world champion in speed chess Sergey Karyakin and Mariya Savinova (Vladimir Barskiy for Spikes magazine) © Copyright

Savinova's month of chess and local competitions - IAAF Online Diaries

“Hello friends. It is a busy time for me now. I train a lot, and recently I did two outings, at the Znamensky Memorial meeting and then the Moscow Championships.

“The result both times was almost the same, 2:00.67 and 2:00.20. The major difference was in the style of the race: in Zhukovskiy at the Znamensky Memorial, I decided to use my usual tactics with a sprint finish. The decision was made about an hour before the race, and I won easily, although hoped the result would be faster. At Moscow Champs, on the contrary, I ran a solo race and was a bit disappointed that did not go under two minutes but it is really hard to run alone, I just missed someone who could push me.

“I know it’s a bit strange that I compete at regional championship and don’t go to Diamond League meetings. The idea is that now I just don’t want to do any special preparation for my races. If I compete at home, I don’t need to stop my training camp or peak and be in my best shape for the race.

“I don’t need to travel anywhere, and can train normally already on the next day after the race; and it’s important to do the full training volume now, as there is only a little bit more than a month left before my home World Champs.

“As for the Diamond League, I know I will have time for it after the Worlds. It’s not really a sacrifice, as the win in Moscow, before my home crowd, is my biggest dream and definitely worth it!

“To make sure you do not to think that my life is only about running, I was recently a guest at the big international chess tournament called the Tal Memorial in Moscow. As you may be know, my coach Vladimir Kazarin calls me ‘a chess player’ because of my smart tactics during the Spikes magazine decided to invite me to real chess competition.

"It was an unusual experience, as I did not expect chess in Moscow could attract so many people, and the atmosphere was great. I even played a game against the first world champion in speed chess Sergey Karyakin. I won’t actually tell you the result now – you’ll be able to read more about it in the next issue of Spikes very soon.

“My biggest problem right now is how to survive the Moscow heat. The temperatures are extremely high right now, and training in more than 35 degrees feels awful. It seems we found the way out: I started my second training session yesterday at 21.00, and the first training session starts at about 9.00, but I still want to leave for the next training camp very soon. The crazy traffic in Moscow does not contribute to my good feeling either!

“When I feel that I am mentally tired from the usual training routine, I start dreaming about the vacation in autumn. One thing is settled for sure, together with my husband Alexey we will go to Barcelona. I first liked the city in 2010, at the European Championships, then we went there for holidays last year, and we absolutely fell in love with it.

“After my home country, Barcelona is definitely the best place in the world! We would probably go somewhere else to enjoy the beach afterwards, but stopping in Barcelona is now ‘Point 1’ in all our vacation plans.

“That’s it for now, and talk to you again soon already on the eve of the World Championships! I hope writing that diary would help me to ease the pressure :-)