2017 was definitely my greatest season so far. How that happened?
In January, I’ve started cooperation with my new coach – Jaroslav Kacmarcik and I’ve been satisfied with that since then. I had a good training winter when I managed to stay healthy and step by step increased the amount of my training. At the beginning of the o-season I was quite sure I’m physically stronger than ever before. But it is going to be enough? That was the question I asked myself many times.
First Czech races in April showed that it might be quite good in the Czech competition. Also at Tiomila I and the whole team ran well and managed to finish at the nice 14th place. I definitely showed myself it might be good at WOC selection races in Estonia. Later on in May, it was not that bright shine at World Cup races in Finland. The international competition was tough and so were terrains. But I saw some reserves in my performances. I felt like I can give much more next time. And I was very motivated for next races coming up.
Foro: Jaroslav Kačmarčík
There were some races between but I promised to keep this short so let’s jump directly to WOC. Last WOC I ran was in 2015 and there I competed at middle and long. This year I was supposed to run the same disciplines plus maybe relay. I was truly happy about that because I like much more running in a forest than in a city. About concrete races, I didn’t botch the long. But I was a bit nervous, not that confident and then there was that accident with a stick in my forehead. Overall 24th place was disappointing for me. Two days later on middle I was happy that my head was OK and I could start. I did everything as usual, both before and during the race. I felt good and confident in the terrain. I just navigated myself from one control to another, not thinking much around. When I was running in the corridor from the last control, I knew it was good. I hoped for TOP15. It’s never easy with the world class and I was aware of some smaller hesitations in the race. TOP10, precisely 8th place was like a dream coming true. I think I couldn’t stop smiling for few days :) Relay the day after was more difficult. I felt a bit under the pressure and watching our boys from the quarantine didn’t help much. I could do more on the second leg but I didn’t break it down. Our 8th place was standard but we know we can be better next years.
After this peak of the season I ran many more races and I’m glad to say that except one (chasing middle at the Euromeeting in Norway), none of them was a disappointment for me. World Cups in Latvia were races for starting competing again after the summer training and that’s never easy. I did ok. Czech season was very successful for me with titles both from long and middle championships. And in the Switzerland World Cups final I performed again two very good races (both TOP20).
What I’m probably the most proud of in the 2017 season is my stability. I kept my competition standard high. I didn’t make big stupid mistakes. I made a step forward in my physical capacity. Now I know I can compete with the best in the world, if everything’s in the right place.
So what are my goals for the upcoming 2018 season? I will try to keep my strengths from the last season I mentioned in the previous paragraph. And that might be hard! I think I set my standards quite high. Sure I’ll try my best to begin where I ended last year. Plus I will continue in the journey we’ve started with my coach last January. I’m working hard to develop my physical capacity so I can compete with the best in the world not only when everything’s in the right place but also in days when I won’t feel 100% strong. I’ll try to connect higher speed in a forest with my map technique. I’ll…You know. There are always so many challenges in orienteering that it’s impossible for me to mention everything here. But that’s what is so beautiful about our sport. Sport I’ll do with love in the next year as I did in all years before.
Specifically, what is coming up in next months?
Specific training starts with the national team camp in Switzerland at the end of February/the begin of March. Another great national team training camp I’m already looking forward to is in Portugal in March.
Competition season slowly starts in April with some Czech races and selection races for European Championship. Of course, I can’t forget Tiomila at the very last weekend of April. And then, at the beginning of May we have first big international competition – European Championship in Switzerland. That’s the peak of the spring season.
After that it’s time for training again, this time aiming to WOC. We have many Czech races during May and June. And of course Jukola in Finland with my Swedish club Södertälje-Nykvarn Orientering. We’re also going to one training camp with the national team – at the beginning of June to Czech Republic. Very important races are coming up at the end of June – Czech middle championship and a long distance race two days after which are both selection races for WOC.
These decide what I will do in the summer. But I believe I’ll join the national team for the training camp in Latvia. Then World University Championship in Finland in the middle of July. And the most important week of the season - the World Championship at the beginning of August in Latvia.
After that it’ll definitely be time to take a rest and catch the breath for the autumn part of the season. There are World Cups in Norway at the end of August/the begin of September. Then important races in Czech Republic like Czech long distance championship and selection races for the final round of World Cups. That has the special prestige this year because it’s held in Czech Republic! I’m truly looking forward to it and I think that’s going to be very nice finale of the whole season.
As you can see, we have many things to look forward to in 2018. It’s also going to be long and hard season. But I always liked challenges and 2018 looks like it. I accepted it :)