High Jump: For the Gents

As I promised some time ago (has it been two weeks already?!?), below is a video of the progression of male high jumpers. This is the second part of this video, so please go to youtube if you wish to watch the first part.

This is a great video, that has many great examples of fabulous high jumpers. However, I would like to apologize for the music. Creed sucked, they still suck, and they always will suck. Terrible song. Also, the last song is Van Morrison and Tom Jones. Nothing says world class athletic performance like a duet between Morrison and Jones. What were Ronstadt and Bolton not available? I guess this is a good substitute.

I think the highlights of the video are numerous, but look at the videos of Javier Sotomayor from Cuba. Sotomayor is the world record holder in the high jump, and I believe the record has stood for around 16 years now. You can see a really good example of his jumps beginning at the 4:11 part of the video. Do what you can to watch his steps, his rhythm, his distinct phases, his speed, his arms, his bar clearance...all of it. He is the world record holder for a reason. His approach is much different than ours, but you can see some of the same principles in that we use imbedded in this much different approach. The number one thing I would like to point at is the "figure 4" running motion he gets on each step. He is on his toes. He lands with his foot directly under his center of gravity, and he is running tall. We talk about this alot, but rarely is it seen in as fine of form as it is here.

Also watch the part with Sotomayor at the 6:40 mark. Yet, another reason to not give up on a jump! He stretches that bar to the very limits, but because he is well-practiced and maintains his technique the bar stays on. (There is another video of him right after this one that I also love, because not only is it a beautiful jump, but he totally snubs the little kid that comes out to give him a high-five right afterwards. So awesome.) And then beginning at around the 8:30 mark is the world record jump. It speaks for itself.

9th and 10th Championships

Congratulations are in order for the 9th and 10th grade girls. For the first time in school histor they pulled down a first place.

Awesome performances were seen by Anna N. in the 800m, Tessa M. in shot and Discus, Olivia E and Rudy S. in the 100m dash and 100m hurdles, Janey H. in the 3200, and a slew of other good female performances. And though she didn't want to do, Katrina B ran an AWESOME 200m open to pull another first place, to go along with her first place finish in the high jump. Atta girl Katrina!

The boys should not also go without mention, because some athletes had some great performances despite all the wind. Shane C. destroyed the competition in the shot and disc, our boys 800m runners had strong runs, along with the 1600m kids. Some of the sprints crew posted new best times I believe, and most importantly (to me) our boys HJers got back on track with some good jumps in pretty crappy conditions.

Coach Nack


Practice Tomorrow

If you check Coach Sep's blog you see that the distance kids are going to practice at 4pm. I think they waiting until the afternoon for all of this awful weather (????) and all this snow (????) to disappear. Because we are a team, I think it would be good for as many groups of us to be there at the same time.

So practice is on the track at 4pm for all jumpers and sprinters. I'm sure you want to keep it short and so do I, so be on time.

High jumpers, below is a video of what we'll be doing in practice:

So, I will need everyone to bring their camels, and wear their best jumping sarongs.

Just kidding (I know I had a couple of you going...I'm looking at you Paige, and Colin)

Seriously, tomorrow's practice will be no joke. It will be intense. Intense in a way that lets me define intensity. You see, workouts can typically be defined by the amount of volume or intensity they possess.
  • Volume is the amount of work which you do in a workout. So a workout with high volume would be running eight 1000m intervals like our stud distance crew does. This is a lot of volume as defined by the number of meters they run, and the number of footfalls it takes to do those runs. Rest time is usually low (compared to intensity) in this workout domain.
  • Intensity is the amount of energy put into a short effort. A workout with high intensity would be doing 5-8 thirty meter starts with a great concentration on the production of force over the short period of time that it would take to run 30 meters. Rest is usually high in this workout domain.
Tomorrow's workout will be intense in that we will not do a ton of jumps, but will do few at very high quality. In fact, we are going for near PR/PR heights. Tomorrow's practice will be a meet simulation. It will be a competition, but competition against only yourself. Focus is a must.

See you tomorrow at 4pm.

