Comeback training

A forum to discuss overall training techniques, nutrition, injuries, etc. Discussion of actual pole vault technique should go in the Technique forum.
PV Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:00 am
Expertise: Former College Vaulter
Lifetime Best: 3.92m
Gender: Female
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Erica Bartolina

Comeback training

Unread postby altius33 » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:07 am

Hi there! I am a female, former D1 college vaulter with a personal best of 12'10" and some change. I'm 6 months out of school, but 18 months out of vaulting (didn't compete my senior year due to injuries and internships) and I'm itching to get back into it. I've decided to compete in a Master's competition in July and would love any input about getting back into pole vault training! For the last couple of months I've been easing myself back into general fitness, mostly working on getting back to fighting weight and increasing my cardiovascular health (running and biking with some bodyweight exercises). I have access to a gym and an outdoor track (though it is about -10 degrees F as I write this) and I have access to a pit once/week. Any input on how to train after some time off would be great, thanks!

PV Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:13 pm
Expertise: Club coach, high school coach, former college vaulter
Lifetime Best: 4.80
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie

Re: Comeback training

Unread postby DillonPV » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:41 pm

Hey Altius33, congratulations on reentering the world of pole vaulting again! You're probably doing the right thing gradually building back into competition form. Since we have no idea how great of shape you used to be in or how well you retained any of that fitness in your time off it probably isn't best to go spouting advice on conditioning to a former D1 athlete (I used to be one too.)

But I highly recommend the late Altius'/Alan Launder's book Beginner to Bubka! And Isinbayeva Too! To help you relearn pole vaulting as efficiently as possible. It's also full of drills as well as advice on how to properly replicate Petrov/Bubka's teachings and you'd probably be surprised at how easy it is to pick up if you haven't already been a devout student to the technical model.

I typically go easy on my kids in conditioning and favor technical practices over running. They do hard work outs but it isn't the sole focus of our training, it mostly consists of Hill sprints, short sprints, structured microcycles in the weight room that lead into macrocycles, plyometrics and lots of abs/core development.

20/20's (mentioned in Alan's book) are a drill for cadence in the run where the vaulter attempts to perform 20 steps in 20 meters, its great for preventing an athlete from reaching towards the box to be under.

Technique wise we do lots of swing ups on a high bar both for ab strength and to teach the biomechanic positioning of elastic muscles immediately after the take off. Jumping in a sand pit from 2 steps (steps, not lefts) 4 steps, and 6 steps, and gradually raising grip and staying behind a pole are also crucial drills that have drastically helped vaulters (myself included). I highly recommend doing that as soon as you aren't at risk of getting frost bite.

Long runs can wait until your confidence is back to its prime and you'd probably surprise yourself at what you can accomplish with short run technique work. Cheers!

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