Arrows, Arrows and More Arrows

In a video a former Olympic archery shared how many arrows he shot per year.  He had an average of 226 arrows per day.  That doesn’t seem too bad.

I shoot a lot.  I don’t average 226 arrows per day.  My average is 130 arrows per day.  Some days there are less other days more.  I’m taking my time.

Over doing it from the start can lead to injuries.  Since I’m 67 years old I am perhaps more careful.  Well, I know I’m more careful today than I might have been if I’d started shooting an Olympic recurve at 17 years old.

60 meters

It hasn’t been 24 months since I picked up an Olympic recurve.  At 60 meters and 18 meters I’ve improved 0.5% per month since I began.  In few weeks I’ll do a lot more practice at 70 meters.  There’s minimal difference in my practice average points per arrow between 60 and 70 meters.

70 meters

I’ll also be gradually increasing my arrow count.

Throughout this process I have maintained 25% recovery time compared to training time.  After longer days I ice my hands, forearms and shoulders.  The goal being to prevent a long-term injury.

Georgia Cup

Arrow count isn’t a goal it is part of a process.

Shoot Fast, Circumvent Near Disaster

Often I hear archers discussing their version of target panic.  Generally, their woes go in one ear and out the other. I don’t try to chip in a remedy.  But, at the last Georgia Cup I earned a panic that I didn’t accept.

I needed a bio-break.  Of course, my target was number 2, the only target further away from the rest room was target 1.  Four minutes to make the hike, about 80 yards total, get some relief and return is plenty of time. I’d actually measured the time it took prior to the tournament starting.

Half way through the 72 arrow tournament I needed a break. The A/B line was next up and being on the C/D line no problem.

Things can go slow during an archery tournament where children are competing. Arithmetic is their downfall.  I’ve suggested before if your children are at an archery tournament to practice math skills you have them at the wrong venue.  Judges:  it would really speed things up if children have adult volunteers to help with adding. Assuming the adult volunteers are better at math than the children.

It often takes so long I rely on the official timer to remember which line is up.  I’d watched the timer when I decided to make a dash to the bathroom. On the timer A/B was illuminated.  I asked, “Is A/B up next?” The response, “That’s what the timer shows.” No problem. I kept my eye on the timer until I entered the restroom.

Walking out of the restroom I noticed there was 187 seconds left on the timer, which read C/D.  I knew I’d not been in the restroom more than a minute.  All I could do was not panic, jog to my bow, walk to the line and shoot 6 arrows, which by the time I arrived on the line read 127 seconds.

Getting ready I said to the person I’d asked regarding A/B display, “What happened to A/B?” He said, “They changed it.”

Sometimes I practice for just such an event.  I’ll shoot 10 arrows as fast as I can.  Generally, it is at 40 yards, not 60 meters. It takes arrows longer to go 60 meters than it does 40 yards.  But, 6 rushed arrows are better than 6 misses  – which would be my score if I didn’t try.

My first arrow flew at 117 seconds remaining on the timer.  My last arrow, the sixth landed with 33 seconds on the timer.  I wasn’t even the last archer on the line!  I scored 45 points out of 60, my worst end.  Six arrows in 84 seconds or 14 seconds per arrow. (My average to shoot 6 arrows in 26 seconds per arrow)

Having had practiced for such an occasion paid off.  No panic.  Just do what I’d practiced.  At the end of the day I won.

Am I The Only One Tired

Last night with had dinner with friends.  Everyone attending is a natural athlete with the possible exception of me. Honestly, these people are amazingly fit.

The group was mixed regarding sports.  The group contained a rock climber, a cyclist, two runners, a yoga instructor and me. All of these athletes are older that 62 years of age. Everyone had trained before dinner.  I think I was the only person there who was tired.

I do train hard.  At least it is hard for me.  Unless I’d taking a day specifically allocated as a recover day I shoot my Olympic recurve ((43.6# draw weight) two to six hours a day.  The six-hour days are rare as are the two-hour days. When I’m shooting I burn about 320 calories per hour.  Less than half of what I’d burn riding a bicycle or running.

I run and ride nearly everyday.  I break that up into two sessions.  I run in the morning after a 30-minute stretch and ride for 30 – 60 minutes in the mid-afternoon before my second practice shooting a bow.  It is rare to miss the 30-minute stretch and rare not to run. Some days I do miss cycling despite it being part of my training play. That typically occurs when some ‘can’t be put off any longer’ chore infringes on the time. I also lift weights two to three days per week.  To wear me out even more I train with a speed rope four time per week doing so after running.

With all that effort you’d think I might be tired from time to time. You would be correct.  But, the people at this dinner party didn’t seem phased by their athletic efforts.

