Dang, that was windy

I’d planned to start at 70 yards (not meters).  Then work out to 70 meters. It was cool with the temperature around 51°F. That would have felt pretty good except for the wind. Morning practice was going to be a challenge.

It was windy. The wind was blowing steady at 12 mph with gusts up to 28 mph.  I can shoot through that – I thought.

The problem was the gusts blew my target over twice.  On the second crash, one of those gusts, which felt like more than 28 mph, I moved to a heavier target.

The heavier target is smaller and without the overhang clearance of the larger less wind adaptable target. I have lots of trees along the range lanes and some still need to be trimmed.  So, I moved closer.  It was still frustrating.

My light introductory level recurve arrows, Easton Vector 1000s, aren’t ideally suited for gusts of wind.  Trying to time a steady wind with the intermittent gusts was good practice should I, or rather when I, find myself competing is such conditions. Before any major tournament I imagine I’ll need an arrow upgrade.

I got in 70 arrows before I had to move on.  I’d lost some time setting up a blown over target twice so I didn’t get the 90-arrow practice completed.  This afternoon the wind is forecast to drop to 6 mph.  That should be a more humane practice.

Total Recovery

Sunday is supposed to be a complete recovery day.  The past 53 days have included a fair number of days to take a break.  In fact, there have been 12 days off from practice and training.

This works out to 41 days of work.  That work has been serious.  Archery-wise, shooting recurve bows exclusively, I’ve shot 5026 arrows for an average of 122.58 shots per day.   Not every day yielded 122.58 arrows.  Some days there were low counts other days the quantity was high.

This upcoming week is a recovery week.  There will be less shooting before practice ramps up though mid-October.  At present, this schedule is focused on base and form.

Mid-October holds a point where archery plans will get a major edit.  It will be the end of a quarter of shooting recurve.  It will be time for a fresh assessment and plan revisions.

In the meantime, forcing a short break is tough.

Typical Morning With Some Rain

Training and practice started early today – at 0520.  Training starts with 30 minutes of stretching and balance exercises.  (Nothing can start until my dogs are let out then fed) This is followed by breakfast, a run and then archery.  On non-recovery days, they all start in this manner.

Stretching and balance regime is done before breakfast.  This includes 25 exercises that are specifically pit together to be an ad to archery.  It takes 26 to 30 minutes to move through all the positions and stretches.

When that’s complete I have breakfast.  I wait a few minutes, using that time to make up the bed, gather River’s collar (My Labrador running partner), and don my running apparel, before we head out to trails.

The run lasts 30 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the trails we take.  Post run I do a brief workout on with my speed rope.  If you’ve never skipped rope using a speed rope give it a try.  It is a great addition to conditioning. By now I’m about 2 hours or so into my morning and it is time to move to archery.

Each archery practice begins with a plan.  The plan is based on a weekly schedule.  As improvements or goals are reached the plan evolves.  For example, replacing my string meant re-calibrating my sight tape.  That chore is incorporated into yardage practice, which was the plan for yesterday.

Yesterday, I did go beyond the planned arrow count.  My new Fairweather Tab arrived from Lancaster Archery so I added 60 more arrows as part of condition the tab.

The new tab will require a breaking in period.  The Kangaroo leather is still stiff.  So, this morning, the plan archery training plan was amended a bit.  I moved back to 18-meters and spent the morning working with the Fairweather.

As I head out to the range, I pause and let the chickens out of their coop.  They are allowed free range while I’m shooting.  They are rounded up when I return from the range.  The range is about 20 yards away from their coop and I’m hoping my shooting will discourage hawks from swooping down on my chickens. So far, so good.

Practice went well and I landed 98% of my arrows in red or better with 67% in yellow.

Rain had been forecast and the weatherman was correct.  It rained.  There was a light rain falling off and on during practice.  Minutes after I’d finished this morning’s practice it switched to a downpour.

