Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Dougie Cool Down Routine

The dougie can be an excellent way to cool down after a workout. Watch the guys of the Philippine Pole Vault Club do the dougie!

Nuances of the Lead Arm Action

Although I employ a crude hybrid of the single- and double-arm shifts, my ideal hurdling form is most certainly the former. I just don’t have the necessary skill level to employ an efficient single-arm hurdling action. In terms of hurdling skill, it is obvious that I’m a big fan of Liu Xiang 刘翔, as well as Allen Johnson and Colin Jackson.

When it comes to arm action, I’m a stickler for the lead arm extension. As the lead leg straightens, the lead arm stretches out as well – as if reaching for the lead foot. Such arm action provides balance, by countering the extension of the lead leg. Swinging the lead arm outwards is a common error amongst beginners. It obviously increases the hang time of the clearance.

There are some hurdlers who bend the forearm all the way inside, with the lead forearm running parallel with the chest. For a hurdler, this is a matter of preference. I, for one, try to keep my arm action as faithful to the simple up-and-down movement of sprinting. Taking the lead arm all the way across the chest, in my opinion, complicates the hurdling action.

But then again, this is a matter of preference. So long as the arms aren’t wildly flailing and the center of gravity remains level, various nuances of hurdling are acceptable. Perhaps such an arm action enables the hurdler facilitate a more forceful trail leg snap, thanks to the increased leverage provided by the lead arm.

Practitioners of this style include the Vukicevic siblings – Christina and Vladimir. Trained by their father, the hurdling technique of the Norwegians are strikingly similar. I stumbled upon clips of their South Africa training session, one can say that they are mirror images of each other!

The older Christina, taller than most women hurdlers, is gradually making a name for herself in the international scene. In an event where speedsters tend to get away with flaws in technique, Christina’s hurdling is most efficient. The younger Vladimir, the 2010 World Junior silver medalist, is on-track to following her sister’s footsteps (or shall we say, three-step?).

Hurdlers aren’t chipped from one single block. One physical activities determines one’s hurdling style. The big and powerful David Oliver for instance, is more aggressive, in light of his background in American Football. Liu Xiang and Colin Jackson, in contrast, are pure technicians, relying on a fluidly classy form. The difference is technique and, ultimately, style makes the sprint hurdles a lot more interesting to watch.

Return to the Hill (27 June 2011)

I was supposed to train in Ultra last night, but it turned out that my Frisbee friends won’t be around. Since I need bright lights for a good hurdles workout (even if it’s just drills), I decided to scrap my plans and head out to Moro instead. I arrived at the Hill quite early, thanks to hassle-free MRT ride.  The night had not fully set in yet. Taking advantage of the natural light, I did my warm-up run around the good ole high school oval (and bumped into a few familiar face).

Coach Mick and Coach Igor were in Moro as well, supervising the sprint workouts of the college team. I’m old! I hardly know anyone in the team aside from the veterans and the coaches.

Training was great! I did lots of running drills to compensate for the times I neglected these exercises. Afterward, I did a few plyometric exercises, taking advantage of the space (I train at a cramped fitness gym, remember?). To cap the night, I sprinted 4x30m, resting for five minutes in between reps. The speed was still noticeable, even if I wasn’t wearing my sprinting spikes. Despite feeling a tad bit apprehensive about my recently strained right hamstring, I was able to go into full speed at the latter parts of sprint.

I just love doing speed work. It brings forth a unique adrenaline rush and a sense of exhilaration unique to athletics. As I always say after each high quality training session: great workout!

The Final Teen Spirit – Europe/Nirvana Mash-up

Here’s a bad-ass mash-up from Wax Audio – perfect pump-up music for training sessions!

Thanks my bud Jave for the heads up! I’ll be listening to this cool Europe/Nirvana mix once I update my Shuffle.

Track Beauty of the Week: Karin Storbacka

Karin Storbacka is this week’s track beauty!

The Finn is a versatile talent, competing in the 400m dash and the 800m run. Through the years, Storbacka had Finnish national titles in the 400m dash, the 4x400m relay and the 800m run.

 

Photos from karinstorbacka.fi

She dished out a classy performance at the 2009 Finnish Championships, where she won double titles in the 400m dash (53.87s) and the 800m run (2:05.11), ala the great Alberto Juantorena. Storbacka also added a 4x100m relay bronze medal to her formidable haul.

