Issue 2 Summer 2020
The digital resource for long, & triple jump athletes & coaches
HOW FAST DO YOU NEED TO BE?
TESTING NELIO MOURA
CAN EMS POWER UP PERFORMANCE?
NUTRITION FOR JUMPERS
TRIPLE JUMPERS PODCAST
MULTI MEDIA CONTENT
ON THE COVER PABLO PICHARDO credit Jiro Mochizuki /Red Bull Content Pool
I've had time on my hands like many of us during the COVID pandemic. Life takes on another dimension when you know that tens of thousands are dying due to an invisible assailant. However, as has been shown many times before, the world and "we" will endure and all this will become a distance memory.
For athletes and coaches, however, there's been the challenge of what training and commitment to training should be made. Many of us can't access our tracks and weights rooms so we are back to basics - training in
parks on roads where ever it is safe to do so, whilst keeping to specific government guidelines for dealing with the virus. I started pulling this edition of The Jumper together to fill time but hopefully in doing so the end result will fill some of your time and will entertain and educate and keep you motivated to keep training and coaching.
It's been great to receive so much support in generating this issue with material being supplied from around the world from Kenya to Singapore, from coaches, athletes and physios.
We've our usual spread of content which focusses on all things jumps and I hope that you will enjoy this issue. And if you do enjoy the content perhaps consider supporting us through our Patreon page (P94).
Hopefully it won't be too long before we are back at the pit - at the time of publication some comps were taking place. Stay safe.
Coach & editor
7: TJ PHASE RATIO & FRENCH CONTRAST TRAINING
56: CAN EMS BOOST PERFORMANCE?
11: PIT FINISH RAKE
5: COACHING DURING LOCK-DOWN
13: MARK ODHIAMBO - KENYA'S FASTEST MAN
26: JUST WHAT SHOULD JUMPERS BE CONSUMING
33: EYEING TOKYO 6.69M/13.56M JAHISHA THOMAS
75: OVERCOMING HEAT & MORE
KUWAIT'S JAZI FARHAN
41: ELITE COACH NELIO MOURA WHAT TO TEST
84: GABRIEL LIM COACHING IN SINGAPORE
64 TRIPLE JUMPERS MARKUS LUNDBORG
SPEEDENDURANCE.COM HMMR MEDIA & MORE
49: HOW FAST ARE THE FASTEST JUMPERS
"We are now becoming virtual coaches skilled in making videos, Facebook and Instagram live broadcasts, and using Zoom and other virtual meeting apps. It seems like an eternity since I last coached in the real world."
WE ALL KEEP SAYING IT BUT THESE ARE DIFFICULT TIMES. THE LOCK-DOWN WILL TEST THE WILL-POWER AND DEDICATION OF ATHLETES AND COACHES ALIKE.
COACHING DURING LOCKDOWN
Keeping going and in my case setting workouts and replying to athletes through social media is crucial to feel I'm still coaching. I'll say though that it just isn't the same as doing so in-person. But hang-on you may say, don't you sort of coach through your YouTube channel? Well, yes I do - this was great, is great in its own right as an addition to my face-to-face coaching, but on-line only is not the same as getting to the coalface and actually coaching.
Nevertheless, at the time of writing, it's the only way that we can coach at present during COVID in the UK. I have set up a wattsapp group - it contains all the athletes (young and not so young) who I have coached over the years (I'm hoping some will make a come-back!). I post workouts six times a week. These are very much pick 'n' mix sessions due to the facilities and home kit that each athlete may have and where they live, therefore I try to design the workouts so that they can be done by all. Generic they may be but they are also specific. We can train for most of the elements of the long, triple and sprints in "lock-down" - potentially the only non-inclusion being full on technique work and even then you can do take-off drills for the long and triple and sprints on roads and parks.
I therefore expect the athletes I coach to be only a few percentiles off being near performance ready when they return to the track when lock-down eases and eventually some form of competition returns.
1: Don't put too much pressure on yourself. As a coach you are often looked at as a leader but you need to be led sometimes and crucially supported. Accept that some days you'll not be "on it" as much as others. Your motivation will return - you wouldn't be coaching otherwise.
DEVELOP YOUR COACHING SKILLS
I'm trying to keep my social media going and am working on new ideas and developments. As with many aspects of life some of the things we have had to do during lock-down will become the "new normal".
Reading coaching books and watching technique videos is something that we now have more time for.
There's also been a proliferation of coaching webinars, which may continue with greater acceptance.
BE THERE FOR YOUR ATHLETES
I've had to tell some of mine to ease back a bit as they have more time to train and therefore think that "more is better". It can be but not all the time, and especially with young and developing athletes. However, as time has passed their motivation, not surprisingly has ebbed and flowed.
Lock-down has forced me to think of other ways to resistance train (difficult if you don't have weights). I produced a video for on this subject recently - see below and others relating to lock-down.
I've used the "more-me" time to train and do more of the workouts that I set for the group. It's always useful to know what workouts actually feel like. And obvioulsy getting fitter and training helps the mind as well as the body.
Yes, keep busy but find the time to switch-off and do something different - or nothing. I went for a long walk one day (6 miles) to a local place I'd always wanted to explore. the sun was out it was peaceful and I returned positive.
I hope that my fellow athletes and coaches are making the most of this period and not just surviving it. It will come to an end and hopefully as individuals both as athletes and coaches we'll be stronger, more learned, but more importantly better people.
As we go to launch I have now started limited face-to-face coaching. It's been great.
UNDERSTANDING TRIPLE JUMP PHASE RATIO
How can you determine whether you or the athlete you are coaching has a balanced, hop or jump dominated ratio.
Basically the jumper's phase distribution is calculated on a 2% differential between the hop and the jump phases. If either is 2% or more longer than the other then the jumper is dominant in that phase and if it's less than 2% then the jumper is deemed to be using a balanced ratio.
Triple jumpers male or female have a step phase which is the shortest of the three - it's generally between 27%-30% of total distance. Thus if a jumper with a best of 15m stepped 4.50m (30% of total distance) and had a jump phase of 5.55m (37%) off of a 4.95M (33%) hop, then they would be a significantly jump dominant jumper.
Recent world indoor record breaker 15.43m Yulima Rojas is similarly to the example given a jump dominant triple jumper.
Her stats from her much shorter, compared to her world record, 14.91m winning jump from the London World Champs was comprised of the following:
Hop 5.21m (34.7%)
Step 3.95m (26.3)
Jump 5.86m (39%)
"Basically the jumpers' phase distribution is calculated on a 2% differential between the hop and jump phases"
FRENCH CONTRAST TRAINING
French Contrast Training - a type of complex training which has potentiation at its heart. FCT uses four exercises designed to induce a specific physiological response in the athlete. The aim of FCT is to specifically train along what's know as the "force-speed curve".
The exercises are selected to create, for example, a maximum voluntary muscle contraction then different speed ones. The protocol was developed by French coach Gilles Cometti but was further developed by US coach Cal Dietz (of the Triphasic method).
French Contrast Training Protocol
1: Heavy multi-muscle lift, for example, squat
2: Plyometric activity
3: A lighter weights exercise performed circa 30% 1 rep max
4: Accelerated or assisted plyometric activity
Sports scientists in the Journal of Human Kinetics wanted to determine the impact of the FCT on explosive strength and kinematic parameters of female college triple jumpers.
Ten participated in the study and they were tested prior to and after eight weeks of explosive training - the tests very relevantly included the performance of the triple jump itself. The jumpers used FCT three times a week.
In terms of the results there was no change in anthropometric characteristics, however, from a performance perspective, the explosive strength variables (Sargent jump, counter-movement jump, and seated medicine ball throw) increased significantly and kinematic parameters of the triple jump itself improved.
This led the researchers to state: "The results indicate that eight weeks of French contrast training can improve both explosive strength and kinematic parameters of the triple jump.
Some more selected findings
The horizontal velocity of the step improved 2.43%
The jumper's step improved by 7.31%
and the Jump phase by 3.85%
As jumpers we all want to leap into a flat, smooth, well raked pit. We've probably seen some that look more like the local beach than an elite athlete facility. American Doug Metcalf has come up with a unique machine - the Pit Finish rake - which will flatten and smooth pits with minimum effort, making sure jumpers will have every chance of achieving personal bests.
"I always wondered why there was not a better way to prepare pits for competition," explains track fan Doug. "I was challenged by a jumps coach to come up with a better idea ... and I think I have done this with the Pit Finish Rake."
The PFR uses two people who push the adjustable height rake across and back over the sand. Use it to get the pit ready for a comp and then between each jump.
PIT FINISH RAKE
THE PIT FINISH RAKE WAS USED AT 2019 DRAKE RELAYS
Bioelectricity has long been used to stimulate recovery, manage pain and boost performance. The MiTouch uses 3 apps and 5 treatment protocols to achieve this in a device as small as your smartphone. More later - prices and discount below
To find out more about the Pit Finish Rake and how it can be installed at your facility, contact Doug (email@example.com) and do mention that you read about the PFR in The Jumper.
At the time of pulling together this issue of
The Jumper we were in the midst of the COVID lock-down. It's affecting all of us athletes and coaches.
We reached out to athletes around the world to see what they were doing to keep going in an attempt to spread some positivity. One of the first to respond was the fastest man in Kenya! Mark is a 10.14 100m man and here he shares his thoughts on lock-down and more.
