Looking forward to tomorrow’s session with a super warm and friendly group. They shoot all manner of bows, including Asian/Mongolian horse bows to English longbows and warbows — 85 lbs. of draw weight and up.
I’ve been carefully working on key elements of connective tissue preparation: a specific archery strengthening and mobility regimen from Christian Williams of Archery Strong. Even still, it hasn’t been long enough by my timetable. I’ve been seriously back at a prehab regimen for one month, and when I self-assess with my 40 lb. draw weight recurve bow, I’m just barely able to do what I consider modest and regular training sessions without a draw shoulder twinge.
I’ve seen 56 winters, and the sproing! pattern of injury goes something like this:
- Able to do lots more when younger (so the brain and CNS remember)
- Restart at a sensible lesser level (because supposedly I’m not stupid)
- Nothing unexpected happens for the first week or two
- The brakes come off, and sproing!
Tendons, ligaments, and muscles tear when you overdo at this or any age — high school athletes get them, too. But I’ve seen the above pattern up close as a particularly common pattern in older athletes, because your mind remembers how to fire off a nerve signal for 110% effort, but your 6th+ decade non-athletic dad bod (or mom bod) has settled into a happy 50% capacity. Your brain tries to cash a check in milliseconds that your connective tissues can’t afford. But they sure try, and sproing!
My first time laying hands on a warbow was 2 weeks ago, pulling both a 65 and 75 lb. draw “light” English warbow — no trouble at nearly double my current draw weight. If I’m not careful, history would suggest tomorrow is a prime opportunity for an injury that will sideline me for about 6 months.
I will definitely be going, but Ima definitely keeping the throttle to 75% max. I estimate I could, with strain and going all out, pull an 85 lb. warbow, so that equates to keeping the max for the foreseeable future to a comfy 65 lbs. Better yet would be to spend more time tomorrow pulling a 50 lb. draw weight English longbow, similar in construction but more geared for hunting than punching holes in armored men.
Tomorrow will be the high point of my archery week. The prehab and training in between laying hands on a warbow will be something else, entirely.