2002 Olympian Lars Flora has been one of the top U.S. skiers for several years now. He was recently named to the U.S. World Cup team for the upcoming December World Cup races in Canada. Fasterskier.com got an interview with Lars early last week when he was training in West Yellowstone:
How did you feel about your summer/fall training? Did you focus on anything differently this year than in the past?
– The summer and fall training went well. The main difference from previous years was a bump in intensity. The other addition to my training was a threshold block after a heavy September of race pace intervals. I felt I needed a threshold block to help me build back my threshold after doing so many level four workouts. In my opinion skiers need to train their bodies to ski fast without building lactate.
Lars leads a pack in the recent Winterstart races in Anchorage
How are you able to make things work financially as an elite ski racer? Do your sponsors take care of you completely or do you have to mix in some other work with the training?
– The Subaru Factory Team has taken care of me for the last three years. It is a 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.
Just for fun – do you have a favorite band or musical artist?
– My favorite band changes every day. I use my ipod everyday. Ipod’s are a little addicting during training so I try not to use music in both workouts. Today my favorite band was Gorillaz.
Did you ever have a childhood ski hero that inspired you to try to become a great skier?
– Growing up I had three ski heros: Gunde Svan, Bill Koch, and my brother, Erik. Every night Gunde was in my room looking over me. My older brother had a life size cut out of Gunde and he handed it down to me when I was 12. Unfortunately the cat peed on his leg and we had to throw it away. Another hero was Bill Koch. He would come over to dinner once a year and I will never forget the impact it had on me. Finally the most important hero: my brother, Erik. He paved the way for me and passed on his ski experiences. Ever since I started racing I wanted to ski like him and one day I dreamed of beating him.