Nikola is the only Czech competitor to have been selected for the individual road race at the Tokyo Olympic Games. However, this extraordinarily ambitious competitor from Jablonec will have to wait a little while longer than she thought for her Olympic premiere.
You’re the only one to have secured a place for the road race. What does the postponement of the Olympics mean for you, and what’s your opinion of the decision?
During these uncertain times, I continued to prepare in the same way, as if the Olympics were going to be held on the same date, or perhaps a little later. However, it wouldn’t have been safe to hold the Olympics on the originally scheduled date, and the athletes’ preparation for the event also would not have been 100%. In my opinion, it was the right decision to move the Games into 2021. This will allow the event to proceed safely and also allow all athletes optimal preparation.
The races are cancelled, and it’s uncertain when the season will resume. Do you still have the same motivation during training? What do your days look like now?
My day is full of a variety of activities. In the morning, I get up around 5 am, stretch and practice yoga, then I do my first phase of training, which ends with more stretching or light exercise, such as weight training or balance exercises. In the afternoon, I usually relax with a book if possible, and in the evening I finish by stretching my muscles on a massage roller and do some more light yoga.
In these times, psychological wellbeing is very important. How do you look after this aspect of your health?
I actually like listening to music, and reading my favourite books, which are mainly biographies of athletes, which I find is really motivating. I like to make sure that I keep my mind active while at home.
What does your on-bike training look like?
I train outside, but I always ride alone, to protect myself and others. While I ride, I keep in mind that if I want to stand on the podium again when racing resumes, I need to keep training and pushing myself. I have big goals for the World Championships in Martigny, Switzerland, later this year, where I hope to be able to see the rewards for remaining dedicated to maintaining my fitness and training during this time.
Photo: Sean Robinson/Vélofocus.
From the original Czech by Dámy Na Kole.