Olympian Kris Freeman is ready for the Olympic Games. He is training back at home in New Hampshire on the trails he grew up on, and soon will be on his way to Canada. Kris took the time to answer some questions about his goals for the Olympics and where he is in his preparation.
You’ve stated that your training this season is focused on staying healthy and not overdoing things. This seems like it might be hard for you because you obviously love to train and work hard. What specifically are you doing with respect to training and racing? Are you doing less volume, less intensity, less racing or a combination of all of these?
I have listened to my body a lot this year. When I am tired I don’t train. If I am injured I don’t train. I also cut back on my hours this year. For the a previous three years I had trained over 950 hours. This year I will have about 750. The amount of intensity has stayed about the same with each interval session focused on pacing and specific race simulations.
On a related note, do you think that having to go through the compartment syndrome and ensuing rehab might have been a blessing as it forced you to fully recover from last year’s race season?
Rest is very underrated. However I don’t think being on my back zoned out on percoset for weeks on end helped me physically. The surgery gave me a chance to evaluate what has and has not worked over the last few seasons. I realized that the biggest gains have come from specific workouts not overall load.
Has it been determined what races you will be doing at the Games yet? If so, which ones? Are there any that you are focusing on more than others?
I will be focusing equally on the 15k, 30k and 50k. If I am selected for the sprint relay I will be ready.
What are your goals for the Olympics?
The ultimate goal is a medal. The secondary goal is to go into the competition in my best form and ski the best races I can. If I do that I will be in the medal hunt.
Do you think the US should enter a relay team? If not, why? If so, who do you think should be on the team (assuming a few additional skiers will be named to the team) and how do you think you will do?
I was told in the middle of the summer to focus on the individual events. I am not going to second guess my coaches and support staff.
Do you hope to be selected to compete in the sprint relay? Or do you think you would prefer to sit that one out so that you are better rested for the relay and/or 50km?
The sprint course is long and hard, 1.8k with two good climbs. It is a great course for me. Many of the best sprint relay teams have been made up of one sprinter and one distance skier. Given how strong Newell has been skiing this winter I will jump at the chance to join him.
You were battling some health issues leading into US Nationals. Have you fully recovered from that? How are you feeling? How has your training been going while you have been home in New Hampshire?
I got the flu and puked my brains out for 24 hours on Christmas Day. I made a rapid recovery but still felt a little “empty” when I got to Nationals. I hoped that racing would snap me out of the post sickness funk I was in but it had the opposite effect. I felt dangerously close to a relapse of sickness after the 30k so I skipped the sprint and came home. After a week of easy volume on my home trails I felt good again. My last two intensity sessions have been very strong.
What races are you planning on racing in Canmore? What are your goals there? Are these races only serving as a tune-up for Whistler or will you be putting it all out there?
Canmore is a tune-up but I always give it my all. I will compete in both races. I would like a top 15 in the 15k and to qualify for the rounds in the sprint.
Over the last year it seems like you have made some big improvements dealing with your diabetes. You seem to approach this in a very scientific way, even stopping during the 30km at US Nationals to take a test. Are there any factors that you are still trying to tweak at Canmore in preparation for the games or at this point do you feel completely confident in the plan you have set out?
I am confident in the plan I have for treating my diabetes in Whistler. I took some chances this season with different insulin regimes and sacrificed a few races. I believe it will pay off.
Last weekend you raced a 15km skate NENSA Easter Cup in Rumford, Maine and just before the start a young girl ran out to get your autograph. Were you flattered by this gesture? Anything that you would like to say to your fans or this girl specifically?
Any time someone wants your autograph its flattering. The request was a little ill-timed but I admire someone that knows what they want and goes out and gets it.
Thanks Kris! We all wish you the best of luck at the Olympics!