week, three rotation program is going to prove about right.  Today was the last day of 11 consecutive training days and I feel that much more would start breaking me down.  My first rotation is shorter but harder/heavier, the 2nd is a medium with more volume.  The last one is the same as the first one but not being fresh I don't push the intensity so much but rather shoot for a high quality session.  All in all it's another brick in the wall.

I have the Pasadena Senior Games two weeks from yesterday and my buddy Gary Scheffe is coming in from Texas to jump with me in it.  I have no idea what to expect from me.  I think my body will be OK but I know nothing about the facility and I don't know what new poles will be here yet.  I think the best plan is just to stay on my 14'7s (4.45m) until after the Southern California Masters Championships (also in Pasadena) on June 16.

I feel like I'm gaining some momentum but I'm far from feeling like an athlete.  I'll just stay after it.  Cosnistency is everything.  Thanks for being here and have a great evening.  Bubba

Ted Nugent - "Wango Tango" -

Saturday, May 19, 2012

One More Day!!

I got off schedule today because we have a kid trying to qualify for the next level in the California High School system leading to the state meet.  Yesterday I was off because I did a double Thursday.  Now since I'm missing today I will need to do a double tomorrow to make up for that.  No problem.  Then I get two full rest/stretch days followed by an active rest day and then the lead up to my meet on June 2.  Speaking of which, Mark Cleary, the head of our SoCal Track Club emailed to ask me yesterday if I could vault in two meets on 6/2.  One meet is in Pasadena and the other is at UCLA.  I emailed Gary to see if he wants to give it a try but haven't hear back.  One is at 9:30 and the other is at 2:30.  Gut feeling says stick to the plan and do the 9:30.  Also found out that the Southern California Masters Champs are on June 16 in Pasadena.  All the more reason to be careful and skip the one at UCLA on 6/2.  Have a great Saturday!  Bubba

Friday, May 18, 2012

John 2

With the palm trees and ocean in the background, John Altendorf gets ready for a vault at my home field.  Please click to enlarge.

John went out for a little jump session today.  Starting with a head wind and moving through borrowed poles he had some great jumps at a tight bungee at 13'.  Fun time being out there with him.  My training resumes tomorrow.  Have a great evening.  Bubba

Thursday, May 17, 2012

John Altendorf

At World Indoors at Kamloops, BC, Canada in 2010 with his drug testing escort.  He needed to wait to pee so this is the guy they put with him.
In action getting his outdoor WR in Sacramento in 2010.  BTW - he forgot to put his helmet on indoors for the WR jump so one WR with helmet and one without.

Tonight will be short while I await the arrival of my friend John Altendorf and his wife Jodi.  John is the only man 60+ to ever vault 13' with WR indoors and out at 4.05m and 4.04m respectively.  They have a wedding in Huntington Beach Saturday so we will go out and let him vault in practice tomorrow.  I can assure you that I will bitch at him famously to make a bigger effort to be the only one to jump 13' at 65+ since he's in that group.  I've already told him that he knows a few others are going t make it at 60 but none of us will at 65 and he certainly can.  Have a great day!!  Bubba

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Lost & Wandering!!

I'm in that kind of mindless state of training where the time and effort seems to float by with me as a passenger.  Sure I'm training hard but I get into a flow that is comfortable and just the right pace that I feel I could stay there for much longer than I should.  Like my drive from Texas to California, the miles keep rolling by and I'm along for the ride but lost in thought and barely remember the road.  If I'm going to be grinding it out anyway it's nice to get a cruise day.  For that reason I give you the Jeff Beck classic, "Freeway Jam" -

Bruce Caldwell sent me my first pole today, a 4.30m/16.4 and will begin working on the others.  Pretty excited to get going.  I'll explain more about my vaulting plan when the poles get here and I finish my meet on 6/2.  Have a great evening and thanks for being here with me.  Bubba

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tough Times Ahead!! New Poles!!

Another grind day today.  I'm past feeling sore and weak and now I'm just executing the workout and hoping to survive it.  It's not that it's that hard but rather it's because I have lost the edge of my fitness.  Another brick in the wall I guess.

Last night I posted on Facebook that I was going to Italy and my good friend and Sydney runner up, Allan Williams of Great Britain let me know he turns 60 in May and looks forward to jumping with me.  Between him and Wolfgang Ritte (Wolfie - Masters version of Bubka), it will be very tough.  The hardest places to compete because of the depth of competition is California, Texas and Europe.  I won't be at home but will feel that way due to the toughness of the field.

Today I worked out a deal through Bruce Caldwell of Essx and my coach, Kris Allison to get eight new 4.30m (14' 1 1/4") poles for my championship year to Italy and Brazil.  I have a 17.9 and a 17.0 so I'm getting 17.5, 16.5, 16.0, 15.5, 15.0, 14.7, 14.4 and 14.1.  My goal is to only jump on these poles, one at a time until I know their feel and the optimal grip range for a couple of different run lengths.  Very excited about it.  That will give me ten 14' 1"s to go with my eight 4m (13' 1"), and my ten 4.45m (14' 7') poles.  I used to have some 14' 1s that were cut but I gave them to my buddy Dolf Berle.  My 14' 7s are flexed on a 14' 1" scale so some will fit between my new 14' 1s in case the gap feels too big.  I'm doubting that's the case but it's nice to have back up.

