A look at the training diary of USA’s Tyron Stewart who finished second behind Greg Rutherford’s UK record in Chula Vista recently
Tyron Stewart is a new generation of jumper at the US Olympic Training Centre in Chula Vista, California. He has made major improvements as a member of the resident programme and since graduating from Texas A&M.
Under the watchful eye of coach Jeremy Fischer, the 2011 NCAA triple jump runner-up is now beginning to emerge as a contender at the long jump on the world stage. Stewart’s indoor season was the culmination of two years of development at the centre and his US indoor title, although a big breakthrough, was only the beginning of better things to come. Though only ninth at the IAAF World Indoor Championships earlier this year, 2014 has seen his indoor PB improve to 8.22m and outdoors his best now stands at a very healthy 8.39m.
Fischer has a high-class stable of notable athletes that includes Britney Reese, the 2012 Olympic champion and the 2013, 2011 and 2009 world outdoor and 2012 and 2010 world indoor champion, and Will Claye, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist at triple jump and bronze at long jump, the 2013 world outdoor bronze medallist and 2012 world indoor gold medallist at triple jump.
Fischer says: “Tyron has progressed nicely during his time with me. He was a 7.92m long jumper and I always thought he had an immense upside. He has finally put all the pieces together this year and I feel he is real close to breaking through and jumping over 8.54m, which will put him in rare company. Opening his outdoor season and jumping 8.39m was a great start, but there is a lot more there technically.”
Stewart’s family has always been athlete-centred and he says: “Everybody played sports. Dad played some semi-pro American football, mom was a high school track star and my grandpa played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders, so it’s definitely in my blood!”
The Californian, who was born in Lamar, started playing football in his fourth grade at school. However, as he points out: “I never thought that I would run and jump in track and field. When I was in the sixth grade, my brother, who did the triple jump and hurdles, was at practice one day and I saw him jump so I challenged him and I ran down the runway and jumped! My dad was the coach at the time and saw that it was pretty easy for me and I started my jumping career from that point on.”
“It’s only a matter of time before the world starts to listen”
In his eighth grade he moved to Texas and promptly quit track in his ninth grade to concentrate on football. A year later a friend convinced him to return to track.
Stewart says: “I had always done triple jump and in junior year I recorded 48ft 8in (14.83m) and in senior year I went out to 51ft 8in (15.74m). From that point on I realised that I wanted to do it professionally.”
He went to college at Texas A&M University to continue his jumping career. However, not everything went to plan. He adds: “All four years I was there I had some type of injury that held me back from jumping to my full potential. However, I finished my college career with 16.60m in the triple jump and 7.92m in the long jump.”
After that Stewart decided to train with Coach Fischer and Will Claye in Chula Vista. He explains: “I was there training to become a world-class triple jumper, but due to previous ankle surgery I decided to retire from triple jump and focus on becoming a world-class long jumper. My first year in 2012 was a pretty productive year. I went from 7.92m to 8.21m. During that time I was dealing with another injury which held me back from competing at my full potential at the 2012 USA Olympic trials.”
Injuries were never far away, though, and after the conclusion of the 2012 season, another injury during the 2013 indoor season forced him to miss most of that campaign. Stewart says: “I slipped on the board and hyper-extended my right knee, which caused a knee contusion. After that, I prepared for the outdoor season and I ended up jumping 8.14m two weeks before the USA world trials. A week before those trials I pulled my hamstring and I didn’t make the team. I really thought then that track wasn’t for me and I told myself if I got hurt one more time, I would be done with track and move on in my life. Fingers crossed, 2014 is going very well so far.”
Stewart’s 8.39m leap at the OTC High Performance Meet was the furthest jump by an American for two years. Since a 7.92m start back in January of this year, Stewart has progressed by more than 40cm and is on pace to join the elite of elites in the 28 foot club (8.54m).
So what’s his favourite workout and least favourite? “Easy”, he says. My favourite is a jump workout whenever we are bounding and jumping into the sand. My least favourite is anything that has to do with running!” And his goals? Stewart is adamant: “I only have one goal, and that is to stay healthy.”
His consistency is a major part of his make-up where he can increase his distance from round to round and has proven he can post a big mark at any point in a competition. At the US indoors he won on his final jump and at Chula Vista his big PB came in the fourth round. Stewart says: “It’s only a matter of time before the world starts to listen.”
His agent, Kuba Wasowski, adds: “I have watched Tyron develop since 2012. He is one of those athletes that you just know has the potential to be a world or Olympic champion given the right conditions.
“I believe he will achieve the highest levels of success in our sport.”
OVERVIEW OF A TYPICAL TRAINING WEEK
Monday: Warm-up, approach work, acceleration work. Olympic lifts.
Tuesday: Warm-up, short approach jumps 6-8 total steps. 5x150m, static lifting.
Wednesday: Recovery day, yoga, circuit training.
Thursday: Warm-up, technique work, long jump drills. Max velocity sprint training, mixed lifting – Olympic and static.
Friday: Abbreviated warm-up, plyometric training, hurdle mobility training.
Saturday: Active rest: pool, bike ride, elliptiGO.
Sunday: Rest day.
» The above sessions are specific to the individual athlete and may not be suitable for other athletes