World, Olympic and European javelin champion Andreas Thorkildsen is refreshed and relaxed after a great 2010 season and is about to embark on his winter training in preparation for the defence of his World title next year.
"I recently returned from a trip to Bali, where I stayed for 10 days with my girlfriend, Christina (Vukicevic, Norwegian 100m Hurdles record holder). It’s the first time I’ve been to that part of the world and it was a fantastic place. Most of all I enjoyed the chance to finally relax at the end of a long season, hanging around by the pool and lapping up the nice weather. I have also been running around doing lots of activities for my different sponsors, ranging from public speaking, schools appearances and corporate events.
"But now all of that is out of the way, I will be starting my winter training on Tuesday and getting stuck into some hard work. From now until New Year, it will be lots of base training, moving on to the more technical things towards the end of the winter at the start of 2011. The plan is pretty much the same as before and we won’t be changing anything – it has worked well for us in the past, so if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
"Although I am the only javelin thrower that my coach trains, it never gets too lonely in training because we train with different people depending on what kind of session it is. For example, my weight training will be done with Olympic-level weight lifters – so I’m never lacking in motivation!
"Next year will be another big year, of course, with the IAAF World Championships in Daegu and the Samsung Diamond League – two titles that I am very eager to defend. I really enjoyed the Diamond League and having a champion in every event. There are still some minor things to work out, but overall I think it’s definitely better than the Golden League.
"At this stage it’s difficult to say who will be my big rivals next year. Obviously Matthias De Zordo had a great breakthrough season this year, as did the Czech athletes. But ours is one of the events that does not have an indoor season, so you don’t know who is going to break out until the season starts in 2011.
"But that is quite a long way off – I have a long, hard winter ahead of me before then!
"Until next time..."