Corona restrictions or a normal skier’s life
Customer story 11.05.2020
Welcome to the everyday life of a ski champion!
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the everyday lives of most people underwent a major change. Avoiding infections has always been a part of the everyday life of an athlete during the competition season. Finnish cross-country skier Katri Lylynperä continues her training as usual despite the coronavirus. She relaxes by going home to her cottage where she can swim, go to the sauna and hot tub, and play with her dear dog, Väpä.
COVID-19 woke up people around the world to a spring of pandemic restrictions. Restricting human contact to only a few people, washing hands almost manically and avoiding large crowds became the new normal faster than anyone could have expected early in the year. People coughing without covering their mouths in a grocery store checkout line get disapproving looks, and spreading infection is deemed irresponsible, even when it is done unconsciously.
“Welcome to the everyday life of a ski champion! The everyday lives of most people underwent a major change with the coronavirus, but an athlete’s not as much. Now everyone has to experience how athletes feel avoiding infections. In a team, the best way to avoid spreading infections is to set common rules and hold on to them. Now we should make the rules work in society as a whole,” Katri ponders.
Every competing athlete knows that, as the competitions approach, the most dangerous destroyer of performance is any infection, even a small one. Years of hard work can be ruined by the smallest pathogen that decreases performance for weeks. That is why athletes restrict their human connections as far as possible, disinfect hotel room surfaces and above all wash their hands thoroughly. Some athletes have even gone so far as to avoid meeting their own family before major competitions.
“The corona restrictions of society do not affect me too much since they have already been a major part of my normal everyday life. By chance, I had not even planned any travelling for my rest period this spring. Luckily, the training of my sport is also almost completely outdoor training, which is allowed for now at least. However, gym training, group exercises, competitions and camps are conspicuous by their absence at the moment. I hope the pandemic cools down by autumn so that at least camping in Finland and competing in winter would be possible. Training at home immediately continued as usual from the beginning of week 18,” Katri says about her daily routine plans.
Rest and nutrition are important to the athlete
In addition to training, it is important to take care of rest and nutrition so that recovery remains as efficient as possible. Sleep and nutrition are essential in preventing infections.
“I sleep for 9 hours every night and I often have a nap when I do a lot of training,” Katri says about her daily schedule.
In nutrition, it is important to fill the caloric deficit that is caused by excessive endurance training. It is also essential to take into consideration the need for protein, soft fats and protective nutrients by eating vegetables, fruits, nuts and high-quality meat and fish. Drinking plenty of water is also important, particularly in the warm summer days and frosty winter days. You can make sure you drink enough by keeping a water bottle with you wherever you go.
Sports would be simple if everything depended only on physical aspects. Excessive stress, for one, is a harmful factor that drains energy and reserves of strength. That is why athletes aim to focus their thoughts solely on the things that are in their control. Humans are not robots but social animals that need more than just food, rest and exercise to feel well. That is why every athlete must feed the emotional aspects of themselves that require personalised care. Some need more people and activities around them than others.
“I relax at home in my cottage by swimming and going to the sauna and the hot tub. One of my dearest friends is Väpä, an Australian Kelpie. Training him and playing with him has been an effective way to forget my own worries. Dogs do not worry about the past or future; they can truly enjoy the little things and live in the moment. This spring I will try to learn some lessons from him. So, my spring will contain playing outside with my dog – in addition to training,” Katri smiles.
Read also how skier Katri Lylynperä has set her sights on the World Cup