THE FASTEST MAN IN KENYA
My name is Mark Otieno I'm a professional sprinter, specialising in the 100m and 200m. I'm from Kenya and I'm the current national record holder for the 100m. I'm married to an athlete as well and we do our training sessions together.
What's your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement in track has to have been the last race I ran this year, I opened the season with a 10.27. It was shocking, I've never ran that fast that early in the season. I was aiming to qualify for the Olympics before the window closed.
How are you coping in lock-down?
I'm choosing to look at the current situation positively so I'm excited that I've got more time to prepare and recover from minor injuries before I can attempt to hit the Olympic qualification. So, really the break is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for me.
How's your training?
In "normal" times, I'd train six days a week. Twice a day on some days. I use the Kasarani stadium in Nairobi for track work, adjacent to it is where I'd go for my gym sessions. A gym called Easy gym - what a paradox, my sessions are anything but easy!
During lock-down, we've decided to focus on a few strength and power exercises as well as some drills, just to sharpen my mechanics.
"I had to go to a local welder to make some hurdles and a plyometric "box" out of metal."
I had to go to a local welder to make some hurdles and a plyometric "box" out of metal. We've had to improvise on equipment, this whole situation caught us flat-footed and we could not get the funds to buy new equipment. We used what we had and I'm grateful that we went that direction.
What are you training for?
I am training for the Olympics, hitting the qualification mark would mean a new personal record and ultimately a new national record. If I can kill all those birds with one stone, I'd be elated.
Your thoughts on track
Track for me is what I believe is my calling. I've enjoyed it since I was in high school, I've travelled to areas I never thought I would because of it and I met my wife through track. I'm quite pleased with my achievements so far.
Your fav athlete???
My favourite athlete has to be Usain Bolt. It's not because of the stardom, but he has proven that one can get to the top fairly. He is a clean athlete, no doping scandals or doping violations. That gives me hope that with the right work ethic and integrity, I can achieve so much more. My second favourite athlete is my wife - I'm just kidding! - Asafa Powell is my, his technique and poise while running is evidence of hard, consistent work.
Instagram : Mark_100m
Facebook:: Mark Otieno
Mark is on the look-out for sponsors
HOW TO RETURN TO SPEED
The COVID pandemic has significantly decreased opportunities in track and field and has denied athletes the opportunity to showcase their hard work and commitment. However,when the return to competition does come great care will be needed to protect athletes from potential strains, writes physiotherapist and England Athletics medical lead Stuart Butler.
Athletes have lost opportunities on the local, regional, national and international stage and many athletes and coaches may feel disheartened by the enforced, albeit slightly easing lock-down at the time of writing. Okay, lock-down may have allowed athletes time to do remedial work and specific strength and conditioning or simply provided an opportunity for tired bodies to rest. Now, in the UK with the potential return to training and competition (Government guidance permitting) athletes are faced with the question of how to “Get into shape" or "Get sharp" when they have had little access to tracks and specific training.
Coaches will have been doing their jobs "virtually" but there's no counting for face-to-face coaching and “seeing” what the athlete is doing and how they are performing. Many will have prescribed slightly less specific training than would normally be the case at this time of the year. Normally for sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers, for example, quality would be in the ascendancy, as would the execution of technique at maximum velocity. However, the lock-down has led to many coaches having to give their athletes slightly less specific workouts.
Some have even returned to more general “build-up” style training phases – where volume and more general preparatory exercises are higher on the training agenda than they normally would be. So, now with a still athlete-restricted-lock-down in place and a potential date for a British Championships in early Aug, there’s not really a lot of time to prepare.
Let's be clear, this is going to be a very limited track season if any. I would therefore suggest what lies ahead should be seen as a development opportunity and not as a race to compete. It’s a reverse engineering problem. So, athletes and coaches should consider: "What have you got to do to achieve the decided upon goals ?" And "What are the steps needed to get there?" Then, I think there is a need to be critical and to ask is there enough time? The risk of injury is higher (as we’ll discuss later) upon a return to sprinting, for example, due to the increased demands and volume of training which athletes will be able to and want to do. However, the rewards are relatively low for the majority with few true championship opportunities, so this could be the year to be cautious and think of long-term athletic development.
Review the Reality
What has the athlete been able to do? What have they told you they’ve done versus what have they actually done? This should help to frame the situation and give all parties involved an understanding of where the athlete is presently at.
You should also consider how psychologically ready the athlete is? We may all have been affected differently by the enforced isolation of the pandemic. Some athletes may be more ready to interact than others whilst some may just enjoy the pure social aspect of training with others (while appropriately socially distancing) to enhance their own well-being.
Now, therefore could well be the time to look very holistically at the athlete and to let them do things they want to, to enhance their transition from isolation and to therefore not worry about performance.
Where Have They Been Training?
For middle and long distance athletes their training may have been less disrupted, however, lack of competition and a return to the track should still be carefully considered. For speed, throws and jumps athletes, however, a lack of exposure to track and field facilities will have had more of an impact. Having to train on a variety of surfaces may present different pro’s and con’s. Grass, for example, is rarely as smooth as a track but can be softer which sounds good - however, it also means that the athlete needs to generate more force through the surface and with an increased ground contact time.
Some data has suggested that speeds reached on grass are at least 10% slower in international sprinters. It may also be inclined or declined or bumpy and this again is very different from what the athlete will be used to.
Treadmills are great if you have access as they’re incredibly consistent but again these tend to be softer than Tarmac or track surfaces and alas not all treadmills are made equal.
Research indicates that treadmills have different characteristics. Plus, the dynamics of running on a treadmill are different to running on a surface that doesn’t move. As noted road surfaces are very hard with next to no give, so sprinters will get plenty back from the surface in terms of force generation and very little energy loss. However, this is without considering that the athlete will inevitably be wearing trainers which offer more cushioning than spikes.
Specificity of Training?
However, perhaps the most important question we should consider is: how has an athlete’s training during lock-down mirrored what would have been expected of them under normal training circumstances.
If your sprinters have only been doing some 20min “jogs” then how much does that replicate what they will need for the challenges ahead? The skill and the art of coaching has to be to help the athlete re-gain specific event fitness, however, the truncated season may not allow enough time.
Fig 1 looks at muscle tendon length, muscle force and muscle tendon work (eccentric load). Note that muscle length remains constant whilst running at greater than 80% of max velocity and force increases linearly. Whilst that force increases 30% from 80% to 100% speed, the muscle tendon work (eccentric load) increases 50%!
We know that eccentric hamstring weakness is associated with hamstring injury and a rapid increase in high speed running is also associated with injury. If we estimate that an athlete hasn’t run faster than 90% of top speed, we know that the hamstrings have only been exposed to approximately 80% of
eccentric force, so if they are re-introduced to max velocity they need progressive exposure to these velocities.
As well as contending with the demands of high speed running in the jumps, we also need to be
aware of increased tendon loading. We know that resistance and plyometric training programmes increase muscle strength, but only plyometric training increases the rate of force development and the speed of stretch shortening cycles significantly for athletic performance.
It should be noted that developing these qualities can be dependent on the athlete’s training age from a more general perspective but also in terms of lock-down what they’ve been able to do.
Limited/no access to weights equipment can have a major impact on objectives. We know tendons are slower to adapt than muscles and they generally respond to heavy weights to aid their adaptation. My concern would be a too sudden increase in load and with it the likelihood of increased Achilles or knee tendon pain.
The post lock-down loading needs to be progressive and based on the athlete’s present fitness state. Tendons always need 48-72 hours to recover, and often don’t show signs of discomfort until this time after exercise. This doesn’t mean that athletes shouldn't train everyday (if this is normal for the athlete) but it does mean there needs to be a balance in the training programme between high load and lower load days.
As always there's the massive technical component of the individual event to consider and it’ll be the coach’s judgment ultimately as to how this can be progressed.
A return to high speed running, jumping and hurdling should include an honest appraisal of where you or your athlete is at present and account for what they’ve been able to do with the resources available during lock-down. Coach and athlete must agree the objectives and place these against the context of this season – whatever form it takes. Coaches should provide athletes with outcomes/data to asses where the athlete is presently and use this to guide them to where they need to get to. Use the data not time to decide when an athlete is ready. So, run progressively faster, aiming to build toward top speed in small increments allowing for suitable recovery. Practice the skill of running fast,over and over
and build a long-term athletic development plan which looks at each athlete holistically so as to prepare him or her for what lies ahead whilst preserving their well-being.
More on Stuart Butler
"If your sprinters have only been doing some 20min jogs then how much does that replicate what they will need for the challenges ahead? The skill and the art of coaching has to help the athlete regain specific event fitness, however, the truncated season may not allow enough time."
"Uses data not time to decide when an athlete is ready. So, run progressively faster, aiming to build toward top speed in small increments allowing for suitable recovery."
THE JUMPER TAKES A LOOK AT WHAT JUMPERS SHOULD BE EATING, DRINKING AND SUPPLEMENTING WITH.
This article is based around World Athletics’ report Fuelling for the Field: Nutrition for Jumps, Throws and Combined Events, it was produced in conjunction with representatives from Athletics Canada, the United States Olympic committee and the UK's Loughborough University.
Macronutrient Needs The report initially acknowledges the macronutrient needs of the athletes involved in the events focussed on. Specifically for jumpers, it's recommended that on a daily basis they may benefit from a protein intake of 1.5-1.8g per kg/bodyweight and 3-6g per kg bodyweight of carbs.
