Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Josh's Request-Sprinting

My, this is exciting. My humble little blog has some action!

Josh, I know exactly what you mean by springy legs...or, I should say, lack thereof. I, too, have felt this for much of this year. I have also struggled with the questions of overtraining vs. undertraining.

I have noticed that in my past two tournaments that the excitement and adrenaline of playing has really helped to make my legs feel loose and that that extra gear is still there. At CHC, I felt that my focused training (being able to go 100% for a full point 4-5 times a game) carried through for most of the weekend.

In any case, here are some specific thoughts about your questions:

1) Form--I have actually never been much of a form guy. In anything. I have trouble analyzing mechanics in most thing. I think it is good that you spoke to Michael as he has much more awareness of the physiology than I do.

So, I notice that my arms start to wave around a bit when I get tired. I also notice that I need to be more aware of getting up on my toes. You mention some issues with the specifics of getting up on your toes, but, for me, it is more about not running on my heels when I am tired.

I also notice that I don't like to bend at the hips when I moving on the field. Start and stop stuff has always been hard.

So when you are at the track, think about your arms. They should be close to your body. Your legs will follow your arms, so pump them hard.

2) Training--It sounds like you have a good handle on the overtraining issue, but what about periodization?

A good training plan not only incorporates the peaks and valleys of the year, but it will also account for peaks and valleys within each training period. I break my training plan into 4 week cycles. I try, as much as I can, to have the first week be about a 1/4 of my total months work. The second week is slightly more, the third slightly more, and then the fourth week is the "off week" at about 18-20% of the total months work. What is great is when this off week lines up with a tournament. You get a nice 3 weeks of work, then ease into the tournament.

It sounds like the bulk of your work is Ultimate these days. I know it is hard to find the time, but I think you should be doing some kind of work 6 days a week on your "on weeks". It might be that you have 1 rest day, 3 practice days, and 3 training days. I also find that variety in those three days of training can really help to keep things fresh.

In terms of rest, besides the 1 day of rest each week, I would rest 2-3 days per tournament.

3) Mental Focus--After seeing you run this summer, Josh, there is no question you can fly. Focus on the things you can control: your conditioning, sleep, and nutrition. This is the time of year where you need to be relentless in these matters. Even at 25. I don't think I have ever been to an Ultimate party. I am usually asleep by 10am...even on the road. I have a tournament morning routine that borders on OCD, but it makes me feel comfortable with being prepared. I get up three hours before game time, take a hot shower in which I stretch, eat a big breakfast 2 hours before game time, and warm-up satrting an hour before game time.

4) Hydration--Last year, I played in two August tournament in high heat, and we only had 10-11 folks. I think I was chronically dehydrated for 4 weeks. I found a direct correlation between the amount of water/gatorade that I consume and the spring in my legs. I try to continue this hydration every singlke day, but I lose focus.



llimllib said...

You talk about the difficulty of being on your toes as a tournament wears on. I found this year that it was especially difficult after a stopped disc (as a D player) to stay on my toes; my first few steps were slow heel steps.

As a result, I now have the habit of bouncing on my toes a little bit for a few seconds before the disc is checked in. It's helped tremendously. I feel better pysically as well as mentally (for whatever reason), and I get a much quicker start off the line.

gcooke said...

This is good. I also have been trying to remember to keep my hands off my hips during a stopped disc.

This actually leads me to another train of thought. I haave been thinking about the O rule "Take what you are given". I love it, as an O player, when my defender clearly plays their hand as far as what they are giving me during when the disc is being put into play after a turn.

I have been playing around, when I am on D, with a bit of movement to try to not tip my hand. So , perhaps, keeping on ones toes could help with energy and keeping your O player a bit off guard.