Thursday, August 15, 2013

Summer Training

       It's been a while since I've gone into much detail about the goals of work. The goal is to get better at this thing called biathlon. It's much easier said then done. To my credit though, I have become decent at trying. With last week's first round of trials in Jericho I thought it would be a good time to reflect on what ever progress or damage has been made thus far in the 2013 training season.
      The rest week in Placid wasn't what I had in mind. I spent most of it trying to recover from a twisted ankle and stomach virus combo pack. It took a whole week for my system to get back to normal. The best way to confirm this is always with your morning resting heart rate. I trust those numbers better than my own perception. If it's above 40 then there's reason for concern. If it doesn't drop under 50 then don't train. When it's back down to the mid too low 30s then I know I'm healthy and ready to get back to work. The ankle issue didn't deter training quality that much, but it took a lot longer to heal. As of this week I would say it's good for a three hour run.
There used to be a barn behind this tractor
      The rifle is up and running just fine. The idea was to polish it up a bit. I took some sand paper and wood filler to the less than presentable areas. Once that was as good as it could be I lathered on some stainer that helped match the shades of brown on the stock. In then end it was somewhere between a 5th grade science project and a professional biathlon stock. Lets not forget that aesthetics are never a limiting factor in hit percentages.
     Speaking of hit percentages, I should probable brush up on the more plaguing problem of my career. No, my shooting is not where it should be but yes, there is still plenty of reason for hope. Otherwise why bother? After cleaning a WC sprint race and seeing how much damage poor range times can do I was set on bringing down the on to off mat time. This goal has been met! Prone is on average about 28 too 32 seconds. Even during high intensity the time is faster than ever. Standing is a little better at about 24 too 28 seconds. This is great and I'm glad to be closer to the rest of the field. On the other hand the hits are still not there.
The sister's wedding went off very smoothly. 
      What I'm trying to do is find a consistent cue or thought process that I can focus on. One that's simple enough to concentrate on even when under pressure but effective enough to bring the odds of hitting into the 90s plus range. The best analogy for this I can think of involves starting a car. Look at it this way. If the the goal was to start a  car engine you would concentrate on putting the key into the ignition and  turning the key. It's simple and consistent. In the  off chance that the engine doesn't start it has nothing to do with your process. Similar to shooting in the fog. My current situation doesn't have a key or ignition. I'm still trying to start it by hot wiring the colored wires. Sometimes it works other times it doesn't. There is no reoccurring patter to rely on. Jostling the wires one way may work for one try but not the other. Focusing on good rhythm in prone seems to work for one day, but the next it doesn't and the percentages go back down. This isn't what I need right now. I need the equivalent to a key and ignition switch for my prone shooting. I hope that made sense to you.
Really enjoying the new bike right now!
       These odds didn't help the old confidence factor going into the Jericho trial races last weekend. The sore throat and cold that wiped out almost a whole wing of the barracks didn't do much either. I was getting a little worried and didn't know what to expect from the sprint race on Saturday. Since I needed to do these races it didn't much matter whether I was sick or not.
       In then end the sprint race was a success and the pursuit was not. I missed three in the sprint on a windy day when the rest of filed and similar to worse shooting. Most of the time 70% is  nothing special, but I was pleased at the end of the day. Surprisingly ski speed was also in a good place. While there was no doubt that I was sick my legs felt better than they had all week. Sometimes you get on the better end of the sick spectrum and can role with it. I guess this was one of those times.
       The pursuit was simply a bad race. There wasn't much in the way of professionalism. Ski speed was decent, but not as strong as the sprint. Shooting was reflective of how it's been feeling. It also doesn't help when you go the wrong way. There's not much I can do about it now, but I have plenty of time to prevent it from happening again before the Utah races.
Couldn't decide which one was better so I posted both for you.
      Tomorrow the team heads over for the 2013 Euro camp. Two weeks in Ruhpolding and one in Oberhof. After only glancing at the training plan I felt exhausted. This is going to be another three week stretch of survival. With Jericho races behind me the coaches and I have a rough idea of what to work on going into the fall training season. Lack of training time to work on this will not be an issue.

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