For comparision it's suggested that multi-event athletes consume 1.5-2g protein and 5-8g of carbs per kg/bodyweight a day.
Supplementation World Athletics does accept that athletes from all disciplines may benefit from legal ergogenic aids, that’s to say supplements, such as creatine, caffeine and beta-alanine.
Periodised Nutrition It’s also suggested that jumpers could also benefit from a periodised approach to their nutrition – one that fits their training in terms of volume and intensity at appropriate times in the training year, of which more later.
Small Details The report looked at the physical characteristics and requirements of field event athletes relating these to potential nutritional needs – some very interesting caveats are provided, for example, mention via a research link is made to the fact that nutritional interventions could influence tendon stiffness.
Specifically, new data suggests that what a jumper consumes could improve his or her tendon stiffness under certain conditions (as well as appropriate training). Why would this be beneficial? Well, having stiffer tendons will allow an athlete to apply more force in a shorter time.
Carb Needs The report makes suggestions for carb consumption. It’s noted that jumpers may not place such an importance on carbs - carbs and specifically glycogen, being seemingly much more crucial for endurance athletes in terms of their fuelling.
However, research shows how a weight training session, for example, reduces glycogen levels in muscle fibre significantly – for example, during a 45min workout by 44% in the most explosive of muscle fibres (Type 2B) and by 23% in the slowest fibres (Type 1).
Further Nutritional Strategies to Improve Training Adaptations
Additionally, in regard to carbs the report makes nutritional suggestions relating to time of the training.
It's suggested, for example, that jumpers may need more carbs in the early phases of training due to this training period's more metabolically demanding format, which may include tempo running and circuit training, for example.
Note is also made of the need for greater protein consumption when more plyometric and weight training is done. This is seen to be important as more of this macronutrient will be needed to ”repair” muscle protein which has broken down by these types of training.
Suggestions are made specifically on how to combat protein breakdown, for example, by consuming frequent amounts of protein throughout the training day in 0.25g-0.3g doses.
The Jumper noted in passing at this point that the report's nutritional periodisation tends to be based on traditional linear forms of physical periodisation, when for many jumps athletes, such methods have been replaced by block/undulating periodisation, which places much greater emphasis on specific preparation and much less on the general. So, it may be that protein consumption needs to be the greater driver of nutritional support for jumpers all year round.
Nevertheless, the fact that the recommendations will get athletes and coaches really specifically considering their nutrition or that of their athletes in relation to key training specific phases is key.
Optimum Weight for Jumpers In its overview, World Athletics did talk about the risks of undereating as associated with RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency Sports) and it should be commended for doing this - but then it, and equally responsibly and in measured terms, talks about what can be called "making weight".
Many jump athletes perform better if they lose weight and increase their power to weight ratio safely. “Where possible, athletes should address BM (body mass) and composition changes months in advance of competition, with the support of professional counselling,” is the advice offered by World Athletics.
Protein is again suggested as the most important macronutrient as it's necessary to preserve lean mass and strength.
Competition Requirements The research also makes nutritional suggestions for competing jumpers, (throwers and multi-event athletes) – suggesting that protein should again be the priority due to the need to maintain lean muscle mass and strength when perhaps the athlete is completing less training volume due to longer periods of physical inactivity created by travel (thus reducing calorific needs).
It’s commensurately suggested that carb consumption be carefully evaluated in case this leads to unwanted weight gain. The reports states: “This switch from training to competition necessitates a focus on nutrient-dense foods to encourage recovery and support immune function, while maintaining favourable body composition.”
Hypohydration is considered - this refers to the uncompensated loss of body water - and research is presented that indicates that it may actually be advantageous. This is seen to be the case due to reductions in body mass and therefore an improved, albeit temporary power to weight ratio. Note: that many athletes are mildly dehydrated when they compete and that performance does not seem to be affected.
Following a Low Fibre Diet in the lead-up to a competition could also be worth exploring for similar reasons – although the report indicates that more specific research needs to be done. These diets do not affect energy levels and the report notes anecdotally state: “… practitioners report typical weight losses of 0.5-1.5kg in elite athletes after following very low fibre diets over 48 hours.
A view is provided on which supplements are of use to jumpers. One interesting inclusion here is carb mouth rinsing. Evidence suggests that rinsing carbs in the form of a sports drink can quench thirst, stimulate the pleasure/reward centres of the brain and that this may “… be nearly instantaneous for peak force/torque production”.
The following protocol is suggested: rinse out mouth with CHO (carbohydrate) sports drink for 5-10sec every 10min of event or training.” Thus energy is maintained and body mass kept down.
"World Athletics does accept that athletes may benefit from legal ergogenic aids, that’s to say supplements, such as creatine, caffeine and or beta-alanine."
MY APPROACH TO TRAINING LONG, TRIPLE & SPRINTS
Download nutrition and other reports from World Athletics
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PROTEIN NEEDS
The Jumper talked to nutrition expert and biochemist and Peak Performance editor Andrew Hamilton about protein and specifically how power athletes can get the best from this macronutrient. Subjects covered:
What is protein? Amino acids and muscle building. How much protein do you need? How to calculate protein needs Are supplements as effective as natural sources? What to eat after training to maximise recovery. How to manage your eating after late night training.
TEAM GB AND EX UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LONG AND TRIPLE JUMPER JAHISHA THOMAS TALKS ABOUT HER PASSION FOR FOOD AS WELL AS HER TRAINING AND IN LOCK-DOWN.
How did your interest in cooking start and when did it become important for your jumping?
I’ve actually always loved cooking, I took Food Tech A-Level in the UK. However, when I got to The University of Iowa and discovered all the array of options of dorm food I was spoiled for choice, so cooking took a back burner. I would eat good stuff but there was no control because I absolutely loveeee food (LOL). It wasn’t until 2017 and the British World Trials where I came in ranked 6th in the triple jump and came away with 3rd place and two Pbs that I was like “Wow, could you actually imagine if I did the right stuff … what could happen?” So, during the summer once I got back to Iowa, I watched some videos of me in the past Big Ten Champs and honestly saw how big my legs were and I was like “Oh, no” and it kicked off from there. (A jumper's weight is important as is their body composition and appearance, however, these need to be realistic and not become a cause of distress Ed.)
I never really liked porridge so I wanted to create an alternative that I could stick to, love and push me toward my goal of becoming leaner and fitter, hence I started to have strawberry, Greek yoghurt, honey and granola with two eggs on the side. And it (food preparation) just became so fun. Having the freedom to create what I wanted to satiate my taste buds whilst finding regular traditional foods and making them "Jahisha Style” became a passion.
Has anyone helped you??
Interestingly enough my coach was always pushing nutrition ... like “Jahisha you need to really hone in on your nutrition”. I remember just thinking, like I swear I'm doing it, however, after the 2017 British Champs I could see he was right. I needed to be more focussed and precise. As weird as it is, I think my biggest help was from my Instagram food page and Pinterest where I followed recipe pages to gain insight and inspiration. So, when I'm on my phone, I’m 99% looking at food pages and I would find ideas which I could potentially make.
Do you think jumpers/athletes know enough about nutrition?
I generally think that as athletes go up the rankings that they are exposed to more nutritional education. Also when athletes are younger and in school their coaches are probably the most prominent source of information - this was especially in my case. I work with Iowa Speed back at the university as one of the coaches, and we really try and take it upon ourselves to share our journeys and stories to really help guide the student athletes in the right direction. So, we focus on nutrition, sleep and of course the proper execution of drills and so on.
Me, personally I really wasn’t in tune with nutrition until the end of my junior year of college.
What do you eat on the day of competition when you compete in the evening?
I always try relate competition days to what I do in training where eat two hours before I go to practice. When I compete I want to make sure I have a solid carb/protein based meal a couple hours before. There are so many other factors you have to account for such as travel time, down- time before you warm you up, and then you still have to wait in the call area. As jumpers we may have to be in that area for 30 minutes before we even compete so I always want to make sure that I am very well fed. And of course that I have left enough time for everything to be digest. I don't want to feel heavy during warm-up or when competing. That being said, say if my competition time is 6pm, I always start by working backwards to figure how I'm going to organise my day. So, a 6pm competition time means that at 5.30pm you have your runway warm-up time, which means about 5/5.15pm call up time, warm-up (depending on how long you need, for me its about 45 minutes) so, around 4.15/4.30pm ... which means I want my last meal to be around 2-ish. If I do feel peckish I can have Belvita energy biscuits because they are filling and tasty and easy to nibble on or maybe an apple.
Continuing backwards more, I wake up around 8am and around 10am I'll do a shakeout to get my body moving. Breakfast will be around 10.30am and that gives plenty of time for food to be properly digested. As mentioned I will have Greek yoghurt, strawberries, granola and two eggs. Lunch would be around 1.30pm and because the competition is late I would want to get in at least two meals and then I can snack if need be. So, a second meal could be eggs, beans, toast ( personally I can eat eggs all day). I find this to be filling but not in a way that makes you feel heavy. Then I would just have a banana and Belvita biscuits ready for the rest of the day.
Does nutrition differ between the UK and the US?
Not really … yes, the foods may be different brands but the concepts are all the same. As long as you stick to portion size and appropriate food groups then you can have a great balanced nutritious diet regardless of where you are in the world.
How good are you at sticking a decent nutrition regime?
Okay, during fall I try and stick to a 80/20 rule, so mostly healthy foods but with the occasional goodie thrown in now and then just to motivate me during the season - especially as that period of training is the hardest. So, after that "death workout" I'll eat a balanced dinner but then maybe have a cheeky dessert. Something small but nothing crazy crazy.
