Thursday, 11 October, Vuokatti, Finland.
With each new training venue,
it takes a while to learn to get the best out of it, and Vuokatti
is no exception. The skiing in the tunnel is not like the real thing
and although we can shoot in there the firing point is far from
ideal. There is a good range outside with a beautiful roller-ski
track, but none of us brought roller-skis. There is a good gymn,
and even squash, badminton and tennis. We had an international game
of salibandy (indoor hockey), an exhausting hour's workout with
5 nationalities among the 10 players.
'snow' in the tunnel is of course artificial, and therefore has
little cohesion: it breaks up quickly in use, so that after half
an hour or so in the mornings (depending how many people are skiing)
it is broken into a depth of powder on a base of hard ice. Where
the powder is swept away the skis skid; where it is deep it is desperately
slow, so that getting the right forward position and weight transfer
is impossible. Still, it gets you used to handling the skis (being
long they catch more than roller-skis).
Tomorrow an early start for
Kajaani to fly to Helsinki; then 7 hours waiting for my ridiculous
Back in Ruhpolding, and very
quiet: yesterday morning I was the only one training at the biathlon
centre. The A-squads are in Vuokatti, the juniors are on the Dachstein
glacier. Huge amounts of building work are going on at the centre,
remodelling the tracks at last to comply with the minimum width
I have 2 more weeks of focused
training to do here, then back to Britain for a few days before
going to Finland and hopefully snow.
it is sunny and mild, perfect Autumn weather, the sun is so low now
that it never shines on the shooting range, which is therefore permanently
damp and cool. The roller-ski track never dries out in the forest,
so DMS roller-skis are no good now. I went for a swim in the lake
after training this morning: managed a minute, and won't try again
this year. Time to put away all those cotton T-shirts and move onto
synthetics for the Winter .
|Sunday 21 October
Went for a run yesterday...
Up to the top of the Unternberg in just over an hour, thought I
would try to traverse round the back of the mountain to make a slightly
longer route back - and ended up running for 3hr30': not what I
intended at all.
Beautiful sunshine, plenty
of people out walking. Scrambling along the lonely summit ridge,
thinking I had only the wind for company until I heard a noise and
saw a group of nine chamois scuttling away 50 yards below.
Today rain, and looking like
it will never stop, so I am staying indoors, doing my accounts and
At last: something biathlon-related
that I can do better than the Germans: double-poling sprints. I
started at the back, and gradually worked my way forward with each
successive sprint, finishing at the front. At least, I think the
others were sprinting too.
Weird shooting session this
afternoon: press-ups to Fritz's count, then jump up and fire a round
as quickly as possible. Good training.
very odd training now: the roller-ski track is more or less unusable
because of all the building works, so for two days we have done
nothing but general strength as our combination training: shooting
bouts separated by press-ups, dips, depth jumps, star jumps, etc,
which is quite tough, though the rain keeps us cool. This afternoon
I won two such combis, shooting clear on the first (with 20 shots)
and missing one (the last, of course) on the second.
summer's training over, and as usual the wish that I had known back
in June what I know now. A few days rest, then out to Vuokatti again
for the beginning of the winter phase, and selection for the world