BUCS 2011

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Finished 11th out of a field of 24!

Well the actual result wasn’t exactly fantastic, with a best throw of 11.73m, but boy I sure did learn a lot from yesterday.

I was a last minute substitute into the team as someone withdrew due to injury. Before going to the competition I looked up the entry list and saw plenty of people with higher PBs than me, with a big group of 12-13m throwers (my PB was only 12.02, so definitely at the bottom of that group). I knew that if there’s any chance of me making it into the final top 12, I would have to pull one big hit out.

Qualifiers were split into two groups (Mike and Rob were in the other group) and we began our warm up throws out in the field. I saw my competitors and knew that it would be a good fight for the top 12th today as they were within my reach (warm up went pretty well for me, hitting near the 12m line).

However once the competition started it was a case of someone throwing badly and then the whole group kind of threw horribly. I also tried to give it a little more on my first throw and didn’t even hit past 11m.

I guess the thing about being a decathlete that makes you different from a single eventer is that you know no matter what you absolutely have to get a throw in within 3 attempts (you only get 3 attempts during the decathlon and not 6), hence you’re mentally prepared to deal with the situation.

Some of the other throwers I saw that could clearly throw 12-13m, however on messing up their first throw, they tensed up on the second attempt causing yet another bad throw. And on their last attempt try to get a ‘safety throw’ in, only to not get anywhere near their potential.

I managed to relax and get a comfortable hit on the 2nd attempt (11.57m), before once again like my first throw try too hard and got a rubbish hit on my last attempt. Seeing how the rest of the field did I knew I has a slight chance of making it into the top 12th, so I waited at the track to hear the announcements of the finals qualifiers.

Managed to sneak in at the 12th position! Overjoyed when I heard my name announced over the PA. =)

So I went into the finals realising that I do best when I stay in a relaxed focus state, rather than trying to pump myself up and ending up trying too hard (it works for some people, but not me). Managed to get better after each round and finished with a 11.73m in 11th position.

Well to sum up the day here are the 3 lessons I’ve learnt that I would carry through to next week:

Lesson no.1

Warm up schedule: did the Brian Clay dynamic warm up (which BC, 2008 Olympic Decathlon Gold Medallist, was kind enough to reply my tweet thanking him for it) and worked out exactly how much time it needs and how it works into the pre-competition schedule.

Lesson no.2

Food: Packed a sandwich lunch and brought fruits yesterday, now I have a much better idea of how much more food I need to bring to get it past 2 days of competition in the decathlon.

Lesson no.3

When the race is on, all bets are off.

We got ourselves a game 😉

Less than 1 week to Woodford.

=)

p.s. Just to add before I head to sleep, something that’s resonating in my mind. Told Max (my training partner) earlier about how the competition panned out yesterday and about how lucky I was slipping into the finals on the 12th slot. He quickly reminded me that it was me who put myself in that position. Thinking back one year ago my pb for shot put was 11.55m, and that was a one off throw. Rest of the year I was struggling to get past 11m, hence there would be no way I could easily throw a 11.73m without all those hours of training I’ve put in. I guess in a way even though this is not the first time I’m representing my school for BUCS (previously I got selected as well but that was only because no one else wanted to do it), this time around I feel like I earned it and that made all the difference.

Charnwood AC Open Graded Warm Up Meeting 17/04/11

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Competed in an outdoor season opener today at the Loughborough track. Did the shot put, discus and 400m event. Pity that the 400m clashed with the shot put event as there was a huge delay in running of the field events. That left me rushing in the middle of the shot put event (after round 3) over to the starting line and ran the 400m (after a quick change of shoes of course) with no striding warm up at all.

Still the results are 31.72m for the discus, 11.78m for shot put and 57.61s for the 400m which is a PB for me. =)

Really got to work on the drive on the entry into the spin. Not getting any forward momentum to get the disc going forward. Still it was a consistent series for me and I’m happy as I have not been throwing well during training.

Now to throw any further I really have to work on staying low through the glide and activating the legs and hips quicker to catch the momentum going forward. Only did 3 throws before rushing off for the 400m.

Didn’t get the race filmed, but I felt I definitely could have ran the race better. Partly due to the lack of warm up strides before the run, I felt that I did not get a good drive phase off the blocks. At the end of 200m I remember being a little distracted as well, instead of focusing on the lane I was looking around the people standing near the track (I was at lane 8 the outer most lane). Though I must say all the 8x200s and 4x300s training have definitely paid off as going into the final 200m of the run I felt in good shape and my legs were turning over in good form still. Now I have to build a bit more speed in my run so that I can shave another few seconds off my 400 PB.

All in all it is a another good day at the track. It is good to know that the hard training is paying off and I’ve taken yet another small step in the correct direction. This competition also gave me and Max a clearer idea of what things we have to fine tune in the following weeks leading up to our first decathlon of the season.

One more hard week of training before a short break to let the body recover as we head into the competitive phase of our training.

Hope you guys are making good positive strides forward to whatever goals you are chasing and have a good week ahead! =)

North East Championships Open Indoor Pentathlon 13th March 2011 (cont.)

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As mentioned in my earlier post, all in all it was a great learning experience and a small positive step forward. This competition was meant to be a yardstick to get a sense of how our training has been going and so far it has proven to be moving in the correct direction.

