In this interview, Norwegian Javelin coach Åsmund Martinsen talks about his philosophy of training and Javelin throwing, and his incredibly successful partnership with Andreas Thorkildsen. Åsmund began working with the 17yr old Thorkildsen in 2001, and set about making the “most athletic Javelin thrower in the world” in order to develop a special talent, but also to provide a platform for a long and rewarding career. Under his tutelage, Thorkildsen won medals at all major Championships over an 8 year period, including 2 Olympic Gold Medals, a World Championship Gold in 2009 and 2 European Titles, becoming the first Javelin thrower in history to hold all three major titles.
Åsmund put together an incredibly effective training programme based on the balance of strength, speed, flexibility and gymnastics, utilising the expertise of specialists in gymnastics and sprinting, as well as strength and conditioning, to create a “superathlete” that happened to throw the Javelin, and remain healthy enough to contest for all major titles over a long career. This included establishing an Olympic record of 90.57m in Beijing 2008, and a lifetime best of 91.59m in front of a home crowd at the Oslo Bislett Games in 2006. Many videos of this special training appears on the internet and is legendary among young athletes and coaches, but in this interview Åsmund explains that a lot of work went in to the development of these skills to get to the level that are seen in these videos, and people should focus on this development of basic skills first.
A former Javelin thrower himself and a school teacher by profession, it was only after his athlete had won 2 Olympic Titles, that the Norwegian Federation felt him good enough to employ as National Coach. Following the retirement of Andreas in 2015, Åsmund is now working on developing his next special talent, a young female Javelin thrower, and we expect good results from her in the future.