Dwain Chambers: Why such a radical change?

Dwain Chambers ran 6.42 and 6.46 indoors in Torino in 2009, then 6.48 in Doha to win World Indoors in 2010.

He then intentionally dropped a significant amount of muscle mass in 2011 and ran 6.54 for second in Paris last year, and so far has managed 6.58 this season. The only reference I’ve seen to his changes by UK coaches is Dan Pfaff saying that Chambers “overpushes” once he reaches top speed. Does anyone know who the architect of this change is?

I know that Chambers mentioned that last season he dropped size to “concentrate on the 100m”, but the fact is running .05 to .10 slower to 60m (especially if you’re training is short to long) is not necessarily going to help your 100m regardless of body composition changes.

Anyone have any insight on this? This change did not pay off in faster 100m times last year, yet they seem to be sticking to it again this year, and he’s got the same SB of 6.58 going into World’s as he did last year.

His SB before Doha was 6.57 and before Turin 6.51, so a drop of .09s for the main competition. Let’s see what he runs in Istanbul. Last year he ran under 10.10 six times, which is the highest number since his comeback.

He has mentioned that he is not specifically preparing for indoors this year

He’ll be 34 next month. At that age you can’t expect to approach your pb’s time after time.

This is true, but he has shown exceptional longevity in the 10.0x range. The reason I brought it up is that he is “focusing on the 100m” yet running slower in the 60m the past couple of seasons. Perhaps this means they are just training through the indoor meets, I’m not sure.

That being said, he is still consistently a 10.0x sprinter as mentioned above. I’m just curious about his programming and how it may have changed since His 6.42 / 6.46 / 6.48 form. His 6.60 today is truly subpar compared to a couple of years ago.

the guy has alot of outside stress at the mo. lord coe and his idiot disciples are giving the guy an aweful time and shame on them, the UK tabloids and BOA.

I think the key thing here is that he is getting old (and hence dealing with slower recovery and increasing injuries) yet continuing to perform at a high level. Yes his times are subpar compared to his early days but look at who is beating him, their age and background before passing judgement. I think with better guidance in his early years he could have been a true 9.8 guy.

One word. Coaching. I refuse to hear the BS about age etc. Kim Collins is still doing it as was Linford Christie. Gatlin is 30 and was away for 4 years…T-Slow, I have also noticed the huge drop off in performance. Its no coincidence that the change in coaching/training has shown different results over the 60m times from Chambers over the last two years.

Exactly, it’s not a matter of a coaching change, as he never has really had a coach and continues right now without a coach who has complete autonomy over his workouts.

TopCat, Jason, speedster, this is exactly the stuff I was wondering about. I know he is getting older, but he is just such an incredible natural athlete. For him to run 6.60 in a big international final is frankly rather disappointing.

Chambers has seemed to go off on tangents a in the past few years. At one point, he was talking about “stride length”, then more recently it has been about dropping some mass to gain better results in the 100m. This drifting off in different directions and getting away from his strengths (bonecrushing power) seems to show the hallmarks of someone without the sobering influence of a long time coach.

Once he dropped weight, I thought perhaps Pfaff had got in his ear, as he is constantly preaching “big engine small chassis”, but I don’t know who is working with who over there.

I was hoping that Kevin Tyler would take an interest in him, as they seem like an ideal matchup. Tyler has produced a number of world class athletes (Kunkel, Christopher, Muir) working off a short to long speed based program (ahem, heavily influenced by someone with the initials CF) with a long period of indoor preparation, something that sounds very similar to Chambers prep. I understand that Tyler is overseeing things rather than actively coaching, but still…

Is he an impossible athlete to coach? Or is nobody willing to touch him because of the way the holier-than-thou UK press would treat them?

I think it’s probably due to Dwain’s history that no coach wants to be associated with him.

i totally diagree about coaches avoiding him. he paid the penalty and has every right to earn in the latter years of his career. gatlin is in the exact same position but what are his governing body doing for him? they certainly aint spreading bad pr unlike chambers. the uk federation and tabloids are an absolute disgrace and i sincerely hope chambers does major things this year. he made a bad choice and went through hell so now just let the man do want he does best!

I’d say its due to Dwain being fussy about coaching that not many have been associated with him. He’s been coached by one the best (in my eyes) technical coaches in Remi. Its hard to be coached by just anyone when you’ve had that kind of high level input.

Chambers has lost a huge amount of weight since joining up with Pfaff and co. Chambers has always been able to start - Look at where he was at 40-60m in Edmonton and Seville. He was up there with Maurice and Surin. I remember Charlie telling me to work to my strengths. If Chambers is getting to 60m in 6.42 surely there’s nothing wrong with his start/acceleration!!? I’m lost as to why someone would hurt acceleration so much in the attempt/hope to get better results in the 100m. I know me personally i’d rather be leading in 6.4 in a 100m race than chasing in 6.6.

I think that what matters most in the end is 100m time/results; leading in 6"42 and running 10"00 or chasing 6"60 and running 10"00 in that perspective is the same thing.If this year he is not focusing on indoor season, maybe will show something better later in the year, who knows…For sure, changing trainng approach too often is hardly a good thing, but If He was running 6"42 and not under 10"00…probably he was not that happy.
I support working on strengths, but you cannot ignore weaknesses too.

That year he ran 6.42 he got injured that why he was not under 10.00

He went 6.42 and 10.00 (racing in the final with a calf strain) and the year before 6.48 and 9.99

Maybe he is keeping away from the stuff that injures him?

Chambers has joined Stephen Francis’ group in Jamaica.
Apparently he wasn’t happy with his indoor results either.
Full story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/athletics/9158729/London-2012-Olympics-Dwain-Chambers-to-train-in-Jamaica-as-he-waits-for-green-light-to-compete-for-GB.html

I wish him the best but there’s awful little time to change things around.

Thanks for the update! It’s good to hear he will be training with a group of fast guys. This is his last chance in all likelihood to run in high quality international competitions, and sounds like a good move.

Even though it’s never a good idea to change coaches in an Olympic year, going from potentially no coach (or getting bad advice) to Stephen Francis surely can’t hurt.