2010 Vancouver Olympics

2010 Vancouver Olympics
Welcome! It is here I hope to keep all of my sponsors and supporters up to date about my everyday life as a full time Biathlete. I will post regular updates about how my training and race season is progressing, which will hopefully provide a little insight as to exactly what my life is all about. With the Sochi 2014 Olympics fast approaching, I invite you to join me on my journey as I pursue my dreams...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

World Champs Sprint & Individual

Since my last post both the Sprint and Individual competitions have gone underway here in Korea. I procrastinated writing a post about the Sprint because I hoped that I would have something more exciting to write about from today’s 20km Individual race. Unfortunately this is not the case, and I am disappointed to say that I have not been performing to my expectations.

Saturday’s 10km Sprint race was one that I won’t forget. When I woke up the rain had stopped and our team got the word in the morning that the race would be a go. The course would be slightly modified however as parts of the original loop were now too icy and dangerous to race on. Instead or racing 3 laps of the 3.3 km course, we would now race the 2.5km course and do a double lap of 2.5km in the middle of our race.

Working hard to stay on my feet on one of the sketchy downhills

After sleeping in and killing time in the afternoon by going for a run and dry firing at the race site, we made our way to the venue to prepare for the night’s race. The organizing committee trucked in quite a bit of snow and entirely recovered the stadium and most of the course. Everything leading up to the race went normal. Conditions were far from ideal though. The snow was really soft and a mix between slush and sugary manmade ice, especially on the climbs where our skis would get buried, making it a tedious day on the body. It felt like I was trying to ski through sand at many points throughout the race. The descents on the other hand were icy and fast which made the corners on the more technical down hills super sketchy and provided spectators with a few good crashes to watch. I tried not to fight the slush while skiing and instead tried to ski as relaxed as possible which is very important to do in these types of conditions. Instead of powering through the deep snow I tried reduce muscular fatigue by taking smaller steps on the climbs while skiing with a higher tempo relying more on my engine and VO2 max as opposed muscular power. The other difficult element to deal with that night other than the snow was a strong wind that was always present and would switch to stronger gusts throughout the race. In short, I didn’t race well and got off to a terrible start with three misses prone due to having problems making the proper corrections for the wind. Shooting standing was a little better, but still not great and I was out of the running for a top 60 finish, which meant I wouldn’t be starting in the Pursuit race the next day. JP and Robin were the top Canadians on qualifying for the Pursuit in 42nd and 48th place. The only positive from the race was my skiing in which I ranked in the top 45. For me this is solid. Ski speed is all relative however, as it doesn’t do much good unless combined with an excellent performance on the shooting range.

Our wax techs working hard as usual finding us the best pair of skis for the day

I put the Sprint result aside and focused the next few days on getting prepared for today’s Individual race. Training was going very well leading up to today. Race prep yesterday couldn’t have gone much better. I was feeling strong and had seemed to have mastered the tricky wind conditions in the range. I was pumped and ready to go.

After a very thorough zero which included some visualization of different wind scenarios and a solid warm up, I was confident that I could have a good race even if the wind wasn’t favorable. The race started out awesome. I paced my skiing well and shot clean prone and had 1 miss standing. At one point on the third loop I was ranked 25th. This was until I came in for my third shooting bout and things started to go downhill. The wind had changed and this time instead of not correcting enough, I think I may have overcorrected. I left the range with 3 penalties and my next standing bout didn’t go any better. It was very frustrating but I buried my thoughts and fought hard until the end. Once again I had a great ski and once again my shooting held me back from what had the potential to be a great performance. There were a lot of misses today; even from many of the top ranked shooters. Having a lucky day on the range with conditions being the way they were was definitely the ticket to a great result today.

A view of the stadium while training during the day

I’ll take tomorrow’s training a little easier and then it’s time to focus on preparing for Sunday’s Relay race.

Results, articles, live results, and a live video feed of all the races can be found at www.biathlonworld.com

1 comment:

Emily said...

Hi Brendan!
This is Miriam's sister - great blog! I don't know if you're checking your blog while you're in Whistler - but if you are, and you see Miriam and Paul - could you tell Miriam to call me or email me soon? We're trying to meet them in Whistler, but we have no idea where they're staying!