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Reserve at the height

Biathlonrus.com has visited Pokljuka, where three reserve teams of the country have their training camps, and has witnessed three training sessions, but all of them were for the men youth team. Forbidden Bled, work on the new training simulator, hot Russian «banya», which scares Slovenians — all these are in the reserve reportage from Pokljuka.

Pokljuka is situated at the height of 1400 meters above-sea level at the mountain plateau in the northwest of Slovenia. The local biathlon stadium is situated in the central national park Triglav in Julijske Alps, and therefore the infrastructure here is quite modest. Despite this fact the women junior, women youth and men youth teams managed to accommodate without any discomfort in the hotel, which windows overhang almost above the shooting range.

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The Russian teams started the training camp in Pokljuka on Agust, 3. Both women teams had the day off on Tuesday. The girls decided to take advantage from the coaches' good graces and went to relax in Bled, the town, situated 25 kilometers away from Pokljuka. During the first several days of the training camp the trips to Bled were verboten — the town is situated at the height of 530 meters above-sea level. Because of this height difference the permission to go to Bled was received by the end of the second week. The explanation is simple — the girls had to acclimatize themselves to the height.

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To avoid the intersection of three teams during the training sessions, the youth men team has its own schedule. On the day, when the girls went to Bled, the boys trained according to this plan and had three training sessions. The first of them started at 8:45 in the morning. The sportsmen made complex exercises, trained their speed and shooting skills.

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The special feature of the morning session was countless repeated 100–meter accelerations — the team perfected the start and finish spurts. Divided into pairs, the sportsmen ran 100–meter distance many times in the competition alike conditions. The coaches of the team — Robert Kabukov and Yuri Mayorov — changed the tasks from time to time. The team liked this variety of the exercises. The speediest team were Dmitry Dyuzhev and Evgeny Boyarskikh. Maksim Burtasov and Kirill Kudryashov fought quite in earnest.

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«We noticeably decreased the training loads in Pokljuka, but increased the intensity,» comments the coach of the youth team Rober Kabukov. «We also take into the fact that we work at the height. We have three training sessions per day and try to diversify the training process. The other day the biathletes covered 70 kilometers on bikes in mountains. The elevation was around 800 meters. We also organize cross-walking training, play football. The serious attention is paid to the shooting training.»

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During the second training session the boys made 28 kilometers on the roller-skis. The evening training, or so-called «blank training», was not blank at all. Fortunately, the local residents live far from the stadium and do not hear the shots. The team was not full at the evening session — Robert Kabukov worked separetly with Evgeny Boyarskikh in the gym. But even in the gym, the main subject of the training session was a rifle.

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«Every day I organize the individual training session with one of the sportsmen,» explains Kabukov. «We work with the new electronic simulator, which allows us to train the right work with the trigger. After a few dozens of shots we analyze each of them with the help of the laptop, connected to the rifle. The athletes say, they have never done anything like this, but they already feel the positive impact from these trainings. There are no unimportant thins in shooting. This rigorous work with the trigger will surely help later.»

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Two times a week each of the Russian team visit the local sauna. The sportsmen should prepare the sauna by themselves. One day one of the teams was so carried away by the process that the fire alarm went off for the whole hotel. From this day, every time when the Russians go to sauna, the Slovenians, who are not used to the Russian «banya» traditions, look at them askance.