Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

A specific day in May usually marks the start of training for the new season. Between the end of the season and then is usually a time for R&R. Everyone approaches the rest period and the start of training differently. Scott Gow, Johanna Talihärm, and Monika Hojnisz all followed different paths; after almost a month, each is past the early soreness and looking forward to something special in summer.

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

Johanna’s Alaskan Adventure
Talihärm took off “whole month of April, and the very beginning of May. I still worked out; a little bit of everything, some biking, some running, some strength, etc. Exactly the activities I felt like I wanted to do, no plan, no pressure.” Her R&R consisted of “volunteering with Skiku, an organization that sends ski coaches to remote native villages in rural Alaska; a wonderful  experience, seeing a place so unique and getting to work with local kids.”

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

Friends and Back to Work
After visiting friends in the USA, she returned to Estonia and training in early May.  “I can't name an exact date, it was more of a slow adjustment over the course of a week or two. (It was hard) going out on workout and not skipping a day even if I was very sore and not the most enthusiastic about training.” Doing a variety of workouts at that stage was important “to avoid injury while keeping it fun.” Of course there was a downside. “At first literally everything seemed to make me sore. I could tell that my body was confused about having to work hard again and it protested a bit.”

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

New Stock
With no shooting range near her home, she did not start shooting until the first team camp as the end of May. “I (also) didn't want to leave home just yet. But I did work on rifle fitting quite a bit, as I have a new stock.” Continuing, she added, “I intentionally avoid rollerskiing until later in May, just knowing that I will have plenty of time to enjoy it over the summer.” Now, “some muscles are getting sore here and there, but in I can tell that my body is getting used to training again.” With fitness improving, Talihärm is looking forward to “my absolute favorite part of summer training: jumping into a cold body of water after a hard workout on a hot day!”

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

Snowy Canmore to Mexico
Scott Gow admitted that, “I did zero training for about 3 weeks starting on April 1…I only went downhill skiing and went outside for a walk. We could not hike yet since there was too much snow and cold. It does not take long for me to recover (after the season), but I just wanted a mental break. I spent a lot of time with my mother and brothers, frankly just enjoying doing nothing…At the end of the month, we went to Mexico. The day before the trip, it was snowing heavily in Canmore; then suddenly we were in Mexico where it was 30 degrees and beautiful every day.”

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

Team Meeting Kickoff
We started training on May 6. There was a big change on the team this year; Matthias Ahrens who I have been working with since 2011 moved on…We had a big team meeting that morning to discuss the transition (to new interim Coach Justin Wadsworth) and the new schedule, the season ahead and goals. It was a big opening day to start the season for us.” With new coaches came a change in training. “We are working a lot more on double-poling technique than we used to and we are doing a lot more running and running intensity. Those are the two big changes for our team. I think the changes will round out my training, especially later in the year.”

As for shooting, the Canadian jumped in the first week. “We still have Pavol Lantsov. He started us right away with drills and technique work that he wanted to implement. We were on the range right away doing volume shooting and stripping everything down to basics: one day working on breathing, the next on trigger squeeze.”

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

Long Rollerski up a Mountain Pass
As expected, the “Ache and pain level was up there the first week. Since we came home from Mexico and had to start training the next day. That day was rougher than most training days; the first week I was achy, but the second week was more like what I am normally used to…Now four weeks in, things are going well; everything is trending in the right direction.” Now Gow is looking forward “to my favorite part of summer training, long rollerski tours, going out on a secondary highway or up one of the passes for a nice easy ski. It can be quite scenic, especially if you get up to the top of a mountain; that is pretty nice!”

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

No Break; a Wedding for Monika
Monika Hojnisz took a different approach to her off-season. “Actually I didn’t take a break. I was training all the time to maintain my shape; not high intensity but I used this time to work on my weaknesses. It was time for gym, basic shooting, and swimming which I like.”

Wedding Plans
As for a pure holiday, “this year I didn’t have time. I had a lot of things to prepare since I was getting married on June 1. Everybody who has this magic moment behind them knows how much time and nerves involved but it was worth it!”

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

First Camp “Freshness”
Since training never ended, “I do not need much motivation since my husband is also a professional athlete (cross-country skier). Conditions are not great in my hometown, so my real training starts with our first camp next week…We will start slowly because it is important to get through that first camp. It will be mostly easy long sessions to increase endurance…that first week will probably be about 26 hours.”

Hojnisz is eager to get back on the shooting range, especially after her career best 87% success rate last season. “It is always better that first week because after a long break... When I rest a bit from my rifle, I am always more effective. I feel hungry and not tired of the workout monotony (after many months). I call it freshness.”

Starting a New Season: Skiing, Beaches, Wedding and Sore Muscles

Sweat and a Funny Tan
Then soon the newlywed will to her favorite part of summer training. “It may be hard to believe but I like hot days on rollerskis!  It’s good to feel real summer, sweat and a tanned body in a funny way!”

The new season is officially underway…

Personal Photos: Johanna Talihärm, Scott Gow, Monika Hojnisz

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