At the moment, I’m in Canmore, Alberta for the National Team Pre-Season Training Camp and World Cup Trials races. In about a week, I will be competing against the rest of the American biathlon contingent for two of the five eventual World Cup positions. At the moment, Tim Burke, Jeremy Teela, and Leif Nordgren are prequalified for the first World Cup start in Ostersund, Sweden at the beginning of next month.
As an aside, the slideshow at the top of this post is a new addition to the website. The photos included are a random sampling of what I’ve been up to over the last couple of months. I believe the most recent shots (of Canmore) are towards the end of the show. The beginning features shots from our October Utah Camp, then the US Biathlon Board Meeting and Foundation Kickoff in Jackson Hole, WY, a few shots from home, and finally my recent travels in Canmore, Alberta.
I arrived in Canmore on Nov. 2nd with the hopes of getting on snow right away. Canmore was selected as our preseason training site this year as the venue staff had guaranteed snow on or before October 22. They did follow through on their promise and athletes were skiing throughout the end of October. However, due to some freakishly warm temperatures in the Bow Valley, the 800-meter artificial snow track gradually melted and, by the time I arrived, it was little more than an ice-gravel-sawdust path. However, things are looking up after a week of dryland training. The temps are now low enough to blow snow 24/7 and it looks like we will be on manmade snow within a few days.
The upcoming trials races will take place starting on Tuesday of next week. We will compete in three races and the full World Cup and Europa Cup teams will be named following the conclusion of this race series. Hopefully, I’ll be headed home for a brief pre-Thanksgiving respite and then over to Ostersund on November 25th.
It’s hard to believe that another training season is yet again drawing to a close and the World Cup tour is just around the corner. It feels like just a few weeks ago I was in Vancouver for the Olympics. As some of you may know, I was disappointed with my overall performance throughout the season last year. After a few weeks away from the sport in April, I came back to the Spring training camp with a fresh outlook and the desire to make the changes necessary to reach my goals on (and off) the biathlon course. With the help of coaches Per Nilsson and Armin Auchentaller, we crafted a specific training plan, incorporating the successful parts of previous plans and incorporating new ideas with the end goal of having a top performance at World Championships this winter. I feel like I’m on track and I’m happy with how the training has gone so far. Now, it’s just a matter of executing on the race course. Next week will be the first test!
I hope this post finds everyone happy and healthy and looking forward to a snowy (or not) winter!