Open European Championships!

Opening Ceremony OECH

I have just recently finished competing in the Open European Championships, and I have now returned to my training base in Torsby, Sweden, for the next training block leading into the Senior World Championships.

 

The start of my OECH preparations didn’t go to plan, as I became sick, but I was lucky enough to only miss a couple days of training.

Luckily I was well enough to compete in the first event, the 20km Individual. I still wasn’t feeling 100%, as I was still a bit run down, and therefore I wasn’t able to push when skiing. My Shooting was sill not on par missing 6.

The next event was the 10km sprint. After the 20km I felt like I had power in my legs. Skiing felt great! My shooting was on form only missing 1.

The last event was historical; Australia started their first men’s relay! I was the third starter, I felt really good on my skies, when I came to the range, I felt quiet unsteady, so my shooting wasn’t the best.

Unfortunately I had 2 penalty loops after my standing. We got to our fourth skier, and the team was lapped and we did not get to finish the relay, but the team and coaches were very happy with the performance.20km Individual race OECH

After OECH was finished, I packed my bags and got ready to travel back to Torsby.

After arriving in Torsby it was time to start my next Training block leading up to WCH. This is the biggest event of the year for me, so the next 3-4 weeks of training will be in preparation to this event.

 

Till next time.

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2015!

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2015 is a great year for you and I.

Australian Team

Australian Team

A lot has happened since my last blog, I have competed in IBU Cup 3, 4 & 5, and we have had a training camp in Ridnaun, Italy over Christmas and New Years with the Junior, IBU and World Cup team.

I wasn’t happy with how i performed in IBU Cup 3, Obertilliach, Austria as my shooting wasn’t in form, in the 20km individual I missed 8. On the bright side, I was extremely happy with my ski speed.
There were two sprint races, in the first 10km sprint I missed 4, the conditions were relatively icy so I felt unbalanced on my skies, so as a result of that, my ski speed wasn’t all that marvellous.
In the second 10km Sprint I was happy with my shooting, only missing 1, making this the best result i have had this season, my skiing was a little better than the first 10km sprint.

Starting of intervals

Starting of intervals

Now that IBU Cup 3 was finished we made our way to Ridnaun, Italy where our Christmas and New Years training block was held. We were all a little bit worried that there would be no snow in Ridnaun, but they had cold conditions to make snow, so there was enough snow to make a 2km track.
Most of my training sessions consisted of long slow skiing and shooting. I really focused on my shooting, I felt like my shooting has improved quiet a lot.
On the 6th of January we directed ourselves to Poland for IBU Cup 4 of 2015.

Training in Ridnaun

Training in Ridnaun

Coming to Poland I didn’t really know what to expect, once we had arrived i thought it was reasonably similar to the Czech Republic, Very flat and baron.
The weather was a slight problem in Poland, leading up to the races the range was very windy, the wind direction was always changing, the temperature increased, and the rain started to fall.
Luckily for the first 10km sprint it wasn’t raining but it was still windy! My first race wasn’t anything special missing 4 and skiing wasn’t quite where i needed it to be. Unfortunately for the second 10km Sprint, it had been raining heavily over night, the IBU was force to reduce our ski loops to 3×1.2, Shooting + 3×1.2km, Shooting + 2×1.2km, finish, to make up the 10km distance. Again the wind was still around, but it had dropped off for the race. My skiing felt a little better; I found it hard to push, as I was still a little tired from the race the day before. My shooting had improved ever so slightly missing 3.
Now IBU Cup 4 was over, it was time to pack our things yet again, and move back to Ridnaun for the next IBU Cup 5.

Duszniki Zdroj, Poland

Duszniki Zdroj, Poland

Originally the IBU Cup was suppose to be held in Langdorf, Germany, but a lack of snow and poor weather conditions have left them with no choice but to move the IBU Cup to a new venue.
It was nice to be in Ridnaun, Italy again, although I was not happy with my racing results. The loops were slightly different to what they would usually be, as there was still not enough snow to make the appropriate race course.
I wasn’t happy with my shooting and skiing results. In the 10km sprint race i missed 4, and unfortunately i didn’t qualify for the pursuit.

Now the team is on their way to Open European Championships, which is held in Otepaa, Estonia.

Till next time.

And the season begins!

Shooting in Sjusjoen

Shooting in Sjusjoen

For the last four weeks, I have been preparing for the first IBU cup, which was held in Bietostolen Norway.

The first week we trained in Torsby, then on the 8th of November we packed our bags and moved to Norway. In Norway we trained for another three weeks in a place called Sjusjoen.

 

The skiing conditions weren’t the best for the first couple of days in Sjusjoen, as they had to get tractors in to finish making the ski tracks. This was an interesting experience, as they were able to make snow and then just move it into places they needed it, something you will never see in Australia!

 

Training in Sjusjoen was great! Being able to train around some of the best athletes in the world such as Martin Fourcade and Emil Hegle Svendsen was an amazing experience.

So the first IBU cup was in Bietostolen, Norway, and all of the summer training and preparation for this season will be tested.

