Justyna Kowalczyk is extreme. She pulls off 200 training camp days per year, and it’s said that her life is focused entirely around skiing.
Her most recent camp is taking place outside the Belarus capital of Minsk.
“The morning starts with a half-hour warm-up; then we do the first workout, which lasts about three hours,” Kowalkczyk told coach Alexander Wierietielny and www.fiscrosscountry.com.
“This training camp in Belarus is the fifth for our team this season. It is the toughest one, since we’ve increased the volume,” coach Wieritielny added.
Wieritielny is not concerned that his Olympic champion and double world champion will run into overtraining issues. “Not at all. For our camp next month, we’ll get on snow, and Justyna thrives there,” he said.
Loves hard training
Kowalczyk loves pushing it hard, she loves the training camp lifestyle and she is now working on becoming even better than last season. “I have to work hard on my legs and poles, even on downhill terrain, but I love this kind of training,” Kowalczyk said to the Polish web site se.pl. “No matter how you slice it, it’s better to increase the volume this time of the year. I am running faster now, and at a lower heart rate.”
At the 30 k classic race at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, Kowalczyk beat Norwegian ski queen Marit Bjoergen on the final stretch to the finish and won her Olympic gold medal at long last. This season, Kowalczyk is defending the gold in the women’s pursuit and the 30 k mass start from the World Championships in Liberec 2009. She also took home the bronze medal in the women’s 10 k classic there.
Kowalczyk is certainly someone that both Charlotte Kalla (SWE) and Bjoergen (NOR) will have to keep an eye on at the Worlds in Oslo this winter. Additionally, the Polish racer will try to defend her overall title from the Tour de Ski last winter.
From Langd.se, September 29, 2010 By Kjell-Erik Kristiansen, translation by Inge Scheve.
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.