Between morning and afternoon practice I put notes in my logbook and write these posts. I’ll also have lunch and take a short nap.  Then, it is onto the afternoon training schedule.

Tomorrow is scheduled recovery day.  I am considered adjusting my plan and moving this to an active recovery day.  That means I shoot but will use a reduced poundage bow.

This describes my morning training schedule in general. The afternoon has a similar repeat except running is replaced with cycling and there is no jumping rope.

Fairweather Tab Has Arrived

It was a day to calibrate my sight.  My initial string was unraveling and my new 60X string was on the bow.  The yardages were a bit off.  Nothing to do other than recalibrate the sight.

Sighting is dull work.  I do have flags at 5-yard increments that were placed using a tape measure.  That does save time.  The distances are from 20 yards to 75 yards.  When I want to shoot at 70 meters there is a tree than exactly marks the spot.

During the morning I worked out to 40 yards.  In the afternoon I stopped at 55 yards.  At this point I’d shot 120 arrows.  My inexpensive Avalon Classic was about worn through and I could no longer feel in my fingertips of my drawing hand.  I seemed better to finish tomorrow.

While I was shooting the mail arrived.  In it was my Fairweather Tab.  Obviously, I was going to shoot more arrows.

The pressure on fingertips is minimized using this Fairweather Tab. The bow string slides away smoothly. The ring verse an elastic pull to tighten the tab is consistent and doesn’t pinch.

And the new tab is wonderful.  The only minor issue is that the Kangaroo leather is still a little stiff and was pinching my nocks.  Another 60 arrows at 18 meters and the Roo was loosening up.

After 120 arrows and switching to the Fairweather the difference is like night and day compared to the Avalon Classic.  Those last 60 arrows were painless.

The Avalon Classic is a fair starter tab. If you shoot a lot you will be upgrading

The Avalon Classic got me started shooting an Olympic recurve.  It wasn’t a bad tab for a beginner.  The Fairweather tab is a significant upgrade.

But, I suppose in a few days of breaking in this tab I’ll need to start over on the sight calibration.

Distance Variance

Leaning to shoot a recurve despite having shot a compound bow for 6 years, 7 months and 15 days, before the switch isn’t an automatic transition. There is some transfer of the talent learned compound shooting to recurve.  For example, using the new recurve I am reaching equivalent scores at 18 meters that took 6 months to achieve with a compound bow.  What took months to reach having no experience with archery using a compound bow I matched in hours using a recurve.  Certainly, the recurve precision is not in the ballpark of where I was hitting with a compound bow when I switched.

Now that I am pretty confident the arrows leaving my recurve bow are going to land near the center of a target at 18-meters I’ve begun changing distances.  The maximum distance is just 50 yards.  There are some low hanging limbs, not a problem with a compound bow that will upset the path of arrows that has taken flight from the recurve.  The limb remedy has been arranged and hopefully I’ll soon be able to shoot from 70 meters without plant life interference.

The variance is a good addition to training distances.  Shoot a couple of hundred arrows from 50 yards and move up to 20 yards and that target feels a whole lot closer even if the yellow part is a whole lot smaller.

Beginner’s Luck

Forty-seven days ago my sub $400.00 all in price Olympic recurve rig arrived in the mail.  A few days later I had some arrows that would nock on the string so I could give the bow a try.  Nearly 100% of my switch from compound bow to recurve and focused on a distance of 18-meters.  I’ve just begun to increase yardage.

I’ve got all manner of target to keep practice fun

I’ve had the Olympic recurve for 46 days.  Twelve of those days have been recovery days.  No point in over doing it right from the start. So, I’ve actually practiced with the bow 34 times.

Even at 18-meters I’m not that good. Just 48.35 of my arrows land in the 9 or 10 ring at the moment.  I’m still learning. But, 18-meters can become awfully routine so I’ve been moving around.

