Last checks before the season start

With the new season just a few weeks away, athletes are fine-tuning the last details to get into competitive shape. We talked to some of them. Each of them had a summer of different priorities and issues.

Lisa Theresa Hauser dealt with recurring illness and is only getting her groove back. Chloe Chevalier trained according to the well-established French methods but also got to know a new coach. Christian Gow went through the summer without his brother Scott who retired at the end of last season. He is in favour of a short break before the winter kicks in. After a less than stellar season 2021/2022, Johannes Dale is motivated like never before. He is also planning for one of the most important steps of his life.

How does training usually change from the summer months as the new winter season approaches?

HAUSER: Roller skiing gets more and more essential. That means my training gets more specific. Fast training with shooting is paramount. One also needs to take good care about the best recovery.

CHEVALIER: During the summer, we do a lot of long training at low intensity. With the approach of the winter, we reduce hours, do more specific work and add high-intensity units.

GOW: As we approach the fall, the training gets more intensity-focused with less volume focus. This change helps us get sharp and ready for winter racing.

DALE: With the winter approaching, we are adjusting our training quite a bit. During summer, we usually have long-lasting low-intensity sessions. Now it’s time to start modifying for winter: we have more high-intensity training units. They resemble the racing rhythm we do during the winter. We are also working on the ski speed needed during the winter.

Summer international and national competitions are mainly over. How do you change your focus and spot the details that require some work before the season?

CHEVALIER: Summer competitions are critical for trying new things based on the work done since May. Some things are good, some less so. It helps to focus on what is crucial to improve before the winter.

GOW: Summer competitions are a terrific opportunity to check in with your performance and see what areas still need attention. There is nothing quite like a race environment to get a clear overview of what is working and what needs additional attention.

DALE: Summer competitions are ideal for learning. To brief the competition and understand what is good and what you can improve is an important step! Now it’s time for the last small details that you want to improve before the winter competition starts! To have a plan before each training and use it to improve what you want to improve is so important!

Header iconBI21 - Last checks before the season start

We often see biathletes enjoying one last holiday around this time of the year before Autumn training. How important is this final chance to rest and clear the mind (if you do it)? And if you don’t, why not?

CHEVALIER: I always try to take some holidays during the first week of September. I need it to recharge batteries, clear my mind and enjoy the sun and the sea one last time before the season. It’s also a way to close the summer training and recalibrate for the final preparation before the winter.

GOW: I think a small biathlon break before the fall/winter is necessary to be fresh, ready, and 100% focused when you return. Biathlon is a demanding sport where small mistakes can make a big difference. Clearing your head before the final preparation helps set you up for success.

DALE: I believe, if you feel the need for the last holiday”, the time for it is now! It can benefit your focus and motivation. It gives you a little break and helps you sharpen up for the last months of training. I will personally not take a long break and leave for a holiday but opt for a couple of days off. My motivation is more significant than ever before! Instead, I will use the days to plan my wedding for next year! The next big thing in my personal life, and I’m looking forward to the wedding!

Lisa, you had to deal with some illness during the summer. How did that change your plans for autumn? How do you balance the desire to catch up with the missing sessions while avoiding overtraining?

HAUSER: It‘s difficult to say how my shape will be this season. I tried hard to make the best out of it. It was hard to stay positive in my mind if you know you are losing necessary training sessions. The right feeling and my joy and passion for biathlon are returning slowly. Catching up on all the hours of endurance training and fast training sessions is impossible. But I have to believe that the work from the past years will help me to show a good performance again.

Photo: IBU Archive

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