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One Day In The Life Of... Jay Hakkinen

Thu, Sep  17, 2009 - By Tanja Ohlson/IBU caught up with US Biathlete Jay Hakkinen in Obertilliach. Hakkinen, the 1997 Junior World Sprint Champion is preparing for his fourth Olympic Winter Games. He spent a week at the popular Austrian training venue with US Coach Armin Auchentaller after spending a similar week in Antholz. We followed him for a day.

Jay Hakkinen, IBU photo

Jay Hakkinen in Obertilliach
(photo: IBU)

6.30 am:  The alarm rings and Jay gets up. He does some light stretching and goes through his morning routine.

7 am:      Breakfast

7.30 am:  Auchentaler picks up Jay and they drive to the shooting range about 1km outside of Obertilliach.

They set up and then Jay does some dry firing. After that, it is time for cardio work Jay runs intervals until 11.30. During interval training, the athlete alternates between high and low intensity in order to improve the speed. At the end of his workout, he does some combo work of rollerskiing and shooting. While the only US athlete in Obertilliach he enjoys the company of the athletes from all over the world. "The competition, especially at the shooting range is great and very important. And especially when the Germans are here every day is a competition!" Jay laughs.

11.30 am:  Jay and Auchentaller pack up and head back for a quick shower.

12 pm:      Lunch

After lunch:  It is recovery time and .Jay takes a nap for 1 ½ hours.

"Camp days are not that different from "normal" days, the basic schedule stays the same, and the more you stick to it the better you are. It is not hard to take a nap in the afternoon. It is the discipline, doing the same thing every day and not going out. At home, you can occasionally meet someone for lunch or go out in the afternoon, spend time with your family, things like that. However, at camp everything is done at maximum intensity. It is not a vacation; it's all part of my work."

3.30 pm:    After about four hours of rest, it is time for the second training session of the day.

For a good two hours, Jay does mountain training. For him, the many different opportunities for a workout are what he likes best about Obertilliach.

Around 6 pm: Jay is done for the day. He eats a light snack and heads back to his room for another shower and some much-needed relaxation.

7.30 pm:    Dinner

8 pm:   Finally, a little bit of time off.

For the next two hours, Jay can have a little bit of a "normal" life. Still, "The best thing is to stay focused on the training the whole time and really use the recovery times. If you are too active during this time, your energy for the next training session is not there. Therefore, I normally do my training log and then spend time on the internet, read a little, or watch TV.

10 pm:  The lights go out and Jay goes to bed so he is well rested for the next camp day that will not be very different from this one.