“That’s Biathlon” Is a phrase that summarizes the unpredictable nature of my sport. One day you can be fighting for the podium, and then the next day you are struggling to stay out of last place. I was on the losing end of “That’s biathlon” in the individual. I shot quite terribly with 11 misses, and skied rather pathetically. I am looking forward to the next 3 races (Relay, Sprint, Pursuit) and the opportunities they bring. I am confident in my preparation and ability. I am starting the relay tomorrow and I am stoked to go fight as hard as I can with my teammates. At a championship race prime directive #1 is give your best, and despite my poor performance in the Individual I left it all on the course.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I am currently in Kontiolahti, Finaland preparing for the Individual competition coming up this Tuesday. I covered nearly every form of transportation on my trip here. I drove down to Portland from Fort Kent, flew from Portland to Helsinki, and finally took the train to Joensuu, Finland. I am staying in Joensuu, but the competitions are in Kontiolahti. The trip here was long, and not without a few snags. Due to some miscommunication between different travel groups, we arrived in Helsinki expecting to meet the rest of our team, however they where nobody to be found. We waited until the last possible minute to leave the airport, but our teammates never showed. We assumed the worst (flight cancellation, missed connection, customs trouble) and made it to the train station without too much trouble. Once we figured out which train to take, we began what would prove to be the very complicated process of buying tickets. We could not but tickets from the machine with our credit cards, because they didn’t have a chip identifying them as European, and the line at the ticket counter was 60 people deep. In a last ditch effort to catch the train we recruited a Finnish woman from the ticket line to use her credit card to purchase tickets, in exchange for cash. She was in a hurry, but she politely obliged and in the process saved us from a long wait in the train station. Since my arrival I have been doing my best to adjust to the time change, learn how the course skis and how the range works. Ski conditions are absolutely ideal, while the range has been a bit tricky with some strong, but consistent wind. Today the Junior Men did a short time trial to prep for our upcoming races. All of us skied well, but I struggled on the range a bit, especially in standing. Luckily I have two more days of training to get everything dialed.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Monday, February 6, 2012
Throughout the racing season different periods of time are designated as “training blocks” Training blocks are a period of time where the total amount (volume) of training is increased. Training blocks are timed with less important races, or an off weekend. I am just finishing off a 2 week training block, in which I focused on shooting skills, volume training (long easy workouts), technique, and I even threw in some racing for good measure. My training block started after the Fort Kent NorAm, with volume and shooting training. Feeling recovered from the previous weeks racing, I headed to Valcartier, Quebec for the next stop or the North American Cup. This race series was also Canadian junior world championships trials. It was great to see friends from Canada, and take advantage of the tough competition. Conditions where soft and slow all weekend, making the races much more arduous than the races on fast tracks last week in Fort Kent. I raced well in the sprint shooting 80% and skiing well. I learned a lot about pacing on a tough course, and those lessons with be valuable on the challenging courses in Finland. In the pursuit I shot very well in prone (100 %!), but fell apart in standing ending the day with 70% shooting. I also received my first ever disqualification in the pursuit for skiing the wrong course. It is the athletes responsibility to ski the correct course, however it would have been nice to have a few more signs. I was glad to have the opportunity to race at Valcartier, as it will be the venue for Canadian Nationals, which I will be attending in the spring, since it’s only a few hours drive from Fort Kent. I was quite spent after two hard days of racing so when I returned home I focused once again on easy distance training. I ended my training block yesterday with a time trial. I took a lot of positives out of the workout, in addition to a few things I need to nail down before World Juniors. T-minus 8 days to Finland!