The in-form Finn reached the 800m semi-finals of the 2009 European Indoor Championships in Torino, running 2:05.17 in qualifying. Storbacka failed to advance, however, as she placed sixth in her semi-final.

Most recently, she competed at the 1st League of the European Team Championships in held Izmir, Turkey. Storbacka finished in ninth place (2:08.76). At the end of the two-day hostilities, Finland ranked eighth in a field of twelve countries, failing to advance to the more prestigious Super League.

Article by Joboy Quintos

Back (20-23 June 2011)

I finally shook off illness and made the first steps towards the second half of the 2011 season.

On Monday, I headed out to the indoor track for my first track workout in weeks. The next day, l hit the gym despite feeling quite sore from the previous night’s. The last time I trained at the good ole indoor oval was more than a month ago. I’ve missed the place! Several familiar faces were there as well. While I was changing into my training clothes, I heard Coach Aris’ distinctive laugh emanate from the gym. When I went inside, I saw former teammate Bry Sutingco doing rehab exercises for his knee. It turned out that Zek Valera, my PPVC and college teammate, was also doing speed endurance work upstairs.

To cap the three-day training romp, I played some hoops with market colleagues on Wednesday. I was rusty of course, since the last basketball game I played was way back in February (we were bamboozled in our last ABL game, remember?). Nevertheless, it feels great to be physically active again. My hams did not act up, thanks to the rest and rehab program I followed.

Having successfully sprinted over ten, one-meter high barriers at the PNG has done wonders for my self-confidence. At first I was stumped, feeling down at the 1.6s differential from my lifetime best. Soon enough, I felt a sense of accomplishment. In a sense, I regained that swagger that I thought I have lost.

So much for the swagger! My legs are almost numb with soreness (well, I’m exaggerating of course) from the past days’ activities. I’ll be taking it easy today and enjoy the Friday!

2011 Adidas King of the Road

I don’t usually promote running events, but since I love all things Adidas, this is an exception. Join the 2011 Adidas King of the Road!

The event will be held on 23 October 2011 (Sunday) at the Bonifacio Global City grounds. For more info please visit the website.

Registration period is from 21 June to 31 August.

Download: adidas King of the Road FAQs.

Pre-GPP Thoughts

I’ve been a bad boy the past few weeks. After the PNG, I went on a two-week long rampage, boozing and carousing (well, mostly the former). It was mostly in celebration of my much delayed comeback – and to drown out the frustration of a measly 16.5s clocking. I originally wanted to start training two weeks ago, but I fell ill due to the aforesaid routine. My body wasn’t used to the late nights and the alcohol!

My hams rehab took a back seat during that span of time, as I recovered from a slight fever, a troublesome cough and a mean cold. I’m feeling much better now. The past few weeks, despite being particularly aimless, provided my tired mind with a timely respite from the Han Solo routine. The delays have doused the fires of desire.

Watching the 2011 European Team Championships made me crave for the competition. It was a reaffirmation purpose. I am more than just another rabid athletics fan, mind you. I relish the exploits of the elite and use the inspiration derived from these feats of strength to fuel my own performance.

Even if my track career is in the doldrums, I know for a fact that I still have it in me.

2011 SPAR European Team Championships Day 2 Wrap-up: Russia Stamps Class

Thanks to Eurosport, I missed a good one-half of the final day events. But then again, watching an athletics meet on the boob tube (live at that!) is a rarity in the Philippines.

The conditions were a lot harsher than the bright, sunny first day. Winds were blowing as strong as 3.0m/s. The Men’s Pole Vault was even moved to an indoor venue, away from the rain-soaked Olympic Stadium in Stockholm. From the live updates of the EAA site, as well as informative on-the-go Twitter updates, I stayed updated with my favorite events.

Read the Day 1 wrap-up here

Andy Turner makes it a hurdling double for the British, as he took victory in the sprint hurdles in 13.42s. Despite running into a 2.4 m/s headwind, the European champion won by a massive margin over France’s Garfield Darien (13.62s).

The Czech Republic’s Petr Svoboda, who had a fine indoor season, did not take part.

Russia’s Tatyana Dektyareva Татьяна Валерьевна Дектярева took the 100m hurdles over an in-form Alina Talai Алина Талай of Belarus, finalist at the 2011 Paris European indoor championships. The Russian stopped the clock at 13.16s to Talai’s 13.19s. Dektyareva and Talai ran in different heats. The Belorussian took the scalp of American-born British record holder Tiffany Ofili-Porter (13.28s) in the “A” race.

