Annija Sabule interview

Tell us in brief who you are

I am a woman who always tries to do my best in every life situation. No matter it is sports or work related. Doing my best makes me proud of myself after really working hard. I appreciate and respect people who are loyal and honest because I believe that makes people beautiful from the inside and outside.

Young Annija competing

Why did you become a biathlete?

When I was 7 years old I started to learn how to shoot in elementary school and with that I wanted a real hobby. I told my parents that I want try biathlon because we live near to cross country skiing track. They accepted my idea and I started to practise biathlon. My parents also have a background in sports when they were young, my dad played basketball and my mom did cross country skiing.
but that wasn’t the reason why I wanted to do it.

Apart from biathlon, what other sports do you do?

In fact, we have so many different type of training sessions! I run and jog a lot, cycle and work out at the gym too of course. The main thing is skiing and roller skiing during the competition season, but the other work is important as well. My favourite part of training is when we do shooting exercises after cardio, this makes the training very interesting and in my opinion, improves the total training process.

Jogging, cycling, roller and cross country skiing – some of Annijas training methods

About your biathlon gear. Does your rifle have a nickname?

Ha-ha no my rifle does not have a name, but sometimes in social networks I call it my babe.

What kind of gear do you use for roller skiing?

I use Start poles, Marwe roller skis and Fischer boots. To record my sport activities, I keep an eye on my Garmin sport watch. After the training session I can do a follow up on all the important information what I want to know about my training session.

Your sister roller skis with you, is she also into professional sport?

My sister and I do so many things together and roller skiing is one of them. No, my sister is not a professional athlete, she exercises because she likes to spend time outdoors and to relax doing it.

She also practiced biathlon when she was a kid, now it is more like to spend time with me and just for her own health and fun.

Annija here together with her sister Ketija Grēta @ketaa_

How do you prepare and warmup for a roller skiing workout?

I do not have any special routines. Before the training session I eat well and just relax, sometimes I run or jog maybe for 10 minutes. After finishing my roller skiing workout, I stretch and do some power exercises.Roller skiing as a form of sport is becoming more popular, due partly to the fact that the periods of winter when there is snow on the ground have decreased. In Latvia, if normal fitness enthusiasts would like to try roller skiing, is possible?

Partly because of snowless winters roller skiing is getting popular. In Latvia, Is it possible for everyone it if they want to ?

I agree with this, because global warming every year affects Latvia a lot. We do not have a proper long cold or snow-filled winter and that means we roller ski much more often here in Latvia during the winter than 3 years ago. Of course, it is possible for anyone to try roller skiing who has skis, poles and other gear to try how to start or rent the necessary equipment. Nowadays people really like to try something new and for those who love a boost in adrenaline and extreme things roller skiing is excellent exercise. Feedback from all the people who have tried is just positive. It is super nice if people try roller skiing because only then they can be closer to our sport and emotions. And Latvia is an ideal place to do it because the weather is more appropriate for roller skiing than cross country skiing.

Please tell us more about your roller ski routines?

When at home I do my roller skiing training at my home track but when its training camp time we roller ski on other tracks. It would be so cool if we could do roller skiing on roads but in Latvia there are no good roads or road side where to practise and other people do not understand people like us. Roller skiing is not Latvian culture and other people and legislation will prevent it, that is the reason why we train only at suitable tracks, for our own safety.

About how long distance is my training on roller skis – often we have some speed training on roller skis, bit more often long ones and then some power training on roller skis. The length of the training is from 1 to 2,5 hours. And how often I do this kind of trainings it hard to tell because schedule changes every week, from 3 to 6 times per week during the summer time.

Skipping rope is a perfect method to prepare and warm-up for workouts.

How do you share time between studies, training & competitions?

I am trying to manage everything as well as it is possible. Sometimes I have a lack of time but then I get up earlier for training or go to training in late evening and trying to adapt to university schedule. It isn’t easy, but I need to get the highest education just for myself and my future. Competitions and training camps always are my first choice and after the, I will concentrate on my exams or homework etc.

Do you have future plans related to your studies?

At the present I do not thinking about it so much now. Now I focus on my studies, not for some specific job which I might do in two years’ time. I am trying to learn as many new things as it is possible, because I know that every single new experience will make me just for a smarter person who will be more independent in future.

Back to school with an smile.

Latvian roller skiing weather is diverse. Which is your favourite?

When I train I am not thinking about weather so much because I know that I need train and that is it. For sure it is more comfortable if it is sunny and not so warm outside, but normally I try to not be so negative about weather. I cannot change it, just have do my work. Yes, I can say that I do not like autumn weather so much because is it quite cold and windy and grey outside and motivation is lower than on a warm and sunny summer day.

Cross country biking can be a dirty affair, but its also fun.

Do you train with your dog, do shooting sounds scare her?

My dog is very nervous about everything and that is the reason why sometimes it is hard to train with her. But I am trying to take her with my forest running training, because she really likes this activity as I do. As I said before she is so stressed about every human and every sound which is not in our house, that means she is so afraid from shooting sound and I am not trying to take her to my trainings because that fear is not possible to change.

About dog shows – now she is old but when she was younger we took her to many dogs shows in Latvia and Estonia too.

Annija with her Akita dog

Do you have any idols or heroes in biathlon or other sports?

I could say no, but if I think about it more I understand that I have a person by my side who is my hero. He is my boyfriend Martins Blums. Martins is a professional XCO rider and I have so many things to learn from him like being an athlete. For example, everyday discipline,healthy nutrition etc. I am very,very proud that I can say that he is my sports hero because he is the only person who will show and tell me about things what can and will motivate me.

@Mārtiņš Blūms Latvian MTB XCO athlete.















Thank you for the interview Annija, and the best of luck for the coming season and the future too! All images all from Annija´s IG account; @annijasabule
© Annija Sabule 2019.

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