2015 is sure to be a busy year for Zuzana Hejnova, the 2013 European Athlete of the Year, as she will be competing in front of her own Czech fans at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague from 6-8 March before shifting her focus towards the IAAF World Championships in Beijing this summer.
Hejnova has been training in the Canary Islands as part of her winter preparations and agreed to answer questions about the upcoming season.
How do you feel after the first few training sessions of the year?
So far, it looks very promising. But still, it is not the best shape I have been in. I need more speed but I believe I’ll have time to improve until the European Indoors. Otherwise, the most important for me is to stay healthy and to keep training as planned.
On what aspects of training did you decide to focus on with your coach Dalibor Kupka?
At the beginning, we were doing a lot of volume training and now we are focusing more and more on the speed training, speed-endurance and take-offs. We are staying in training camp in Tenerife until 16 January and then the first starts come.
Check out Zuzana Hejnova in a super slow-motion training video below:
What else do you have scheduled ahead of the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague?
We still have a couple of very intense training phases coming up. Some of them still here at the Canary Islands and then a couple of sessions back at home. Step by step, I will start to compete in the Czech Republic, and then already in the classic events. It is not clear yet where I am going to compete, but I will run my first 400m in Moscow on 1 February.
And what about your plans to possibly compete over 800m?
When it comes to this event, if I am healthy and relaxed, I will try it at least once indoors and we will see what comes out of it. I am not very keen on the idea but I trust my coach when he says that I would not run it so bad (smile).
How do you relax during the tough training camps?
There are many different ways to relay. We go out for coffee, watch movies, take naps after lunch, or simply go to the wellness center.
Have you been following the organisation of the championships in Prague?
I do follow the action surrounding the championships and it' shard to believe how fast the championships are approaching.
What do you think about the new championships mascot – Little Mole?
I am very happy for this choice. It is a great idea. Everybody loves this cartoon character and on top of that it is a typical Czech figure. Little Mole reminds me of the nice moments from my childhood.
Interview by Zuzana Trojáková and Michal Procházka for the Czech athletics federation