January 31, 2008
Skiing the back section of the Ruhpolding course.
It’s been a few weeks since I wrote an update. In that time, the team finished the Ruhpolding world cup, competed at the Antholz world cup, and then had a brief three-day break before heading to Sweden for a pre-world-championships training camp.
Ruhpolding turned out to be a good, solid, world cup for me. Coming off a sub-par performance in Oberhof, I was happy to see my skiing improve. Although I am hoping to see further improvements, my skiing was good enough to put me into the top thirty for the first time this year. I placed 28th in the Sprint race and 29th in the Pursuit.
From Ruhpolding, it was on to Antholz, Italy for World Cup #6. I had reasonably solid performances throughout the week there, but at this level, “reasonably solid” doesn’t translate into a high position on the results list. Overall, I am happy with the way the last two world cups went leading into World Championships.
On the range before the relay in Ruhpolding.
After a grueling three-week racing stint, Per and Mikael scheduled in a few days of recovery. Fortunately for me, Caitlin had arrived a few days earlier to watch the races in Antholz. After the conclusion of racing, we set out for Venice and spent a couple of days touring the city and sampling a bit of the local wine. It was a great “recovery vacation” and by the time I got to Munich, I felt ready to tackle the next phase of the season: World Championships.
Cait and I in Venice.
For now, the team is back in Solleftea, Sweden (this is our fifth time here), doing some quality training and looking forward to the first races in Ostersund starting on February 9th. World Championships are by far the most important races of the year. Besides the Olympics, there is not a higher profile biathlon event. For this reason, the competition schedule allows for almost three weeks of preparation prior to the races. It is in this break that the most crucial training can make or break an athlete. Basically, the goal is to be peaked when you hit the starting line. Simple in theory – difficult in practice. For now we train, rest, and look forward to February 9th!