We caught up with GB Snowsport Nordic athlete Andrew Musgrave with one year to go until the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
How are you feeling with one year to go until Beijing?
It’s been a bit of a wild ride this last year, and although we should hopefully be back to some sort of normality by then, I am concentrating on the here and now. To be honest, after the past year we’ve had I think we all know not to plan too far in advance.
How do you keep motivated in the short term when you are working towards an end goal that is relatively far in the future?
It’s important to always have a long-term plan building up to the Games or any another goal, but it’s also equally important to have shorter-term goals on the way to focus on and keep the motivation up. As a skier we’ve got the World Cup circuit to focus on throughout the winter, which definitely keeps me motivated to stay at the top of my game!
What is the toughest part of your training schedule?
The toughest part of our training schedule is definitely VO2 max testing. I am nervous for days beforehand, because I know it’s going to be so painful!
What is your favourite part of training?
My favourite part of training is finishing off a high intensity session (like VO2 testing). I’ll be nervous beforehand, it’s horrific and painful during, but if I’ve had a good session and really managed to push hard, I get an almost euphoric sense of relief and achievement when I’m finished. It almost makes the nerves and suffering worthwhile!
Do you listen to music when you train? If so, what is your favourite motivational track?
I listen to a lot of podcasts while I’m doing long, low intensity training, but if I’m doing interval training then I definitely like to have some tunes on the go! I’ve got a bit of an eclectic mix of go to songs for intervals: everything from drum and bass to 80s alternative.
How are you preparing mentally for competition day? Do you have any tips for others on teaching yourself to overcome the nerves and stress of those situations?
I make sure I have a plan for the race, and have checked all my equipment and got everything ready in plenty of time, so I don’t have to run round like a headless chicken trying to find poles, boots and various bits of equipment at the last minute. I’m usually nervous before the most important competitions, but I just try to embrace the nerves. Most of my best races are when I’m really nervous.
Are there any big milestones between now and the Olympics that you are working towards?
We’ve got the World Championships coming up at the end of February which is definitely the big goal for this season.
What do you do to unwind after a really tough training day?
After a really tough training day I’m usually so knackered that I just head to bed as early as possible and sleep!