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Checking in with Andrea Mayo and Grace Boutot


Fri, Sep  4, 2009 - By US Biathlon Association

How has your training been so far this season?

Andrea: My training has gone well so far this season. I am feeling really strong, and I’m beginning to see how much I have improved from last year, and even from the earlier part of this year. Hopefully the rest of the season will continue to bring improvement.

Grace: Training went well for me this summer. I had my ups and downs-it was challenging to stay motivated sometimes, but as the weeks went by I became more excited and thrilled to train.

What are some of the objectives you focused on over the past 3-4 months?

AM: I try to focus on my big goal for the year at every practice. I like to relate my biathlon career to the movie "Miracle". During the scene where the team is in training, and Herb Brooks yells "Build your legs! You're not going to have anything left in the 3rd period if you don't build your legs now”! I like to recite that line every time I am beginning to get tired during a hard interval workout. Another objective I have been focusing on is improving my V1 technique.

GB: Keeping my head on straight! I started becoming more organized and not as stressed out by unimportant things. One of my goals for this summer was to try to do the little things that all add up to the big picture, and it's worked out well.

Andrea Mayo zeroing

Andrea Mayo zeroing

What type of process did you go through after last season to come up with your goals and objectives for this upcoming season?

AM: I reviewed my results and training log from last year and tried to come up with a goal for this year that I could feel confident about. If it's a goal you are trying to achieve, you should have to work for it. You should want it more than anything, and that is how I feel about my goals for this year.

GB: I definitely thought about all aspects of my training last year and came up with some things that could be improved on, and some things to completely change. It's interesting how many things you can see when you look back on things objectively and observe the cause and effects of your actions and choices at the time. So from that I created my goals...but seriously, I didn't over think anything too much.

What are some of your larger goals you hope to tackle this season?

AM: My biggest goal this year is to be named to the Youth/Junior World Championship team. Another goal (which is hinged upon whether I achieve the previous goal) is to represent the United States well at the Youth/Junior World Championships in Torsby, Sweden, by getting a top 15 finish in at least one race. People may say that this goal may be a bit lofty, and I say, (in the immortal words of Herb Brooks) that is why I want to pursue it.

GB: Well I do hope to continue working on and improving my skiing and shooting this season. Improvement with a big I is key for me. The rest of my goals are in my head!

Grace BoutotYou just recently completed your longest camp to date of three weeks. How did it go for you?

AM: It was tough for sure, but at the same time, it was great to be able to push myself beyond my comfort zone and see what I was capable of. It was nice to train with people from different clubs around the country, and even train with a different coach with a different coaching style than what I am used to. It keeps training exciting when you train with a different group of people; there is a refreshed sense of competitiveness, at least for me.

GB: The camp was great! The weeks we were in Jericho I had lots of quality focused training but when we moved to Bethel I had a blast doing a lot of really fun workouts. The second week of the camp was much more relaxed and I caught up on all my summer reading.

What are some of your favorite workouts?

AM: One of my favorite workouts is a workout called TSS (technique specific strength). In a nut shell, you go as hard as you can (while still keeping your technique together) for 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. We do 8 repetitions, and then switch to another technique. I like this workout because I feel like there is a lot to learn from it. You go hard for a short amount of time, but at the same time, you have to make sure that you will be able to make it through the rest of the workout.

Personally, I find it easier to work on technique when I am going at a harder level, so during this workout I can gain a lot of information about what I need to really focus on. I also really like the easy distance bike rides.

GB: Doing long distance workouts with a big group with biking, running, and rollerskiing all in one are really fun for me. Also, doing an easy classic ski with lots of double poling is so relaxing for me because I get to just ski and daydream.

You also trained alongside of the U.S. Women's Team at the last camp. How was it training with them?

AM: it was a great learning experience. The amount of knowledge that can be gained from that group of women is impressive, and I feel very grateful that I got the chance to learn from them. These women are at a level that I hope to one day achieve, so it was a great chance to see what I have to look forward to.

GB: Training with the Women's Team is great for me since there are not many opportunities to train with a big group of people during the year. I learned a lot of things from them at camps. It's especially great to hear about all of their racing and training experiences-some of them have been doing biathlon for a long time, so they've experienced almost everything!

You both graduated high school last year and have decided to focus on training this year. What are your objectives with taking some time off from school and focusing primarily on biathlon?

AM: I am taking time off from college so I can put all of my energy and focus on training. College is definitely going to happen someday, but for now, I think it would be advantageous for me to not try and focus on two very demanding things at one time. My plan is to get in some really solid training, and just try to keep an upward slope on my improvement.

GB: First of all, I am so thrilled to be able to focus on training and life without the stress of school!!! I've been able to train very well this year so far and I'm excited for winter. Not going to school this year was an easy decision for me since I am undecided as to which path I want to follow at the moment. I've still been keeping my brain busy with lots of creative activities, so I don't feel like I'm losing my mind or brainpower!

What are your upcoming plans for this fall?

AM: I will be attending some camps this fall, as well as visiting and training with past coaches. When I'm not doing that, I will be at home spending time with family or at the lodge shooting up some targets.

GB: Enjoying my favorite season, catching up with people and enjoying the calm before the whirlwind of winter hits. And of course, training hard and spending lots of time with my rifle!

Thank you ladies and good luck this season!