I train a little differently from other javelin throwers due to my lack of height, spina bifida and relatively slow legs. My focus has always been on technique, sequencing, efficiency (of movement(s)) and conditioning. I believe this is one reason I have never had any shoulder or elbow problems ever, even now at 52. As I have aged my training has changed quite a bit to adjust for my aging body and age related restrictions and limitations which a lot of athletes do not do.
In my prime - 20's - I did 20% conditioning and 80% specific, now in my 50's it is 80% conditioning and 20% specific.
I have always believed in throwing year round - at different intensities, but always throw, never more then 10 days max between throwing sessions. I also believe this another reason I have never got injured.
Javelin throwers as a very general rule throw 2 / 3 times a week 30 to 50+ throws, med balls ( 3 to 5kg + 100 to 200+) and bound several times per week plus running, sprints etc. And of course weights several times a week with a focus on Olympic lifts - jerks, snatch ( narrow and wide grip) cleans and pullovers and lat pulls. Basically the entire focus is on getting the body to be explosive and reactive.
Interesting, while todays throwers are amazing athletes and far stronger then throwers of the past the distances have come down. Jan Zelezny, the World Record Holder, was the most amazing technician and is the only person to have combined both rotation with linear speed, hence no one has come within 5 meters of his record which has stood for 18 years now. Javelin throwing technique is in dark ages now. The goal now of throwers is to run as fast as possible, land upright and just try to “hit” the javelin as hard as possible. The result: lower distances and more injuries!!!
My training way back when and even now focuses on volume, pulling and flexibility especially in my shoulder(s) which is the gateway to transferring power and therefore ultimately release velocity. If the shoulder is not conditioned to be able to transfer the energy effectively and efficiently then energy will be lost, resulting in a shorter throw. In addition, extra stress will result in other parts of the body especially the elbow!
In the mid-1980, in my prime when I threw 299ft 10” I weighed 198lbs, bench pressed 400lbs and could hold my hands together – put right thumb in left hand and from the front of my body go all the way to my butt and back again to the front without letting go. I also threw 75m ( 246ft) with a javelin from a stand with a 800g javelin.
The preparation to be able to do this came from several years of throwing 10,000 med balls (6lbs) 3 times a week and lifting 5 days per week and stretching every day.
The med balls I did were against a wall sitting / laying on a bench. I changed the angle – one hole/pin every 1000 throws – so I went from supine to sitting upright.
The weights I focused on: Leg press – high reps / half squat, 50 to 100 reps with up to 600lbs. Bench press, narrow grip, incline, lat pulls and pullovers.
For conditioning I biked and swam almost every day.
As far as throwing: I threw a couple times per week but the majority of the throws where standing throws, as they were far less stressful on my body and I did a lot of golf ball throwing and also threw women’s javelins (600g).
In 2012 I came second in 8th Olympic Trials with a World Record for Masters (over 50). The preparation for this came from three years of progressively increasing my volume of throwing and pulling.
Gym throwing routine – leaning back on exercise ball: 1kg med ball 3000 throws 2 hands then / 800g/600g/400g/200g x 1500 single hand throws. Afterwards I would do a 100 racquetball hits.
Pool routine ( 3 to 4 hours ) alternating freestyle and breast stroke ( approximately 18,000 to 20,000 total pulls)
Stretching 30minute + every day
Weights: Incline bench and incline dumbbells, pullovers, lat pulls, jumps squats, leg press, step-ups, abs 500 to a 1000 reps.
Track workout: Running drills, throwing drills, 1 kg med balls throws (100 before plus 400/500 kneeling after) javelin throwing – standing throws to full runs 40 to 50 total, 50 to 75 standing golf ball throws, single and double leg bounding on tartan or grass depending on active or reactive day.
Cardio/ active recovery: 2 hours stationary bike
Hopefully this gives you some better insight into my world…