An in-form Carolina Klüft won second place behind the magnificent Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина at the long jump, as the former registered the best jump of her career since 2008, according to an EAA report.

Note: There are clips of Kluft’s and Klishina’s final jumps at the 100mH video above.

Read “Darya beats Klüft at the SPAR Euro Team Champs Long Jump.”

Christophe Lemaitre ran a classy 20.28s despite running into a 2.8 m/s head wind, giving France the full complement of twenty-four points as double sprinting champion.

Germany’s reigning world champion, Robert Harting, took the men’s Discus (65.63m). On the distaff side, Ukraine’s Kateryna Karsak (63.35m) took gold over Russia’s Darya Pishchalnikova Дарья Витальевна Пищальникова (61.09m)

For a more in-depth look at Day 2, read the EAA article here

Emma Green-Tregaro, fresh from beating the great Blanka Vlasic in New York a week earlier, clung on to a narrow 1.89m first place victory in the high jump. Green-Tregaro, struggling in the terrible conditions like the rest of the athletes, failed to clear 1.93m. Ruth Beitia and Irina Gordeyeva Ирина Гордеева finished second and third, respectively, with identical marks of 1.89m, but lost on countback to the in-form Swede.

Ukraine’s Maksym Mazuryk Максим Мазурик took the men’s pole vault, clearing a season’s best of 5.72m to edge out Germany’s Malte Mohr (5.72m) who lost narrowly lost on countback. France’s Renaud Lavillenie, the European indoor champion, languished at a dismal fifth place (5.50m) after missing all three attempt at the winning height.

Russia took both relays, solidifying its grasp on the overall championship. There was some controversy in the women’s 4x100m relay, with the British team getting initially disqualified then reinstated. In the men’s races, the British 4x400m squandered a potential podium finish after a bungled final baton exchange.

Russia scored a massive 385 points over Germany’s 331.5 points. Britain fell to fourth place (289) after the relay fiasco, finishing behind the inspired performance of Ukraine (304).

The victorious Russian team celebrates (Photo from EAA)

In general, the quality of the competition was quite high, as several world-leading marks and championship records were set. Despite the relatively low turnout of spectators, the team spirit was electric. Groups of athletes wearing the same colors were seen bunching together whilst watching the festivities. There was one particularly touching scene where Barbora Špotáková, fresh from competing at the javelin, gave a high five to compatriot Zuzana Hejnová, who had crossed the finish line after winning the 400m low hurdles. The Team Championships is a rare take on mostly individually oriented sport.

The next SPAR European Team Championships will be held in Britain in 2013, as Helsinki holds the European Outdoor Championships next year.

Additional link:

Complete results

Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина beats Klüft at the SPAR Euro Team Champs Long Jump

The reigning European indoor champion, Darya Klishina Дарья Клишина of Russia, prevailed over an in-form Carolina Klüft at the 2011 SPAR European Team Championships. Klüft threw the gauntlet early on, leaping to 6.73m in the first round – the best jump of the heptathlon great in years. The young Klishina ably responded with 6.74m in her second attempt.

The conditions weren’t apt for high quality jumping. Klishina managed only 6.40m and 6.57m, fouling her fourth and final attempt. Kluft, the hometown hero, got the red flag on two of her attempts.

View Carolina’s jumps from the Carolina Kluft Fan Page site

 

Photos from the EAA

With the rainy and windy conditions atrocious for the field events, Darya struggled in her next few attempts. Klüft held on to second place whilst Éloyse Lesueur (6.60m) and a struggling Naide Gomes (6.58m) held on for third and fourth, respectively.

Kluft’s and Klishina’s last jumps are featured on latter parts of the clip above.

Additional links:

View the EAA article here

Long jump results

2011 SPAR European Team Championships Wrap-up: Day 1

I was looking forward to three hours’ worth of athletics action, thanks to Eurosport’s live coverage of the 2011 SPAR European Team Championships (ETC) in Stockholm, Sweden. Alas, it started feebly enough, with Eurosport airing a pre-Wimbledon tennis match for the first thirty minutes. The live feed finally started at around 9:30 PM, but stopped abruptly by 10:00 PM! It was annoying to say the least.

