This is the second in a short series of blogs I am writing in the lead up to the World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth in late October/early November.
Since writing my last blog, training has been restricted (training never stops, you just find alternatives) by a couple minor injuries, a short bout of flu, and Perth weather not always being conducive to outdoor sessions. It also seems like it has been an unusually cold winter, which makes the hard winter training phase even more challenging. But everything is back on track now and the weather seems to be improving (crosses fingers).
In terms of my current training, I generally workout six days a week, and each week do a mix of speed and jumping technique work on the track, plyometrics (think hops, bounds, jumps over hurdles, sometimes with a weight vest and up a hill), weight training sessions (Olympic lifts, squats, step ups, lunges, etc.,), and yoga, along with the all-important physio and massage sessions with Ryan and Vicki at Dr.7. If that sounds like a lot, it is, and I have an understanding employer that has allowed me to take a reduced load this year to allow me to put this time into training. The winter phase of training is high volume at a moderate intensity, and as I lead up to the competition the volume will be reduced and intensity increased.
With two weeks to go until entries close there are now 17 entered for my event. The entries include the World’s two leading jumpers (one of whom is a former open European champion and Olympic Long Jump finalist). There are likely to be a number of additional entries before the deadline (as yet there are no Americans entered), although as Masters athletes are, with a very few exceptions, self-funded, costs of travel to Perth may see a few of the leading jumpers from the US and Europe decide not to make the trip downunder. In any case it is still going to be a very high quality field.
As you may be aware, the Russian athletics team are currently banned from international competition due to their state sponsored doping programme. This ban also applies to Masters competition, so we will not be seeing any Russians competing in Perth. I have mixed feelings about this situation. Some of the Russian masters competitors are former elite athletes that competed in an era when there was extensive, ongoing and well-documented state sponsored doping in the Eastern bloc. Given that there is considerable evidence of steroid use providing long term benefits, I strongly believe any athlete doping should receive a life ban. However, there are also many Russian masters that were not former elites and especially if they found the sport later in life and do not compete at the top level, are unlikely to be doping. To group these masters athletes along with the elites and implement a total competition ban is very harsh and I empathize with these athletes and would hate to be put in a similar position.
Well that is all for now, I’m off to do some yoga and stretch the old body out … until the next update