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THE KEYS TO JONATHAN E WA D U C S D R SS C E S

By Vitold Kreyer Former world record holder Vitold Kreyer takes a close look at the technique of Jonathan Edwards, analyzes his record breaking performances and provides s mec mme t o E w rst in . h atl is a slightly abbreviated o o ns n d ad a i T e rc rn g ie translation from Legkaya Atletika, Russia, No. 1, January 1997. Re-printed with permission from Modern Athlete and Coach. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS Jonathan Edwards (height 181cm, weight 71kg) was born on May 10, 1966 in London. He is married with two children. Edwards began triple jumping at the age of 17 and his training has been guided since 1968 by British National Coach Carl Johnson. L o i a E w rstp c re rv a ta h fidt q af a te1 8 o k g t d ad ie ae re e l h t e ae o u l th 9 8 n rl s l i y Olympics in Seoul and again at the 1992 Barcelona Games. His amazing breakthrough that shocked the world came in 1995 when the British star produced 18.43 (+2.4m/s) and 18.39m (+3.4m/s) performances in Lille and followed it up with 14 starts over 12 weeks that included six attempts over the 18m barrier. O s ri E w rsbehavior during competitions reveals that he is virtually b ev g d ad n always in motion, sitting down only for the change of spikes. His preparation for the next jump begin seven to eight minutes ahead of his turn. The preparation being with a series of performing high step jumps, followed by walking with emphasized arm action and a few stretching exercises. It is also interesting to note that during this short preparation Edwards never wears track suit pants. He walks around only in the top, concentrating mainly on observing the strength and direction of the wind. COMPUTER IN THE BUSH We are looking and analyzing E w rss c n atmp a te r d ad e o d t t th Wol e d Championships in Gothenburg in 1994. Although not as informative as the actual video recording, it nevertheless provides ample information on the technique of the world record holder, whose 18.29m jump at the world titles hardly differs technique-wise from his much shorter performances.

Run-up + Takeoff + Hop (18 strides, 6.33m + 10cm) As can be seen from the frames 3 to 5 in the action sequence, Edwards approaches the takeoff board without speed losses, reaching a velocity of 10.52m/s at the takeoff stride. His last strides are active and rhythmical without any obvious preparation for the takeoff. The takeoff foot is actively placed on the board at an angle of 66 and a fast forward drive of the hip assists to produce a takeoff time of 0.112 sec. The above movement structure (frames 5 to 7) leave no doubt that the aim is to produce a fast and long hop that is projected at a low angle and made possible by the 10.52m/s velocity and a stressed hip movement of hips and arms. The last, according to coach Johnson, receives special attention in training. Hop + Step (6.33m + 10cm, 5.22m) Fa e 6t 1 d m n t t c alteb n f o E w rshp mo e n ta rm s o 0 e o s ae l r h e ei f d ad is v me th t r e y t s reaches 110 a dh wd a h o 5 c f m teb d c nr o ga ity. His n i ie r c f 7 m r h o y e t f rv s e o s e takeoff leg, after a 10.52m/s velocity, is fast catapulted forward to land rolling over the heel to toes. The takeoff into the step (frames 20 to 23) begins with an energetic double arms action, that by some authorities is preferred to a single arm movement. An excellent upright body position without a noticeable lowering of the hips allows Edwards to execute another effective takeoff, reducing the velocity only slightly to 8.5m/s. This makes it possible to reach an unbelievable 6.74m in the jump phase. Step + Jump (5.22m, 6.74m) Edwards makes no preparation for the execution of the last takeoff into the jump, which is reflected by the takeoff time of t = 0.132sec. It should be noted here the similarity of the three decisive moments of his takeoffs (frames 6, 17, 29). All demonstrate only a slight drop of the hips in the amortization of the knee joint within 30 to 35. The jump in itself, although performed using a rather simple action, succeeds because of the remaining 8.5sec. takeoff velocity, an active lead leg, an upright upper body and a high position of the forward stretched legs at the landing (frames 32 to 40). ADDITIONAL ANALYSIS In continuing our analysis it is interesting to note first that Edwards apparently d e n b lv teb me h n a d t rla e b L iD h eg go po h o s ee e h i c a i l aa e s d y e a l r ru n i t i o c e f b s s 18.29m jump. The data showed a run-up velocity of 9.8m/s up to 6m before the takeoff board that increased to 11.9m/s over the last 5m. Is this believable?