That's it for tonight except to say that my friend an M60 world record holder, John Altendorf and his wife Jodi will be here for a wedding and will visit.  John is the only 60+ year old person to ever vault 13' (3.97m) with an outdoor WR of 4.04m (13' 2 1/4") and indoor of 4.05m (13' 3 1/2").  He will jump Friday at Dana Hills High School.  Should be fun.  Have a great evening and thanks for your support.  Bubba

Motley Crue - "Wild Side" with a great series of Tommy Lee's rotating plexiglas drum cage -

Monday, May 14, 2012

I'd Like a Little Italy!!

Every journey begins with a single step and today I took the first big one by entering the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy to be held August 2-11, 2013, a mere five weeks after I turn 60 to be the youngster in the group.  Today was the first day you could enter.  The entry fee of 170 Euros ($218 USD) will be the least expensive part of the trip.  I can only hope shipping my poles turn out to be less that the $1,900 it took to get them to Sydney, Australia and back.

This morning when I was lifting I was thinking about just how very far I am from being ready to do what I hope to do in Italy.  Actually I started thinking during my bike ride about how we used to load up our bikes and ride across Catalina.  You would be in your smallest gear because the hills were so steep.  You might be going 1-2 miles per hour and just hoping you could keep enough momentum to go forward.  Still, within 10 minutes you would look back down on Avalon in shock that you had managed to come that far and rise that high so quickly.  Almost six hours later you would arrive at the other end of the island.  All of this felt impossible almost the entire trip but you just kept going.

I was also thinking about the first practice in 1997 when I was getting ready for Worlds in South Africa.  I wanted to jump 12' (3.66m) five times from my 12 step (6 strides) run and I only made it twice.  Sixteen years later I can easily make that height from 6 steps (3 strides) or half the run.  That year I jumped 14' 1 1/4" (4.30m), the same goal I have in mind for this year.  I'll do a TON of big pole plant drills so I can get my grip up 3-6" (7.5-15cm), and a lot more longer run vaults.

My points are that I am a person who needs purpose and consistency.  The examples I offer remind me that I must be patient but fanatically consistent.  I can't raise my body to the next level at the age and hold it together unless I go slow and consistent.  Better start early.  I started Monday with my body and mind and symbolically by entering the championships today.  Thank you for your support.  Bubba

Republica - "Ready to Go"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Painful Change!!

When I settle in to training I am at my happiest because I know I can gain momentum.  I've just finished my first rotation and I'm a little beat up but not too bad.  It's not like I've taken a year off.  That said, the hardest part about what I do is the familiarity.  I know it works, and understand why I've gotten away from the consistency - move, work, etc..  But it's like driving from Texas to California.  I've done it before but I know its going to be long and painful. I'm OK with it but I'm anxious to have some time under my belt.  So as much as it seems like change, it's really for the most part going back to the bulk of a routine I am familiar with.

I had a very stupid revelation today about my poles and as soon as I'm done here I will send this to Bruce and Kris.  Back in 2008 I moved to 14' 1" (4.30m) poles.  I had six of them with a 17.5 being the smallest.  The conditions had to be perfect for me to roll ANY of those poles, so we cut 5" off the bottom of them so I could use the entire series.  Now I can jump on a 17.5 from 6 steps. Me and Kris made the decision at the time that once I got to the top of that cut 14' 1" pole series that we would just order a full length 14' 1" and that should work.  I still cut the tops off so they can't come through and hit the bar, but the functional part of the pole was a 14' 1".  Here is me jumping 4m (13' 1 1/2") in Sydney, Australia on a full length 15.7 -, and here is me jumping 13' 1" three months later on a 15.4 -

In 2009 when we got the 14' 7" poles I had the same problem so Kris and I got together and cut 5.5" (14cm) off the bottom so I could roll them. Here is me jumping 13' 6" at Reno in 2010 on a cut 14' 7" flexed to be a 14.5 on a 14' 1" span.  It's a 14.5 so I SHOULD be higher -  My biggest currently is a 14.3 but I'll be holding higher and running from further all year except for the first few months.

I don't know about you, but even though I have a lot of height at 13' 6" there wasn't much bend and it certainly wasn't as smooth as the 14' 1" pole jumps.  Let's see, 14' 7" pole - 6" cut = 14' 1" pole.  My best jumps are on 14' 1" poles.  I think the guess work is over - I need to overlap by cut 14' 7" poles with full length 14' 1" poles and I am home free.  Am I crazy or is it that simple?  I think it is.  Bruce and Kris?  I think I need 16.0, 15.5, 15.0, 14.7, 14.4, 14.1, and maybe later a 13.8 and 13.5.  Boys?

Have a great day and happy mother's day where it applies!  Bubba
Offspring - "Dammit I've Changed Again"

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Good Hard Day / Poles Are Home

Had my first gym lift today and intentionally decided to do my bars with no ankle weights to be sure my form was perfect and to have a little more quickness.  It didn't work.  It's funny because that's how vaulters hit poles - with just enough tension you think it will take to make them move.  I bet on bars today you could have put 50 lbs. on me and I would have done fine.  But take the weight away and I lower the expectation of the force I need and thus deliver less. HATE THAT!!!  You can kill a fly with a fly swatter or with a sledgehammer and I prefer the sledgehammer.  Hit the damn pole 10 times harder than you think you need to.  Hit it so hard that the impact doesn't slow down your hands.  So I was a little pissed at myself for lowering my effort expectation.  Other than that all other lifting went well, though I was weak on the leg press.