Then as the indoor season comes closer around November/December I start to really focus on my nutrition so much so that it becomes 100% focussed from then and there-after.
Do you take Supplements?
I take multivitamins and vitamin D. My coach encouraged the Vitamin D because in Iowa, the exposure to sun is limited so I need to keep its levels up. I also like to take multivitamins just so I know that I am supplying my immune system and body as best as is possible.
How are you doing during lock-down?
For me it has been a blessing in disguise. I was two days away from getting a flight back to the US when the first one was cancelled and then the backup one also got cancelled. I believe that things happen for a reason. Lock-down has allowed me to spend time with my family which I haven’t in a while. It's been so nice just being able to stay with my older brother at his house in the country, just getting back to the roots of athletics and building from the ground up. Having to adapt to home training and running in fields has proved to be more euphoric than I imagined and I really am appreciating this time. And I'm going to become an aunt as my sister-in-law is about to give birth!
And for cooking I now I find myself baking goodies and cooking family meals and popping on the kettle for family tea. I've just loved it!
Having a routine is so important in a time of isolation so waking up, having breakfast, going to train, shower, lunch, then working for my internship for a motivational talk show in California called Living Full Out. I then stretch, roll out and make dinner. This has become the new norm for me for the time being. It's great when everyone comes to sit in front of the telly watching Race around the World or Working Mums and just catching up ... it’s truly been a blessing.
For more on Jahsisha Thomas
"Me, personally I really wasn’t in tune with nutrition until the end of my junior year of college!"
PBs: Long jump 6.69m; Triple jump 13.56m
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
BRAZILIAN ELITE COACH NELIO MOURA IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S TOP LONG AND TRIPLE JUMP COACHES, THE JUMPER CAUGHT UP WITH NELIO TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HE GOES ABOUT MONITORING AND EVALUATING THE ON- AND OFF- TRACK STATUS OF HIS ATHLETES.
PIC CREDIT RICARDO BUFOLIN
“There are people who say that periodisation is not so important anymore … however, if you every go on a vacation somewhere you need to know where you are going … so, the plan for us is like a map, but sometimes the road that you intend to use is blocked and you have to plan another way to get there and that’s monitoring,” explains Moura.
“It is not because it is written (the training plan) that you have to do it."
The elite Brazilian coach, who also works with Chinese athletes, expands by explaining if planning is important then monitoring is extremely important. It’s the part of the process that takes the athlete to the end destination. He gives a day-to-day practical example by noting how a coach may go to the track with a plan but then have to make amendments because of monitoring. “It is not because it is written (the training plan) that you have to do it,” he says. Moura focusses on wellness and training load. In the coaching situation, he explains that If you have a very small group of athletes then you can do it by using your eyes and by asking how the athletes are feeling. The feedback provided would then allow the coach to moderate/design training accordingly. However, Moura explained that he has a great number of athletes (20 plus) to coach (and dotted all over the world as it turns out – as well as working in his native Brazil, he also coaches Chinese athletes and in Europe).
This makes it difficult for him to keep track with all of them. In consequence Moura uses a system (app) called Athlete Monitoring (athletemonitoring.com). The app is able to monitor, record and calculate “how the athlete feels” and send back the information to the coach. The app requires six questions to be answered on waking on the part of the athlete. The data is then collated, for example, on hours slept, sleep quality, feeling of stress on that particular day, levels of muscle soreness, mood, general health and fatigue. All this takes just about 60 seconds on the part of the athlete.
When the coach then opens his end of the app he may be able to identify some red-flags against some of the athletes that relate to planned training. However, it’s still important to maintain dialogue with the athlete, so Moura will talk to them at the track to see whether or not he needs to adjust workouts.
The coach further explained that he can track injury and illness with the app and very importantly training load. He talked about the use of the RPE method (rate of perceived exertion) and how he used to use this in a somewhat painstakingly long way in the past via the use of spreadsheets which required him to fill in all the data. “With the app the athletes do it by themselves,” explained Moura. The system allows for session duration to be recorded – from warm-up to cool-down. The athletes then use a scale of 1-10 to denote its intensity.
The coach gave the example of an athlete giving a session an RPE of “3”, which would be moderate in terms of the scale used. He then explained that a “5” would be hard and a “7” very hard. The duration of the session is then multiplied by the RPE to come up with a “units” score.
When the coach has this information, he can compare training loading against the athlete over a period of time together with how they are feeling currently and indeed responding to training.
Moura is then able to change his coaching in regard to the data that accumulates – he gave the example of planning a light session that was supposed to have an RPE of 2/3 over 60min, but it lasted 2 hours and the athletes rated it a 5. This meant that the session had a higher intensity rating so he will need to adapt it in future. As he explained: “This enabled me to compare what I have prescribed with the perception of the athlete.” He went on to explain how on paper a training cycle may look “beautiful” – it may contain all that he thinks is needed, however, when the athletes goes through it, the intensity maybe too high due to their self-reporting and therefore the plan needs amending for future use.
TRAINING TOO HARD OR NOT HARD ENOUGH
The coach did explain that there is of course a need to train hard and monitoring does not mean that all sessions should be easy. He pointed out that training needs to be smart and that it needs to “wave” between more intense and less intense sessions to facilitate adaptation.
Moura also brought up the topic of “acute chronic workload ratio” which comes from the app and its analysis of training workload. He explained that this compared the training load for one week with the training load for the last four. There are various figures that are calculated from this – for example, 0.8 would indicate that the training is too easy. Now, the coach explained that this could actually lead to injury – in that an athlete may not be strong enough to handle the more intense workload/sessions/activities, for example.
If, however, the figure is 1.3, for example, then the load is being increased too much. So, it was explained that you can increase the load/intensity as long as the 1.3 ratio is not passed. “The sweet-spot is between 0.8 and 1.3,” explained the coach. The app displays a blue flag if the ratio is below 0.8 and a red-flag if it is above 1.3.
OTHER MONITORING METHODS
Moura then went onto explain what else he uses to monitor and evaluate performance. Speed is obviously crucial for the long and the triple. He uses photocell timing devices. Interestingly he explained that he now uses a double-beam system. The previous single-beam one would be slightly inaccurate as, for example, it would be triggered by the arm passing across it and not the torso. If you are timing the last 5m onto the board on the run-up, for example, then milliseconds counts. The coach will want to know with exact precision when the athlete is on the board and their speed. Moura went as far to say that a single-beam system for his purposes can create data that is not really usable.
On the run-up he specifically times from 11m-6m and from 6m to 1m before the board and also tests 40m with a 20m split time. The coach expects the speed over the last 5m section on the run-up to be quicker or at least equal to the previous 5m.
For strength Moura also monitors performance. For this he uses Vmax pro (another app vmaxpro.de) which measures bar speed, for example, when lifting weights. He uses this with the jump squat, half squat and hip thrust, power snatch and single leg half squat, for example. Using it enables him to come up with an optimum load on the bar for developing power.
For reactive strength Moura uses a contact mat system (Chronojump.org), which is cheaper than a force plate – Moura’s dream would be to have an Optojump system (optojump.com). He tests counter-movement jumps every Monday – this is to see how the athlete have recovered from the previous week’s training. The drop jump test will also be used periodically.
Other “field” tests include a 4kg med ball backward throws, 5 bounds, 5 hops (left and right legs) and 5 bounds from an approach run (usually from 6-7 steps).
“Of course, technique is extremely important,” explained Moura. For this he uses, for example Dartfish (dartfish.com). He measures some angles and key positions for his jumpers. He explained that if a jump is recorded at more than 120 frames a second then contact time and flight time can be measured. Moura explained that this was particularly important for the hop phase in the triple jump. “The hop has to be flat … all of us say that to our athletes ... but we often don’t have objective ways to determine whether our athletes are really over-hopping.
“With the flight time you can estimate the vertical velocity and this can tell us whether the athlete is producing too much vertical velocity or not.”
Hopefully this insight into how an elite coach monitors his athletes will provide food for thought for other coaches. Moura uses some relatively inexpensive apps to do much of this work and in doing so is attempting to ensure that his athletes don’t over train, reduce injury risk and actually do the type of training which will improve their performance.
Below: Moura with 2008 Olympic Champion Maurren Maggi - he also coached Panama's Irving Saladino to gold in the same Games
"From the moment I decided to write the book it took almost two years to get it printed, but the preparation actually began far before that. I have been collecting material and studying plyometrics since the early 80’s, in order to better apply its concepts to training. It is a huge amount of knowledge, both theoretical and practical, and I had to sit and organise it, otherwise I would get lost. Then I thought, if I am organising this information, why not write a book?"
The book is in Portugese but has English precis box-outs. Chapters cover New possibilities for plyometric training, which had much information on eccentric accentuated jumps. Nelio uses elastic harness to boost this
He has also
to boost the
of a jump.
This was to The Jumper the key chapter and we were able to glean much useful information and improve out Portugese!
(firstname.lastname@example.org) directly if you would like a copy of Pliometrica or go to Amazon (also available as digital download)
WATCH NELIO IN ACTION
IVANA SPANOVIC credit PEDRAG VUCKOVIC/Red Bull Content Pool
SPEED IS CRUCIAL FOR THE HORIZONTAL JUMPS. EVERYTHING ELSE BEING EQUAL TAKE-OFF VELOCITY IS THE KEY FACTOR WHEN IT COMES TO JUMPING FURTHER, WRITES JOHN SHEPHERD
HOW FAST ARE THE BEST HORIZONTAL JUMPERS?
