For me over the past two years, my life has been about juggling work and training. I'm traveling less which has made me more consistent. My main goal is to continue showing up every day and make cumulative progress.
You learn things along the way. I keep pointing out that at Reno last year I was at 6 lefts/12 steps with an 11'10" grip. At Auckland, same pole one stride closer and a 12' grip. Then at Grand Haven, same pole and now I'm blowing through at 4 lefts/8 steps gripping 12'2". This is cumulative progress.
Just before Auckland I did a strength test and benched 205 at 165 in body weight. That same day on a heavy lat pull at 180 I felt a pop in my shoulder. It didn't affect my vaulting at Auckland but suddenly even 95 lbs. felt heavy on bench, and 80 lbs, on the lat pull really hurt. I couldn't do my bars at all. I'm back to normal or ahead everyplace but bench which I've intentionally been overcautious.
So Auckland I'm benching 205 and at Grand Haven I could only do 135 X 6, yet blew through bigger poles with a higher grip from a shorter run. This has made me re-think how far I need to push in certain areas.
For six weeks before Grand Haven I did a twice a week running program of shorter "sprints" for rhythm. It's a 14 week program. I felt good on the runway and it clearly helped me get through the pole easier.
Leading up to the Gill Masters PV Symposium, I started that program again and got through week 5. I was on a bigger pole there, and yesterday I finished week 8 of 14. I expect to get through this entire 14 week running program two more times before Malaga next September. The next 14 weeks will be with 1.5 lb. ankle weights and the next will be with 2.5 lbs. which I have used for the last three years.
Long story short, running, vaulting more on the Pacer Carbons, and a slow raise of my bench (all other lifts are at Auckland strength test levels), and count on this continued cumulative result.
Pole vaulting is about speed and I'm getting much better there. I think I can dial in my technique since I have a perfect series of manageable poles. I'll continue to lift heavier weights slowly rather than do the higher reps since my shoulder is greatly improved. I really think this will be a winning formula. Thanks so much for hanging in there with me.
Tubthumbing (I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5uWRjFsGc