I went over to the school and saw that my poles had arrived back from Texas.  They were in the hallway in front of the coaches' office so I grabbed them and headed home.  It was a little tricky since I drive a Mercedes convertible (not know for being good at strapping stuff down) and did not have any bungees because I had no idea the poles were back.  I put it over the top and held on to the strap and drove real slow.  Any little wind or turn would make the back end start to slide.  It's only about 2 miles but it was a scary two miles as I could just see my poles sliding off onto the Pacific Coast Highway and being run over by the traffic.

I'll leave you with a song from Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning".  This song was in Jan Johnson's Sky Systems 2 and while it was playing it was showing the tons of off season training his guy/gals did.  That's about where I am so it seemed appropriate.  Have a good day and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Friday, May 11, 2012

Change of Plans AGAIN! Right NOW!!

If there is nothing else you can count on it is me being willing and able to completely change my plans when I sense another way could be better.  I've been around long enough to be honest with myself and I flat can't motivate myself to go through the motions on a path that MAY work.  Today's change has nothing to do with my program as it feels great on my first full day.  My body told me to make a change.  A good change!

Today I started with the bike up the brutal hill up my street, which felt tough but more manageable.  I thought it would be a good warm up.  CRAP - on my very first squat my legs hurt so bad I couldn't go down even half way.  I racked the weight and tried again and even with light weight it just wasn't going to happen.  I guess that type of intense riding made my quads so tight and painful that I really considered quitting.  Pissed off I went in the house for a minute and came back out and said SCREW IT!  I put 10 lbs on each side and suddenly it was easy and I had no pain.  Now I have no clue what happened in this five minute span but I put the original weight back on and went right down for a set of 8 with no pain at all.  I don't get it but I'll take it.

Challenge #2, time for lunges.  I'm scared of this because I had to quit doing them before because they were irritating the same injury on my right leg that I just got two weeks ago on my left.  I put a 5lb. weight on each side and slowly went for it.  Nothing on either side - not a hint of pain.  Now am I stupid enough to do a bench step up set with weight on my shoulders?  I went really slow at first and again completed a set of 8 and felt nothing.  I'm sure it will hurt later when I run, or will it?

Did some errands and work waiting on school to let out as I need to do yesterday's 10 X bleacher ramps.  I'm going to trudge this with a stride length no longer than my foot.  Surprise!!  By #4 I was running about 30% with no pain.  On #s5-8 I ran at 50% with no pain.  SHOCK!  I did some rhythmical runs and found that I easily could have vaulted today from 4 steps.

I'm going to hate explaining this because it makes too much sense and I don't prefer this as a solution.  I got a mild strain on my right leg in November of 2011 and started my rehab right away.  I was still occasionally feeling the effects of it just a month ago.  The left leg was MUCH worse yet I left it totally alone for 13 days and it's nearly well.  I couldn't do a bench step up on my dinged right leg for 8 weeks yet I can do one on my injured left leg in 13 days.  OK - lesson learned.  No rehab - rest the leg completely and work on other things.

Right NOW!!  On Monday I changed my frame of mind to get ready for Italy and Brazil.  Just "thinking" daily that I'm getting ready for these meets is a refreshing change from the run in place experiments I did over the last year.  The first thing I noticed was my internal NEED to do things right now.  No shortcuts on stretching, no waiting until later.  Don't get me wrong in that I always make my training a priority.  Right NOW it's urgency.  I'm planning my training and scheduling my work and other responsibilities around my training again.  In short, I LOVE IT!!

Thanks for your support and for being here.  Oh, almost forgot, the main reason for the story is to say that I will now vault in three weeks at the California Senior Games.  I may jump from 6 or 8 steps but I feel I can easily be ready to jump.  SO, my entire master plan moves up a whole month.  I didn't think I would be healthy or conditioned enough to jump until July and now it will be June.  Pretty excited to make THIS change of plans!  Bubba

Van Halen - "Right Now" -

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Reversibility says that a 60 year old who stops lifting will lose 40% of his strength in 60 days.  If staying at your current level means progress, what does it take to move forward?  Careful daily consistency and occasional real challenges.  Like vaulting I have some benchmarks that tell me I'm in a good place.  Benching 225 lbs (100kg?) twice is a good place.  Before I went to Sydney in 2009 I benched 260 once.  I don't lift heavy just like I don't vault on big poles often.  It's just a result of the exercises and types of lifting I do.

I'm a big believer in mixing big lifts with what I call secondary, or minor lifts.  I've strained so many little muscles that I had to do this. It gives you a better muscle density as well as, if done correctly with a full range of motion, increases your flexibility.  So quickly I'll walk through what I lift and the sets and reps. 

Because I will do three rotations before a break for my trip to Denver, that means I'll double up on one configuration and do the long one only once.  Tomorrow is the short but heavier day and this will be my first training day of my championship year.  BTW - since I "started" mentally Monday I've felt a lot more focused and driven.  Even though I had no workouts I was more deliberate with my diet and gave a lot of thought to my training.  Cool.  Can't wait to feel like an athlete again!!

Tomorrow I start with biking the hill in front of my house and then I will do 8,6,4 in deep squats in a Smith Machine to protect my back and assure perfect form. This allows me to use a little more direct leg strength without worrying about tweaking my back with a little wobble.  Us feeble fossils have to worry about stuff like that.  Next I will do sets of 8 lunges in the smith machine with my foot up on a block to get a big stretch under my butt.  Next is 8 bench step ups on each leg.  Just like it sounds, I put the Olympic bar on my back and step up on a bench and jump off of that foot and land on the other, step down and then step back up.  After that is a torture for shoulder stability I have always called Power Sets - 8,6,4 of the following exercises performed as one set - 8 X standing curl, 8X upright row, 8X overhead press, and 8X lateral dumbbell flys.  On set two I start with the second exercise and rotate each set.  I stretch and do sprint drills between all sets.  On Monday I do this lift again but this time it is Squat - 8,8,6,6, lunge/step up as 8,6 and Power Sets as 8,8,6,6.  So I have a long conditioning day there whereas the other was a heavier day.  I will also do 10 X stadium ramps that would have been done today had I not traveled.

