I for one use only a mark to start from. I measure that spot by Javelin lengths. I know how many steps I take into my pull back and then it's auto from there. I just simply place the Javelin at the toe board and go end over end till I reach the right number. This is probably the most basic of ways, that is way I use it. I have done my approach so many times that I know exactly where I am on the run way. Each Thursday before a comp on Saturday I do approach work starting from my measured spot. If I need to add length I do it then. For a meet I try and do the same as on Thursday this way I know I'm in control and not running to fast (a problem for me a times). Keep it simple on the runway if you are doing to much you loose sight of the fact that the goal is to throw far and nothing else. Rob Minnitti
set-up was something I spent countless effort on in the early 1990's. My first
meet in Europe was in Lille, France and the track went across the runway. The
steeplechase pit was close enough to the runway that the water splashed onto
the runway itself after the boys landed in the pit. I normally used a shoe or
some tape for a marker at 50 feet, my drawback point. Since there was about 30
lines on the track, and there was water etc. I couldn't see my run-up marker at
all and my run-up was terrible. This taught me to deal with the run-up at a
much higher level.
First I developed a rhythm that stayed the same as long as my intensity was there like during a competitive throw. I measured out my run-up and applied it to the runway. I allowed one javelin length for a follow through from my plant. I still needed a marker at 50 feet so I started to do anything I could to see the mark. Use two shoes, put the officials chair at my spot, move the timing clock, put a speaker from the PA system, layout my bag and some clothes etc. Whatever it took, I did it. So does everyone else for that matter.
After a few years I realized I can repeat my run-up perfectly without checking my mark just by how it felt. Once I did this I needed no check point, just the right feeling and rhythm. I almost never fouled, and hit my plant leg spot 99% of the time.
The only problem was that to practice my run-up I had to operate at a high intensity level in training to capture the same feelings. This has a positive side of course. I simply became great at my run-up and can trust it when I felt good.
My main cue is to start with a shuffling of the feet, sort of like running in place, then get going. The other main cue was to mentally and physically commit to the throw upon the drawback of the javelin itself.
Some things I learned from my main rivals...the actual drawback of the spear is usually done delicately. All the top throwers I spoke with about this agreed that on great throws, the javelin slides back into position, not jammed back.
Some throwers prefer to look sideways to the field...Raymond Hecht. This allow him to stay closed longer for his throw.
You have to attack off of both legs in the run-up to maintain body position and balance. If you run lead leg dominant, you may end up forward at the plant.
The most important cue I ever had was to simply attack my focal point in a relaxed, but very urgent fashion through the whole run. A long throw comes from a great run-up.
recommend not only a drawback mark for developing throwers, but also a mark for
the last right-foot landing. This mark (18' from the line for me) orients the
thrower back from the line to a point he can control and repeat, knowing that
if he hits his mark, he will have enough room to do what he needs to do without
fouling or (almost as bad) crowding the line. Meet after meet one sees great
athletes look great warming up, then show nothing of
that form in competition.
The technique degradation of this one factor is the single greatest restraint on the rate of progress for young throwers. Nothing is learned from fouls and from bad technique crowding the line.
An associated gripe: why do throwers insist on training and warming up with such a high percentage of foul throws? Never got a good explanation.
What I do
(might be different than others) when I foul warm up throws is as follows.
Where I would normally try to stick my block and throw, I like to just sort of
clip the block on the way by, feel a quick punch in my shoulder and let the
spear spit out to 45-50 meters, and continue to run out after it. When I do
this I also like to leave my left arm out in front of me, even during the
release. That helps me stay tall in my release.
When learning to throw I believe it is a good idea to have a mark where to withdrawal, but I would be very cautious in giving an athlete a mark for their last right foot. I think that this could cause them to change the rhythm of their crossovers to adjust where the right would touch down, by either reaching for it or putting their foot down actively to hit that mark. If they're fouling, just move each mark back a foot.