Washed up Decathlete’s Comeback Journal

Posted In: Training Journals

  • Avatar
    Matt Norquist on #82944

    Final lifting day prior to dec on Friday/Saturday.

    Did mobility circuit in the morning.

    PM –




    Incline Bench –


    Dumbell Military –


    My dumbell military and incline bench are pretty ridiculous (and improving fast) given the fact that I cannot even bench 275. I’m hoping I can convert that to a big shot put.

    Did some deep tissue massage work afterward.

    Tomorrow – Drills and a little high speed work. Thursday – shake-out warm-up.

    Friday – Go.

    Mike Young
    Mike Young on #82947

    How was the quad today?

    ELITETRACK Founder

    Matt Norquist on #82952

    How was the quad today?

    90-95%. Still not quite able to go all out, but didn’t bother me at all. I think it will be fine on Friday. The good thing about being in mediocre condition is that the lack of strength means I probably cannot put in enough effort to really hurt myself 🙂

    Matt Norquist on #82995

    Full Warm-up

    Some take-off drills – x3 each LJ and HJ (pop-up type stuff). May have had an epiphany in the HJ – I’ve never been able to jump very high off 1 foot, but nailed a few today, by carrying less speed.

    2x (20m, 40m)

    Really strong.

    Self-timed from first foot strike

    First Set –

    2.85/5.05 – These were at 80% or so, just focusing on technique

    Second Set –

    2.50/4.55 (Both close to all out).

    I’m hoping I can pop out a quick 100m (11.60).

    Cooldown – 1/2 mile jog and stretch

    johnstrang on #82999

    May have had an epiphany in the HJ – I’ve never been able to jump very high off 1 foot, but nailed a few today, by carrying less speed.

    Its amazing how that works out. I have had a lot of jumps over last two years where I just need to settle down and slow down to jump higher. I just slow down everything, but try and keep last 3/4 steps accelerating.

    Matt Norquist on #83007

    Not saying I’ll jump anywhere near my PB, but hopefully will just not jump at 1.65 🙂

    Matt Norquist on #83140

    Come back meet

    Matt Norquist on #83241

    Sunday off – golfed.

    Back at it today:

    Warm-up – A few laps with miscellaneous drills mixed in.


    Sprint drills

    Hurdle Mobility

    Endurance Circuit – Just about killed myself – Sets of various core and strength exercises (IE – Push-ups, Burpees, V-ups, crunches, etc) where I’d do 30seconds of 2 exercises x2 sets (ie 2 minutes of strength work) followed by a 30 second blast down the track. Covering 190-210m and then onto the next set of exercises. 5 sets of exercises with 5 runs. x2 sets.

    Strength Circuit – Core work and quick rep push-ups, abs, jumps, burpees, etc. About 25-30 exercises x 10-15 reps each.

    Multi-jumps circuit.


    Am on a new program, and this is the first week of the cycle. Will be doing massive working on core strength – sternum to knees, throwing in squats (A2G for first time), and a lot more plyos.

    Matt Norquist on #83286

    Tuesday – 5/12

    12 minute miscellaneous warm-up – covered about 1.5 miles of jogging and drills.
    Dynamic Flexibility
    Hurdle Mobility – 4 drills – 2×8 Hurdles
    Shot Put – Tech work – really working on foot work and getting release high.
    3×30 build-ups – working on full ROM of stride
    Belly Sprints – 8x20m with 2′ rest – all out
    Multi-Jump – 4 jumps – 2-3 all out efforts each – but in flats, not spikes
    –SLJ – 9’9″ 9’11”, 9’8″
    — STJ – 28’5″, bail out.
    –3 Hop (2 legs): 29′, 30’3″, 30’6″
    Double Double – LLRR – Land – Didn’t measure first 2, due to first time doing that drill. Third time= 44′ – ankle still a little tender from weekend, so my left foot landings and take-offs were a little wobbly.

    Multi-throw – OHB, BLF, hammer releases, squat throws – 2-4x each

    Weights –

    Power Clean – 6×3 – last 3@80% (used 265# as max reference) – so last 3 sets were 210, 210, and then final was 215.
    Pause Squat – 5×5 @65% – guessed a 300# 1RM for Ass to floor squat. For pause squats, held 4 mississippi at bottom. Could not complete final sets. 4th set – rep quality was mediocre – could only get to parallel. 5th set – dropped weight.
    DB Bench Press – 5×4 @ 75-80% – 75, 75, 85, 85, 85 (final set at 8 reps). Will up weight next time I do these
    Single Leg RDLs – 3×8+8 (Left leg then right leg) – 115#

    Felt sluggish on cleans. First time doing full cleans in a long time – and had way more trouble than I do with hang cleans.


