LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — While the U.S. Nordic Ski Team trained on the mountainous, cross-country side of the Mt. Van Hoevenberg ski center on Friday, seven U.S. Biathlon skiers and their coaches went to work on the opposite side of the road at the biathlon range.
According to USBA coach Jonne Kähkönen, the trail-running interval session he prescribed was more biathlon-specific. Athletes ran six 5-minute intervals at Level 2 and 3, with the first couple at a lower intensity and the last few at a higher speed. Each time, they looped back to the stadium where they practiced shooting in the wind. On Saturday, Kähkönen said his skiers would do a harder interval workout on rollerskis at the Olympic Jumping Complex (where they mostly train at another biathlon range).
“Tomorrow’s the intervals; today is just a teaser,” he said.
More quotes from Jonne Kähkönen:
On last two weeks of training in Lake Placid (since returning from overseas trip with the A-team in Ruhpolding and Oberhof, Germany):
“The first week, obviously, was really easy. Almost like an off-week, a vacation week we called it, because we had a pretty intense camp over in Europe for three weeks. We wanted to give them a little break, and also the experience from last year was that a lot of the athletes caught a little cold or something so we wanted to avoid that an it seemed like it was working fairly well this year.
“Everybody’s bouncing back and recovering from the camp. Overall the summer has been good. No major injuries; there’s always a little bit of this and that, but that’s part of the training.”
On training goals:
“At this point, we’re for sure headed towards more normal-biathlon training so there’s a little bit less of general training sessions, like running or biking, and it’s more towards specific training, which also means that the intensity is a little bit higher, at least on the main workouts. Basically the hard work is done, all the hours are done, and now it’s more about the quality.”
On working out with U.S. Nordic team earlier in the week (during skate-threshold intensity rollerski Sept. 18):
“It was raining heavily, but luckily it was still like summer rain so not as cold as it could’ve been. But that was good. It was a big group, a lot of athletes out there. I think it’s a good push; I always say that we don’t have that many biathletes and just skiers in general in North America, so definitely it’s a good thing to put all the top athletes to do a couple workouts together.”
Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.