Coach Nack

Weekend cancellations


Many cancellations for this weekends events:

JV meet at Gateway for Friday April 23, 2010: Canceled, no make up
Varsity at Dakota Ridge Invite for Saturday April 23, 2010:
Canceled, no make up

I guess that's just the way it goes, unfortunately. Frustrating, but Maybe it benefits us in the long run. This is a time to "rest". By rest I don't mean lay around the house pounding Gold Fish Crackers and energy drinks. What I mean by rest is getting way from competition. Sometimes I think the most stressful part of a track meet is not the events themselves, but rather the atmosphere of all those people and the competition. Week after week, that (when diet, sleep, and personal lives are out of balance) can get exhausting. We need to take this weekend to practice (potentially, stay tuned!), focus our mental efforts, sleep in, eat well, hydrate, do much needed homework, and ready ourselves for the final stretch of this season. Maybe this will turn out to be a blessing.

For parents and fans, next opportunity to watch your team get a win: Friday April 30 at Rocky Mountain High School in the Rocky Mountain Round Up. See you in FoCO! I see great things for that day.

I'll be at home trying to finish up some work for the Master's Degree, if you need me.


High Jump: For the Ladies

So I was going to have my first follow up post about nutrition and protein tonight, but that is bound to take a while and I must do grad school work. However, I did want to post something, and maaaann did I find a good one.

I did not think I was going to watch the following video all the way through, but once started I could not stop early. I love this video. I love it for different reasons: I'm a sucker for the piano (I wish more than anything for a team state championship, secondly I wish I could play the piano), I love the different techniques you see, I love the history, and I love the progression. Enjoy:

To my jumpers:
  • Notice the speed that is gained (for example, the very first jumper--Chaunte Howard Lowe...find some more of her on you tube. You will not be disappointed.)
  • Notice the lean in the curve (see all)
  • Notice how close these ladies are to knocking the bar off on each jump. (example: the still frame in the video above--looking at that would you guess she makes that jump) Ridiculous! The thing is, they know where it is, and they know they are close, but they do not let that deter them. They do not give up. And in the end they help us redefine what we think is possible.
Hope you enjoyed and learned a little,

Coach Nack


What should an athlete eat? part 2

An athlete should eat Protein and lots of it!

RULE: Eat around 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight during a period of heavy training. An increased level of training, such as a track season, requires higher levels of protein. Proper protein intake will help your recovery, thus also help your muscles, thus also build your strength, which will in great likelihood translate into greater speed. So for someone that weighs 150 pounds they should consume 150-225g of protein everyday.

What to eat/drink:
  • chicken
  • eggs
  • fish
  • beef
  • turkey
  • Bison
  • pork
  • venison
  • elk
  • bear
  • giraffe
  • crocodile
  • pterodactyl
  • drink milk
As you can see, meat is full of all kinds of protein. I would recommend eating more white-meat proteins like chicken and turkey, and less red meat proteins (beef, bison, etc), but sometimes it comes down to what is available. Also, fish is what I might call a superfood, so eat plenty of it, but be aware of freshness and where the fish came from--some nasty stuff gets dumped in our oceans, lakes, and rivers and all of those fish get pickled in that stuff so have caution.

Try this: when you eat meat at any meal of the day, try to double the amount until the end of the season. I am willing to bet you will see quick gains, as this will bring you closer to the 1-1.5Grams of protein per day.

Perhaps you are opposed to consuming animals. Okay, simple solution: eat a variety of beans or nuts, and if you allow it, fish. Dairy might also be a good place to look. You may also look into finding a protein powder to give you adequate levels of daily protein intake. They make some that have no product or byproduct of animals. I own a protein powder made of garbanzo beans...almond chocolate flavored...nasty, but it does the job.

About Supplements:
  • it is always a better idea to get your diet from real food, but that is often hard when you look at our schedules. So sometime it is very smart for us to use them.
  • protein powder- I personally recommend Isopure, but I believe Optimim Nutrition brand products are a good place for people to start; they are low in price, decent quality, and not too bad in the taste department either
  • protein bars- Good, in moderation
  • Amino acids- basically that's all that proteins are, because Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein. Supplementation with these can do awesome things, but of course do your own research! When purchasing, look for Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs).
  • Glutamine- I have *never* seen a bad thing about Glutamine anywhere, but that does not mean that it does not have potential side effects, so do your own research before purchasing. However, you may not find a more important amino acid for your recovery as an athlete. You will never know what glutamine does, because it gives you no feeling other than returning your body to a state of balance after a workout. So, basically glutamine helps you feel "normal" after a workout. This feeling should not be undervalued.
Buying supplements?
  • I do not recommend GNC, based on price alone.
  • I am not sure what to think of specialty supplement stores (ie, Max Muscle). Some athletes have told me of shady dealings, and many of the employees and stores like that might have an agenda to push, or a specific product to sell that may not be appropriate for you.
  • I would recommend a site like www.dpsnutrition.com; they tend to have the lowest prices (even after shipping costs), and until recently the site was fairly advertisement-free. I recommend just getting on, finding your protein, your Branch Chain Amino Acids, and your Glutamine and getting out.
That's it for now. Feel free to leave questions in the comments. Nutrition topics are huge and you (nor I) can ever know enough about them so please forgive any thing I left out or cut off short on info. The next post in this line on athlete nutrition will be on carbohydrates.