Saturday I go to the gym and do 3X front levers on the bars + 2 X P-Bar Bubkas, then Leg Press, leg extensions, seated leg curls, lying leg curls, seated arm curls, seated tricep extensions = 10,6  (my other day is 2, 1 on bars and 12,8 on lifts.  I start with 12 minutes on the StairMaster Gauntlet.

Sunday I'll do the hill again on the bike and then do 8,6,4 on a bench/lat pull superset combo.  On the lat pull superset I do 8X hands wide and facing away followed immediately by 8X hands close and palms facing.  Next is 8,6,4 Incline/hang clean combo.  After that I have 1 X 16 lying tricep extension/close hand bench press combo + bent over concentration curl as a 10, 6.  Next is 1X32 alternate incline dumbbell curl followed by 10,6 on tricep pushdown.  Also stretch and sprint drills between sets.  My other day is 8,8,6,6 on big lifts and 12,8 on secondaries except for the lying tricep press/close hand bench press which is 1X18.  Those muscles are more dense and require a constant bombarding to react.

That's it.  Give it a try and I think you will like it.  I start with super low weights and just complete the work.  The weights will ramp up when they ramp up.  After all I have 14 months.  The key is DO NOT MISS WORKOUTS!!!  Have a great day and thanks for being here!  Bubba

Bad Company - by Bad Company -

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


The coveted front lever - technically this is the end of the front lever but for a vaulter it ends when your hips lock to your hands with your body still extended.

There are few things more important than lower ab strength and quickness.  The ability of the vaulter to become vertical in the shortest time period is the essence of vaulting high.  Sergey Bubka's coach, Vitaly Petrov was once asked what he thought was the biggest variable in getting to higher levels for the established vaulter.  His answer was swing duration.  The shorter the duration of the swing, the more power delivered, while at the same time not interrupting the path of the pole.

I do a few base bar exercises that help me quickly get my hips to my hands.  BTW - 10,000 sit ups a day will do nothing to get you vertical.  Getting vertical is lower abs and lats.  A good rule of thumb for bars is four days a week.  Some of the exercises are very difficult to do even one time.  But once you can do them once then you can quickly build up to sets of 10.  BTW - I do not swing on bars EVER.  I want the raw strength of powering myself through the move rather than cheating and swinging myself through the hard part.

The front lever, as pictured above is the basis of a great vault swing.  The longer the body can remain long the more energy goes into the pole.  To bring the hips up requires staying upright with the torso and forcing your arms forward and down.  Pressing (rowing) your arms forward and down gives you much better penetration into the pit.  I do 3 X max front levers twice per week with 5lb (2kg) ankle weights on.

Next are Bubkas.  I hang between parallel bars at the gym and go fully extended vertical.  Slowly I lower myself down until my left leg is parallel to the floor and my right knee is pulled toward my chest like it would be in the middle of the swing.  Without touching my left leg I change direction and roll back into the extended position.  I do 3 X max on this twice a week.  So my four days are two days of 3X max front lever to vertical lock off, and two days of 3 X P-Bar Bubkas on another day.  I can get vertical on any jump, no matter how bad I may have missed the timing.

Just beginning?  Grab some heavy ankle weights and do these exercises as negatives.   Your body is 40% stronger on the negative than the positive.  For example, you can slowly lower with control much more weight on a bench press than you can press back up.  So if you do these drills with weight, in reverse, many times, then you will soon be able to do one going the correct way with no weight.  And as I said, once you can do one then you can do many. If you can't do one, then try these every single day until you can.  This is a big key to being able to jump high.  Have a great day and thanks for your support!  Bubba

Pat Travers - "Crash & Burn" -

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Drills, drills, drills!!

It's all about the split second right before and after this photo!! I can't take 1,000 vaults but I can do 1,000 take offs with drills.

If a drill cannot be recognized in the vault then it is useless.  Last year between Reno and national indoors in Albuquerque I started back on my sprint and plant drills with an ovdersized pole.  At nationals Gary Hunter made several comments about how he had never seen my plant look so good.  I looked at the video and he was right.  It was the drills!!  NOTE - most people think my plant is up too late but that is actually by design.  I can't jump off the ground well if my hand is up when it hits the box so I thrust it up AS I jump up.  I still hit the box with a very solid body but it looks late.  My jump is dependent upon my jump up and arm thrust timing because that's where I find the snap to my swing.  One off season I spent four months trying to have my arm totally locked at the plant and I completely lost effectiveness at jumping up.  That said, these drills apply.

Since my groin is dinged I'll start off doing the major sprint drills over about 40m, usually 10 lefts X 3 reps.  Carioca/side shuffle, high knees, goosesteps, high knee step out, power skip, and butt kicks.  Once I feel a little better I'll move to ankle weights.  I do this for rhythmical quickness.  Just like soft sand running, you have to start slow in order to find a rhythm that works and then you can add on.  When I feel well I will do the sprint drills with ankle weights and a 16' 9"/210 pole.  I will walk back doing drop plant drills.  At first I walk the entire plant.  Then I will walk two lefts and then jog the plant steps, then run all four strides looking for rhythm.  I'll drop the ankle weights and put on a sled and run the 40m for high rhythmical speed.  This alternation of ankle weights and no sled with pole, to no pole or ankle weights but sled, I have found to be a great combination for building rhythm and speed.  When I'm getting close to big meet time I'll do all of these drills with the sled also.  The first thing I notice with the plants on a sled is how much I slow down to plant the pole.  So the sled is a drastic reminder to move forward on every step.

