Kris Freeman is healthy, and his training for the 2010-2011 season is underway. That means his brother Justin had better watch his back.
The two typically go head-to-head in a handful of running races and uphill time trials each summer, and this year is no different. After Justin got the upper hand in April’s 14-mile Muddy Moose, the brothers will toe the start line in the granddaddy of all mountain runs on June 19th: the Mt. Washington Road Race.
“I like to think that one of us will be the first New Hampshire finisher, and I’m hoping a top-ten finish will be realistic there, but you get some of the best mountain runners in the world,” Freeman said. “So it will be interesting—there aren’t too many 175-pound mountain runners out there.”
After enduring a nightmarish series of illnesses early this spring—flu, vomiting flu, sinus infection—Freeman is back at it, and training is going “really well.”
In an interview Thursday, he said that he’s been doing some cycling, kayaking, and a few short double-pole rollerskis.
Freeman said that he doesn’t like to do too much rollerskiing this time of year, but that “specificity is going to come in pretty quick.”
He’ll be in Bend later this month with the U.S. Ski Team, and Freeman said he’ll also be attending more of the team’s camps over the summer, “building up a base again.”
Freeman’s goals for the upcoming year are to stay healthy for the duration of the winter, and to peak for two events: World Championships in Oslo, and also the 2011 Tour de Ski, which he will be racing for the first time.
Freeman will be going full-gas at the Tour; he said that there’s no way to go into that event “and race it half-ass.”
“From what I’ve seen of the other athletes, you either go in well, and perform well and come out stronger, or you go in [poorly] and come out blown,” he said. “So I’m hoping to be the first there.”
Freeman still has some testing to do with a new continuous glucose monitor before entering the Tour; his first simulation will be a 30 k race effort in Bend.
“Hopefully, that will give me some valuable information about how to dose myself,” he said.
Depending on the outcome, Freeman may do his next trials on the treadmill at the Center of Excellence in Park City, or just stick to “on-the-ground testing.”
Regardless, he’ll seek to avoid the two hypoglycemic (low blood-sugar) episodes that he experienced this winter, which he said derailed him for months. One of those, at the 30 k pursuit at the Olympics, left him collapsed on the side of the trail.
Freeman’s 2010-2011 schedule won’t see him doing much racing on American soil, so he hasn’t aligned himself with a club to provide him with support at North American races. (The U.S. Ski Team announced earlier this spring that they had cut their domestic service staff.)
For Spring Series, Freeman said that he may work with NENSA or Fischer, or that the U.S. Ski Team may have someone on hand at those races.
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Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.