Coach Nack

What should an athlete eat? part 1

Going into this season I wanted to do a minute or so speech at the beginning of each practice detailing ways for athletes to improve their workouts, recovery, nutrition, rest, and mindset (if you think about it, when all those things are good we tend to be happy people and successful athletes). I learned during the winter season that those minute speeches would not suffice, they would be too long because they leave a lot of open so questions get asked, and some (if not most) don't get answered satisfactorily. So, maybe taking the wrong approach, I have not addressed it a single time in a large group setting of all of our athletes. I have talked to individual athletes a little bit, but I would like to attempt it here for everyone to see:

What are the good things? I will focus primarily on the macronutrients which are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. And I will do that in posts to follow. Let me leave you with the following pieces of advice:

  • You must eat within 30 minutes of finishing your workout!
  • You should eat again 1.5 hours after that!
  • I will go into greater detail what you should eat later, but for now focus on protein and carbohydrates

Thanks for reading.

Coach Nack

A disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician, I am a high school SPED teacher, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. Also, I am not a medical doctor, so never pretend that what I say will cure what ales ya'.
A point of potential bias: I have Celiac disease, which means I cannot, and do not, consume gluten which is in wheat, rye and barley. I must say that since I have adopted a gluten free diet, I feel much better, have lost weight, am much healthier, am now "missing" some strange health problems I once had, and, well again, I feel much much better. Honestly, if I could I would remove it from most everyones diet I would.However, I realize the impossibility of that. So I recommend we all try to eat just a little (or a lot) less of it, i.e. from the 6-11 (!!!) recommended daily servings of grains to perhaps 2-3 daily. For high school athletes, eat it, but make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables also.


A Little Gem

Say what you will about Nike, but one thing you cannot take away from them is their effective advertising. (There is one small instance of foul language, so careful where you watch it. Leave it to Nike to push the limits of what you can say in a commercial)

First of all, thanks to Ross Enamait for posting this on his blog (he provided everything behind this post, other than my Cutting&Pasting and typing. Blatant rip off).

To get some interaction I'd love it if in the comments you posted your favorite line in this commercial. There are some good ones. Mine coincides with Ross Enamait's:
"Passion has a funny way of trumping logic"

Coach Nack

PS almost forgot, I frequently find myself watching commercials today thinking "who sings that song?". Well the music in this one I am very familiar with: Explosions in the Sky. Check 'em out.


Two awesome jumps from PF at the Nike Valor meet

Once again, Paige at 5'4" hitting her personal best, and doing it beautifully (not to mention less than ideal conditions):

(What do you think of my Lil'Jon imitation at the end of the video?)

And though this is not her highest jump, I think this jump is amazing. One of the best I have ever seen from her. I knew she was gonna get this jump, because of one thing: Miley Cyrus.

Coach Nack


"What are those things on your feet?"

Well I have heard this question a lot lately, and I also promised to return to discuss my new Vibram Five Finger Shoes, so I will do that here.

Vibram Five Fingers with all the little piggies

There is a ton of evidence (such as this Study) to suggest that barefoot running is actually good for you, and that evidence is growing. We typically go through our lives thinking that the soft comfort of shoes is what we need, but in essence we need our barefeet as healthy and strong as they can be so we can be as healthy and strong as we can be. The Five Fingers provide the protection to our barefeet that I believe shoes were originally meant to provide, but still maintain the essence of barefoot movement. Oh yeah, and about the evidence or media review check out these: Conditioning Research, NPR, Mark's Daily Apple, New York Time's Article, Wall Street Journal Article, the Telegraph, The Boston Globe

These shoes, contrary to popular belief, are not expressly made for climbing. They are actually made for running, and simulate what it is like for humans to run barefoot. Check out the two videos that were part of a Harvard study on the difference between running with shoes, and running without them.



