February 7, 2017

Finnish Triple Jumper, Kristiina Mäkelä, reports after Rio…


I have just started training again. I needed a proper vacation after last season. For one month I let go from all my routines, and cleared sport out of my life.

You may know my success story about triple jumping myself into the Olympic Finals. It succeeded with my personal best, and that was a hard work. But there was more to it. During the indoor season, in March 2016, my ex-coach informed me that he was no longer going to coach me. That was a big slap in the face since there was only few months to prepare for Rio. I had to find a new coach, and fast. You can imagine the amount of stress that I had to deal with. It was a very difficult spring and start to the summer, but I was so happy to finally pull it off. I took a chance with a right decision and no excuses. Was I tired after that, but it sure made me stronger.

Now I have fresh thoughts, a lot of motivation, new goals, a new plan and the right people around me for this 4-year journey towards the Tokyo Olympics. During this time, we are going to measure every centimeter – I am really determined, focused with a calm mindset.

The training season has started. We have made a 12-month plan with my coach with a main goal for the year. We have built everything else around it to support this. We then have to decide on training camps, training facilities and flight bookings. At this point you need money.

I have a wide support team – an eating specialist, and coaches who help out with things like physio- and mental coaching. I call to them to help out with support the 12 -month plan. We arrange meetings and try to get everybody to discuss and understand each other better. We also arrange get-togethers with my sponsors.

There is so much to do, and I haven’t talked about training at all. That’s probably because it’s the easiest part for me. I can just go and do it! Coach is there to tell me what to do, and I can enjoy the challenge. I’m good at concentrating on the best possible quality. We have begun with fitness and health improving training after the long break to get me into better shape for the harder, more specific training.

The first training camp takes place at the end of November in South-Africa. Warm weather helps a lot with recovery. Training camps are good opportunities to fully focus on the main objectives. The main purpose in South-Africa it to do normal training in good conditions.

On top of that I’m studying in Helsinki university and I’m trying to write my Bachelor’s thesis this year. There is not so much free time. Autumn is the busiest time for athletes who did well in the summer, and that complicates things. There is a lot of phone calls from different places asking if I could participate their events. I made a few speeches, visited my sponsors and had my pictures taken for magazines. But I also said no many times. That is an important skill. And since you have read this text you understand why!