to Ruhpolding. Took ages moving all my gear out of the flat in London
down to my parents, reloading the car, trying to fulfill all my
commitments before leaving.
home about 4am; very tired, having hardly slept the previous night
either. Peculiar hallucinations on the road; got half-way to the
ferry before realising I had forgotten my rifle...
the weather is always busy: either the sun is trying to whither
you to a husk or prodigious amounts of rain, snow, frogs etc are
falling from the sky. When I arrived it was sunny, and it is a great
freedom to be wearing shorts rather than my usual suit and tie.
Joe Brooks, another of the GB squad, who will also be training here
for a while.
Spoke to Fritz
Fischer: his group starts training next Tuesday, so we will join
them then. Did not discuss any more detailed input that we might
get from him - coaching, planning, etc.
a while with Wolfgang Pichler, who has coached Magdalena Forsberg
for many years and has now been taken on as head coach to the Swedish
team. He is appalled that we do not work to a programme, and says
there is no point being here if we just improvise. He is right,
and the programme is what we hope to get from Fritz. Wolfgang tells
us that Fritz normally charges DM10,000 per year for coaching, which
is a bit of a shock.
country for training: endless country lanes, cycle tracks, footpaths
through the forests. I have never really trained on a bicycle before,
but the appeal here is terrific. I am at last getting value out
of my mountain bike; I have arranged to buy a road bike from Peter
Moysey, a langlaufer and former triathlete who lives just over the
border in Austria, in an idyllic village high in the mountains.
the cattle are grazing on the roller-ski track at the biathlon centre,
so roller-skiing is off. Fritz's group now starts next Monday. Joe
and I are both still static shooting, as neither of us is yet sufficiently
happy with his shooting to apply any further pressure to it. I identified
the fundamental problem which causes me to group worse when I fire
5 rounds at a time than when I fire 1 round at a time: there is
nothing to stop the butt from sliding out of my shoulder, and with
each shot & recock it slides a little further out. The loose
grouping is a result of my 'muscling' the rifle back into aim. I
now need to work out what to do about this: grow another muscle?
get my collar-bone broken and reset?
My knee is
a real worry; its state fluctuates but does not seem to get bettter,
despite frequent icing and both oral and topical anti-inflammatories.
I am not really doing any running, but trying to stick to cycling
and roller-skiing, which I think are probably less injurious. I
am also wearing the tailored insoles that I got from the British
Olympic Medical Centre, and doing some odd exercises to straighten
the natural bending motion of my knees (the right one particularly
bends well outside its proper plane of flexion). Fingers crossed.
from England in many ways:
- the shops
are only open when respectable citizens are at work
- there are
hardly any low-fat yoghurts etc at the supermarket
- fruit and
vegetables are of uniformly poor quality - almost every item blemished
- you have
to show your passport to get a pay-as-you-go mobile phone
- it takes
a week (and a copy of your passport) to set up an internet account
ride on the pavement
- the houses
in the villages are all bedecked with flowers at every window-ledge
- it is either
blisteringly sunny or torrentially wet, with nothing in between
yesterday when we went to the biathlon centre expecting to train
with Fritz 's group, to find no Fritz. Inferred that he is unable
or unwilling to help us and reluctant to say so.
Fritz was there, and we are to join his group, for a fee. I hope
that this will be a success, although the members of his group are
somewhat more advanced in their training than Joe and I (one won
the sprint at the European Champs this year; another won a gold
at the Junior Worlds).
tactics of shoot training with Fritz (whether I should start shooting
with a high pulse, even though I am not grouping well at low pulse),
I did quite a hard combination session - my pulse recovering less
during the shoots than sometimes during racing! (In training I generally
do not ease off before the shoots, as I wish to keep the pulse high,
for training value).
simplicity of Fritz's training programme - just lots of hard work.
Somewhat contrary to my understanding of how a programme should
be constructed, but I will go with it for the time being. Perhaps
the Germans do not find each session hard as I do, having done them
all for years already.
Went for a
mountain-bike ride with the Swedish team. Pouring rain, astonishing
steep, long hills. Got off my bike at the end gibbering, whether
due to exhaustion or to incipient hypothermia I am not sure. Will
have to be careful.
foot speed drills on the running track; a double-poling session
on the track including a fierce hill; 37km biathlon combi; horrifying
classic roller-ski hill session. Two days training. The programme
is presumably progressive, so we have another 4 months for the sessions
to get harder if training peaks in October. If my body can absorb
all this then I will end up a superman by Winter. If not...
breakthrough yesterday: did 2 4-shoot roller-ski combis, missed
3 on my first prone shoot, adjusted my sights and cleared the next
3 prone shoots; missed 1110 of my stand shoots, so both well above
my averages. More significantly, the second combi was only one miss
in 20 shots, which is a lot better than I have ever managed before.
Will have to do better today.
are amazingly quick in their shooting - when it goes well. If they
have a problem they can take longer than I do, but normally they
are extremely quick to get the first shot off, and a little quicker
than me in the rhythm between shots. I shoot nearly as fast as them
standing, but far slower prone.
My first fall!
After one of the descents I put my roller-ski off the track and
went sprawling, trying to save my rifle, my poles and myself. At
first I thought I had destroyed all three and just lay in the track
scared to move; but it turned out it was only me hurt, which will
heal soon enough.
I love to
see the huge numbers of children training, on the roller-ski track
or for ski-jumping. I suppose I was doing a similar thing with kayaking
(although without coaching) at that age, but it still makes me envious
to compare my skiing career - first time on skis at the age of 25.
ended. My shooting is coming on well; today I was trying to speed
it up and lost some of the accuracy, but was still better than my
Did a session
of heavy weights this afternoon - I was wondering when they would
come in. Interesting that Wolfgang Pichler is adamant that one should
do a lot of this sort of training, while Fritz is not. Wolfgang
also maintains that snow training in the Summer is unnecessary for
the Swedish team because roller-skis are sufficiently similar for
skating; the German men's team is in Finland this week using the
snow tunnel there.
sessions on roller-skis this week. Test week next week, with the
German junior team (I presume they train at their own clubs and
come together just occasionally in the Summer). Then on to more
Fritz is giving
me and Joe a lot more rest than the others in consideration of our
poorer state of training (this certainly applies to me, as I did
only 300 hours last year). I was initially worried about overtraining,
but if I get 3 or 4 days off per fortnight I should be able to absorb
all the training. I fear I will have to do less kayaking as that
makes quite a tough rest day.
- R knee
- from Arctic Race
- L knee
- big scrape from fall yesterday
- R knee
- little scrape from fall yesterday
- R thigh
- little scrape and big bruise from fall yesterday
- L hand/wrist
- bruise from a little uphill stumble a few days ago
- R wrist
- sore from I don't know what
- L elbow
- scraped from too vigorous contact with the shooting mat.
Two days rest
and I will be fine again.
the Stadtfest in Traunstein this weekend, and a World Cup kayak
race in Lofer, where I hope to catch up with some Cambridge friends
who I think are still in the team.