You have won two gold, two silver, and one bronze medal in the European Championships over the years. Tell us more about your experience of these spectacular exceptional achievements?
I do remember when I won my first international title in Kolomna, Russia becoming European champion in 2018. I was in very good shape and hammered a fast time on the ice but was still unsure if this will be enough to be on top after the remaining pairs.
So I crossed the finish line and passed by my husband Tom, standing on the crossing straight and he whispered to me when I was passing by: “congrats champ, this is your first title, since noone can beat this time. The day after I won silver in the 1.000m and so we decided that just for fun I shall participate in mass start, which is unusual for a sprinter. And I won bronze and completed my full set of medals. Right before the Olympics in Pyeongchang 2018 this was the motivation boost I have hoped for.
You have won one Gold in 500m, one Silver in 1000m World Single Distances Championships in 2019. How do you manage such a remarkable achievement and which of these wins is most dear to your heart and why?
For years Tom and I had prepared for these world championships in Inzell, which is our training base. We spend nearly 1/3 of our time in this stadium; love the ice, the region of Chiemgau and the people. When the season 2018/19 started I was in good shape from the beginning on, but I just could not beat Nao Kodaira, the Japanese Olympic champion and not beaten since 2016 on the 500m. With every world cup race I came closer to Nao, which is additionally a very good friend of mine and a sports person that I really adore. The last race before Inzell was in Hamar, Norway and I was super-fast but still Nao won. Tom told me after the race: You will see next week in Inzell we will be at our home track, which is a little bit narrower than others and while Nao will have some problems you will skate at your very best.
When we left for the rink Tom stopped me and showed me an envelope and said: I have written down the time you will do today and did not show my by then.
The 500m were the best race of my career; I broke the track record and became world champion in 37.11. I could not believe that I had finally reached the goal of my career. We had a long media day and when coming back to the hotel I opened the envelope to see what Tom has guessed and he was very close: 37.12
Next day I was still in a flow and became 2nd in the 1.000m. I do not remember this race entirely since I was still overwhelmed. It were the first medals for Austria in speed skating since 25 years and my success was very much appreciated in Austria, when I was later honored as “Athlete of the year 2019” in Austria.
What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you may wish to share?
Ever since my husband is coaching me, he integrated a lot of different trainings in my program, so our weekly routine consists of:
2 sessions in the gym, mostly all varieties of squats combined with core and upper body exercises
2 track and field sessions with hurdle, mobility and sprints
3-4 times speedskating or inline speed skating
1 time jump program
3-4 times 90-150 minutes on the race or mountain bike
1-2 sessions of swimming, running or hiking
What is your fitness routine in such pandemic times?
The pandemic was a big change for everyone, for us as well. We had to do a lot of trainings at home at our farm, where I could do gym in our cellar, running at our grounds, and slide board in our living room. We had to compromise a lot, but were still far luckier than so many other people, who suffered tremendously from Covid-19.
How do you train your abs? One secret to your toned body.
We are doing abs training 3-4 times a week with a set of 15 different exercises. Since I had a disc prolapse recently we are always stabilizing the back, lower back and the whole muscle complex around, which is very important to do, once you have strong abs. Balance is the key to a healty and well functional body.
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