60-meters is a decently long shot for a beginner

On this practice I began at 60 meters.  The Olympic recurve, since I am a beginner, had low poundage limbs, 34-pounds.  Arrows shot from 60 meters fly a while before smacking into a target.

Beginner’s luck!

I thought shooting from a longer distance from my target might improve my percentage of nine and ten strikes.  Nope, still hanging in around 50%. It, however, was fun to make some long shots.

Break Time

When I switched to recurve a designed a training schedule based on a week’s practice.  When a week was complete there would be minor changes like increasing the number of arrows per day.  The weeks are connected to specific process goals.  Each week has planned recover days.

The recover days are important.  Changing from compound to recurve means there isn’t a let-off of the poundage a full draw.  Keeping days open for recover is important to avoid an overuse injury.

There are two days of recovery per week, Wednesday and Sunday.  Eventually, there will be only one day.  For now two seems wise.

Deleting one rest day is a gradual process.  For example, I practice archery twice per day.  At the moment, I am shooting 80 arrows in the morning and 80 arrows in the afternoon (800 arrows per week).  This week I began to abbreviate the recovery.  Rather than entirely skip Wednesday I shot 80 arrows in the morning and none in the afternoon.  This will increase my weekly load to 880 arrows.

The goal for routine practice is 1200 arrows per week.  Right now, I am holding at 880 arrows per week for the month of September.  Sunday remains a complete recovery day and Wednesday is a ½ day break.

I’ll Take the Heat

It has been hot.  When I finish practice I am soaked with sweat.  When I finish running I am soaked with sweat. When I finish cycling I am sweated with sweat. But, I’ll take the heat over the cold. While the temperature is warm I can practice on my property and avoid expensive range fees.

There are several more months of nice weather before it gets so cold it becomes uncomfortable to practice outdoors.  I put up with the cold as long as possible.  Using an indoor range costs me $60.00 per month here.  It was $30.00 unlimited use per month in North Carolina.

At one shop in Maryland, where I was a frequent customer, I paid nothing to us their indoor range. I didn’t even spend a lot of money there.  I was there frequently and had become friendly with the owner and staff.

When the cold weather arrives the cost to practice increases if you are going to use an indoor range.  I suppose it is the price we pay to play. Until that time, I’ll enjoy the heat and save some cash.

Yellow Game Another Rainy Day

It wasn’t all that rainy, but it did drizzle.  Not nearly as intense of a rain as during practice a few days ago.  The rain didn’t stop the yellow game.

As I’ve mentioned the yellow games is scoring the percentage of time an archer’s arrows land in the yellow.  I find it a fun way to move though a practice session.

Having changed to a recurve bow 35 days ago the yellow game is a fun challenge. The goal is to keep all the arrows in the yellow.

My recurve is not equipped with a clicker.  I think a clicker may help improve my yellow game percentages.  Still, repeating each shot as exactly as possible without a clicker is probably a fair way to train for now.

Today’s wet percentage was 52.5%.  That was after 10 ends of 8 arrows shooting a vertical 3-spot at 18 meters. The non-yellow strikes were primarily 8s with a couple of 7s and a couple of 6s.

I am already looking forward this afternoon when I repeat the game.

Moving Back

I’ve not shot the new Olympic recurve beyond 20 yards until today.  Today, I added yardage in five-yard increments out to 45 yards.  It wasn’t horrible.

The target was a 40-centimeter single spot.  Nearly all the arrows landed in the yellow, red or blue.  A couple of first shots, as I adjusted the sight, landed in the 4 or 3 ring.  A few clicks up or down remedied that error.

Moving back

To be sure, at this point Brady Ellison need not miss sleep.  By now, since I’ve been shooting a recurve rather than my compound, Reo Wilde has been sleeping easily.

Even though I wasn’t really feeling it, I stopped after 80 arrows.  I’ll pick up where I left off during the next 80-arrow practice.

I didn’t want to stop; it felt good to move back.