The 63-year-old rock climber looked as if he could start climbing a wall without breaking a sweat.  The yoga instructor and cyclist seemed full of energy.  The runner looked as if she could head out for a marathon after dessert.  The other runner gave me frequent looks of understanding and pity. I felt like a nap would be nice.

To make is worse I wasn’t even the oldest in the crowd.  Two of these athletes are older than me.  One fellow in the mid 70’s probably has a 4% fat content and could run circles around me.  I have a 12% body fat content. When I raced I was down to 6%.  Thanks, archery.

I shouldn’t blame archery.  I blame the reduction in the level of cardio training I now do.  But, 12% body fat is considered athletic.  I don’t feel athletic, I feel tried.

In order to get the correct amount of the right caloric intake per day I record everything I eat and drink as input and all exercise is recorded as output.  Nothing every changes.

The athletes eating dinner I expect eat what they want and as much as they want.  Heck, the rock climber consumed more than double my portions.

Over the last 9.5 days of training I averaged 190 arrows per day.  This morning the schedule was for 90 arrows.  I stopped at 52.  I was too tired and my average score per arrow was awful.  I consider working through the fatigue then threw in the towel. I has been four days since my last full recover day.

During dinner I didn’t have much to say.  I was too tired to talk.  There was plenty of conversation around me so I politely smiled and provided approving monosyllable grunts. All the while being envious of the energy I didn’t have to share.

I writing this now because I cut the morning practice short. Once I’m done I’ll have lunch and that nap.

 

Move That Sight

At the 2016 NC ASA State Championship, in Mt. Airy, shooting a compound bow my arrows were all shooting to the left.  In my group was the eventual winner of the division.  He’s won a lot of tournaments, been a National Champion, Shooter of the Year, and has a stack of other championships.  In fact, I competed with and against him numerous times.  He offered me some simple advice, “Move your sight.”  I didn’t listen.

I figured the off-shots were me and that I’d gain control then begin hitting 10s and 12s rather than 10s and 8s and any moment.  I never did and walked away 5th. If I’d only listened.

During that NC ASA State Championship I was still very new to archery. I’d been shooting for 32 months.  I wasn’t at all comfortable fidgeting with my sight during a tournament. Today, that is different.

Time to twist a knob

I’ve also put down my compound bow for an Olympic recurve bow. Using that bow I’ll twist the sight knobs without a qualm.

That’s better

Adjusting your sight isn’t something that needs to be done on every shot.  If you fling a bad arrow it really might be you not the sight.  But, shoot enough and you’ll feel when it is you versus the need to make an adjustment.

Measure and Manage

On a weekly basis I use one day to replicate an archery tournament. For example, the next event on my calendar is the Georgia Cup.  I’ll shoot that tournament in the 50-year-old division at a distance of 60 meters.  That’s the practice tournament done this week – 60 meters.

During the week I’ll shoot hundreds of arrows ranging on a daily basis from 60 arrows to 200 arrows.  The maximum will eventually work up to 300 arrows per day.  The most I’ve shot in a day is 400 and I may go for a 500-arrow day this year.  For now, however 200 is my daily maximum.

Flinging arrows is good for stamina and control.  It aids in working on specific matters of form.  The practice tournament is a way to measure progress. The outcome further helps in determining adjustments for the subsequent week’s training plan.

Aside from recording the score I record the time remaining on the shot clock.  Reviewing those times versus the end’s score is important to ensure relaxed shooting during an event.  It eliminates needing to watch the clock.  It is much like an NFL quarterback who knows there is 25 seconds to receive the hike. It is a method of comparing time versus score.

If I add calories, such as a sport drink or some solid calories I record that as well.

Having a solid understand of performance during a mock-tournament will help during the real thing.

That’s Too Much $$$$$$

A friend and coach tried talking me into signing up for the Arizona Cup.  He nearly succeeded.  Just prior to clicking ‘Enter’ on the Arizona Cup web page I paused and considered the total expense.  The total estimated out-of-pocket expenses weren’t minimal. I withheld the click.

I did register for the Gator Cup.  Newberry, Florida, where the tournament is held, is an easy 5-hour drive taking back roads or a white-knuckle race down I-75 to save 40 minutes of driving. That time save using I-75 is optimistic.  Typically, road construction, a wreck, or both will eat into the I-75 time. Either way the Gator Cup is going to run me nearly $720.00 total.

The Gator Cup is in May as are the Georgia Cup and the Georgia Target Championship. The latter two competitions are within driving distance of home.  Combined entry fees for the Georgia events will run under $200.00. Total for the three events in May will be around $920.00.

