Whitehorse’s Nadia Moser is hoping the upcoming biathlon season has more in common with the first half of last season than with the second half.
After being named to the Canadian national team and qualifying for the IBU Cup, the level of international competition below the World Cup, Moser set the bar high with a win at the first of her three IBU Cup events.
All together, she finished the season with three top 10 finishes at the IBU Cup and two more top 10s at the Junior World Championships.
Unfortunately, an injury in the spring meant Moser was unable to train for a spell and now she’s gearing up for another season without a full offseason.
“I’m feeling a bit nervous for the winter trials races because in the spring I had a concussion and couldn’t train properly for about two months,” said Moser. “But mid-July I started to train full-time again and I’ve been training normally since then; that has been very nice.”
That training is key, as Moser’s aim this season is the World Cup and the summer months are where the bulk of the preparation is done.
“The summer is our training season,” Moser explained. “That’s when we get fitter and work on rifle adjustments and whatever else. That’s our big training season, and then in the winter it’s just race reason — and trying to keep our fitness from the summer.”
The biathlon season is divided into two halves, meaning even if Moser doesn’t make the World Cup circuit straight out of trials, she can still earn her way there with strong IBU Cup results.
Either way, Moser said last season has put some of her dreams within her sights.
“It just makes me feel like my big goals are more attainable because at one point I wasn’t really sure if I could medal or win an IBU Cup,” said Moser. “Of course, I always wanted to get better results than that, but once I got good results last year, I realized, OK, this is possible. Why not win a World Cup in the future? It makes you feel like it’s more attainable.”
Beyond making the World Cup circuit a reality, Moser said her goal this year is to compete at the IBU World Championships in Italy this winter with the plan to be in peak form when the event rolls around at the end of February.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure how to taper myself or peak for a World Championships or a big event,” said Moser. “I just trust my coaches to help me with that. It depends on the summer training and what you’re doing going into certain races.”
Moser’s humility is beguiling but if last season’s results are anything to go on, it’s a good bet she will compete at the World Cup this season and perhaps ultimately achieve her biggest goal of all in 2022.
“I think that’s most athletes’ biggest goal — to get to the Olympics and be competitive at the Olympics.”
For now though, Moser is clearly focused on the World Cup trials in November and she isn’t taking anything for granted.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the location of the upcoming IBU World Championships.
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org