Making the Olympic team is not Lars Flora’s main goal — the dream about skiing to a top result in Torino is what motivates him to put in a combination of high volume and solid interval training. We asked him some questions.
What was your best race last season? What do you consider your best race ever?
– Last year I was in great shape early in the season. My best international race occurred at the World Loppet Race in Italy in December. The race was close to being my best race ever except I didn’t have any support or feeds the last 22 km. In the sprint I was blown away due to depleted glycogen stores and poor tactical choices in the final one-kilometer. My best domestic race occurred in the Gold Rush. It felt really good to finish the season with a National 50-k Championship victory.
Tough question with â€œBest race ever?â€ I would have to say the 2002 National Sprint Race in Bozeman, Mt. It was my first National Championship and the race that qualified me for the Olympic Team.
It looks like you struggled in early January, around US Nationals last year. What happened?
– Over Christmas I tore a ligament in my back in the weight room. The injury impacted my technique and caused cramping in my lower body throughout US Nationals. It was disaster.
Not being on the national team, how do you support yourself being a full-time racer?
– The Subaru Factory Team has taken care of me for the last three years. It is great team and the athletes receive great support. In addition I am a member of the Olympic Job Opportunity program at Home Depot and my main Alaskan sponsor Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology of Alaska takes care of the rest.
What 's a typical training week for you in the summer like?
– A normal training week consists of 20 hours a week, three ski specific intensity sessions ranging from 20 minutes to 60 minutes of on-time per session, and 2-3 times a week in the weight room. Most of the training is done roller skiing, ski bounding, ski walking, and running. Biking is also added 1-2 times a week. In the summer I do two training camps up on Eagle glacier skiing 4 hours a day. In addition my training does vary with intensity and volume. I alternate using intensity blocks and weeks with very little intensity.