FIS Cross-Country News: The end of October is coming near. How would you summarize your off-season preparation?
Kikkan Randall: It has been a very good season of preparation although quite different from the previous years. I did a bit more traveling which gave me the advantage of some new training partners in Europe and Canada, and overall it was very beneficial to see and do some different things. Because of more travel the summer and fall have gone by fast and it’s hard to believe it’s time to race already!
FIS Cross-Country News: Many teams carry out training camps on glaciers in October. How does it work in the US?
KR: It is a little different for us in North America as we do not have access to glacier skiing in the month of October. In Alaska we sometimes get lucky and get good skiing up in the mountains about an hours drive North from my house around mid-October. This year however, no luck for snow so far.
FIS Cross-Country News: Over summer you have cooperated with Candadian team. Does it indicate deeper cooperation during the season?
KR: I think you will see more cooperation between the USA and Canada over the season and the years to come. Both countries recognize that by bringing our teams together we can increase the depth of talented skiers pushing each other.
FIS Cross-Country News: When do you travel to Europe? Will you take part in some pre-season competitions in Finland and/or Sweden?
KR: I travel over to Europe on the 7th of November. My first stop will be in Munio to get some time on-snow and to participate in the FIS races there. Then our team will head over to Gallivare to get the WC season started. I am looking forward to racing in just 3 weeks!
FIS Cross-Country News: US Ski Team officials announced that US Ski team will take part in the Tour de Ski. What are your expectations?
KR: I am mostly just anxious and excited to test it out! I have never done such a dense period of racing and I’m curious to see how my body will handle the multiple day event. I had encouraging results in the World Cup Finals at the end of last season and I hope to be in the pack and challenging for some top results.
FIS Cross-Country News: Many athletes say they are in best shape ever. How would you describe your feelings now?
KR: I feel satisfied that I’ve put in a solid period of training leading into the season and I feel confident that I have improved ahead of where I have been before. Yet I have been away from the World-Cup level since the end of March and so it will be interesting to kick off the race season and see how my shape matches up against the World Cup field.
FIS Cross-Country News: How important for the season is the shape in autumn?
KR: It’s important to be in strong shape but I don’t think you want to feel too amazing yet. Five months is a long season and with many of the biggest races still a few months away, I hope my shape builds momentum into February.
FIS Cross-Country News: You are sprint specialist. Have you also worked on distance races?
KR: My goal has always been to be an all-around skier, it just happened that my sprint results got good first. Every season my distance racing gets a little better and I hope to one day be able to win a distance world cup race as well as sprints. I haven’t really done anything different with my training, I think it’s just each year of hard work building on itself.
Source: International Ski Federation