Olympic Champion N1NO Schurter spends 95% of his time training or racing on his bike. Like all athletes at his level, the 7x World Champion likes to escape from his busy schedule in the off-season and to spend time with family and friends somewhere remote. Here is why.
"In my off-season I try to re-fuel and get new motivation. An XC season is extremely energy consuming both physically and mentally. First of all I recover and I try to not bike at all, instead taking care of the beautiful things in life, so that means family first. In my short off-season I also catch up on missed things: From time to time we go to the beach, have dinners with friends and generally do things which have nothing to do with biking. Spending time with friends is especially important to me - that's often not done enough when you're in World Cup mode."
"Recreation and breaks are as important as training. Breaks are essential during training time to regenerate physically. Longer time-offs lasting several weeks are important for athletes in the long run in order to give the body the break it needs, plus to set new stimuli and to clear my head. Those who train constantly without giving body and mind a break, train themselves down to zero, both physically and mentally. Especially after an eventful season with many highlights and great successes, it is immensely important for me to come down as well as possible. My family and a completely different environment help me a lot to do just that- come down, and re-focus."
"I have a lot of hustle and bustle all year round. In addition to the training and the racing circus, my program also includes sponsor events, media appointments and other commitments throughout the year - which is nice, but also very time-consuming and intense. To relax as much as possible and to clear my mind, I like to be in relatively quiet places, such as my parents' holiday home in southern Tuscany, where I have no distractions and can focus entirely on doing simply nothing. The trails there are like a playground, the terrain is made for both little and big boys: every year I discover new trails and lines. So, zero doubts- the Maremma is very wild and offers enormous variety for bikers."
"I do everything that is fun and offers variety in the off-season: riding motocross, going to the sea, indulging in the Italian Dolce Vita - Tuscany makes it very easy for me here."
"With Tuscany I connect family, good food, cool trails, the sea, friends and any outdoor adventure. It's the place where I literally come down and push my "Re-Set" button. You live a quite simple life there, garnished with the typical ambiance, extremely nice people and mostly pleasant weather. Apart from that, it's great to train here- regardless of the bike."
"My family is my base. Nothing works without a well-working environment. My daughter and my wife are of course always most important to me. At the age of three, my daughter is already very skilled on the kid’s bike. She often comes with me or I take her with me - she's totally in it, no doubts."
"My brother and I discovered biking together when we were kids. And we challenged each other from the beginning. As a family we often went on bike holidays. We both have a totally different bike style, which can be very inspiring. We all have fun with biking in our own way. My brother is an MTB instructor, he has a bike school in Massa Marittima and therefore, like me, he rides bikes almost every day. My father used to coach the Swiss DH national team and is still very fast on his bike today. Both invest a lot of time in local trail building and in the bike community here in the Maremma. It's great when you can share a passion within your family! We live mountain biking to the core. They have just shaped a new trail line here in Massa Marittima on one of the local mountains, it's called El Nino. I couldn't wait to ride it!"Learn about Nino Schurter's SCOTT Ransom in our interview HERE.
Video: Rainedupon Media
Images: Jochen Haar