Coaching, jumps, sprints & more
Everything about jumping and sprinting and how to improve your performance
The days and weeks are becoming as one. The date is just a number and the name of the day attached to the numeral or numerals has become redundant ... to me and no doubt many others at least at this time of lock-down.
We humans live on routine and rhythm - hence the circadian rhythm. What happens when there is little structure and routine can be negative. However, training offers athletes and coaches from all sports something to create that routine and put rhythm back into lives that may be devoid of it in many other respects at present.
Sunday, Well, I think it was Sunday, I got up and realised that I had not been out of the house for 5 days (we have a garden and I'd been out in that in the glorious sun that the UK had been having on more than a few occasions). However, I hadn't trained for a couple of days. I felt without energy, listless ... I had to force myself to get out of the house and get to a local park to train. I decided to go to the one that's slightly further afield (1-mile away). Once there I started to run to get to the flatter area that I train on - about a further mile and a bit away. It was an effort, but as one step followed the next I got through one and a half tracks of music on my iPhone. Then I stopped - I didn't want to push on another 500m or so to my "track". I think this can be symptomatic of the current time i.e. that we can struggle mentally to push, "to do", no matter what the task may be. However, I must add that I dislike running for more than 10 minutes - okay, struggle to run more than 10 minutes. I guess, even at my mature age, my fast twitch fibres don't like to eke out the little oxygen they can process.
I walked the remaining distance to my training area and did some strides ... it then was as if a weight lifted off my shoulders and I felt light and fast and alive. Thereafter a good few drills were followed by sprints and some longer runs over 100m or so. My whole demeanour changed and I somehow felt more alive and positive (a feeling which remained for the rest of the day). Running fast (no matter how slow that fast may be) has always invigorated me throughout my life as an international athlete and after. The distance runner may have plenty of time to think as they churn through their miles and they'll have plenty of time to fight with the constant voice that might be saying "stop" "slow" "I can't go one". Yet, a sprinter will know how time can also slow down when running a distance that takes seconds. When you are running well, it's as if the world around you is still. You carve through space and time and are fully in-tune with your movements and everything feels easy ... fluent, effortless. You take your recovery but want that speed hit again. As your arms and limbs move as fast as they can they don't create tension, but harmony across your being and you just run - run as if there's nothing holding you back. It's a feeling that I'm lucky stil be able to experience.
My thoughts are simple here ... I think. You have to make yourself train sometimes but when you do experience these times (of which many are experiencing at the moment) then you need to do what your mind and body wants. If it's a 5-miler because that's your run distance then that's what you should do. If you are a sprinter then running fast is what you can feed your mind and muscles with. I think the word enjoy is what's describes what I suggest. I, you, we need to sometimes just enjoy what we can do as athletes. It can be difficult at these restricted times to strive, to train as if the Olympics or whatever important meet relevant to your level is fast approaching. But it's not. So, get out, and do what your body and more importantly your mind needs, not what your training plan or even your coach says ... sometimes you just need to do what you need to do to keep yourself, and I will say it, sane. Take that first step ...