    Pause Squats – First time ever doing these. GOOD LORD they were tough. That is ridiculous. For anybody that thinks 65% of max for pause squat is easy, I dare you to try that workout!


    Matt Norquist on #83340

    Wednesday 5/13

    My legs were wrecked from the Cleans, Squats and Single Leg RDL’s yesterday. Quality today was mediocre,

    AM: Fartlek (2′ easy, 1′ hard – where hard = 800m pace) for 15′. Covered about 2 laps during easy 2′ and just shy of 1 lap on the hard 1′. Felt pretty good. My ankle is not quite recovered from HJ, but oddly, the only way I get it in order is getting it loose by working.. Also did a core GS circuit.

    PM –

    1. Conditioning Warm-up (my term) – Not sure how many non-multi guys do these, but for decathletes, getting your body used to serious amounts of warming up and cooling is essential. I’d guess in the average deca, one would spend a good 120 mins+ of ACTIVE warm-ups. Makes the pounding your body takes probably about like a marathon by the time all is said and done (but a marathon at high intensity!). This warm-up is probably about 25-30 drills and dynamic stretches and dynamic movements. Followed by 4 fairly active build-ups at the end.
    2. Dynamic Flex
    3. Sprint Development -5 different sprint drills x40 m with a 10mm sprint off at end.
    4. LJ – Short approach (8 steps) x8 – Felt super heavy and sluggish on take-offs and sloppy on landings. Was putting these out at about 5.35. My goal would be getting these short approach jumps up near 6m, which would put me in condition to jump 6.60 on full jumps.
    5. Foot stability work – strengthening feet and ankles
    6. Weight Circuit – About 20 different exercises at 12 reps per exercise, minimal (<20") rest between sets. A fairly easy circuit.
    7. More core GS work

    After just 3 days into the first microcycle my new program, I'm already feeling stronger, tighter, and can tell this will put me in goodd condition.

    Matt Norquist on #83410

    Thursday 5/14

    12 minute warm-up – mix of jog and drills.
    Static Flex
    Sprint Drills – 6 drills – 2x30m
    Hurdle Mobility – 5 drills – 2×8 hurdles
    Extensive Tempo- 16x100m @70% with 1′ rest. All 100’s between 14.2 and 15.8.

    Weight circuits – 25 exercises x 10 reps each – no rest. Light weights.

    GS – Hip and abdominal strength

    Multi-Jumps – IN sand

    Nick Newman
    Nick Newman on #83412

    Come back deca. Was ugly enough that I thought about disappearing from the site 🙂 Will give you all a blow by blow.

    I live in Chicago, meet starts at 2:15 PM. My boss calls me in for a meeting at 12:30, and I literally cannot get out of the office till 1:20 – meet is 15 minutes away. Get to my car, am on the way, and get stuff in a traffic jam (big accident in front of me). I did not get to the track and parked until 1:57 or 1:58. get changed, and probably got a maximum 7-8 minute warm-up. Not ideal for a comp. Especially given my quad troubles. So, I run the 100 as hard as I feel safe doing. Being honest, I’d say it was 95% effort. 1.6mps headwind. Kinda sucked.

    Oh, and there were only 3 decathletes!!! Deca is always a lonely event, but 3??? Come on!

    12.46 – SHIT. On the positive side, my quad was fine – but the last time I ran that slowly was as a 15 year old!

    Onto the LJ. 5.87. This is right where I expected to be, and an encouraging sign that my switched take-off foot is working. 1.7mps headwind here, too. I left a fair bit on the board (4″ back), and definitely left a good bit on the landing. But all in all, I’ve got to say I was please with LJ> Got a chance to warm-up too, and watching the video, can see that my run looks a LOT better than the 100.

    SP – 11.32 or 11.42 – something like that. Real annoying. I did some OHB past 16.0 in warm-up and BLF at 14.0, so I thought I’d nail it. Foot fouled first throw at 12.xx, and just couldn’t stick the next 2.

    HJ – 1.63 – Opening height. I turned my ankle on my first attempt at 1.69 – a weird inward sprain or something. Hurt like hell. I have done almost no practice at this event (2 sessions since 2000!) but that is pretty pathetic. I scissored over 1.60 in warm-ups which is a good sign though. In old days, I generally jumped 20cm higher than my scissors. I suspect this is all about repetitions and it will pick up.

