Adam Runnalls had just finished the Men’s Sprint in the Val Ridanna IBU Cup, two weeks ago. Top Canadian in 33rd place.
“Yeah it was a good one, he wrote, skiing felt really good today, fast skis made it easy to glide up these long 1 skate climbs and the new offset we learned this summer helped with the steep hills.”
New offset? Who taught you that? “Justin Wadsworth our head coach over the summer”, he replied.
You can read about Wadsworth’s training philosophy in this FasterSkier article. We wanted to learn more about this, as it is crucial to the rise of the young Canadian biathletes. Training is so much more than “pushing hard”.
“(small laughs) It’s not really new, he told us. Most World Cup cross-country and biathletes use a similar technique but I think our athletes… maybe their technical skiing had not been as strong as it could have been. So we just worked on some basic movements with weight shift and positioning of the feet and between those two things, just getting a more efficient offset. I think the athletes made a step forward in that.
“It’s really hard for us in Canmore to do offset in the summer time on rollerskis because we just don’t have hills that are steep enough. That’s one area where we really lack with both cross-country (Justin was Nordiq Canada’s Head Coach for 5 years) and biathlon.
“So we had some opportunities in Park City at our training camp there to really focus on that. That was one of my goals, just technically try to make the skiers more efficient especially in offset. People consider it one of the harder techniques but if you do it correctly, it’s very efficient.”
And that is what makes the difference between a good coach and a great coach. It’s all in the training. Coaches like Justin Wadsworth are what move athletes up the ladder on the world scene.