Canadian Chandra Crawford (20) medaled twice at last years U-23 Worlds at Soldier Hollow. Fasterskier.com got a chance to ask her some questions about last season, her training and goals.
At what age did you realize that you had talent for going fast in any sport?
– Growing up with really active parents, we were always really outside in the mountains and then through school and local clubs I got more into the racing side. Running in school, swim club, mountain biking, and biathlon were sports I love, but I think that more than anything I love racing. I don’t think I thought too much about my athletic ability, I just went out and hammered, and I was always fit from all the fun hiking and ski touring we did as a family.
Are you focusing on the sprint or trying to improve and race all events?
– The sprints are still my â€œfavoriteâ€ race, but with my coaches we’ve been working to stretch the 1km speed out over longer distances. A big part of it is my confidence and mental approach to different races. I can wake up on a sprint day so excited to absolutely charge in the race, and in longer races last year it felt like I had to mentally catch up with the boost in physical ability that came from all the hard training. It was a great feeling to dig deep and find more in the tank at times when I’d previously burnt out.
Have you ever run track -if yes, what are your PR's in 200, 400, 800, 1500 and 3000 m?
– I ran track in high school, but couldn’t tell you a single one of my times. We trained and raced hard, and I always placed in the top two at the zone championship to make it to provincials If you want some times, we did critical speed testing last week and my time for the 4000m was 15:56 and in the 1000m I ran 3:18.
What goes through your mind in a sprint race and is it different than in a traditional race?
– A sprint time trial is different than other races in that because in such a short race, the margin for error is smaller. Every step has to be your absolute strongest. I’ll often just think â€œGo Now!â€ during a race. I break the course into sections, and although I start absolutely full blast, every few meters I try and pick it up more. In the heats I like to think tactically about how I can get to the finish line before everyone else.Â
What was the most important thing you learned last season and how will that help you this season?
– Last season I learned more about the difference that quality preparation can make all year long. I was really excited to be given the opportunity to train on the senior team and did my best to prepare for awesome workouts. I also had Sara and Beckie as team-mates, and one of the many helpful things Sara told me during the summer was that all the workouts matter, but the intervals really matter. It’s important to do the hard technical workouts extremely well, and if you have to take the afternoon off training the day before to prepare, that’s fine if you’re going to be better for it the next day. Every day counts and they all added up into a boost in speed and shape for the winter.
Please describe what motivates you to train hard?
– The rewarding feeling after you dig really deep motivates me to train hard; I really love the training lifestyle. The small tastes of success I’ve had at big races always leaves me very motivated (â€œif I was here this year, and I train really hard, maybe I can be up there next year â€) Being on a team with awesome skiers like Sara and Beckie motivates me. The dedication of my coaches to do everything really well and work very hard motivates me as well.
Can you describe a typical training week look like for you in the summer and fall?
– Every week seems quite different, but a good example of hard high quality training is this week: Monday: 6 hours of continuous training, running in to the Haig Glacier and going skiing
Tuesday: 4 hours, mostly skiing
Wednesday: 3 hours, running out from glacier
Friday: long training
Saturday: double polling intervals
What’s your goal for the upcoming season?
– My goals for the season are to be in the top three at U-23’s again, and to race at the World Championships in Obertsdorf.