Training in Sjusjoen

Training in Sjusjoen

The first race of the season didn’t go as well as I had hoped. In both of my races my shooting wasn’t very good, missing 4 in the first race and 3 in the second, my skiing wasn’t as good as I had hoped, although I did feel quiet strong on the skis. I could push myself the whole race without blowing up or dying, which I think is a huge improvement from last year.

 

Now that IBU Cup 1 has finished, it was time to move down to Obertilliach, Austria. I love to ski in Obertilliach, although it has been very busy for the last week, as it has the best snow in middle Europe, and all the athletes from other teams have been training here. This week we have been training for the upcoming IBU cup, I am starting to feel a lot stronger on my skis, and this week I have really been working on my shooting. The next IBU cup was supposed to be in Martell, Italy, but has been moved to Obertilliach because there was not enough snow.

 

Till next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training in full force!

Looking over the valley

Looking over the valley

The past two weeks I experienced Obertilliach in a completely new way, being there in the summer is just as magical as winter.

After a long 30 hour drive down from Sweden and a couple of easy days training, it was time to get back into the training I left behind at the start of August.

After the first couple of days of serious training it has shown me I’ve lost a lot of the technique I had improved from the summer, but luckily my fitness didn’t seem to be lacking.

 

On the camp we did a lot of long running/walking sessions, this gave me the opportunity to see Obertilliach from a different view. The views were perfect, something you would pay top dollar to just see a photo of. These sessions were all over 3 hours, they were tough and hard on the body, but once you were at the top of the mountain and you saw the magical view the pain and hard work is all worth it, and that is something I love about being an athlete.

Walking up the mountain

Walking up the mountain

It was good to be back on a routine of roller skiing everyday! A lot of my sessions were of Gatis changing and fixing my technique. It has been a slow and painful two weeks, but my technique is finally improving. I am feeling a lot better on skies with the changes to my technique and feeling some really progressive power out of my body.

We can’t forget about the shooting, what kind of biathlete would I be if I didn’t do any shooting training. Over the time in Obertilliach we have done minor adjustments, tried different things and moved things. Luckily these changes have been immediate improvements. I’m shooting faster and more accurate with these changes, which is great since I actually haven’t picked my rifle up in over 2 months.

 

Roller skiing back to Obertilliach

Roller skiing back to Obertilliach

I’m very excited for the season to begin and I’m very eager to see how my improvements and changes will reflect on my results.

 

Now that the camp in Obertilliach is finished, it was time to make our way back to Torsby, and again this was another long trip! I’ve been back in Torsby 5 days now and nearly everyday has been rain. It isn’t quiet cold enough to snow yet, but hopefully soon it will get colder and the god’s will give us some nice white stuff to ski on. Since it has been raining, we have just been training in the ski tunnel, doing easy skiing, and focusing on the technique changes. My body is feeling rested and ready for some hard training again; the season is nearly upon us, less then 4 weeks to go till the first IBU Cup!

 

Till next time.

The start of a good Season!

So it has been quite a long time since I last wrote a blog. Over the past two months things have been crazy, and I have been a bit laid back about writing one.Australian Champs Sprint race

So I have ended up back in Australia, and am now currently in Sweden. So here’s what I was up to.

I went home back to Australia, to do a few races, train on snow and see family and friends! It was amazing to go back home to the Australian winter season, it was such a great season for Australia, it almost felt like you were skiing in Europe. When I was competing in races in Australia, it was interesting to see what my results were going to be since I was still in summer training. The Australian Championships were my first two races, one was a skate sprint, the other was a classic distance, so not my two strengths. Then I raced in the Australian Birkebeiner, which is a 21km skate race, the Birkebeiner is the biggest race in Australia! I was happy and pleased with my result, I ended up finishing 4th, it was a sprint finish with another athlete, and I sadly stumbled on the finishing line and just missed out on 3rd place by 0.6 of a second. I was absolutely shattered at the time, but it has only motivated me to push myself and train harder.

Looking back at how the race was, considering I only had one week on snow, I was still jet lagged, and having no race preparation, this race showed that my hard work and effort has paid off, and I am happy with my performance. I was very happy with my wax! I had the fastest skis out of the top athletes!

Over looking Obertilliach

The Australian Birkebeiner is the last race of the season, so it was time to get back into summer training, in my hometown Wodonga. Training at home is always a struggle, as I don’t have someone to train with, and the facilities are not as good as they are in Sweden. Despite that, the weather was perfect, and it was great to be able to catch up with my family and friends. My average day in Wodonga involved training, seeing friends and family, and of course towards the end, organizing my trip overseas, for the European winter.

I thoroughly enjoyed being back home in Australia, but now its time for some serious training, it was time to pack my bags again and return to Sweden to prepare for the upcoming European winter season. I arrived in Torsby on the 2nd of October. We had only been in Torsby for one night, when my coach Gatis decided that we should go to Obertilliach, Austria for a training camp.

