Like I wrote earlier, I knew I would be very happy to make it through this camp after working very hard to re-tune my shooting and skiing techniques. Some days were tough, some were breakthroughs and others more relaxed, but all carried out the theme of being thrown “off balance” in order to be challenged to regain my poise and gain a better sense, or feel, for the change I needed to make or the new movement I needed to learn. And pretty much everyday was fun. I really enjoyed the different training environments ranging from rollerskiing on far-off roads in the countryside to world class biathlon shooting ranges and rollerski tracks. We’ve eaten the culinary delights of both central Sweden and Bavaria, in between good Italian pizza, and when we had a kitchen I took full advantage of the copious amount of forest blueberries. And gotten to know some local folks like Mats, a exercise scientist at the University in Ostersund who helped us with an interval session one day and getting to know some of our staff’s family over coffee in their living room.
Getting ready for a double pole session on a very rainy day. Following at a consistent pace behind the guys was both a good marker for strength and motivation to turn what would be a solo workout into a successful specific strength session on narrow country roads through the farmland, pastures and dark forests of Bavaria [the region that our German staff members are very proud to be from.]
Cheimgau Biathlon Arena, Ruhpolding, Germany: Looking south down the valley that the biathlon centered is located within, and up at the “HandelWand” that Bernd pointed out has some excellent ski mountaineering in the winter. This area is gorgeous and I wish I had a camera to show you more. This morning was quite cool at 10C; we could see our breath during zero and it had snowed high in the mountains above. The rocky Alp peaks surrounding us were crystal clear and glimmering in the morning sunshine after the night’s rainstorm washed away the hazy humidity. Oh, and those are the ski jump outruns just beyond the shooting range. Similar to Lake Placid’s McKenzie-Intervale Ski jumping complex, which is combined with our shooting range and rollerski track, aerial jumps and freestyle water ramps.
Our coach, Armin, and I after training at the Ruhpolding biathlon arena. No fans in the stands today, but there is usually a bunch of people checking out the place, watching the athletes (German National Team, us, and a score of kids young and old bombing around on rollerskis and shooting airrifles) and cheering for hits and misses. In the winter this venue will be host to some 30,000 spectators during Ruhpolding's annual World Cup in January.