Please click to enlarge - this is me today!!Enough with the painful lessons. Today I found out the hard way that I can't get my body to a new physical level and then think I can apply that to a vault without ramping up through my poles. In poor wind conditions my poles were surprisingly too small from the runs I normally try to hit them from. Good news.
BAD news is I had to withdraw before my last attempt at 12' 6" (3.81m) because I was about to flare the underside of my right leg. Good news - I didn't flare it, but one more jump would have. YES - my right leg, NOT the left one that I did the same thing on in Texas just five weeks ago. The right one; the one I originally flared in November or 2010.
Of course I've had lots of high level jumps without this weird little injury but it is because I ramped up my jumps through all of my smaller poles over a few weeks, rather than just slamming my foot on the ground right before take off with no preconditioning of the area. So much for thinking my lunges, bench step ups and bike would do this alone. My last 2-3 steps to takeoff have become so powerful relative to my body's ability to withstand it, that I'm assured this will continue to flare this area unless I jump more.
This is a delicate balance because I want to keep advancing physically for speed and power. I'm super pleased with that progress except for the fact that today I noticed both lower foot and ankles had pain and stiffness from too many stadium ramps on concrete. Apparently doing them every other day for 11 days is too much. When I backed off to every third day it was better. I've got to now find that balance as well.
My very best year of vaulting was 1997 as I prepared for the World Championship in South Africa. I vaulted two days followed by two days of grass strides and sprint drills. That's all! Not a single weight lifted, not a single bar exercise. Vault and recovery runs. I'm just too afraid to do that because I can't afford to lose the speed and strength I have built. I guess I could just vault three days one week, two the next and one the next with no lift/run rotations in week 1, one rotation in week 2, and two rotations in week 3. But that wouldn't jive with my Denver travel which is every other week.
What I do know is that I have to get back to jumping more if for nothing else then to fix some technical breakdowns as well a get my legs in pole vault run conditioning. I'll work on that and report back here. Thanks for your support. Here's my jump at 12' (3.66m). Good news, plenty of height on my smallest pole from 10 steps (53'). That is the only getting me through this physical setback tonight. Bailed out really early because the pole was too small. Jumps at 12' 6" were too stupid to keep as they were both blow throughs from the same run.
Bon Jovi - "Wanted Dead or Alive"