Fun title isn´t it, if you came for glamour and drama though, you will be disappointed. This post is about saying thanks and recapping the last months of training. After some low in August/September due to my broken finger I got back on track, took a training break and started winter-training which is going well overall although I need to add some orienteering again into the mix to slowly but determinately get ready for the season. However the season and it´s international competitions will look like in the end.
What´s the job of a coach? Basically, it often consists of writing training plans, settings orienteering courses, etc. but even more important is the advice she or he is giving, intentionally and unintentionally – saying the right things at the right time is often crucial. It´s about enabling the athlete to train and perform at his/her highest. One own such moment is for example from a national team coach who, when I was a youth athlete and was still young enough in the next year to run EYOC, said to me “..usually orienteers run 3 EYOC´s, and then 3 JWOC´s..”. I actually just ran my first EYOC that year (performing rather poorly) but still this sentence burned into my memory and motivated me to push for higher goals than I had set at that point for the next year. It was the right thing at the right time, slightly nudging my thoughts and goals in the right direction. This might have not been from my personal coach, nonetheless I couldn´t do all this without his support: writing training-development/plans and in plenty of other situations saying the right things at the right time – thanks Alex!
Beyond that I want to thank my family and friends but also of course my Finnish club Angelniemen Ankkuri, the german “Förderverein” as well as Nvii & Str8 for their support to help me achieve my goals in orienteering.
Recaping the past few months
The short version since the last post or simply since the beginning of last year : Training and shape are moving in the right direction and I can´t complain.
But I guess if you came here to read then you care to read the longer version as well so here we go:
“I can´t complain” is my go to line since Covid-19 started because even though there are a lot of downsides as a result of the pandemic, nothing of that had actually a really negative overall impact for me.
Why? Because I don´t have a job and/or kid(s) which I have to manage all at the same time at home while not going insane. I just have a very easy life with online studies and training, so to really start complaining feels rather strange to me. Of course, I am not saying that I don´t miss the fun and nervousness of races, training camps in amazing terrains, you name it… At the same time I honestly would still go happily out running and training even if there were no races at all anymore. I like racing don´t get me wrong but I just love running, orienteering, simply sports in general so as long as I can do that I am quite happy or in other words can´t complain.
Going a bit more into details about the training part
My broken finger from August is healed and I am able to use fully it for quite a while now. After I was allowed to run again with my still broken finger last September my body and legs needed two weeks to get back into rhythm again. I guess coming to a full stop without any easy run after one week of training is sub-optimal. With the rhythm in place again I did some quality training in September and even ran a trail race in the beginning of October which actually led to sooner start of my training-break as I felt my hamstrings quite a bit from the downhill racing afterwards.
In the end this proved as a good reminder that I should work on other muscles more. So over the next weeks I had regular physio appointments to figure out and work on my ‘weaknesses’ which with the start of winter training on 1. November also made me finally implement and stick to a regular routine of strength & stability training. The annoying thing is to see your own progress and performance increase as a result from something I just always tried to not do because to be straightforward I hated strength training, now I just hate it less or something like that.
The running training since November was going quite smoothly the first weeks, regular key sessions made me see progress early on and confirmed that everything is moving in the right direction. The direction didn´t change the next month but the speed of moving forward was maybe a bit slower as I didn´t manage to do all the important sessions. In January the snow finally came to Latvia and stayed here till the end of February. In the beginning a welcomed change to the past “winters” at home in Germany, in the end increasingly annoying as the running conditions weren´t so great and even when there were runnable roads/paths for intervals fresh snow soon played fools.
Some alternative training, which is usually rather rare for me over the year, in the form of skiing found itself into my training as well, although I have to mention that this was my first time on XC-skis and there are reason why I am a runner to say the least. After another month of solid training volume and quality, February sadly was again a bit lower this time though mostly affected by not training to avoid the risk of getting a cold and in big part because of uni and exams. Those are almost all written now and I can put more focus on training again the next weeks. Good weather and snow free paths – I didn’t expect that running again on a snow-free and unfrozen forest trail can be such an happy experience – increase the motivation only further, and make me really look forward to the upcoming trainings which make me dream of running again in shirt&shorts and some nice orienteering without snow…
Maybe I should start to actually write more frequently so it doesn´t look like every third post is saying thanks because another year has past.