Brianna Glenn: Ready for Takeoff

Brianna Glenn Jumping

 

As I contemplate my own goals for athletic achievement, it is difficult for me to imagine what it must be like to pursue an Olympic dream.  Olympic athletes make enormous sacrifices (physical, financial, social, and emotional) all with the hope of representing their country and competing against talent that has taken a similar path.

Brianna Glenn has been competing and winning at an elite level in track and field for over a decade. With personal bests of 11.10 seconds in the 100m, 22.21 seconds in the 200m, and a 6.87 meter (22 feet 6.5 inches) long jump, Brianna is hoping to add one more achievement to her incredible career:  2012 Olympic medalist.  Injuries in 2008 prevented her from realizing her dream at the Beijing Olympics; however if sheer determination is any predictor of success, Brianna will certainly find a spot competing in the long jump for the United States next year in London.

Brianna has graciously agreed to answer a few of our questions:

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Heather Dorniden Kampf: Running With Passion

Heather Dorniden from The Race

Editor’s Note:  Heather Dorniden Kampf’s performance in the video below may be the most inspirational athletic performance I have ever witnessed.  It is a reminder that our perception of what is possible may be the largest limiting factor in achieving and surpassing our goals. However, life is much more than a one-and-a-half minute race and … Read more

Should Sprinting and Jumping Athletes Do Plyometrics?

What Are Plyometrics?

Probably one of the most commonly used (and abused) methods of performance-enhancement for sprinters and indeed all running and jumping athletes is “plyometrics.” Plyometrics can be defined as movements that involve fast eccentric muscle actions followed by dynamic and explosive concentric actions (aka, the stretch-shortening cycle). The best example of a plyometric drill that comes to mind is the classic “depth jump” exercise where an athlete drops off a box or step of some pre-determined height. Upon hitting the floor the athlete concentrates on explosively jumping into the air as high as possible. The purpose of this method is to “shock” the body and nervous system to produce higher levels of muscle tension and force than would normally be possible without the preceding drop. In fact, the “father” and creator of modern day plyometrics, Yuri  Verkoshansky of Russia, originally named the plyometric method the “shock” method. To understand how such a system of exercises could be beneficial or detrimental to sprinting, jumping, and indeed all athletes, let’s take a closer look at basic muscle function during movement.

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