Julian Edward Wruck (born 6 July 1991) is an Australian discus thrower and Olympic athlete. His personal best to date is 68.16m (223′ 7″) which places him as the Number 2 athlete on the All Time List of Australian discus throwers.
During each off-season, my main focus is on intellectual development. I try my best to improve on my understanding of discus, which I think, as a means to improve an athlete’s performance, is underrated in the throwing community. I achieve this greater understanding via two main processes.
1. A review of past performances.
I review the most recent season, and to some degree, other past seasons. I ask myself questions like:
“How was I training during the best periods of my performance?”
“What can I attribute to the points of the season where I exceeded my expectations, and to the points of the season where my throws were particularly lackluster?”
“Was there a technical idea that could have yielded big results that I didn’t give enough of a chance?” etc.
These questions usually leave me with some unexpected findings, for example, this most recent season I learnt that changes in flexibility and muscle tension alter the speed and nature of a thrower’s summation of forces (upon and just prior to release). Every season leaves me with many valuable lessons which I try to apply to my future approaches to throwing.
Based on what I have learnt from reviewing my past training and performances, I experiment with my training and technique. I may do an odd form of training for up to a month at a time to see how it affects my body. I may change my technique entirely: for example last off-season I trained a two-turn technique for about four months before realizing that I probably didn’t have enough time before competition started for the technique to feel comfortable. Here is a video of the two turn I was working on:
I treat discus throwing like an ongoing case study, involving individual scientific experiments. The exercises, volume, intensity, and frequency are the variables of the experiment and the results are measured in distance and improvement. I think that this approach is vital to developing throwing as a sport.
From these two processes I am able to come to a fairly good understanding of my current abilities, what I am able to achieve in the future, what I need to focus on to improve and how to structure a training program to further improve in light of this information. I then make a flexible plan for training, lifestyle and technical development for the following season, making minor revisions along the way.
I consider the five years I spent in the American collegiate system a success, in part due to my performances but to a far greater degree the amount I learned, the people I met and memories I can reflect on for the rest of my life. I now enter my first adult track and field season from my home back in Australia, where I have more control over when, where and how I train than ever before. Drawing from my experiences in America I am confident that the coming season could be my best yet. If my most recent competition, from just a little over a month ago where I threw 65.54m (215′ 0″), is any indication of how the upcoming season will unfold, then I think I am on the right track:
Happy new year to all and the best of luck to anyone competing in the imminent 2015 track and field season!