Carl Lewis was the fastest long jumper ever in terms of 100m speed (although he may not have used all of his speed at the take-off in the long jump – more on this later. Other truly world class and "known" sub-10 male jumpers include Kareem Street-Thompson 9.96sec, 8.63m long jump.
Of women, Hikie Dreschler and Tianna Bartoletta come to mind as the fastest 100m running long jumpers. You may have noted my comments on ‘known’ when referring to the men and the same applies to women … undoubtedly there would be/are more world class long jumpers who could run sub-10sec or sub-11sec if they put their mind and specific training to it.
And specific training is key, the long jumper has to take-off at optimum speed. Sprinting on the run-up is different to sprinting 100m. In the 100m – although technique is paramount – it would be unlikely if Usain Bolt could have suddenly jumped into a pit at 40m and broken the world record. To be able to sprint – almost as fast as Bolt and jump as Lewis did - requires significant skill and appropriate conditioning.
At the London World Championships the then IAAF recorded information on the finalists of the men’s and women’s long jump events. So, how fast were the likes of Luvo Manyonga and Jarrion Lawson in the case of the men’s first and second placers and Brittney Reese and Daria Kiishina in the case of the equivalent medallists in the women’s event?
The penultimate step tended to be the quickest step for males - Manyonga recorded a time of 10.50m/s and Lawson 10.82m/s. Interestingly the women’s event maximum speeds tended to occur on the third to last step. Reese and Klishina recorded times of 9.31m/s and 9.23m/s. However, third placer Tianna Bartoletta recorded 9.51m/s on her penultimate step – probably as befits the fastest jumper in the field, thus diplaying a similalrity with the fastest males.
So, you can see that the top world male and female long jumpers are fast sprinters (or should that be fast jumpers?).
Many coaches will time their athletes over the final 10m of the run-up to gain an insight into how fast their jumpers are. I have done similar using the Freelap timing system and have calculated my jumpers’ speed in m/s as a comparator with the IAAF’s stats (noting the IAAF’s high-tech kit enabled them to measure the specific step velocity of the last three steps individually (and that of the take-off). Over 10m, milliseconds count very significantly. If a male jumper records a 0.98sec flying 10m time this equates to 10.20m/s; 0.90sec to 10.52m/s; and 0.92sec to 10.86m/s. So, we can get an idea of how fast Manyonga and Lawson are from these figures in terms of our coaching needs. For reference in 2009 at the Berlin World Champs the IAAF also carried out biomechanic's analyses and potentially the fastest male jumper in the world in recent years Dwight Phillips was competing (best 100m 10.06sec). Phillips won the gold with a leap of 8.54m and achieved a time of 11.12 seconds on his penultimate step. Such a time would require a 10m fly time of 0.90sec. Interestingly Greg Rutherford who was 5th in the final and a few years prior to his peak recorded 10.36m/s and jumped 8.17m. Chris Tomlinson was also in the field and he recorded 10.40m/s when jumping 8.06m.
Specific speed counts
I’ve mentioned that the long jumper’s speed needs to be specific to the run-up in terms of allowing them to strike the board without fouling and also with the correct take-off mechanics. We have also seen some of the speed variations and the distances achieved largely with male elite jumpers in this article. At present in the UK very few men look like breaking the 8m barrier and perhaps the reason for this is a lack of real speed.
I have in my possession a document which I believe originated from the then West Germany (from the old Kangaroo Club magazine) which on inspection today still holds up when it comes to calculating just how fast you need to be to jump a certain distance. Research considered 100m speed, jump power (the physical and neural abilities of the jumper to take-off at speed) and calculated how far a jumper could theoretically jump. Note: 100m ability has to have synergy with take-off velocity and it was also noted that the sprint capabilities of the athlete also needed to be considered, that’s to say that an athlete could be quicker than their recorded 100m time if, for example, they were a poor starter.
The German’s calculated, for example, that a jumper who had a best 100m time of 11.0sec could, with a technique and jump power of equal quality, jump 7.63m. However, if they had superior jump power in particular then a distance of 7.83m would be possible.
A table was produced which indicated just how fast you needed to be to jump distances from 5.00m through to 8.90m. I have produced some of the key distance and speed times in Table 1 (P55).
Recall, that it would be possible to jump around 3% further for the selected distances with optimum take-off power and technique.
As a former jumper (7.89m/w 7.66m) and coach of the long jump for the last 12 years I’d have to say that these German figures have stood the test of time and act as a good reference point for speed and jumping ability and – although I cannot find specific reference as to whether they are aimed at males and females – the times and distances do seem to correlate regardless of sex.
So, if you are a long jumper or coach, you’ll be able to gain an insight into how fast you or the athletes you coach need to be to jump a certain distance from the German research and also from the more contemporary IAAF research for the events’ elite performers.
Triple Jump Speed
Triple jumpers have a tendency to be slightly slower than their long jump counterparts - although the likes of Christian Taylor in particular is hopping from speeds that would produce great long jump distances. Not surprisingly Taylor has jumped well over 8m.
See Table 2 for some take-off speeds from four of the world’s best including Taylor by way of comparison to long jumpers.
Figures (p55) courtesy of World Athletics – biomechanics reports from the London 2017 Worlds
See issue 1 of The Jumper for a specific look at the biomechanics of the men’s long jump also from the 2017 World Champs
Click HERE to download this and other reports
WILL CLAYE credit Aaron Rogosin/Red Bull Content Pool
Will Claye reaches speeds of 9.95m/s at hop take-off
Long Jump Speed & Distance Estimates
Table 2 Triple Jump Speeds
CAN EMS POWER UP PERFORMANCE?
DID CHARLIE FRANCIS KNOW MORE THAN WE KNOW NOW? HE WAS USING EMS ON HIS ATHLETES FORTY YEARS AGO. AND THE CANADIAN COACH SAW IT AS A PROVEN AND THIS TIME LEGAL WAY TO BOOST PERFORMANCE. IT SEEMS THAT CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH VINDICATES HIS THOUGHTS AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION. THE JUMPER TAKES A LOOK.
Using EMS for recovery is useful but perhaps its proven contribution to maintaining and developing strength may be key. And it's the one that got us excited!
The Power of EMS
Contemporary EMS devices are much improved upon their predecessors, although the outcomes are broadly the same. EMS can be used to aid performance, for recovery and reduce pain.
Contemporary EMS machines (such as the Nurokor MiTouch) can have a neuromuscular effect stimulating muscle tissue to contract whilst targeting the largest of fast twitch muscle motor units without conscious effort on the part of the user, or they can have more of a peripheral nerve stimulation effect. The latter can can target inflammation and boost recovery at a cellular level. The MiTouch in fact uses three signal types across five apps.
The strength of these signals (pulses and waveforms) can be more relaxing for recovery purposes or very strong (although the strength can be varied) for sports performance enhancement – which can require some will-power to tolerate the on-off grip of the involuntary muscle stimulation created by EMS by the athlete.
Coach Charlie Francis, Ben Johnson and EMS
EMS can also be called neuromuscular electrical stimulation and it trades on the fact that our bodies’ muscles, for example, react to electricity. In an athletic context one of the first exponents to detail its use was Charlie Francis, coach to Ben Johnson and other largely Canadian athletes in the eighties. However, prior to this its use is documented in Soviet athletes in the fifties. Despite “doping” his athletes Francis was very much an innovator when it came to training theory, making sure that no stone was left unturned when it came to improving performance.
Given that history has shown many other athletes were doping, including most of the others in that Seoul 100m final, perhaps Francis needs to be seen in a slightly more positive light for the other methods he left the world of sprint training in particular. As Francis said of EMS back in the eighties: “My own results have been so favourable that I am not interested in debating whether or not EMS works but rather in optimising the use of EMS in the training of elite athletes.”
We have indicated that EMS for sports enhancing purposes creates an involuntary muscle contraction and it’s argued that this can stimulate recruitment of maximal amounts of muscle fibre and the motor units which control them. Additionally, it’s seen to target fast twitch fibres preferentially, which is the reverse of “human-powered” weight training – that’s to say, smaller slow twitch fibre is used preferentially initially and, if there is sufficient stimulatory and outcome needs, that’s to say to lift a heavy weight, then increasingly larger motor units and bundles of fast twitch muscle fibre are recruited via significant neural input.
Research reviews are always good places to start as they pool previous research studies against pre-determined criteria in an attempt to discover an outcome – that’s to say in the case of this article, if EMS can assist sports performance. Researchers carried out such a review in 2012 (J Strength Cond Res.2012 Sep;26(9):2600-14. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31823f2cd1.)
The researchers identified the type of EMS used and the most relevant parameters for improvement for high performance sport, such as speed strength, power and jumping and sprinting ability. They also identified three types of users – non-athletic populations, trained subjects and crucially elite performers (they placed a specific focus on the elite).
This scientific analysis revealed that EMS is effective for developing physical performance. The team noted:
“After a stimulation period of 3-6 weeks, significant gains (p < 0.05) were shown in maximal strength (isometric Force max +58.8%; dynamic Fmax (+79.5%), speed strength (eccentric isokinetic Mmax (+37.1%); concentric isokinetic Mmax (+41.3%); rate of force development (+74%); force impulse (+29%); vmax (+19%), and power
And in terms of specific sports improvement:
Vertical jump height increased by (+25%), squat jump (+21.4%), countermovement jump (+19.2%), drop jump (+12%).
