“I train about 10 times a week which takes around 18 hours.”
An important season is coming up for the German Para Nordic ski team as they will have the chance to compete in a home World Championships in Finsterau from 10-19 February.
Therefore it is essential that they get their preparation just right so that they arrive in the best possible shape.
That is exactly what Clara Klug is hoping to do when she lines up at the start of the biathlon and cross-country races. Her training led to a career high sixth position in the cross-country World Cup last season.
Training is obviously crucial for all athletes but for those that compete with a visual impairment it takes on another dimension. The relationship between an athlete and their guide is a very close one.
“All outdoor training I do with my guide Martin Hartl, who is also my coach. This summer I lived with his family three days a week, so we cut short on the driving hours to use this time for practice.”
Unfortunately for Klug her plans had to change after her guide was injured. “In August Martin got injured so we needed to reorganise my training. I now practice with other guides over the weekends, and do more practice by myself, until he can take over. But we still keep in close contact.”
Despite this setback Klug is still managing to keep to her training programme which consists of various different activities.
“I train about 10 times a week which takes around 18 hours. I do a lot of running on the treadmill, cycling on the tandem or indoors, strength training, hiking, roller skiing and of course shooting.”
At 21, Klug is still a very young athlete and so training needs to be tailored to her needs at different stages in her development.
“This season is the first in which I have actually concentrated on endurance training. For the last few years I needed to really get into professional training and learn the skiing techniques. Now I focus on endurance, strength and shooting.”
There is one aspect of training that Klug has not got to grips with yet. Nutrition is a big part of competing to make sure you have enough energy to train well and also the correct foods to help you recover afterwards.
“Oh, now you caught me! Eating is the part of professional training I have the most trouble with. Training is always about doing something - the more you practice, the better you get. Not with eating. I'd be grateful for any hints on how to lose weight in a way that makes it as much fun as the rest of the sport.”
The Finsterau 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing Championships will gather 135 of the world’s best biathletes and cross-country skiers from 25 countries between 10-19 February. They will be followed by the PyeongChang 2018 Test Event from 10-15 March.