A Day in the Life of Yuliia Zhuravok
Last season was the most successful in her career for the 24-year-old Yuliia Zhuravok of Ukraine. She not only took her first IBU Cup victory in the short individual competition but also won the Silver medal in the 15 km individual at the OECH 2019. Moreover, the results in these competitions allowed her to take the IBU Cup Small Globe in her favorite discipline.
“Remember the Youth”
After a short break at the beginning of July, Zhuravok headed to the third training camp with the Ukrainian national team in Otepää, Estonia. “Before exhausting training, it is very important to recover and charge with positive energy. My home is the best place to do that. A couple of days before we went to Otepää, I had a meeting with the girls whom I have not seen for 5 to 8 years. We used to play football on the same team. So we decided to meet, 'remember the youth' and play football. It was a lot of fun, but the shape was not that good as it was a few years ago. Even from two meters to the goal, I did not manage to score! After the game, we had a picnic and remembered funny stories... I was incredibly happy to see everyone. Such meetings and moments give a very big boost of energy, so I arrived in Estonia full of strength and in a great mood.”
Otepää is a traditional training camp venue for the Ukrainian team, where the athletes go every year, staying at a hotel, which is located just a few minutes from the stadium. “Pretty often we come to Otepää both for training camps and competitions, so I know the stadium and the track very well and really love the place. By the way, now they are making some reconstructions for the OECH, which will take place here next season, but their work does not interfere with the training process at all. Every day we have various drills and exercises with different volumes; sometimes it can be so high that we barely make it to the bed.”
This year, the Ukrainian women's team has three different groups that train separately, according to their own plans. However, for the training camp in Otepaa, where the ladies will have some test competitions, the whole squad gathered together. “Today in the first half of the day we had a complex training, as we all are preparing for tomorrow's test race. After the warm-up and zeroing, we had mass starts, followed by a complex training on roller skis with a speed up at some parts.”
A few hours of the first session ended up with a 2 km run and a well-deserved rest. “After training, we always try to switch from hard work, so we can fool around on the lawn, for example.” Also, when there is a free minute , Zhuravok likes to spend time with Mark, the son of Vita Semerenko, who always travels with his mother to the camps, helping her to train properly. However, sometimes it is not that easy to catch him, even for a fast athlete. “Today, to deserve a photo from Mark, I ran after him all over the stadium, just like in one kid’s cartoon, where the dog was chasing a bunny to take a picture with him!”
After a little fun and a short rest, which flew by very fast, it was time for the second session: “In the afternoon we had classic skiing... under the rain. In fact, I love rain, and training in the downpour does not scare me. Actually, that was not the first time that we trained under the rain here, but it is more pleasant and easier to work in such conditions than under the scorching sun. However, after such a workout, first of all, you need to take a hot shower and quickly change into dry clothes, and then you can drink a tasty hot tea with honey and lemon…”
After the second session was completed, the day was not over yet: massage, a delicious dinner and dry shooting are still waiting. Only after all that, will it be possible to think about the desired rest and the next day, which also will be filled with the usual routine work for an athlete.
Photo courtesy of Yuliia Zhuravok