A Day in the Life

Sara StudebakerAugust 3, 2011

I’m often asked what exactly I DO as an elite athlete every day. The answer is never as simple as one might think…it really depends on what kind of training week we’re in (high volume, intensity focus, rest week, etc) and what time of year it is. In the spring things are much more free-form and less ski-specific than in the fall when we’re gearing up for competition season. Nevertheless, here’s a little peak at what a fairly typical August training day looks like (it happens to be my day yesterday, Tuesday August 2).

6:45am – wake up (remember to take morning heart rate!)

7:00 – Head down to the OTC cafeteria for breakfast (cereal, yogurt and fruit).

7:25 – Head back to room and get ready for training. This morning is a ski walking L3 workout at Whiteface Mtn, so I need to be sure to have extra clothes and water and food for post-workout. Don’t forget bounding poles!

7:45 – depart with coaches and teammates for Whiteface.

8:15 – Arrive at Whiteface and begin warm-up (30min) followed by 5min L2 ski walking and then a 20min L3 block. After 20min, we meet up with our coaches and take lactates to be sure we’re in the right zone. My lactate was 2.7 mmol/L, which is perfect for a L3 workout. However, I was feeling pretty tired so my coach and I decided that instead of 20 more continuous minutes of L3, I would do 4x5min. After the level 3, we did 3x1min of harder bounding (about L4) just to get the heart rate up a bit more. We then hiked/jogged back down the mountain to the van where we changed and stretched before heading back to the OTC.

11:00 – Arrive at the OTC. Shower and change before heading down to lunch.

11:30 – Lunch (grilled cheese sandwich, split pea soup and a salad).

12:15pm – Head back to the room to relax and nap before afternoon training. This time can be filled with any number of activities, including errands to town, writing blog posts, and calling family and friends. Yesterday, I updated USADA with my whereabouts for the coming weekend in Jericho and our upcoming training camp in Germany, then I took a nap.

3:30 – Meet teammate Annelies Cook for a run and strength workout. We did a short warm-up jog (30min) then 3x10min of circuit strength together. This is a great workout to do together; we were able to push and motivate each other and the workout was done before we knew it.

4:45 – Return to room. I’m having a small foot issue right now, so I was sure to ice it after my workout and stretch before showering. I then had a small snack since I wasn’t going to head to dinner right away.

6:30 – Resident Athlete meeting. All OTC residents are required to attend these monthly meetings to discuss issues and events. They don’t usually last too long and are usually pretty entertaining.

7:00 – Head to dinner (grilled chicken, wild rice, and LOTS of steamed veggies).

8:00 – Back to my room. Evening activities vary just like our off time during the day. Sometimes we have dry-fire work alone or with a coach, or updating your training log. Yesterday I worked on getting somewhat organized for Jericho and did some laundry while I watched a movie.

11:00pm – Bed! A good night’s sleep is imperative for getting through tough training day after day!

Hopefully this gives you a better perspective of what life as a biathlete is like. More questions? Head to my facebook page and ask away!

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