Want more? Check out this review from Wired Magazine, where they review the "geekiest shoes on Earth":

My review after two days of wear: really cool! I can feel my feet getting sore, which is sign that strength is being gained. The thing I am amazed by is that I cannot not run on my forefoot. In shoes I am completely prone to heelstriking, but not in these, and I am convinced that is how we are meant to run. I do not necessarily like all the questions and attention they render, but for now I think I will stick with them.

Do I recommend them for athletes? Yes, and no, depending on the athlete and where they are at in the training year.
I think distance runners could start using them for short amounts of time nearly anytime and gradually increase their usage.
Sprinters, jumpers, hurdlers, and vaulters I would not recommend the use of them in any athletic sense during a season. These athletes could use them in a casual sense away from the track during the season, or implement them in an offseason program when performance demands are not so high. As for performing any jumps: as of now I would say never use these for the jumps, particularly the high jump. The demands of the heel strike may lead to a broken calcaneus (heel bone).
And for throwers?...I don't know, I was thinking about that today. Probably not, especially with the grip that exists on the bottom; however, I wonder if the extra mobility of the foot joints would help distances. Hmmm?
Oh and you may be asking "would those be legal in a meet?" Well, yes they would. For some reason at the Ft Collins Runner's Roost Meet during the coaches meeting the FCHS coach announced that it was okay for athletes to wear "the five fingered shoes". Apparently it's catching on somewhere with high school runners.

Coach Nack

Videos from Regis

Hey high jumpers! Those of you that competed at Regis have videos posted on the videos site. Remember I need your email address to grant you access. If you view them, please leave comments.

For those that competed at Mullen I will post whatever vids I get from Coach Neale later this week.


Vibram 5 Fingers

This is probably more along the lines of a Facebook or Twitter post, but I had to share some exciting personal news.

No, I'm not getting married (silly idea...it's only been 5.7 years). And no, Jasmine isn't expecting. What am I so excited about? These:

More on these babies later, because I should be in bed (so should you if looking at a fresh posting). I will just tell you that I think everyone should own some.


Reaction to "If the state meet were held today....5A Boys/Girls"

To Begin
So I thought I would confront this article found on Colorado Track XC. Many athletes and parents look at this site I know, and there will most likely be some talk about these projections. I will start with saying that what these articles say is a small celebration of our work to date, and that is not to be overlooked. However, it is far from our desired end. I will handle the boys and girls separately below.

In the article for the boys the predicted outcome has the boys team finishing 19th. Nineteenth! I don't know about any other coach, or any athlete, but a higher finish than that is possible, especially how well our boys do towards the end of the track season. This boys team has so much potential it is scary. We could surprise some people, and oh how sweet that is. Let's not forget though--my track coach in high school told me this--that saying you have potential means you haven't done anything yet.

In the article for the girls the predicted outcome has the girls finishing seventh. This is a fairly high prediction, but if you look where those points come from you can see that we are missing some vital parts of our team and the potenial scores they can achieve. We have athletes in many other areas that can score, but mainly I refer to the relays which currently are not in the predicted scoring. This means that we can finish higher than is predicted. (Did I say that these scores are predicted?) First and foremost we have to step up our efforts and focus in practice. Second, we need great meet efforts to get high qualifications. Third, we need all our athletes reaching peak performance in the final week of the season.

To End
These numbers mean little to nothing. We may finish at these predicted points, ahead of them, or even below them. Anything is possible. The one thing I am convinced of is that those with the most focus, hardest drive, and best practice quality will finish on the platform in May; while those that don't, won't. Dedicate yourself to getting 1% better in every way possible on a daily basis, and it will pay off.



Collection of jumps to this point in the season

Forgive the shaky camera work in spots. I tend to not look at the camera, but at the athlete so the focus is not always where it should be, but I get most of the good stuff.

A lot to be happy about so far, but a lot of season left to get better.

Thought of the day: what would you be like if for the next 7 weeks/year/lifetime you committed to getting 1% better in some regard each day?