A Quick Look Back Before the Long Winter Ahead

With the last camp of the training season behind me, I’m taking one final look backwards before turning my focus to winter. As always, I can’t wait for the racing to begin!

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Our June national team training camp was in Lake Placid, as seen here from Whiteface Mountain.
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We use a rollerski treadmill for technique work, because you can easily tell which techniques are more efficient or faster when you keep the treadmill at a constant speed.
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In addition to many hours of long-distance skiing and running, we do jumps (plyometrics) to train our muscles to be fast and powerful. This set of stairs at Lake Placid’s 1980 Olympic ski jumps provides more than enough steps.
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In July our women’s team headed to Europe for three weeks. We kicked off the camp in Corrençon-en-Vercors, France with Finnish biathlon superstar Kaisa Makarainen. (L-R: Chloe, Susan, Clare, Kaisa, Hallie, coach Mike).
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For the first time ever, the US Biathlon Team has a vehicle sponsor!!! Thank Auto Eder for the car and Maloja for the design. Coach Armin approves.
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After 10 days in France we drove to Armin’s hometown of Antholz, Italy. There we found snow above 3000 meters;
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…and green grass in the valley;
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…and Aperol Spritzes at the end of the hike by the lake!
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We did a lot of spectacular hiking. These cows enjoy great scenery.
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The Drei Zinnen (3 summits) near Dobbiaco, Italy, is a popular Dolomite hike for good reason.
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Back in the States in August, we had our annual summer rollerski biathlon races in Jericho, Vermont. I didn’t feel great skiing but I shot well and came away with a gold and a silver.
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From Jericho we drove to Craftsbury, Vermont for a week-long training camp. Lake Willoughby in Barton, VT, seen here from Mount Pisgah, is one of the most scenic local attractions.
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For my “days off” in August, I traveled to Munich, Germany for a long-weekend of IBU Executive Board Meetings. Here I am with my fellow board members.
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Our September camp in Lake Placid was well-timed for fall foliage.

Also in September, I had the privilege of joining the US Ski Team for a few workouts while they were in town for a camp. I learned a lot doing skate sprints with Jessie Diggins and Sophie Caldwell, shown here.

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In October we traveled west for our final training camp. We did three rollerski races to determine our World Cup team for December. I only competed in two due to fatigue but came away with a win in the mass start (pictured above).
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By the end of our Utah camp there was snow on the ground and it dropped below 0 Fahrenheit. And I think I have a standing position I like!

Susan Dunklee, Joanne Reid, Emily Dreissigacker and I will once again be representing US Biathlon in December’s World Cups. You can read the full team naming, including the men’s team and IBU Cup (2nd tier) team here. Last winter, our women’s team only had three World Cup start spots for non-relay events, but thanks to our good results we will be able to start four women in every race for the 2019-2020 season!

Overall I think this has been my best training season. I did deal with some minor issues: a neck (trapezius) spasm in June required eight days of rest and meant I couldn’t shoot normally for a month; I had a random flare-up of peroneal tendonitis (maybe) in September that required a walking boot cast for 2.5 weeks but which didn’t prevent me from rollerskiing; and I had a hard time eating enough calories in Utah to keep up with the training volume plus the added stress of high altitude which resulted in fatigue and as a consequence, skipping a race and some workouts. But these things are all trivial to an elite athlete in the grand scheme of things.

Since May I’ve had 22 rest days, 12 travel days, and 3 sick days. I’ve shot over 9,000 rounds, rollerskied for almost 200 hours and run for 100. In past years I’ve always had at least one whole month when I felt horrible, but not this year! I’ve felt mostly good, most of the time, and that’s all I can ask for.

I fly to Austria on November 9th. My return flight is on March 24th. Wish me luck!

3 Replies to “A Quick Look Back Before the Long Winter Ahead”

  1. Love reading about everything you go through prepping for a new season!

    Hope you’ll have a great new season on this side of the ocean!

    Like

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