Kris Freeman is beginning his fourth season as a full-time World Cup competitor. Kris is looking to return to his form of the 2003 and 2004 seasons, where he was consistently scoring World Cup points and qualified for the prestigious Distance Red Group. We caught up with Kris in Gaellivare, Swe, where he is now preparing for the start of his 2006-2007 World Cup campaign.
1. Kris, how do you feel going into the World Cup season this year compared to past years?
I feel much stronger and rested right now in comparison to how I felt coming into past seasons. The last few years, I felt like I was right on the edge of a great performance or a disaster. This year, I just feel confident.
2. Do you attribute this to the changes you have made in your training program?
My training as been almost completely volume based this year, which I believe, is the key to how good I feel right now. Intervals and intensity make me fast for a short time and then I feel used up. Volume training gradually makes me feel stronger and faster.
3. It seems that the OD workout is a staple of your program, what is the longest single workout you have done this year, what is the biggest week of training you have done and finally, what is the biggest month of training that you have done?
I have done a lot of long distance work this year and I think that I will respond positively to this. My standard workout is 3 hours long. The longest workouts I do are 6 hours in duration. My biggest week this year was 31.5 hours. My largest month was 101 hours. To give you an idea of where I am right now, I have logged 600 hours of training in my first 7 months of training for this year.
4. At some point, you will begin to cut the distance and begin to focus more on speed and intensity, how will you do this?
I have already decreased my volume going into the first World Cup, but I am still keeping one long OD in per week. I will continue to keep my hours over 70 per month until after the New Year, when I will drop the volume drastically and begin interval work to insure a peak at the World Championships in late February.
5. I hear you have a few pairs of Carbonlites that you are testing, how are they running compared to your older skis?
I have been testing my new Carbonlites this week and I have been very happy with them. They are the lightest skis I have ever had on my foot and the swing weight is amazing. The camber is very active on the skate skis, but is as stable as the RCS 610 mold skate ski. It is the best of both worlds and is easily the best ski that Fischer has ever made. The classic skis have a high pocket that is completely free when I am gliding but it is easy to initiate the kick and completely close the kick pocket so I get incredible grip during the kick phase. What else can you ask for in a classic ski?
6. Has Gaellivare changed since the last time you were there?
I just arrived here today. So far, everything looks to be the same. The snow is good and there is some pretty good skiing to be found. But it is cold and fairly dark most of the time. Really, it is exactly what I expected for Northern Sweden in the middle of November. The bottom line is that I am here to race and since X-C ski racing is an outdoor sport, these are some of the conditions that you have to deal with as a ski racer. I am looking forward to it.
Thanks Kris and good luck this weekend.
Kris Freeman is a member of the US X-C team and a Fischer Select team member. Look for more interviews with Kris throughout the year.