Take it or leave it but when you have done 1,000+ huge pole plants with various resistance, your real pole feels like a toy and you have total control.  That's it for tonight.  Have a great evening and thanks for being here.  Bubba

Scorpions - "Rock Me Like a Hurricaine" -

Monday, May 7, 2012

Technical Refinements

I hate getting into technical discussions on the vault because I really don't like to defend my findings.  I have been extensively around the top vaulters and coaches in the world and everyone has their own opinions and that's fine.  More often than not I find that we are saying the same things but just a little bit differently.  So I will summarize quickly what I work on to anchor my vault.  I'm in a very weird minority in that I can not jump at all for three months yet go to a meet with no practice and have my technique somewhat on.  I am a technical detail person so this is just a thumbnail sketch of what I really study but you will get the picture.  I'm not a believer that if you run and plant right the rest takes care of itself.   I use a simple checklist of priorities, in the order of the vault and that gives me a consistent jump, even if I haven't jumped in awhile. I call it a "Technical Checklist" and I make one before every meet and practice.  I would LOVE to jump a lot but I find it's more important that my body feels good.  So here's the deal.
  • At the top of your jump to reach a high object, like a basketball goal (yeah right), your body will automatically go stiff.  THAT is when you hit the pole, so JUMP UP at the take off for a consistent transfer of body mass to the pole.
  • If you put a large bag of poles in the box and I asked you to raise that bag to vertical, you would push it at a 90 degree angle - that is physics.  It doesn't matter if it weighs 2,000 lbs. or 2 lbs., the physics are it's easier at 90 degrees.  If you hit the take off by jumping forward and up with a stiff body at a 90 degree angle, the initial impact of the box will only knock your body to vertical.  If you are less than a 90 degree angle it will knock you backward.
  • With all of your effort, try and stop the pole with your right hand in front of your head?  Why?  Stand with the pole in the box and glue your bicep to your temple and you can support your entire body weight on that lean because it also engages the full torso.  Now let it slip back to behind your head and you will find a weakness so great that you will fall into the box.  Besides, if your hand comes behind your head you just lost your upward moving angle.  If you can jump up and stop your top hand, then the pole picks you straight up.  It's the only reason at 58 that I can jump of a 14'7"/178 without being knocked to my back.  The pole picks me up and therefore I can roll a higher sailpiece.
  • I try to punch the bottom hand up HARD just before the pole hits the back of the box.  Immediately after I squeeze the pole hard with my left hand to keep myself engaged with the tension on the bend.  If you don't do this the pole collapses on your body and now you have to punch it away while you're falling backward.
  • Don't break at the hips but rather try to lever your stiff long body in such a way with your arms that your hips rise to your hands.  To bring your hips up with your body long, your hands MUST move forward and if they move forward then you are that much further into the pit.  The second the hips break the hands can't move forward anymore and the pole swings to the side and all lift is gone.  Ever fell like you're about to boom a bar and then it goes away?  This may be why.
  • Extend your trail leg up the pole.  The pole is vertical so if your trail leg is extending up the pole then you are perfectly vertical.  If you are not you are flagging out.
  • Have a purpose for each jump and grade ONLY that effort.  Vaulters are aways told what they did wrong on the last jump.  On the next jump, that part was forgotten and the next thing wrong is pointed out.  Pick one thing and do it right twice before moving on.  This is planned success rather than random chaos.
The interesting thing I have found about vaulting is that something may work on one day but may not work again the next time.  Every single thing on this list works every single time, so take the time to master them and you will find more consistency.  Above all, have fun!  Thanks for being here.  Bubba

Going WAY old school on you here with The Gap Band - "You Dropped the Bomb on Me" -

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pole Vault Learning Plan

I'll break this discussion over a couple of parts; this one focused on my plan and rationale, and the next one more dealing with specific technical changes.  Every year I start over as if I know nothing and rebuild my vault.  Of course I do this from very short runs.  My intention is to base train/rehab until July 1, when I begin jumping from 4 total steps or 23' run. I use 4m/13' 1 1/2" poles for this and my PR is 12'. 

Because my plan calls for me to vault every other Thursday, I will have two sessions where I jump from four steps in July. The first one will be more getting comfortable with my technique, a large number of jumps, etc.; session two will push to the limit of what I can do for 4 steps.  I will wear spikes and hit the biggest pole I can move looking for a PR. 

This is the base of what everything else is built from.  If I can jump 12' from 4 steps then I can jump 12' 6" from 6 steps, 13' from 8 steps etc.  That would put me at 14' from 12 steps and I have the ability to run from 14 steps.  A little margin for error or to try higher.  I used to stay at these runs until I hit certain marks but found I got to the marks sooner if I set a deadline to move on.  So two sessions = one month = move on to the next run.  Leave nothing out there.  Biggest pole, highest grip, in spikes like a meet and see what I can do.  Very little room for error with runs this short and poles this stiff - CRITICAL for learning and fine tuning.  Or like my buddy Tim McMichael says, the fastest way to get on big poles is to take a small one and move in a stride or two."

