Hugh Pritchard, Biathlete

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Hugh Pritchard
Biathlete.co.uk

Season's Diary

2002/03

2001/02
2000/01
1999/2000

Hugh

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2000/01 Season

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12-14 November 1999

Tauplitz (1,800m). First time on snow since March; new snow on a grass base, so rough tracks and rough technique making for a confidence-sapping skate session.

Tried a classic session but it was far too warm for any of my waxes so I just double-poled and bluffed.

Nice to get back on snow, even if it doesn't feel as good as I remember. Good to see some of the Brit biathlon team again. They think I have been training hard all Summer and am going to be racing like a demon. Little do they realise that I am a fat old has-been.

27 November-4 December

Ruhpolding (700m). Great snow already, big long sessions, trying to sort my technique out. Down in Traunstein it has rained a little and refrozen, so there is great 'go anywhere' skatng on the fields. Spent an afternoon towing a 3-year-old on a sledge: good for the legs.

Having difficulty getting my classic technique to come back (it always takes longer than the skating). Consequently not able to get maximum benefit from the high-intensity classic session I tried: a lesson for next Winter.

Visited Peter Moysey at his house near Wörgl: fantastic place to live with the ski track 50 yards from his door. We skated for over 2 hours on perfect snow.

Went to watch the biathlon World Cup at Hochfilzen, did some video for the Brit team and got a bit of gear from the traders: it looks like a good life on the World Cup.

11-18 December

Sjusjøen. My first formal coaching job. The snow arrived 3 days ago and is quite thin; the cold (-20°C) means that it will not melt, although the wind blows it about and makes it uncomfortable to ski, and especially to stand around with a video camera.

Not able to do any training of my own, but I did race in the time trials we had at the end of the week, and felt reasonably good.

27 December-3 January 2000

Ruhpolding. Quite a cadre of Brit biathletes here for Christmas and New Year: good to see a bit of keenness being displayed. I have my rifle with me so am joining them for range sessions in the mornings. Trying to work my classic skiing in the afternoons; the snow is such that I use my Peltonnen Zeta microschuppe skis which feel great but are really a cheat as they grip like roller-skis.

Did the local area championships in Eisenärzt, a 12km skate race with mass start. Got an OK start, but lost track of what was happening ahead of the guy I was immediately following, and by the time I realised I was not with the lead group, they had gone... lessons, lessons!

Last session: tried a monster classic interval, but just could not get enough grip to work hard. Very frustrating, and worrying at this stage in the season. Is it bad wax, skis or technique? I did all right in Norway on the same skis so I hope it is just that I am getting the wax wrong; but I still need to sort that out before the races start.