For that amount of money I could run 36 local 5Ks.  Or 5 cycling time trials and 31 5ks.

I love to compete with the exception of archery.  I hate archery tournaments.  They are slow and tedious. To be fair, in 2022 it feels as if they have gotten much better.  Compared to USA Track and Field, USA Cycling, USA Triathlon or Ironman events USA Archery events generally suck.

The saying  ‘you get what you pay off ‘, aside from dumb (If you pay for something, you get it), suggests that high dollar equates to high value.  Mostly that can be true – as a generality.   You pay cheap you get cheap, you pay more you get more, or so we believe. Registration fees for sport often miss the mark of high cost for quality.

My friend, the coach mentioned in the opening paragraph tried to talk me into a State Championship 3D event.  It required shooting two times (multiple ranges) at 15 targets get time. The fee was $35.00.  Seems fair – except that comes to 7 to 8 hours total of extremely slow shooting ( of 30 arrows or $1.17 per shot). I got ready for it then paused.  I decided to keep the money.

The price to compete has gotten high. I’m not alone in feeling the pinch. (1) It isn’t just archery that is sticking it to athletes.

Once I enjoyed running marathons. I wouldn’t consider one today.  It isn’t because I don’t have a desire to train and run another marathon.  It is that I wouldn’t pay the registration fee.

Since my last marathon the cost to run a marathon, on average has increased by 35% to $112.00.  The cost of a ½ marathon has nearly doubled to $94.00 to run 13.1 miles (that means paying $7.17 per mile). (2) Even the low cost 5K isn’t really a bargain at $25.00 or $9.07 per mile. (3)

Ironman events are high dollar at an average in the US of $777.00 per event. (4) ($5.53 per mile) The registration fee is just a starting point.  Other fees and processing costs are going to jack that up. (4)

Triathlon is a very expensive sport.  A high-end bicycle is easily $13,000 to $17,250 dollars. (5,6) You’ll want to add a rear disc wheel for another $3000.00 (7) A good front wheel is just $920.00 (8) For $21,170 you can be set with a race worthy bike.

A decent wetsuit can cost another $600.00, goggles $30.00, running shoes $150.00 and a kit to wear $200.00.  (9) The gear alone for a triathlon can cost over $22,000 dollars. Once you’ve paid for all that gear you’ll be forking out dough for the triathlon.

Archery is less expensive but it isn’t cheap.  I tried to make do with inexpensive gear.  That experiment ended up costing me.  I broke one riser and warped three sets of low-end limbs.  Sadly, the limb issue developed days before two separate pricey tournaments.  (I’m now shooting mid-range limbs)

As I prepared to enter the next tournament I was surprised to learn the cost – $80.00.

One of our State organizations has announced it will be increasing their registration fee in order to provide a better pay out and have better awards.

I won the last event held by that group in the recurve class and got a belt buckle and a trophy that goes to the highest score of the male recurve archer.  (It rotates to the winner each year.) The trophy was bought years ago by a member, not paid for by the organization. I didn’t see any cash.

If I’m paying $80.00 to compete then I want the event to run fast and smooth.  I tell you I am tired of waiting while children who can’t add scores mill about the target in an arithmetic panic.  Parents may think it is wonderful their little ones are learning a sport. They’re not my kids. I don’t want to wait on your kids to solve their math problems.  It isn’t cute.

If those parents, on their cell phones waiting for their children to finish playing, can’t find some help for those children then make those kids’ parents pay $80.00 per child to enter.  Then, set a seven-minute limit on scoring.  If the kid can’t score after 7 minutes they are out and the parents don’t get a refund.  That will speed things up.

Or put some volunteers on the range who can add to help the kids.  An archery tournament is not the place for children to get a math lesson.

Rest assured if you compete in an Ironman you will not be waiting on an 8 year old to get out of your way.

Since the price of all events are increasing then show me the value.  When organization increases their enter fees they need to ask themselves, “Who cares and whose life does it make better.” If those answers are “the organizers and organizers” they have it wrong.

