At the IJA Championships this year most of the races were short sprints. In fact, only the 5K was a
“distance” run and in the scheme of distance running, this one is short.
1. Keep your throws low.
Proper distance joggling requires your throws to be at least as high as your chin but usually up to your eyes or higher. The exact height depends on your leg speed. But when your running fast, you’ve got to keep those throws lower. For the 100 meter, the throws should be lower than your neck. For the 400 or 800, throw at your chin level or lower. Lower throws will ensure your feet hit the track when your balls hit your hand.
2. Look straight ahead.
In a sprint race, runners can look left and right to see if anyone is catching up. Jogglers cannot afford this luxury. Keep your gaze straight ahead and focus on juggling. Ideally, you won’t look at the balls. Look through them and rely on your peripheral vision to make accurate catches.
3. Use heavier balls.
Anders Kierulf suggested this tip. Heavier juggling balls will be a bit harder to throw but they’ll also stay in the pattern better. You won’t have to worry as much about errant throws caused by your quicker moving arms. This is not recommended for long distance joggling because it encourages fatigue. Anders using joggling balls that are each about 1 lb (453.59 g).
4. Speed up throws with legs.
In the IJA races this year, I had 2 crucial drops. One in the 100m and one in the 200m. The problem was I increased my running pace without adjusting my juggling pattern. As you speed up, change your juggling pattern first. Then, increase your leg speed to catch up. This should actually be done nearly simultaneously but if you focus on changing your joggling pattern, you’ll be less likely to drop.
5. Practice sprinting.
There’s no doubt that sprint joggling is much different than long distance joggling. To get good, you have to specifically practice sprints with joggling. Here is a good workout to try. Begin with a 1-mile warm-up. Then joggle two faster 400 M distances with a slow (or walking) 400 M break in between. Next, try four or five 100 M sprints while joggling. Try to run as fast as you can. Cool down in between each with a 200 M jog/walk. Cool down with a 1 mile easy joggle. After a few sessions of speed work, you’ll become significantly better at speed joggling.