Andrew â€˜AJ’ Johnson
Hometown: Greensboro, VT. Park City, UT.
AJ in Baja
Summer life in Park City: How's the Home Depot gig going?
The Home Depot Olympic Job Opportunity Program still provides me with flexible, part time work at their stores and is a crucial part of my support structure. I’m also going to school part time – taking a couple classes at Westminster. That’s fun. I haven’t taken a class since ’99 so I’m a little rusty but am enjoying my classes. I had my first test yesterday have to say it went pretty well for 7th year junior
How about the training scene in PC?
Training in PC has been good. Mostly training by myself, although Pete is involved with lots of my workouts, including just about all of the intensity sessions. I’ll also be making my second trip of the spring to Bend next week for some more training with Justin Wadsworth.
Do you have any lingering effects from last year's operation? What all did you have to go through with that?
My foot is pretty much always sore, although to this point it has not been bad enough to prevent any training or slow me down in races. It’s just always kind of a bother. The main problem is that the infection was in the metatarsal joint and damaged the joint. It’s arthritic now – there’s some missing cartilage, so one edge of the joint is more or less bone-on-bone. This spring we seriously considered fusing that joint. The nature of the problem is that it will never get better, only slowly get worse. So we thought that if there was a good chance of having to fuse it in the next four years we might as well do it now and get it over with. But there are too many possible negative side effects from such a surgery, and the recovery time is at least three months so it makes more sense to wait as long as possible. So far, so good
Goals for this year:
First and foremost goal is to stay healthy all year. I’m not talking about colds, some of those can’t be avoided. But I’ve had a few years now with some injuries and illnesses that have cost me large amounts of training at very inopportune times. So, the only way I’ll be able to achieve my winter goals is to avoid any more of those. To that end, I don’t do anything fun anymore. No more motorcycles, skateboards, or golf. I’ve been getting really into long boarding this spring but my roommate just broke his wrist the other day during one of our skateboarding outings so I’m not allowed to do that anymore. I watch tv, but only boring shows. I feel like Peyton Manning. I’m that boring
What are your thoughts on world championships in Japan:
I’m excited for Worlds. Japan’s an interesting place and we know they’ll put on a great show. Weather is going to be interesting. Sapporo is barely above sea level and not far from the ocean so the weather patterns are fast and unpredictable. We’ll have a lot of fun and I’m excited for our team to carry forth with the momentum and good results from last year.
Personally, I know that if I can maintain consistent training from now through the winter that I have the potential to have results way above and beyond anything I’ve had before. I plan to start the early season races and have results consistently in the top 30 and, since I’ve always gotten faster as the winter wears on, I think that a top 15 at World’s is definitely within reach. I see the spring world cups as even greater opportunities for good results. Spring is usually a good racing time for me
Where are your biggest areas of focus for training this year?
We’ve made some small but significant changes this year with the biggest focuses on strength, intensity, and overall quality of training. I’ve moved towards more intensity block training, but we’re not doing the intensity quite the same as the last couple years. I’m working really closely with Zach Weatherford (USST strength coach) on becoming stronger and more powerful. Probably the biggest improvement has been the increased focus on keeping each workout as quality as possible. There’s been more specific training earlier this year than in the past, and workout intensities, durations, and location are closely monitored to make sure that I’m the most benefit possible out of every workout without extending too much energy and getting tired or injured.
So far things are going really well. I did a time trial the other day by myself at Soldier Hollow and I won by a lot
Aj thanks for your time. Keep on winning those solo TT’s Best of luck this winter.
Torin Koos is a member of the National A Team for the United States. A World Cup, World Championship and Olympic competitor, Koos brings this experience to the FasterSkier sportscasting arena for the 2006/2007 season.
Equipment: Rossignol Skis, Boots and Bindings, Toko gloves and wax, Marwe, Exel poles, Rudy Project Eyewear, Powerbar
Home Ski Club: Leavenworth Winter Sports Club ( skileavenworth.com )
Headgear Sponsor: USA Pears ( usapears.com )
Best Western Icicle Inn ( www.icicleinn.com )
BioSports NorthWest Physical Therapy ( www.biosports.net )