Reference:

1.) https://www.archerytalk.com/threads/usa-archery-outdoor-schedules-and-costs.2432372/

2.) https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a21913/the-running-racket/

3.) https://www.verywellfit.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-run-a-marathon-2911438

4.) https://mytriworld.com/cost-ironman/

5.) https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/11-of-the-best-high-end-triathlon-bikes

6.) https://www.racycles.com/bikes/road/pinarello-dogma-f-disc-corsa-pro-bike-24178?sku=10137914&affid=ggShop-US-Bikes-BR&gclid=Cj0KCQjw0umSBhDrARIsAH7FCofiqbvpD7vRnp2cvGc8ZauIY6BKaWYenpU8nQ6dZ29h_ukZU1xIpycaAufWEALw_wcB

7.) https://planetcyclery.com/zipp-super-9-disc-carbon-clincher-rear-track-white-decal?gclid=Cj0KCQjw0umSBhDrARIsAH7FCodXXXXw7lRdc_h0jTM507noO18Tv_08bLYZhj3UGykYtTQ_i9XFgw4aAkeTEALw_wcB

(8)https://www.racycles.com/black-friday-wheels/zipp-808-firecrest-carbon-clincher-front-wheel-16295?sku=10097725&affid=ggShop-US-Gear-BR&gclid=Cj0KCQjw0umSBhDrARIsAH7FCodZ9NcNkRMEy9uA1QMIVlsrSJKf-rWVChXWD7i8EHROCybGYlRTE8gaAllQEALw_wcB

9) https://zone3.us/collections/wetsuits/mens

 

 

Fugitive Pig

We live in the country.  We’re not as isolated here as we were while living in New Hope, North Carolina. Still, Good Hope, Georgia remains rural.

Our community has a Facebook page.  There, on the Facebook page, all sorts of information is shared ranging from eggs for sale to folks buying or selling farm equipment.

My wife pointed this post out to me yesterday:

 

“There’s a pig walking down Jacks Creek if anyone is missing him”

 

 

 

Help Getting Ready to 2022 Outdoor Archery

“The light was bad”

“My arm hurt”

“The arrows were wrong”

“By bow is out of tune”

“The guy next to me kept taking”

“My release felt funny”

“My cams weren’t right”

“My sight must have slipped”

“My wife has me working on a honey-do list and I haven’t been able to practice”

“I need a Hoyt so I can shoot better”

“I need an Elite so I can shoot better”

“I need (which ever bow it is that isn’t in your hand) so I can shoot better”

“I need fatter arrows”

“I should have the green pin rather than the red pin”

“I had fried chicken grease on my hand and my release slipped out of my hand” (Yes I actually heard this one)

 

 

New Target

122 cm targets aren’t cheap.  Used ones, those used in a tournament and not too badly holed, sell for $5.00 each.  New 122 cm vinyl targets run $10.00 to $12.00.  The fancy 122 cm targets with a pocketed ring to fit it snuggly on a target butt run around $20.00.  All of them wear out fast.

It is nice to replace them.  By the time a new target is up the old one is literally shot to pieces.

Here goes another $20.00.

Greater progression of athletic performance in older Masters athletes. (1)

For some time now I’ve been pointing out that Masters athletes are doing really well.  I’ve also said that Masters athletes in some sports can successfully compete against Senior athletes. That seems especially true for a sport like archery.

Nevertheless, I don’t expect to see potential sponsorships –  aside from the marketing and sales tactic of pseudo-pro staff – making way into the Masters division in archery or other sport. Masters athletes don’t get the same interest by large sport corporations as do Senior athletes.

It is affirming to know I am not alone in recognizing the advancements on the Master athletic arnea. Here’s a study that looks specifically into the matter:

Greater progression of athletic performance in older Masters athletes. (1)

BACKGROUND:

The number of new world records has decreased substantially in most athletic events in recent years. There has been enormous growth in participation at Masters events, and older athletes have been competing at the highest levels with much younger athletes. However, the progression of athletic performance over time has not been well investigated in Masters athletes.

OBJECTIVE AND METHODS:

To determine whether older Masters athletes improved athletic performance over time, running and swimming times from 1975 to 2013 were collected biennially. The running event of 100 m was chosen specifically, as it is one of the most popular track and field events that would have attracted a large number of competitors. The middle distance of 400 m as well as 100 m freestyle swimming were also examined to determine whether the results in 100 m sprint event can be confirmed in other events.

RESULTS:

The improvements in fastest 100 m running times over time were not significant. However, all the Masters age-group records improved significantly over time. The slopes of improvements over the years were progressively greater at older age groups with the greatest progression observed at oldest age groups of 75-79 years examined. The general trends were similar for 400 m middle-distance running and 100 m freestyle swimming.

CONCLUSIONS:

While younger athletes’ performance has stagnated, Masters athletes improved their athletic performance significantly and progressively over the years. The magnitude of improvements was greater in older age groups gradually closing the gap in athletic performance between younger and older participants.

Reference:

1.)  Akkari A1, Machin D1, Tanaka H1. Greater progression of athletic performance in older Masters athletes. Age Ageing. 2015 Jul;44(4):683-6. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afv023. Epub 2015 Mar 8.