Rationale -  At Reno in 1994, Vitaly Petrov, Sergey Bubka's coach was asked why they spent so much time on working from 2,4,6 and 8 steps.  His response was that all vaulters are strong and fast so "I must take that away from them and teach them that they must work with physics instead of against physics."  Fast forward to my time in Sydney, Australia in 2009 for the World Masters Games, where we were discussing Alex Parnov (Steve Hooker's coach).  One of my friends told me that when Parnov went on the road with Hooker he sent his teenage girls (14' 5 1/2"-4.40m and 14' 7 1/2"-4.45m) to a coach in Sydney and told her not to let them run past 8 steps for the next 2-3 months.  Not surprising, when the girls took these new found efficiencies and put them on longer runs and bigger poles, they both got PRs early and often.

I had an elite vaulter, Borya Celentano, who I got when he was a 13' vaulter and retired six years later with a PR of 18' 10 1/2: - 5.45m.  Borya would start in practice from a standing 35' (11.5m) and run from those six steps until he made 15' or 15' 6" (4.60m-4.75m).  He would take about four good jumps per run and then move back a stride, ending at 12 steps (6 strides) where he would be attempting 18' (5.49m) on a 15' (4.60m) pole,  Then he would go to meets, use big poles and run from 18 steps and all of those refinements were magnified into very big jumps. The year he did this he had 11 meets over 18' and had an auto qualifier for the Olympic Trials in 2000.

So for me, I'm at 4 steps for July, 6 for August, 8 for September, 10 for October, and 12 for November. After that I will start at either 8 steps and work my way back after four jumps to 12 steps and see how many jumps I can get from there.  Very excited to get started but the reality is that I will have 8 weeks of tough training and pole drills under my belt before I try my first bar.  And because I'm jumping twice a month so I am always fresh, I will also continue to drive my physical level up as I go.

So that's this part of the plan.  Exactly what I will work on will come in the next edition.  Thanks for being here with me!  Bubba

Beasite Boys - "Sabatoge" in honor of the newly elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trio, and their member, Adam/MCA, who just passed away from cancer on Friday -

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Inside Looking Out

I got a new bike yesterday and promptly got my but kicked this morning on the major hill on my street.  It's one of those 180 degree ocean view streets that JUST KEEPS CLIMBING!  I made it but it was work.  I don't have my computer on yet but I'm sure I was well over 55 mph. on the decent.  YES - helmet!!  I will combine bike and StairMaster Gauntlet in an effort to get more high quality jumps in my practices.  Beats running 300s, 200s and 150s.  I normally get 6-9 jumps and I'd love to get 15.  That's part of the vault goal.

Before I jump ahead to poles I want to revisit the injury bug as I left one out yesterday.  I had a pain on the outside of my right foot that I got shot last year.  I noticed it would flare up again from time to time and even made an appointment to get it shot again.  Well, I figured that one out too.  Turns out it was from calf work - standing and sitting with heavy weight.  I stopped those and it hasn't been a hint since then.  I'm using the bike, Gauntlet and some light plyos to make up for the lifting loss.  A week ago today I strained my groin.  Leave it alone.  Nuff said.  I'm entering the 14 month grind phase for the most part uninjured except for the groin which I now have a preventive cure for as well.

I was going to start by talking about my vault plan and progression but the more current subject is poles.  I jump on 14' 7" (4.45m) poles that have been cut off 5.5" (13 cm) because I couldn't make them roll at their full length.  I cut from the bottom obviously as cutting from the top does nothing to change the properties of the pole.  That said, I trim the tops afterwards to just above my grip so the pole will fall under the bar instead of knocking it off since I always jump with my standards all the way back.  This also keeps the kids from using my poles.  Sorry but they have screwed up to many before so I learned my lesson.

I moved up from 14' 1" (4.30m) poles because as my grip went up they felt a little more mushy where I was looking for a quicker response.  The cut 14' 7" at 5.5" should be about the same as the full length 14' 1s but they are not. - they are MUCH more responsive with a quick and powerful return.  As you know I only use Essx poles, designed and built by Bruce Caldwell, who has designed and built my poles since college.  He makes, in my opinion, the best and most consistent product and understands what I'm trying t do with my jump.  I jump up well so I can uses higher sailpieces.

All of this said I have challenged him to come up with a hybrid design that allows me to jump on a full length pole that requires no cutting on the bottom. My guess is that he will tweak his spreadsheet to make me a 4.35m (14' 2 1/2") or a 4.40m (14' 5 1/4") pole.  Though I love the poles I have, I will be moving my grip up 3-4" (6-8 cm) from day one.  Reason - I've seen my videos and I am way under gripping, and when I cut them all off the final 3" last year I never changed the grip tape so I actually move my grips down 3".  Bottom line is that I normally hold where I will raise it to, and then maybe go up and inch or two from there.  Because of this, and the fact I trim the top of my poles, then I need a new set of 6-8 poles that are long enough for me to hold higher.

SO, Bruce will make one pole and have it flex out around a 16.0 on a 4.30m span.  This is the standard me and my coach Kris Allison always use because I know the feel of 4.30m flexes very well.  So Bruce could make a 4.35m, 4.40, 4.45, 4.50 or even a 4.60 pole, flex it to a 16.0 on a 4.30 span and I would be able to immediately see how every other pole in the series works.  So the question becomes, if I couldn't roll a 4.45m uncut, YET I'm moving my grip up 3-4", what is the best uncut pole length for me?  Would a 4.45m roll with a higher grip?  NO!  I tried it before I cut it and it was too much of a struggle - 30/70 ability to complete a jump.  My guess is that a 4.35m or 4.40 pole is the best but we won't know until he makes one that flexes out on a 4.30m span as a 16.0.  So that is what Bruce will do; take this information, plus what he knows about my vault, design what he feels to be the perfect pole that comes out to a 16.0 on a 4.30m span and send it to me.  If it's a 4.40 and I can't quite roll it, I will trim it and now he will make the rest of the series out of 4.35s.  He's the absolute master at this so I will leave him to his magic.