The European Team Championships is innovative in the sense that it’s a team competition, as the name suggests. This is in stark contrast to the Olympics, where total medal standings are not officially observes by the IOC, since the object of the Olympics is individual performance. Participating countries earn points depending on the performance of its respective men’s and women’s teams. Various European countries are divided into separate divisions (1st to 3rd divisions), with the cream of the crop slugging it out at aforesaid big league. The top performers of each division are promoted, whilst the minnows are relegated.

Read my post on the 2010 SPAR European Team Championships here

I was able to watch the women’s 100m dash, men’s shot put, men’s long jump and men’s 400m dash. After which, Eurosport showed nothing but tennis. Thanks to Youtube, I could still catch up with the highlights of the exciting, high quality competition.

The following is a brief rundown of my favorite athletics events:

1.) Men’s 100m dash:

The highlight of Day 1 would have to be Christophe Lemaitre’s 9.95s performance, his second national record in barely month’s time. Lemaitre had just ran 9.96s in Montreuil, almost beating Yohan Blake at the tape.

In Stockholm, Lemaitre sported a vastly improved start. The mercurial Dwain Chambers (10.07s) had a narrow half-step lead by halfway mark, where Lemaitre turned on his afterburners to set the fastest time by a European since the 2004 season, according to an EAA report. Nigerian-born Portuguese Francis Obikwelu, the European record holder at 9.86s, was a distant third.

2.) Men’s 400m Low Hurdles:

Britain’s Dai Greene stamped his class on the one-lap hurdle field, winning in a new Championship record time of 49.21s. Greene, the British team captain, is fresh from a successful 2010 season where he won both the Commonwealth and European outdoor crowns.

3.) Men’s Long Jump:

The 2009 European Junior Champion, Aleksandr Menkov Александр Менков of Russia, won over the host country’s Michel Torneus and Britain’s Chris Tomlinson.

Menkov flew to 8.20m a mere centimeter away from Torneus’ 8.19m. The 2010 European Champion, Christian Reif of Germany, was in fourth place at 8.10m.

4.) Women’s Pole Vault:

Germany’s Silke Spiegelburg lost to the veteran Anna Rogowska of Poland on countback. Both vaulters set world leading times of 4.75m, with the former having one failure at the previous height.

Jiřina Ptáčníková of the Czech Republic (4.60m) and Aleksandra Kiryashova Александра Киряшова of Russia (4.50m) both set respective season’s best performance to round up the third and fourth place spots.

5.) Women’s Triple Jump:

Ukraine’s Olha Saladukha Ольга Саладуха set a new world-leading mark as she hopped, stepped and skipped to a new championship record of 14.85m.

Italy’s Simona La Mantia placed second with a best jump of 14.29m.

At the end of the first day, defending champion Russia is perched comfortably on top with 213 points, followed by Germany (183.5) and Britain (166).

I’ll be watching the replay of Day 1 later this afternoon and the live feed of Day 2 this evening. I wish to the high heavens that Eurosport won’s screw up this time!

Additional links:

Home page of the SPAR European Team Championships

Read the EAA Day 1 Wrap here

View Youtube videos here and here

View Eurosport Asia’s TV sched here

Track Beauty of the Week: Ksenija Balta

Ksenija Balta is this week’s track beauty!

Reflecting the rich multi-events tradition of Estonia, Balta started as a fairly successful heptathlete. As a junior, she scored 5,747 points to clinch the bronze at the 2005 European Junior Championships in front her homecrowd in Kaunas. After 2006, however, Balta specialized in the long jump and the sprints.

   

Photos from Zimbio/Getty Images, Wikipedia and vikerraadio.err.ee

Soon enough, she reaped the benefits of specialization. The 25-year old leaped 6.87m to top a quality field at the 2009 European Indoor Championships in Torino.

A victorious Balta in Torino (Photo from Zimbio/Getty Images)

That same year, she reached the final of the Berlin World Championships. She was a favorite coming into the 2010 Doha World Indoor Championships, but faltered against quality competition, managing a modest fourth place (6.63m), losing on countback to Brazil’s Kellie Costa.

Balta, in light of her heptathlon background, also holds the Estonian 100m and 200m dash records, aside from her long jump national mark (as well as the corresponding indoor equivalent events). In fact, she attempted to double up in Barcelona, but pulled out in the 200m. The 25-year old finished a dismal 16th in long jump qualifying.

 

Photos from elu24.ee and gabrielalaanet.com

A knee injury prior to last March’s European Indoor Championships in Paris sidelined the Estonian. Balta withdrew from the competition, unable to defend her Torino crown.

Additional link:

Balta’s FHM shoot

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