BEITOSTØLEN, Norway – “I’ve taken stock of the situation this fall and been extra diligent about resting between workouts. And I feel like it’s paying off on the course,” Johaug told the Norwegian TV station NRK.
Johaug entered the World Cup circuit in the 2006-2007 season, at only 18. That year, she won the bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Sapporo, Japan. She continued to improve the following two seasons, but last year Johaug found herself struggling find her groove. She managed to make the Olympic team, and helped Norway win the relay gold at the 2010 Games in Whistler, but this season, Johaug significantly changed her training program, with the goal of peaking for the 2011 World Championships in Oslo.
“I feel that I have more energy and that I manage to complete my tasks the way I need to. And I feel like I am doing things right now,” she said.
More no, but with guilt
The 22-year-old from Dalsbygda in east central Norway is known for her outgoing, charming personality and for participating in activities outside of the ski track. But Johaug has cut back drastically this World Championship season. She has had to say no to almost all inquiries from non-ski specific offers.
“I’ve become more of a no-girl,” Johaug said.
NRK: What is it like to say no when you’re used to saying yes?
“It’s no fun at all. I’ve always tried to say yes, and I feel incredible guilt when I have to say no, but I’ve come to realize that if I’m going to succeed at this ’game,’ I have to make some choices and prioritize training and recovery in order to achieve my goals and the results I want,” Johaug said.
NRK: Will you continue to say no in the future?
“Yes, I will be heavy on the no’s for the foreseeable future,” Johaug said.
From nrk.no, November 10, 2010. 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.