Sprint speed crucially improved by as much as -4.8% in trained and elite athletes.
The team concluded: “EMS offers a promising alternative to traditional strength training for enhancing the strength parameters and motor abilities described above. Because of the clear-cut advantages in time management, especially when whole-body EMS is used, we can expect this method to see increasing use in high-performance sports.”
We will look at more research later in this article and also consider the frequencies and recommended protocols for EMS for enhancing performance. However, initially we want to note the comment made by the 2012 researchers on “motor abilities” by going back to the thoughts of Coach Francis. This is because we will begin to further understand why EMS can be of benefit.
Francis stated: “It helps an athlete learn how to recruit and fire greater numbers of muscle fibre, for example, if you are having trouble learning how to wiggle your ears – incorporate EMS stimulation of the desired muscles into your training. You will not only learn to fire the intended muscle group but also greater numbers of motor units within that muscle.”
Francis also quoted research that indicates that relatively few sessions are needed to achieve substantial speed and power gains – and this is something which seems to be vindicated by much more contemporary thought and research. Research from 2011 (The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research25(11):3218-38 · November 2011)
noted the following (We have deliberately selected a quote with the frequencies and settings found to be most beneficial for coaches wishing to apply a similar EMS dose):
“As a result, the analysis reveals a significant relationship (p < 0.05) between a stimulation intensity of ≥50% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC; 63.2 ± 19.8%) and significant strength gains. To generate this level of MVC, it was possible to identify guidelines for effectively combining training regimens (4.4 ± 1.5 weeks, 3.2 ± 0.9 sessions per week, 17.7 ± 10.9 minutes per session, 6.0 ± 2.4 seconds per contraction with 20.3 ± 9.0% duty cycle) with relevant stimulation parameters (impulse width 306.9 ± 105.1 microseconds, impulse frequency 76.4 ± 20.9 Hz, impulse intensity 63.7 ± 15.9 mA) to optimize training for systematically developing strength abilities (maximal strength, speed strength, jumping and sprinting ability, power).”
This is difficult information to potentially process – that’s to say in terms of the frequency settings of the EMS, so I will attempt to simplify using some further research and through discussion with Rick Rowan who’s the primary figure behind the Nurokor MiTouch EMS machine. Research again in J Strength Cond Res.2017 Jun;31(6):1577-1584. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001594.
looked at the application of EMS to trained athletes and sprint performance. Their protocol, improved standing start 10m performance by 5.3% and flying 10m times by 4.7%. And the protocol used was:
10 EMS cycles up to the maximal tolerated intensity applied every other day to the foot flexion muscles (sole and calf muscles). Stimulation lasted for 10 seconds and recovery 50 seconds. The protocol was performed for just three weeks. So, we again add credence to the very quick gains that seem to be able to be made from EMS. Rowan similarly advocates such a 10sec on and 50sec recovery protocol.
The other very interesting element of this research is a further connection between it and the work of Francis. The late Canadian coach noted the difficulty of training the foot to create a greater power producing structure using traditional resistance training means. The research just quoted, and as noted, trained these structures and it was also discovered that Francis did too using EMS. And as a further connection Francis based his approach on Soviet modalities which used short duration EMS training phases – for example 10-15 treatments.
It’s interesting to also note that Francis is one of the few coaches to have publicly shared his EMS training protocols and these also follow the 10sec on 50sec off methodology with a 3-4 times a week frequency – he also identified the muscle groups focussed on: Lower back
Abdominals, Quads, Hamstrings, Gluteals
Francis additionally recommended that EMS be the final session of the day and that it should be preceded by a basic warm-up involving dynamic movements.
Plus, it’s pointed out that as EMS involuntarily creates muscle contractions that there is no equivalent drain on the
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"After a stimulation period of 3-6 weeks, significant gains were achieved
Vertical jump height increased by +25% Squat jump +21.4%, Counter-movement jump +19.2%, drop jump +12%.
Sprint speed by as much as -4.8% in trained and elite athletes."
Here's what we discovered about EMS. The video covers much of what was included in this article.
central nervous system. This offers EMS another potential plus point in that it can be used to continue high intensity training without draining the CNS. This would be useful, for example, during the competitive phase when strength levels need to be maintained. The normal way to do this would be via using near maximal lifts (albeit with few reps). This would require a significant CNS contribution on the part of the athlete and therefore add to drain across a training phase.
Hopefully, this overview of EMS will stimulate coaches and athletes to look further into this training method.
Note: do not use EMS machines for enhancing performance until you understand how they work and the protocols that best you.
MUCH MORE THAN A
MARKUS IS THE TRIPLE JUMPER BEHIND THE TRIPLE JUMPERS PODCAST. THE SWEDE, A TRIPLE JUMPER HIMSELF, TELLS THE JUMPER ABOUT HOW AND WHY HE SET UP THIS GREAT RESOURCE WHICH HAS FEATURED THE LIKES OF PATRICIA MAMONA, CHRISTIAN TAYLOR AND COACH JEREMY FISCHER. MARKUS ALSO TALKS ABOUT HIS OWN JUMPING.
TRIPLE JUMP MEDIA
Markus, tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live and what you do…
I’m a Swedish triple jump athlete, coach and the founder of Triplejumpers. I live in Gothenburg - the city where both the triple jump world records were set. I train at an elite level and also coach younger athletes, specifically in the horizontal jumps. I also run the Triplejumpers community, including social media and The Triplejumpers Podcast.
Why and how did you get involved in the triple jump?
In 2008, when I was 9 years old, I watched the Beijing Olympics on TV and the athletics really caught my interest. During the next school break, I attended a “Try athletics week”. I don’t know why but I really fell in love with the triple jump, maybe it was because I figured out how to do it while most of the others didn’t!
After the week I went back to school and we had this long jump pit in the yard, where me and my friend started to practice the triple jump every day. We didn’t know where to jump from because there was no board, so we took off from the long jump board and jumped the next two phases in the sand!
I started training properly a year later and just like everybody else, I tried a lot of events. Besides triple jump I ran a lot of middle distance until I was 15 and continued with high jump and hurdles until I was 17-18. Nowadays, I do a few long jump competitions now and then but the training and the focus is all about the triple jump.
What are your career highlights and what are your aims for the future?
My career highlights to this point at a junior level are my five golds from our national championships, some appearances for the Swedish national junior team and also a dozen more medals from the national champs.
"My goal for the future is to be as good as I possibly can."
On a senior level I haven’t done too much yet, however, probably my strongest memory from my whole career to date is from the national championships in August last year. I came to the competition with a messy summer behind me. I pulled my hamstring in June and only had two competitions before the nationals. During the whole competition, I felt I had some really good jumps in me but I couldn’t just quite get it together. However, in the last round I told myself “It’s now or never” and I ran like crazy toward the board. I took off, put together three well balanced phases and when I landed I just knew it was far. The result came up and I had jumped 15.02m a PB on my the last jump of the season. After that two guys jumped 15.01m so it was really really tight! However, I kept my fourth place and finished the season with my best jump so far.
My goal for the future is to be as good as I possibly can. The day I leave this sport, I want to feel like I’ve done everything to be as good as I can. In the near future there’s a European U23 Championships next year which I’m aiming for.
What’s athletics like in Sweden - you’ve had a strong jumps tradition. Why do you think so?
Athletics isn’t really that big in Sweden but we still have a very strong jumps tradition as you say. During the years we’ve had athletes like Christian Olsson, Stefan Holm, Michel Torneus, Kajsa Bergqvist and Patrik Sjöberg just to name a few.
I think the reason behind our strong jumps tradition is both the environment and the Swedish coaching model. We have very well-educated jumps coaches and there’s a strong belief that it’s possible for Swedes to succeed in the jumps. Also, when you have a tradition of being good at something, the generations that follows tend to continue on the same path.
Who’s your coach? Do you normally train in a group?
Since December last year, I have trained under coach Emil Predan, who has, for example, coached Ebba Jungmark to several championships medals. I’m very happy to work with Emil and I believe we will develop a lot together. The group consists of around 10 athletes focusing on the triple, long and high jump. It’s very important for me to train with a group as it makes the work a lot more fun and we motivate each other.
How are you coping with lock-down? What type of training are you able to do?
In Sweden we’re allowed to meet as long as there are less than 50 people. That means we’ve been able to train like normal and the only adjustments we’ve made is that we train more outside than usual. Plus, we stayed home from our scheduled training camp.
Okay, your Triplejumpers podcast ... what was the inspiration and motivation for this? Your social media is really strong, how did you build this up?
So, in 2015, I started the Triplejumpers social media account where I post videos and photos of triple jumpers all around the world. The main reason I started was because I wanted to learn more about the event. As the time went by Triplejumpers grew more and more and right now we’re a community of 80-90.000 across several social media platforms.
"The number one advice I have for athletes and coaches who wants to succeed on social media is to be consistent."
In 2018, I got the idea to start The Triplejumpers Podcast because for the same reason I started Triplejumpers. I simply wanted to learn more about the event. I started to invite guests and I couldn’t imagine how much I was about to learn when I started the whole thing. It’s just amazing.
The number one advice I have for athletes and coaches who wants to succeed on social media is to be consistent. You don’t have to post everyday but you need to post every so often in order to grow your following and engagement.
