Marit Bjorgen Starts The Season In Peak Shape

FasterSkierJune 10, 2004

Early tests are confirming that World Cup Sprint Queen Marit Bjorgen has conserved last winters gold winning shape this spring.

Many ski racers are getting their MaxVo2 tested several times during the training season. The highest levels are usually tested right prior to the start of the season and the levels usually tapers off in the easy period following the end of the season.

Marit Bjorgen also had an easier period after the season, but has despite this been able to maintain her shape very well. A recent Max Vo2 test confirmed that she is now in better shape than at the same time last year and actually already at last year’s September level. This confirms that she can start the season at a higher level than in the past and is in the same shape as after a full summer and fall with basic build up training last year.

– I’m in better shape now than I have been in the past at this time of year, says Bjorgen.

Bjorgen’s progress in line with coach Samdal’s training philosophy. He wants his skiers to reach a higher level earlier and use the increased capacity to take the next step. Samdal’s philosophy has got lots of attention due to the use of high number of hard workouts. Bjorgen is according to herself one of those that are doing the most number of hard sessions, but she is not planning of increasing the hard part of the training this season.

– I’m going to train more, roughly 50 hours more than last year. I’m adding some distance training, and not much more hard training. I’m hoping to increase my capacity by 10 percent with this program, says Marit.

Marit won all the sprint races except for one and ended up second in the overall World Cup, but is hungry for more success.

– She says that she is going to capture three medals at the Worlds and in addition want to become better in the longer distances.

You have been dominating the sprint, and many are probably looking at what you are doing and cooping you, while you have to “explore” on your own, how are you handling that situation?

– I haven’t done anything in particular to become good in sprint, but we are having some pure sprint camps this year to add more focus on the sprint.. Other skiers are going to get closer, some are specializing, and new names are going to appear. We saw that this season. My strength has been in the uphills, while I in skating could improve a lot in the easy sections. I’m for example looking at what Ingrid Narum is doing since she is very good in easy terrain. I’m also going to focus more on skiing in a pack.

Since you have been almost unbeatable in sprint, are you looking at what the boys on the national team are doing to improve?

– No, I have never done that. We had a camp together with them in May but it didn’t look like they did anything else that playing soccer, so maybe they should have been with us…

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