So on the 4th we started a long drive down to Austria. After flying from Australia, and driving to Obertilliach, which did take a long 30 hours, I was an absolute wreck! Jet lag was really hitting me; I had never felt so tired in my life. As I had a few nights of good sleep, I finally felt on track, and I am ready to continue with my summer training, and prepare for the season!

 

Till next time!

Idre

Reindeer outside the apartment

Reindeer outside the apartment

The past couple of weeks have been full on! There have been lots of hours and lots of kilometers done! I’m seeing more and more improvements. I’m skiing faster and I’m feeling stronger.

 

Recently I’ve just come back from a weeklong camp in Idre. This summer they laid a 3.3-kilometer roller ski track. The track was very easy. There was only one major hill, and the rest of the track was flat or downhill. I feel, as the camp was successful. My body was getting punished and I was always exhausted after every session. A quote I’ve heard many times, “No pain, no gain”. Training in Idre was great, plenty of running tracks, mountain bike trails. Overall it is a boundless place to train during summer and hopefully I will be returning there next summer. At the end of my training week in Idre I had just less than 22 hours and 192 kilometres.

Looking over the land

Looking over the land

Yesterday I did a hill race the distance was 2.37 kilometers long and the elevation gain was 207 meters. It was tough! My body was still tired from the massive week in Idre, but I was still able to make an impressive time of 12.28, which is over 2 minutes faster, then the first time I did it.

Now that the Hill race was finished, it meant that it was the end of a long and intense training week.

 

Till next time.

Swedish flag at top of the mountain

Swedish flag at top of the mountain

 

 

 

Eat, Sleep, Train. Repeat

ShootingSo it’s been a while since I did my blog. A few things have happened. I’ve been doing running races nearly every week. The rest of the team have either gone to Russia or back home to Australia. My training has also picked up.

Training has been great here; I’ve already seen and felt improvements in my body. My shooting has been on the up and down side of things. There have been a lot of different athletes training here; it’s good to see different athletes from different countries training in the one place. Also my training hours and kilometers have definitely picked up, meaning I’ve had to get into a routine of eating, training and sleeping.

The weather here has been amazing! Perfect for tanning! So those long training sessions are really hitting two birds with one stone, which is always a plus!

I’ve been lucky enough to go to Karlstad on my rests days and also to the local swimming spot, which has been a nice break away and to get my mind off training for a short while.

 

Till next time.

Another fun run!

So the team is off again to another fun run in a nearby town. This time its going to be fast and furious as the distance is 6.5km. It will be interesting to see how my body will go over such a short distance.

20140628-131803-47883384.jpg
Also in other news. The weather here has definitely not been summer weather. Honestly it feels like a typical winters day in Australia, with lots of rain and cold temperatures.
Hopefully in the next couple of days the weather clears and gives us the summer we were hoping for.

20140628-132351-48231840.jpg

Sweden!

V02 Max testingI’m back in Sweden, my second home. I’m here for another couple of months doing summer training. This time I have relocated myself to Torsby, to be trained under the new IBU Cup coach Gatis.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been lucky enough to have the IBU Cup team and development team training along side me here in Sweden. So it’s been a nice couple of weeks for catching up and most importantly training!

Fun run Torsby

Training has been a bit up and down; we would do a couple of easy days followed by a couple of hard days. Generally the training has been quiet relaxed allowing us to get over jet lag and prepare our bodies for the next few months of our hard summer training block.

So what has been happening in the past two weeks? Well in this time I’ve managed to do a Vo2 Max test, fun run in Torsby, Damon’s 18th birthday and of course training!

Now that the two weeks of easy training are done, it’s time to get some real training in to make our bodies stronger, fitter and faster.

Till next time.

After training

 

 

Final Month

Pre Race Photo

Pre Race Photo

The last month of my season has gone very quick! But in a way I’m glad it has flown by, as it has been quite a long season.
Over the past month not that much has happened actually, just having a 3week-training block and the final IBU Cup. My training block started in Martell, Italy.

Through my time spent there, I familiarised myself with the technical racecourse in preparation for the upcoming IBU Cup. After those 2 weeks came to an end, the Olympic team picked me up and we relocated to Obertilliach, Austria. The last week of training was very hard, doing many intervals preparing my body for the last race of the season.

Once the week of training was over it was time to travel back to Martell for the last IBU Cup of the season. Conditions were perfect, blue skies, hot days (8degress) and good ski tracks. Coming into the race I felt great and ready. Thinking to myself I can have a satisfying result.
As my race started my first loop on the skies felt acceptable.

Warm conditions Martell

Warm conditions Martell

As I entered the range my heart rate was to high, resulting in 3 misses. After the disappointing shot, I came in for my second shoot. Again I missed 3, making that a total of 6 misses out of 10. By the third loop my skies were extremely slow. I crossed the line in 78th position. This race has been the worst result of my season and was a very unsatisfying end to my season.
Sprint Race Martell

Sprint Race Martell


Now that my season is over, it was time to pack my bags for the last time this season and move onward to Munich, Germany. From there I will be traveling back home to Australia.

Till next time