You also need to post interesting and engaging content that people want to see. My last advice is that it’s very good to make up some guidelines regarding when to post, keywords and messages, colours, filters etc. This gives your whole social media appearance a real thread which betters the odds to succeed.
How did you get some of the names you have to contribute?
I was concerned about how I should get the big names but almost everyone I’ve asked has been very positive. I guess they want to help to spread triple jump and their knowledge about the event so they join the show. I’m very thankful for that.
What are your plans for the future with the podcast?
I want to continue to spread the triple jump word and if the podcast is a way to do it, then I will continue to make episodes. I have an idea to broaden the podcast to all events within athletics but I’m not sure yet. It would be interesting to interview athletes and coaches from other events and it would be easier to get more guests in. However, my love is the triple jump so I’m not sure whether I’m ready to involve more events in the show.
With all that interviewing you must have picked up some strong tips on jumping and conditioning - what has stood out and what have you implemented into your training?
Yes, I’ve learned so much from all the interviews. I haven’t really implemented any drills or training philosophy into my own training as I trust my coach on that one but I’ve definitely learned a lot about mentality, recovery and other things. Two episode’s that really made an impact on me were the ones with Nathan Douglas and Benjamin Williams - they both have had a lot of setbacks but continued to fight and are determined to get back. That’s something I really take with me, to always keep going and never give up.
When it comes to training, I really liked both the episode with you and the one with Jeremy Fischer. I’m really interested in the science behind the training and coaching so I got some really good tips talking to the two of you and I definitely want to interview more coaches in the future.
Who are candidates for future interviews?
Obviously the one jumper who's on top of my wish-list is Jonathan Edwards. I haven’t been able to contact him but he’s the one I definitely want to interview.
Otherwise it’s a bit tricky as the guests need to speak English but I still have a document of like 60-70 athletes and coaches I want to interview. Among athletes I really want to hear what Nelson Èvora has to say. He’s had a fantastic career and I believe many people have a lot to learn from him. I also want to interview Teddy Tamgho and to hear his perspective both as an athlete but now also as a coach. Moreover, I want to listen to some older guys that have been able to reflect on their careers for a while.
I’ve interviewed Jadel Gregorio and Brian Wellman, for example, and that was very good so, I want to interview more people like them, for example, Ashia Hansen, Willie Banks, Trecia Smith and Kenny Harrison.
On the coach side I want to hear from, for example, Peter Stanley, John McDonnell and also Ted King (former coach to Nathan Douglas among others). I'd also like to interview current coaches such as Rana Reider, Nic Petersen and Al Joyner.
"When I started the podcast, I was concerned about how I should get the big names but almost everyone I have asked has been very positive."
TRIPLE JUMP MEDIA
"Two episodes that really made an impact on me were the ones with Nathan Douglas and Ben Williams (pictured) - they both have had a lot of set-backs but continued to fight and are determined to get back."
Aaron Rogosin/Red Bull Content Pool
COACH JEREMY FISCHER,ONE OF THE AUTHORITATIVE VOICES ON THE TRIPLE JUMPERS PODCAST
TRIPLE JUMP MEDIA
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WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE YOUTUBE CHANNELS AND PODCASTS THAT YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO.
There are thousands of resources on-line for you to be educated, entertained and motivated. Here are some of our choices.
"Train only as much as is necessary, not as much as it possible. As simple as that sounds, it's probably the most complicated thing to do."
WHAT TO WATCH AND LISTEN TO
Don't be put off by the thumbnail - no offence to Henk Kraaijenhof and friend! This interview by Mike Hurst on the speedendurance YouTube channel provides an insight into the "scientist's coach".
Dutch coach Henk has coached some of the world's fastest men and women - including Merlene Ottey and Nellie Cooman and has an encyclopedic knowledge of sports science and research studies and in that very "Dutch way" he gets to the point.
Hear about his coaching philosophy in overview from this interview with Mike Hurst. It's a good starting point to find out more about Henk and his sprint training and planning thoughts.
Martin Bingisser a hammer thrower and coach is the man behind HMMR Media.
HMMR Media is a multi-media coaching portal that's very professionally designed, organised and administrated. (We could learn some lessons there!). The Jumper regularly checks in to in particular listen to the podcasts that come out weekly. There' a tie in with US coach Vern Gambetta and podcast hosts and format vary fortnightly from what we've heard. Some of the best coaches in the world have been interviewed including JP Morin, Jeremey Fischer and Jonas Taiwoo-Dodoo. Note all sporting movements and areas of conditioning are covered - so not just track.
Young elite Aussie decathlete Cedric Dubler is one of the few athletes to produce high-quality content that really shows us what it's like to be an athlete. His likable persona comes across through his media.
AROUND THE WORLD
THE HEAT AND
"Women and men can't train together easily ... you actually have to take a kind of oath to be coached by males and to train with males."
John Shepherd coached an athlete from Kuwait last year. Aljazi “Jazi” Farhan has had to overcome many barriers in order to sprint, jump and train. She tells us about her struggles and triumphs and how sometimes being an athlete involves much more.
“I was playing football and the referee told me I should slow down …” says the 23-year-old who has represented Kuwait as a heptathlete. Apparently the referee was being serious. “He thought I was embarrassing the other girls,” explains Jazi, adding “Athletics training in Kuwait is not easy, especially for women, there is not much interest … to be a professional athlete a lot of self-effort is needed.” And support - and the athlete has this through her father who really wants to encourage his daughter’s athletics.
In the UK, although we may have the odd moan about team selection and the governing body, for example, this would be gladly accepted by many Kuwaiti athletes. We take for granted that we - whether female or male - can turn up at our local club and be welcomed and that we can compete and be coached my either a male or a female. The same is not the case in Kuwait. “There are men’s and women’s tracks in Kuwait - around three for women and 7-10 for men,” explains Jazi.
“Women and men can’t train together easily ... you actually have to take a kind of oath to be considered to be coached by males and to train with males.”
Apparently as Jazi explains, there has only been one female athlete whose allocation to a male coach has been approved.
This has meant that she has often had to make her own arrangements hence her travelling to the UK to be coached.
Jazi has also travelled to Doha and to Europe to train more freely and has even taken herself off to some European meetings to compete.
“There are some private facilities in Kuwait which have tracks where it easier for men to train with women,”explains the athlete, adding “I sometimes go to Doha, which is an hour’s flight away from Kuwait, to train with my male and female friends”.
“In Kuwait, l have limited time for my training and many obligations such as my studies, and family responsibilities to focus on and all this affects my concentration and improvement."
“In the UK, my whole focus and time is on training. There’s not any stress or other obligations.”
Last year as her temporary UK coach, I discovered how this athlete is blazing a trail for herself and hopefully other Arab women who want to do track and other sports. She’s always enthusiastic and during our 2-3 times a week 90-minute to 2-hour training sessions, it’s became a bit of joke that I'd go to get coffee mid-session to give her a rest!
In Kuwait athletics is not a big sport although there have been male Olympic and World Championship athletes from the nation. Current elite athletes include 13.35sec national record holder, 110m hurdler Yaqoub Alyouha (set at the 2018 Asian Championships) and 10.27sec 100m sprinter Menshaal Khalifa Al-Mutairi.
Jazi, however, has her own targets, she wants to focus on the sprints and the long jump and become Kuwaiti national record holder. Okay, she “only” needs 5.10m to achieve this in the long jump and her current best is just over 5m, but beating the record and doing well at the Gulf States Championships requires a lot more barriers to be overcome than one measured by an EDM or tape.
“In Kuwait there are limited competitions. If you want to compete I have to go abroad. I’ve ran a couple of times in Belgium, for example,” explains the athlete.
In her own country competitions can get cancelled — often there are no obvious reasons. “Sometimes it could be budget or a lack of specific preparation and sometimes I see no specific reason.”
I ask does that frustrate you? “Yes, this makes me want to train outside. In my last comp I went to Doha and I had to compete against men as there were no women’s events ... this was in the shot and 200m.
“I really want to compete, I miss the competition atmosphere. Before that I went to Abu Dhabi and did the 100m and 200m, I got second and first, this was the Abu Dhabi Uni champs.”
It’s perhaps not surprisingly different when it comes to training camps and the athlete explains that there are very few for women and that these too often get cancelled.
So, as mentioned the Kuwaiti has travelled extensively abroad to train. She draws inspiration from another sport. “We have a swimmer Faisle Al Sultan (“Faye Sultan”) who went to the world champs and who is now in the UK. She’s been based there since she was 5. Her father works there. I want to be like her. I’m doing what the swimmer did."
“My father is pushing me and this gives me a lot of confidence.”
Hot and Cold
As well as attitudes to female participation and a lack of coaching opportunities in Kuwait there’s also the small question of the weather. We complain when the mercury hits 35C in the UK as it does once or twice a year, but what if it hit 60 plus and you had to train? Not surprisingly Jazi says, “We have a very long summer and sometimes it’s so hot we can’t even breathe. The weather is totally different ... athletes are forced to train at night or more normally in the morning when it still can be in the 30’s."
“In the UK it’s totally the opposite, even in the summer it doesn’t reach 30C that much and the weather is totally suitable for training and there are indoor tracks and that’s an advantage, in Kuwait there are none.”
The Right Training
“When I trained with coach John for a month, I recognised that progress and improvement doesn’t only depend on time but on doing the right work in training.
“According to what we have done in a short period, I am already way improved. Even more than what I have expected.”
