For the last two weeks I’ve been training over in Europe with the men’s A Team. The goal of the camp is two fold - to begin the adaptation period from dry land training to training on snow and at the same time targeting altitude. We do a similar periodization block at around this time every year.
Our first 5 days were spent in the biathlon-crazed town of Oberhof, Germany. Every time I’m there it seems to be raining with miserable weather, but the training facilities are pretty amazing. Oberhof is home to an indoor ski hall, which creates possibly the best training facility in the world for year round biathlon training. The 1.8km snow tunnel contains an adjoining indoor biathlon range, and all is maintained at a constant temperature of -4 degrees C.
|Testing some new Salomon skis with my coach Matthias.|
|The adjoining shooting range.|
|More ski testing with our super wax technicians Tom and Pavel!|
|Doing intensity in the ski hall|
Next stop - Ramsau, Austria, which is home to the Dachstein Glacier and where I still currently am at the moment. Here we are able to engage in intensive and high altitude training. This glacier also allows for year round ski training, and is a popular destination for teams from all around the world. At peak times, the glacier resembles a bustling ant-hill. The location permits our team to move to a lower elevation following our training sessions, which provides us with a faster recovery period and more positive response to the altitude training.
|View of the glacier from the gondola station|
|Amazing skiing in fresh snow|
|View from the ski track|
|Scenery from a roller ski|
Shooting range in Ramsau
|Rollerski track in Ramsau|
|During our first night in Ramsau the Hungarian Biathlon Fan Club was passing through and payed us a visit!|
|Shooting analysis session at the University of Salzburg|
The final phase of our training camp will take place in Rupholding, another German biathlon training centre. In Rupholding, we will focus on intensity at lower elevation before making the trip back home to Canada. The rest of October will consist of hard intensity sessions and testing on the rollerski treadmill before heading back to Europe to officially begin the race season in Scandinavia!
So far the camp has been going fairly well. The snow conditions and weather for the most part have been good and I feel as though I am getting solid training hours in. I did pick up a cold early on in our second week but with a bit of extra rest I was able to get back on my feet and back to training without missing too many hours.
Although I have achieved most of my Olympic qualifying criteria, I was unable to compete last season and I still need to fight for a start on the World Cup Team. To achieve this, I am scheduled to compete at the first IBU Cup event to be held in Idre, Sweden. The top Canadian will then move up to the World Cup Team. I am working hard to be that Canadian, and will then need a top 30 World Cup finish to complete my Olympic qualification. Stay tuned for more news as my season progresses!