Time to Go
The day starts with a minor adventure. After a relatively leisurely breakfast everyone tumbles out of the hotel and into the minibus. It’s Toni’s turn to drive. At least it would be if he could get us out of the hotel car park. Anyone sensitive to rich language should avoid the following video:
On The Buses
After half hanging out of the window Toni manages to jab in the exit code and we’re away.
Today’s schedule, under the beating sun, incorporates hurdles and high jump drills. Whilst most of the team, me included, try to spend as much time as possible in the small amount of available shade Toni is clearly on a mission to soak up the rays.
Whilst Jess is on warm up I venture into the sunshine to get a better feel for the training facility. It really is a beautiful day. Toni gives his appraisal:
Hills and Things
Warm up complete and it’s straight into hurdles drills.
An Unusual Hurdles Layout
I’ve now watched numerous training drills and can see that constant subtle differences are always being worked on. With Bricey present the level of technical detail is off the scale and, I suspect, way beyond my ability to write down effectively, so I ask Toni to provide me with a lay person’s explanation,
“We’re trying to improve the running speed between the hurdles”.
I suggest this is one of two hurdling fundamentals, the other being the requirement to jump over, rather than through, the hurdles. The technical monologue that Toni provides by way of response puts me firmly back in my amateur box. I suggest we go back to the lay-person approach and Toni continues,
“The steps can be much more active. So instead of landing and absorbing energy you’re being active and running across the ground”.
I’ll Only Listen If You’re Fully Clothed
By now Toni has taken off his shirt and in the respite between the two sessions conversation, somewhat bizzarely, turns to waxing. I can only assume that this is because Coach’s back is smooth as a papaya. In the interests of full disclosure and transparency (warts and all remember) I’ve also had the deed done before the trip. As the needle on the Banterometer (TM) moves towards red (this is code for unprintable) Toni generously offers to assist Derry with the removal of some of his chest hair. I’m not sure you want to see this but the results are captured on camera:
Derry’s impromptu chest plucking complete it’s onto high jump. The temperature has somehow managed to notch up a few more degrees. It is still, however, undeniably lovely.
I ask Toni to once again reprise his role as coach to the lay-person but this time in relation to hurdles. He willingly obliges,
High Jump Runways
“We’re working on runways. It’s a gentle introduction into high jump. It’s about improving rhythm and consistency”.
You Want Me To Jump How High?
“And the absence of the bar?”
“You have to go somewhere so we need the jump pad but the bar can create a distraction. Hence we take it away”.
Toni and Jess crowd around Bricey’s camera to review the run up. I sidle closer to listen in. I’d tell you what they said. But I didn’t understand it. I slink back to the shade let the professionals do their thing.