Magic is what I will need as I try to win both World Masters Games in Italy and World Masters Athletics in Brazil next year when I'm fortunate enough to be the youngest guy in the group - 60.  Also only one person in history, John Altendorf, who will be visiting me shortly, has ever vaulted 13' at 60.  I want to be #2.  For that I need special preparation and special poles.  So Bruce will make me 6-8 poles especially for that purpose.  Can't wait!! Have a great day!  Bubba

GFR - "Sin's a Good Man's Brother" got me through my bike grind this morning -

Friday, May 4, 2012

Take it To the Other Side

My dear friend Kellie Suttle breaks a pole at the Olympic Trials

Athletes speak a lot about changing levels and I see the need for that all of the time.  Just last week I saw a guy get two PRs and it was obvious that he was done until next year.  Why?  He's got a massive tailwind, on the biggest pole and barely getting in with the standards on 45cm (18").  That's it dude - back to the lab to improve your physical and technical skills because you can't go any further what you have today.  So ultimately that's what it's about; getting to the other side.

Last March I got a hamstring ding at Nationals in Albuquerque.  Fourteen months later I'm finally back on that pole.  BTW - that is still two poles below what I jumped 13' 6" on in Reno that year.  That said, I jumped 13' at Reno this year on the pole I used to use for 12'. All of these factors play a role in my plan and assessment to where I am and where I'm going.  If I can jump higher on a smaller pole than I used to then my technique has improved and I should go even higher on bigger poles.

As we age we can't lose sight of the "reversibility" factor which says that we WILL slide backward physically and that merely to hold your own fitness level is actually great progress.  If that's the case then what the heck does it take to move to the next level physically?  Exactly what I do; grind with purpose.

I had meant to start a 2-3 part discussion on vaulting today but I need to address the elephant in the room first; injuries, and what I have learned this year about managing them. One big problem I faced last year was this stinging flare on the outside of my left knee.  I got it shot and it was better but then as I went to bigger poles it started back on me.  I noticed that if I put my foot down under me at take off like I'm supposed to do, rather than reaching in front and blocking, the pain was almost nonexistent.  So doing things right have made this dig go away.  Now watch how that changed other things too.

That said, I haven't had a  hamstring ding this year even though I have jumped considerably more.  I'm not Steve Hooker who has taken 1,000 since January but I'm working on it.  In fact today I'll buy a bike and start riding this brutal hill in front of my house, and I will also go back to using the Gauntlet StairMaster with actual stairs.   The purpose of both of these exercises is to give me more jumps.  But back to the hamstring.  The main cause of those types of dings are me lowering my hands as I get close to the box, which causes me to reach forward to block my step, and to lean back.  That reach to overcome this bad position makes my hamstring grab.  Now to protect my knee I can't take off that way so that also protects my hamstring.

The two remaining pieces of the hamstring issues were lowering my hands and the lack of ability to sprint without risking injury.  I'm doing the stadium ramps at a much higher tempo now and that has fixed that part.  As far as lowering my hands near the plant I picked up a 16' 9"/210 from Rick Foster to do my plant and running drills with.  I'll do sprint drills with pole, sled, ankle weights or any other combination to teach my body quicker movements with a bit of resistance attached.  Why?

I naturally have good turnover on my running tempo but I don't cover ground very well.  Hence I do a lot of lifting, stretching, hills, etc., as those are reliable ways to build natural stride length.  Short run vaulting is the same a block starts for a sprinter in that you learn short burst explosion which teaches acceleration while at the same time aids top speed running.

Long story short, I fixed most of my hammy problems by running faster on hills and by having to put my take off foot down under me to protect my knee.  So now let's talk about groin and behind the upper leg dngs.  You have to have power through your range of motion.  So on a lunge I will put my foot up on a block so the range of motion will be greater than I would ever need in my event.  My groin issues come from exploding forward with my take off leg or by slamming my foot straight down to jump up.  As mentioned, squats and leg press have made me much stringer here and my body can't take the quick delivery of force.  So lunges are one part of that but the missing link is bench step ups and sleds.  I will wear ankle weights on the bench step ups to simulate the extra driving force.  The sled does the same thing.  Also the bench step up makes me slam my foot down in order to get up to a standing position above the bench.  All of these with ankle weights will teach me quickness with resistance so my body can handle even quicker movements on the runway without the weights.

I've been testing all of these ideas throughout the year.  When I do them I'm not hurt and when I don't the injuries creep back in.  So I'm sold that this approach will work.  In closing I need to do more focused stretching like I have in years past.  Other than that, I love the plan and will outline the element for you as we go here.  First day to resume training is Thursday, May 10.  Already can't wait.  Thanks for your support and have a great day!  Bubba

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - "The Other Side" -

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Planning Considerations

Please click to enlarge

I know before I ever start that the way I feel right now and the way I will feel at the end of this plan will not resemble each other.  Any time I take on the planning and execution of big meet prep, I'm always surprised how I feel at the first, the middle and the end.  When I start I can picture myself on the field on the day of the big meet no matter what component I am working on.  During the middle as I continue to grind, I feel stronger but lose more focus of what that day will look and feel like.  Near the end you become very lethargic and kind of scared that you might fail.  All of these are a natural progression and you just have to work through them.

