Quentin Fillon Maillet…An Easy Training Day
Three of every four weeks in Quentin Fillon Maillet’s training plan are hard. Then there is the easy week, still training, but with less volume and intensity, allowing for recovery but at the same time building towards the long competition season.
Rainy Day: Training Alone
Every day of summer training counts, whether hard or easy. After several days with working out with teammates including Simon Desthieux who lives nearby, Friday found Fillon Maillet alone at the Nordic Stadium Tuffes, near the French Nordic Sports Training Center at Premanon. It was a good day to be alone: 15 degrees Celsius, foggy with light rain, not especially a typical July day. Yet he minded little. “I like training with the group sometimes here and at camps, but sometimes I like to train alone and just focus on myself.”
Indoors and Electronic Targets
He calls the multi-sport stadium “a very good place to train,” challenging roller ski tracks with steep climbs and long flat stretches plus two shooting ranges. Sitting in the valley is the standard 30-point range that will host an IBU Junior Cup next season.
About 50 meters above that range on a hillside is a second 8-point range, with covered shooting positions and SIUS electronic targets as well as standard biathlon metal targets, perfect for a rainy morning. Next to each shooting position is the SIUS video screen that tracks and scores each shot, no coach needed!
Easy Week: 12 Training Hours
An easy day for a top biathlete might look like a major training session to a novice. The 2-time IBU WCH Gold medalist explained. “During a training camp, we put in 25 or more hours a week. A hard home training week is around 20 hours; this easy week, I will only have about 12 hours.” Those hours are training; not warm-up or cool down, just the hours of actual training, whether it is running, cycling, rollerskiing, intervals, or strength training.
The hard days start again late next week when the team starts their next training camp at Font Romeu and the training hours will double. Fillon Maillet is looking forward to that. “We have a new coach, Vincent Vittoz. Our first camp went very well, not a whole lot of changes. But since he was a cross-country skier, we are doing more volume work, to be stronger over the whole season. We race so much in each three weeks that there is really no training time. Then in the time at home after that, all you want to do is rest. So we really have to train a lot in the summer.”
1.5 Hours: Double-Poling and Shooting
Watching the rain fall outside, Fillon Maillet zeroed, did shooting drills and generally delayed his start, noting the indoor covered shooting range was a, “Perfect place for today.” Then it was time to start, “Just 1.5 hours, 8 loops with some intensity and double-poling and 8 shooting bouts.” The first couple of shooting bouts had some scores of 3 and 4 (10 is a center hit). He explained, “This is the first intensity with shooting. Until today, everything has just been slow-fire and accuracy.” Yet typical of a top biathlete, with a few wind adjustments to his sights while getting into a rhythm on the tracks, the shots were soon finding the center of the target. “That is where I want them to be.”
10th in Total Score
Fillon Maillet, although 10th in the World Cup Total Score last season struggled at times on the shooting range after two podiums first podiums in Östersund. His next top 3 came in the Kontiolahti sprint, where he shot clean. He explained, “I had some personal problems in the season. I tried to put them aside and it worked for a while, but then they filled my mind and I lost some focus on the shooting range. But now that is past; it is all a part of life.”
Eight Loops, 40 Shots, 1:30 and Time for Football
After the eighth loop, 40 shots fired and the clock near 1:30, training was over for the day. The plan after lunch was simple. “No second training today; football on television this afternoon, France versus Brazil. This year, I am planning my training at home around two things: football and the Tour de France that starts tomorrow. Usually I either train before or after the game or Tour. But sometimes, I just go out for training, especially when cycling and glance at my mobile phone for the updates so I do not miss anything.”