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Setting the scene in Park City: John Farrow's Blog

26 June 2013

Skeleton athlete John Farrow suffered a major injury in 2011, but is determined to compete at his first Olympic Games in Sochi. His last blog outlined his off-ice training regime in Australia. This time the 31-year-old is heading to the USA for a change of scenery and to give him the edge in 2014...

BLOG: Strength prep in the gym and sprint work is all going well, but it is about time to start working on some skeleton start technique! This is extremely important this year because of my injury. My strongest leg is now my weakest, plus the lack of control of my left foot means I need to completely re-work my starting technique.

There is a lot of argument over quantity versus quality in training. My thoughts on this are that quality practise makes perfect racing. An endurance athlete may think different because they need to condition their body through hours and hours of work, but for sprinting well it has to be quality. Practise bad form a million times and all you will have is very bad form.

My theory is everything from the last lift of a gym session through to the small work needed in an easy corner of a skeleton race run needs to be done with the intention of being perfect. If you feel in your work you aren't making any progress, be it in the gym at the office or in a relationship, then back off your workload to around half and focus on doing everything you do to the best you can do it. I guarantee this approach will bring more growth than trying to do everything at once!

Of course, the first thing I need is a start track… But we don't have an imitation start track in Australia. Second thing I need is timing and video analysis, this will help me to develop the right way to start. So I packed my spikes and training gear, my video cameras, timing system and of course my bike and headed for Park City, Utah!

Park City is the most amazing place to be an athlete. I stayed with fellow skeleton athlete Liz Swaney (Venezuela) who had a spare room in her condo right next to Utah Olympic Park. The temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius with clear skies all week. Park City is at a very high altitude so after you adapt you get very fit. Australia’s hugely successful aerials program is based here due to the great facilities at Utah Olympic Park which is where the skeleton push track is situated. Park City also has a huge amount of mountain biking- seems like a perfect base for a skeleton athlete to me!

Along with our aerials team, some of our moguls team were also in Park City. Sam Hall and Brodie Summers were working hard on their jumps. I know Sam as we were both injured athletes last year rehabbing our knees together at NSWIS which is also where I know Brodie from.

When aerials physio Ashley Merkur invited us all out for dinner, I got to meet David Morris and our aerials girls for the first time. It was good to have a big group of Australian athletes out together in Park City!

Next update coming really soon!

Read my previous blogs:
No ice? No worries >>
Flying head first to Sochi >>

Read all Australian Winter Blogs >>