Planning is hugely important.  I have always said that impatience is a sign of no confidence in your plan, so plan well and be willing to make adjustments.  I don't think I have ever been more certain of a plan that I am this one.  I know and have known since 1997 that in 2013 I will be the youngest vaulter in the M60 group.  In 1997 I was the oldest in Worlds at South Africa so I started calculating ahead to when my best shot would be - 2013. It's here and I will be ready.  The calendar is relentless and will continue to move forward whether I do my work or not.  Everyone trains hard for these but I was shocked at just how good of condition many of the athletes were at Sacramento last year.  The bar has been raised figuratively and literally.  I MUST be ready.  No more Mr. Nice Guy tinkering with training "ideas".  Message to self - GET YOUR ASS TO WORK!!! -

Here's another BIG thing; you have to be willing to do every single thing needed to succeed instead of saying you "need to do something".  Big difference between DOING and SAYING and it is time to DO.  This is why I'm taking this two week break.  Mentally I want to know the difference between my one year experiment I just finished, to a completely refined plan.  I don't want a continuation of what I was doing; I want a focused plan of what MUST be done to succeed.  For example, in 1997, for the 10 months leading up to South Africa I did not allow myself, beer, wine, sugar, bread, etc..  I don't drink alcohol anyway for many years but I will crack down on weight management for consistency.  Go time soon for 14 months of prep!!  BTW - Wolfgang Ritte certainly be there and will also be 60 (he in January and me at the end of June).  He is Europe's version of Gary Hunter, virtually unbeatable!  Also like Gary, a super great guy!  I have never placed ahead of either in a meet.

I'm going to take you through every training component of what I have slated to do and why.  But first I need to leave you with this; the facility and conditions on the day of the big meet will NEVER be what you expect.  In 1997 we had a MASSIVE head wind and they wouldn't turn the pit around.  I got the 3rd and the bronze medal because I was mentally prepared, even though I was easy the oldest in the group.  In 2011 at Worlds in Sacramento we were expecting 100 degrees and got 52 degrees, drizzle and a HUGE crosswind.  I got 4th and was the oldest guy in the top 10.  Even at Sydney in 2009 when I won the World Masters Games, the wind was all over the place and so loud that you had to yell to hear each other.  So that dream you have of the perfect beautiful day and conditions for a big championship meet is a mirage. It won't happen.  Something will be very wrong.  In 2007 my lifelong friend Don Curry jumped in Italy in what looked like great conditions; UNTIL I saw he was wearing a hat and sunglasses because the sun was going down in the vaulters eyes.  It's ALWAYS something and it's usually not good.  You can't control that so you had better have a ton of control over everything else that IS within your power.

Tomorrow I will talk about my vaulting plan, then later my technical goals, then a new set of poles to meet these goals, etc.  Thank you for caring and staying tuned with me.  Bubba

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Things I Have Learnt

As mentioned yesterday this was a testing year to try a variety of things to see how my body responded.  My whole life was changing and my schedule would be a mess so why not experiment?  Why? To consistently jump at a high level I must also find a way to train at a high level consistently.  Travel helped to some degree as far as forced rest and hindered some too by too much rest and too much to eat.  My solution is to schedule my travel. 

I'll go every other week and thus stretch Monday/Tuesday of that week and resume training while missing no days until I leave town again.  I will do an easy track shake out on Wednesday afternoon when I return and jump on Thursday.  So every other Thursday is a well rested jump day, then back to a grind for 11 days.  So 11 hard days, two off/stretch days, and one active rest track day before beginning the 14 day cycle again with a fresh vault day.

Over the next two weeks I will break out the other components and discuss how they have changed and why.  Have a great day!  Bubba

Joe Satriani and Chickenfoot - "Down the Drain -

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ready, Set, Start Over

Please click to enlarge - What you don't readily know about this photo is that it was taken a split second after I strained my groin.  So that look and reaction is pain, not aggressive determination.

I've made the decision to end this year where I am.  This week I moved the rest of our stuff from our Texas house which closes on May 10.  Yesterday I drove the final 18.5 hours straight after a mere 9 the day before.  Next week I am in Denver from Monday - Thursday.  Two weeks is how long I should leave the groin alone before slowly ramping up.  I will leave everything else alone too in order to start with a clean slate.

When this year started it was labeled a "train through" year as I get ready for the march up to next year's World Masters Games in Italy and World Masters Athletics in Brazil.  I turn 60 right before these so it will be my best chance to compete well within my age group.

So why stop now?  This year has also been about testing.  What does it take to ramp my body up to consistently train and jump at a higher level?  I ended in great physical shape and on very big poles relative to my run length.  I jumped 13' in Reno even though I had not attempted higher than 12'.  I got adjusted to a new place to live, to train, to go to the gym, a new work environment with new projects, etc.; and all on a hit or miss schedule.  I made only 12' 7 1/2" but I've made those 12' 6"+ jumps easily.  I never forced to use bigger poles but it just kept happening. If anything I didn't jump higher because I didn't get to poles soon enough in a meet before blowing through.

But the biggest reason I'm starting over now is because now I am perfectly set for any and all components and schedules to be successful for next year.  I don't want a continuation of trial and error; I want to start my program fresh and on a mission.  And so I will will.  Have a great day and much more will be revealed over these next two weeks.  Thanks for being here.  Bubba

Van Halen - "Man on a Mission" -