Max got a PB for his high jump too so that’s definitely a good sign, though his other events didn’t go quite according to plan.

I’ve reflected on my performance and reviewed the videos, coming to a conclusion I definitely have to step it up in certain areas if I want to achieve my goals this year. A lot of it is about learning the core competencies required to successfully complete the event with the proper technique, about learning to execute and perform in a competition scenario. I have identified the key aspects I have to work on and will be tweaking my training accordingly.

I guess the same formula applies to anything you want to do with your life. You plan for it, try it, and if it doesn’t work, reflect, then change the plan accordingly and try again.

However I did notice throughout the competition I kept thinking about coming in last place once again due to my inexperience and guess what, I did. Of the 5 events yesterday (with a total of 5 competitors), I came in dead last for 3 events, tied last for 1 event and 2nd for 1 event. I know I have to be realistic about my current abilities, but this is definitely not the mind-set I should have ingrained into me. After all, if I’m in it, I might as well be in it to win it.

I hate flies in my soup and I’m tired of coming in last place.

Time to get my game face on.

Bring it.

North East Championships Open Indoor Pentathlon 13th March 2011

Right, am rather tired so I’ll do a quick post now with the results and some videos (will update it again with more details tomorrow). Am trying to get the photos on Flickr up but realised that I’m not too familar with how to use it. So the result:

60m HUR 11.06 359 PB
Shot Put 11.66 586
High Jump 1.57 441 PB
Long Jump 4.14 229
60m 7.82 613 PB
Total 2228

Basically for hurdles it was my first ever 60m indoor hurdles race thus despite the poor result it is still my PB. All in all, it was a great learning experience and a small positive step forward.

I’m on the left most lane viewed from this video. Didn’t get through the first hurdle with enough speed and that left me doing 5 strides throughout and a slow slow time.

After the disappointing hurdles, I tried too hard to get a good shot throw. 1st attempt at 11.66m, 2nd and third looked like this with me falling out of the circle.

High jump small pb 1.57m. Still got a long way to go to get this event right though, but still happy about the small improvement, especially considering that last monday I couldn’t even get over 1.45m during practice.

Definitely did not go well. First time trying 14 stride take off and as you can see I became way too hesitant with my running and it became a long stride instead of a long jump.

Didn’t get a video of the 60m run though. Had a great start, was in line with the rest of the runner up to around 25m, which then moves into the acceleration phase of the run which I still haven’t quite figured out yet. Thus was left behind then, but still I got a small pb over my last attempt at a 60m run.

Continued…

Loughborough 3rd Indoor Open Meet 26/02/11

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Rights 2nd competition of the year. Didn’t put much emphasis on this one as we currently are in a heavy training phase and I do not want to take days off my training to rest for this. Thus I only signed up for the shot put event.

Legs was definitely still feeling tired from yesterday’s 4x300m run, but being a decathlete is also about learning to push through fatigue and performing when it matters.

Out of 6 throws I managed a 11.85m and 11.90m as my best attempt. Not quite a PB but still pretty satisfied with it. Things are getting a lot more consistent than last year, even when I’m tired, so once again it is another positive step forward. Enjoy the video!

Loughborough 2nd Indoor Open Meet 22/01/11

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First competition of 2011!

So how did it go? Well, mixed feelings on this one, but all in all, it was a great day at the track. Results are:

60m: 7.87s (First ever 60m run, so I guess in a way it was kinda a PB mark. Was aiming to go under 7.8 though, but slow slow time nevertheless.)

Shot Put: 12.02m PB! =)!

Just before my 60m event though, I realised I brought my high jump spikes instead of my sprint spikes.

*D’oh!!!!*

Guess that is a lesson learnt and I shall fall back on my army training in the future to do a ‘everything out, everything in’ check through my equipment before any competition.

Luckily I managed to borrow a pair of spikes from my mate (Thanks loads Max!) and got on with it. Didn’t feel quite right though and so I messed up my start by not driving out properly (Somehow the shoes felt like it was going to drop off every stride though I tightened the laces fully).

I rushed to cycle back home after the shot put event and got my spikes, rushed back towards the track hoping to be in time for the second race.

Running in my own spikes felt so much better. I got a good start this time but I didn’t seem to be able to get any speed in (must have been due to the 20min cycle), managed to finish 3rd out of 6 for that heat but with a slower time compared to my first race (7.89s).

I must say I was never a quick sprinter (the fastest time of the day was a more than a whole second quicker than me), but I was still pleased that my ankle held up and looking through the video it seems that I got to work on my running posture and things will get massively better. These points are noted and will be worked on during training.

As for the shot, I finally threw over 12m! 2nd out of 4 in the group, lost to another decathlete but beat one other decathlete.

The last time I threw over 12 was about 5 years ago when the only event I did was the shot (and even then it was a one off incident). Was pretty consistent this time with another two throws at 11.99m and 11.83m. Still, a lot more to work for my technique, but it’s definitely moving in the right direction!

Below are the video of my first 60m race and the PB shot throw (2nd race was not filmed as the batt died on the camera.)

Thank you everyone for your support and enjoy!

Thanks Pete for filming and the commentary. No I’m not representing Singapore, just a regular student at LSAC, and also no this is not Lougborough International. And thanks Dani! Will run 7.1, just maybe next season and not this haha.

(The shot weighs 7.26kg btw)

=))

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