From football to track
Jazi started her sport’s career playing football but took up track in December 2016. “My first 100m was 16 seconds, and then I got 14 ... then I applied to the national team and they accepted me and I got a coach, a female coach from Tunisia (Jazi’s current PB is 12.9sec).
“However, I stopped training with her as she was doing too much coaching … I went back to my original coach and he improved my jumping. He has his own gym and he trained me really hard.”
I subsequently discovered that Jazi’s coach was more of a strength and conditioning and Crossfit one as opposed to a track specialist, but he has done a very good job. Jazi's very well conditioned and she loves gym training - in fact she used her extended stay in the UK to train as a personal trainer and now trains others.
Jazi has had to struggle for many things that non Arab women and athletes take for granted. Her desire to enjoy track and to pursue her goals puts into perspective some of the other issues that female (and male) athletes face around the world. Training, being coached, having competitive opportunities and being supported to do so at all levels are rights we take for granted - it's an eye-opener to realise that for some the struggle to be an athlete involves so much more.
"Training, being coached, having competitive opportunities and being supported to do so at all levels are rights we take for granted."
"In Kuwait there are limited competitions if I want to compete I need to go abroad."
COACHING IN SINGAPORE
WE CATCH UP WITH GABRIEL LIM TO TALK ALL THINGS JUMPS. GABE TELLS US HOW HE WENT FROM NEARLY CAPTAINING A YACHT TO COACHING!
How did you get started in coaching?
I use to do amateur track & field as an athlete. Only after getting a couple of pretty serious injuries (Spina bifida occulta of the L4/5 vertebrae) from excessive and terrible squatting form did I realise that I probably wasn't cut out to go on further in athletics!
I was working as a deckhand on one of those private yachts in a marina in Singapore and was just about to get my boating license to potentially captain one when one of my previous coach called and asked if I was interested in attending an upcoming IAAF level 1 youth coaching course. This was in 2008 and I decided to give it a try and I haven't looked back since.
Were you an athlete yourself?
I did some sprinting and dabbled a little in the long jump but I wasn't particularly gifted or talented.
Have you always coached the jumping events ... although we believe you coach all events?
Coaching on a small island nation like Singapore means that athletics or track & field as it is more commonly known here requires you to know the basics of all disciplines. So, I do teach the shot and discus in secondary school but my more successful athletes in the region do 400m hurdles, 800m and the sprints.
I have always felt that instead of specialising, coaching the different disciplines allows you to see and approach issues like technical faults, movement and so on from a more varied point of view.
However, my favourite event is the triple jump due to its technical aspects. Then the TJ is followed by - and tied in second place - with the long and high jump
What's track like in Singapore?
Track is definitely not the first tier sport. The focus and emphasis is on swimming, table tennis and perhaps on non Olympic sports such as bowling.
The government only supports athletes who are "certain" to win medals at regional/continental and world meets.
We practice compulsory conscription (National Service or NS) for the boys when they are 18 years old and they have to serve either in the military, police or civil defence unit (firefighting/ambulance) for two years, before having to serve another 10 years as a reservists.
NS has severely stunted the growth of youth/junior athletes who have those crucial training periods, taken away from them.
The girls do not do NS but most head on to university, where the pursuit of good grades ends a large percentage of their track & field dreams. Nobody pursues the sport professionally here, as the Asian conservative mindset is to get good grades, get a good job to prepare for the working world and then start a family of your own
How has your approach to coaching developed over the years?
When I first started out in 2008, I would do what my previous coaches would prescribe - perhaps a bit too blindly. I was also too focussed on the stopwatch and to a much lesser extent on the form, shapes and posture that you would focus on nowadays.
My first mentor was a former "Jack of all trades" of a coach himself, when I first joined him as an assistant coach in a local high school, he taught me to "Put that stopwatch away and look at the student-athletes' movement and rhythm". And he also advised to "Listen to the sound of their footsteps and cadence, look out for their posture, breathing ..."
With more experience, trial and error, testing and interaction with coaches from other countries, my coaching has developed a lot in the past 12 years.
Are there significant things that you do differently now to in the past?
I used to be extremely specific when it came to the exercises, drills or volumes back in those days. It was a bad habit that potentially dragged training sessions to lengths that weren't really feasible .
I now try my level best to stick to the specifics of the day and session and keep control of volume and intensity.
You are a World Athletics coach, please explain what that entails? And how do you coach in Singapore. Is there a club system or is it more regional?
As you know, World Athletics has a coaches' education and certification program. I am a level one "youth" coach but the levels in Singapore do no really matter. Ultimately having a higher IAAF level doesn't entitle you to a better pay. More often than not our local sporting associations are more keen on their own personal agendas and there's a lot of "politics" involved - which I won't say too much about. Most coaches end up coaching in education - primary, secondary, tertiary, junior colleges and varsity.
How do people become coaches in Singapore? Are there enough coaches at the clubs?
There are enough coaches here but perhaps the quality is not up to standard. A good number of coaches have never done the sport and are merely working in schools or coaching athletes privately as a means to earn an income
Do you work with other coaches?
I used to work in a group with other coaches but nowadays, it is mostly on my own accord and in schools. In some schools I take charge of the throws and jumps while another fellow takes the sprints and distance.
I am pretty much at the track everyday, except Sunday, which is normally my rest day. Meets and competitions are usually held over at the weekends
What advice have you for someone wanting to become a jumps coach?
Learn proper posture and basic movement/coordination first. And maybe learn the basics of hurdling. From then on it would be much easier to teach the jumps. Always be simple in your teaching but make training something that gets the athletes thinking and trying to grasp and learn.
"I once had a student athlete who started out with no obvious talent! However, this girl was an obvious late bloomer and she eventually rose up to represent the country ..."
Definitely do not over complicate. Be patient. Be encouraging. Be attentive to details. Never be bias-centric if you are taking a big class. And ultimately, always remember that your role as a coach is to guide and mentor athletes. Coaches should be stepping stones to allow athletes to progress further. It takes two hands to clap and when things do not go as expected just know that the effort you gave is all you could do. Lastly, enjoy the sport and every individual's growth
Any athletes/occasions you are proud of?
I once had a student athlete who started out with no obvious talent! However, this girl was an obvious late bloomer and she eventually rose up to represent the country at the regional South East Asian games in the 400m hurdles where she got fourth. However, as I have explained the moment she entered university, her focus on studies eventually led to her stopping the sport - she was 20/21 years old. It was good to see her grow from the tender age of 13, right to a young adult, where she learned to prioritise her duties, to apply what she managed to do so in her sporting years and see her thrive and become successful as a person.
At the end of the day even if your student-athletes do not win or bring back an Olympic medal/world championship medal/national record, watching them fulfill their potential in life is perhaps, the greatest gift any coach can have.
Who are you coaching at the moment, anyone we should be looking out for?
I have a few decent youth/junior jumpers on hand but I fear that their university work and NS commitments, will eventually lead them to quit the sport fully. After all this sport is more of an interest group/activity hobby ... it does not pay.
For the guys serving their NS, the moment they enter the army, I wouldn't have the opportunity to see them for a very long period as they would have to stay in and serve until the two-year period is up.
What do you think of the current state of men’s and women’s long and triple jump at the moment?
The women's triple jump record is inching closer and closer: Yulima Rojas' 15.43m being only 7cm from the outdoor record. I don't really see the other records ... Powell long jump, Edwards triple or Christyakova's long jump coming close to being beaten.
Following on … what’s required to break the men’s world record LJ, for example? What do you think is the key?
Maybe a substance or some insane growth hormone that would allow the individual to run at sub 10 speed down the run-way before taking off at the board? Drug-jokes aside, I was extremely impressed by Jamaican Tajay Gayle in Doha last year, where he jumped 8.69m to win the world championship. I believe his coach cued him to focus on his speed and he blew the competition away.
How do you organise your training?
I tend to do one day of short/medium length approach work - but that session would also include sprint work and plyometrics. We do not have the luxury of training 5-7 times a week so to be able to squeeze 3 sessions a week in is a blessing.
For my other days, it depends on the competition calendar. It could be competition style for testing, for example, 3 full attempts with board accuracy and 8-12 minutes rest between jumps thus simulating competition.
As one who sees many older athletes (especially triple jumpers) end up with pelvic imbalances, I encourage the athletes to jump with both legs, in order to balance and preserve their sporting longevity.
Do you train male and female athletes differently?
Training is somewhat the same but personally I feel that they (males and females) receive cues a bit differently. It depends on the individual but there are some who need to do a drill 100 times before they are able to coordinate the same action. And then you have those that can skip to step 3 and 4 without having to even put effort and try. It all boils down to their level of learning and ability to absorb. Ultimately when an athlete has a daring and willingness attitude and that drive to train hard and smart then they will be the ones who are above their peers and who could potentially go further than others around them.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to get my athletes to come near to the national records and be up with the regional jumpers. In south east Asia, Singapore isn't anywhere near their regional rivals. The long jump leaders for men, for example, are currently 8.09m and 8.02m for Indonesia and Malaysia respectively while it is about 16.77m &, 16.70m for the triple jump (Malaysia and Philippines). Most of these athletes are full-time , who are able to train as they get support from the government.
It is a tough road ahead. I will keep trying my best to give and see if my athletes are able to come close to these standards.
"At the end of the day even if your student-athletes do not win or bring back an Olympic medal/world championship medal/national record, watching them fulfill their potential in life is perhaps, the greatest gift any coach can have in life."
Gabe with 10sec Japanese sprinter Ryota Yamagta
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