    Didn’t run the 400. The ankle was swelling up, so I iced and took off so that I’d have a good chance to run today.

    Between days — As we’ve all discussed, diet is super important. What did I do for dinner?? Friends in from out of town and a colleague’s going away party led to an evening that included only bar snacks and a lot of beer. The plus side of being an old guy who only runs for himself is that nobody is counting on me, and I can do that kind of thing. (Friends are only in town once in awhile, so that takes priority!).

    The downside?? I woke up this morning feeling a bit as though I had just crossed a desert without food or water, only to reach the other side and proceed to get beat up with baseball bats. That was a bad hangover. Drinks, no food, probably mildly dehydrated to begin with…. Not a good combo!

    Hurdles at 10:00 AM – another thing – Meet organizers: Please do not ever start day 2 decs at 10. That is ridiculous. 12 or 1 lets us get a lot more recovery time and sleep.

    Ran a 17.38. This is pretty bad, but I actually wasn’t that bothered by this one. Was just glad to finish the race. Ankle bothered me in warm-ups and I felt it during the race, but not terribly. I clobbered the 8th hurdle and nearly went down – 5 steps to hurdle 9, but fought back and 3 stepped to hurdle 10 and finished strong. Even though it is slow, I’m OK with it considering it is my first 110 race in 9 years. I’d rate this event somewhere between my LJ and SP. Maybe even better considering last night’s activities.

    Discus – Had huge warm-ups – 3 stand throws past 35m line, and 3 full throws right at 40. Not even fully getting after it. Was really windy – left to right, which I actually like for discus. First throw was a monster, but 3 feet right of sector. We measured it for kicks – 42.27. Shit that would have been nice. Ankle really starting to seize up on my now… Second throw – bogus foot foul (I don’t think I fouled) at 38 or 39. Had to stand throw the third – 34.86.

    Pole Vault – I don’t have poles, so was borrowing another guys’.. All he had was a 15′ series of 185, 190, 195 and 15’6″ at 180, 185, 190. These are smaller than what I use to vault with, but there’s something about it being first comp in 9 years that made me nervous. I warmed up – swing ups + 1 plant, but my ankle was like a rusty hinge, and I simply did not want to risk hurting myself – given the need I had to jump perfectly to even get on a pole.

    Javelin – 48.4x. – Warmed up pretty well. Felt good, although unable to be aggressive with getting my left foot down – which is where the big throws come. Hence, my throws were short run-up and all arm. I got a little pop, followed by funny bone type sensation on first throw, and shut it down.

    Didn’t run 1500m. Sitting out the 400 and 1500 means I can get back on my new training cycle Monday, as I don’t have the usual 3 day soreness period from a Dec. Based on my other marks, if I were to hypothesize on my other events, I suspect I would have run a 54.x a 3.70 vault, and a 4:40 or 4:45 1500m. Which would have added 1800+ to my score

    390x for 7 events. Figure a 5700 or so, if I’d done whole thing. This is worse than I was hoping for, but not awful. I now know where I actually am. (I think I may have been practicing the art of deceiving myself with my self timed runs in practice)…

    I think 6000 is imminently doable this year, maybe even 6300+ – but I have work to do.

    Monday begins a new 2-3 month cycle – emphasizing physical condition over technique. Will focus heavily on lifting strength (Squats, Cleans, Incline), jumping strength (SLJ, Vertical), explosive (OHB and BLF) and speed (combo maxV and 200/400). Will probably not do a lot of meets, but instead very regular time trials and testing.
    Stay tuned.

    Im sorry about your first DEC troubles…ive got to say though, your a great story teller…i was laughing so hard at it all…

    Matt Norquist on #83414

    Im sorry about your first DEC troubles…ive got to say though, your a great story teller…i was laughing so hard at it all…

    Thanks Nick. At least I have humor going for me 🙂 Being totally serious, I wasn’t too disappointed. Not what I used to be, but I survived.

    I’m realizing as I’m starting this current cycle that:

    1. My core is very weak
    2. I probably never did enough running in my entire career
    3. My lifting was probably too limited as well

    Based on my starting point from last weekend, and comparing old training to new model, I’m extremely optimistic about my ability to begin to put up some good numbers.

    johnstrang on #83432

    Your first dec was a good start I think considering all the time you took off and troubles you encountered. I look forward to seeing how much you improve when you do another one.

    Matt Norquist on #83437

    Thanks John. I’m optimistic about how things will evolve.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 1,724 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.