There is also conflictive information on the distribution of the three triple jump phases in different performance by Edwards. According to French journal Athletisme his wind assisted 18.43m effort in Lille was made up from 6.78m + 5.60m + 6.05m (37 + 30 + 33%). The corresponding measurements made in his world title winning jump of 18.29m in 1995, made from toes to heel, instead of toes to toes, showed a distribution of 6.05m + 5.22m + 7.02m (33.1 + 28.5 + 38.4%). The most reliable distribution to the author appears to be the version published b G r a s ot c nis nE w rsti pa ewn igefra teWol y em n p rsi tt o d ad r l e s h d c i n f t th n o r d Championships in Stuttgart in 1993. His fifth jump was made up from: 17.44m (+0.1m/s) = 6.53m + 4.93m + 5.99m (37.5% + 28.2% + 34.3%) o reactivity times (t): 0.11 - 0.12-0.15 sec. o velocity losses (Vh): 0.58 - 0.42 - 0.72 m/s Al ea o ela e a i pe s nta teo p trnteb s e lh b v e v s n m rsi h th c m ue i h u h s, t o rs o s l frh rc ri o E w rsmo e n s u trs t j tr s e p n ie o te e od g f d ad v me t t c e ,r e oi , b n r u ac e distribution of distances and run-up velocities, can either make mistakes or the athlete himself makes changes according to conditions. KEYS TO TRAINING L o i a E w rst i in 1995, published by his coach Johnson, reveals o k g t d ad a ing n rn that he followed a liberally performed microcycles system. The preparation period in a traditionally periodized method appeared to be a little short, lasting 29 weeks. Fast sprinting begins in the fourth week, triple jumping from a 10- stride run-up in March, increased gradually to 16 strides and finally to the full 18-stride approach. Training was basically structured so that every fourth week in a month was set aside for recovery and testing. All this is understandable and follows the universally accepted principles. However, what is rather hard to understand is how Edwards managed to produce his exceptional performances after a long virus infection late in 1994. His amazing wind assisted 18.43m jump in Lille took place on the 170th day after the infection. It can only be assumed that Edwards somehow managed to preserve his performance capacity by a sharp general preparation after recovery. However, even if this is true, w c no ls y w n e, o d rw n e! e a n a o d rw n e, o d r y F r e i om t npe e tdb C a hJ h s ni i ts h t d ad a i ut rn r ai rs ne y o c o n o n c e ta E w rst in h f o da rn g in April and May during his sensational performance year was made up from 5 to 6 workouts a week, 18 to 20 a month. While this in the pre-season training phase can be regarded as normal, far more interesting facts appear in the test results, some rather conflicting when the development of strength and speed strength is compared with the development of speed.

Here are some examples. During the general physical preparation phase Edwards executed in 1993, 60 - 63 repetitions of half squats in 60 seconds, in 1995 he had improved to 72 to 73 repetitions. The same applies to leg raises in a hanging position, where he improved from 37 to 50 repetitions, and the standing long jump. It is interesting to note here that Edwards improved his maximal halfsquat in1994 to 235kg before this exercise was eliminated from his program. I oh r p e s e ghts E w rsi rv me t ic d di tes ac f m n te s e d t n t e t d ad o e nsn l e n h n t r r s mp u h o 85kg in 1994 to 105kg just after his 17.46m performance in 1995, in the clean from 122.5kg in 1994 to 132.5kg in 1995 and in the overhead shot throw 14.30m to 15.30m during the same time period. Considering that weight training was i ld di oE w rspo rm tret e aw e t improvements are n u e n d ad rga he i s e k he c t m acceptable but not exceptional. In contrast, the improvements in speed development are far from impressive, Edwards improved in the 30m sprint from 3.68sec in 1994 to 3.54sec. in May 1995. In the 60m sprint he was clocked 6.94sec. in training 10 days prior to his 18.43m jump. In a second test on the same day he reached 6.74sec., made up from 4.00sec. plus 2.76 sec. This means that he developed a velocity of 10.86m/s in the second half of the distance. Finally, the most specific test - the triple jump. In 1995 Edwards reached 16.10m from a 10-stride run-up, 16.70m from a 14- stride run-up and 16.60 from a full (18-stride) approach in testing. However, it has been mentioned that Edwards once succeeded in jumping over 17m from a 12- stride run-up. IN CONCLUSION A c ri t J h s n tek y h t p n a ah tp r r n ec p cys cod g o o n o ,h e ta o e s n tl e ef ma c a a i i n e s o t 30% neurological. To make it possible to control and concentrate on neuromuscular effort requires: a simultaneous recruitment of the maximal number of muscle fibres; an improved nervous regulation system; the development of elastic strenth; the avoidance of muscular hypertrophy. Fine, but how can we explain what happened to Edwards in the 1996 Olympic year. It simply was not the same Edwards we had observed a year earlier. True, he still produced technically excellent jumps and enjoyed an uninterrupted preparation for the Atlanta Games. There were no health problems, but Edwards failed to reach 18m in a series of starts in May and June. His performances ranged from 17.39m to 17.80m.

Then came Atlanta where Edwards failed to reach the qualification standard but made the final with a 16.96m jump, sufficient to be placed in the first 12. He began the final with two fouls but somehow managed to produce a 17.88m effort for the silver medal, despite a technically rather poor jump. H wc nw e p i ted frn e i E w rsp r r a c sn1 9 a d o a e x l n h i e c sn d ad ef m n e i 9 5 n a f e o 1996? It appears that his phenomenal performances in the virus infected 1995 resulted from what is in the coaching termi l y n w a te c o t in n o k o n s h l k fr n g og a ai syndrome, which occurs mainly in either early or late developed athletes. Is the last applicable to Edwards, taking into consideration that he was virtually unknown until his 17.44m performance in the 1993 world titles in Stuttgart?