• Maddie Phaneuf

Kickoff to the new season

Anna Kubek and I in Östersund, Sweden in March, 2014

The start of the 2016/17 race season is about to begin!! The World Cup kick offs today in Östersund, Sweden with the Mixed Relay and Single Mixed Relay. If you happen to already be up reading this blog, be sure to go check the live footage of the races at 9:30am EST here.

This past month of training can be a typical time when winter athletes (like myself) lack the motivation they normally have to train. I definitely saw this happen to myself during the end of October, around the time I posted my last blog update. It can be difficult to find that drive to keep putting on your rollerskis every day after you've been doing it for the past 6 months. There were a few days where I found myself just going through the motions at training, and not keeping up with my recovery and dryfire sessions. I would say I was in this rut for about a week or two.

Luckily, I knew this was coming. Considering I have been at this elite level of training for the past 3 years, I can usually anticipate how my body and mind will react throughout the year. I knew that there would be a time towards the end of the fall, during the last real block of training before the season kicks off, where I would lose motivation. Thankfully, with the help of my coach, teammates, and some fresh snow I pushed through that rut.

When it snows before Thanksgiving, every winter athletes face should look like this!

The last block of training turned out to go really well! Focusing on lot's of technique work, lot's of intensity, and lot's of shooting. That's the "summed-up" equation of "How to Make a Good Biathlete". My teammates and I were happy to see a dumping of snow right before us about two feet of fresh powder to ski on! Shoutout to Mount Van Hoevenberg for grooming and providing us with many kilometers to explore!

First ski of the season...

...and first fall of the season

I was happy to get to spend time at home for Thanksgiving this year. Since I was on the cusp of making the World Cup team, I wasn't sure if I would be in the States or over in Sweden for Thanksgiving. Of course I would have loved to be racing, but I am always thankful to get to spend the holidays with my family. It was a cozy day filled with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, wine, and desserts...and the evening ended with a "friendly" (competitive*) game of UNO.

*If you know my family at all, you know that there is no such thing as a "friendly" game...everything is a competition. Expect smack talk, rule enforcing, and maybe even a few tears (from the sore losers).

The 2015 Thanksgiving crew, we forgot to take a photo this year, whoops

This afternoon I will be heading down to the airport to begin my excursion over to the Wild Wild West! My season is kicking off in the Canadian Rockies; in the beautiful town of Canmore. Being surrounded by amazing scenery, reuniting with biathlon friends I haven't seen since last winter, and finally getting my ski legs back under me makes this one of my favorite trips of the year!

Trust me, I'll be taking plenty of photos and maybe even some videos. Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram. I'll try to be good and update the ol' blog too.

Currently listening to: Words (Blonde Remix) by Birdy