This month, Fischer Skis U.S. kicks off the Fischer Select Athlete of the Month program to spotlight the superior talent of notable, up and coming cross country ski racers. This month’s featured athlete is 23-year-old Sylvan Ellefson of Vail, Colorado. Sylvan placed tenth in this year’s American Birkie 52km Freestyle. Below are insights on Sylvan’s training and lifestyle.
Name: Sylvan Ellefson
Home town: Vail, CO
Team: SSCV Team HomeGrown
Years skiing: 9
Years with Fischer: 5
Major Accomplishments: 4th place 2008 NCAA Championships 10km Freestyle; 10th place 2010 American Birkie 52km Freestyle
Q: Cross country ski racing is about hours and training- where is your favorite place to train and why?
SE: My favorite place to train is in the Colorado mountains. Nothing beats an early morning with coffee and a six-hour hike/run with friends under the blue skies.
Q: What ski training workout do you do that you think anyone trying to get fit should or could do?
SE: I am a firm believer in long, level-three intervals. My two workouts of choice are 3 x 15min (5-minute recovery) and 2 x 30 (10-minute recovery).
Q: What’s the toughest workout you’ve ever done?
SE: Probably 6 x 6 minute level 4 intervals in Lake Placid this past October. I think I pushed 16 mmol of blood lactate.
Q: Outside of skiing, who are your athletic idols and why?
SE: My father was and still is my athletic idol. He is the creator of the U.S. Mountain Running Team, vicious competitor and loving father/husband. All qualities I strive for.
Q: When you travel- what do you never leave behind?
SE: My FlipCam and iPod
Q: If you weren’t a cross country skier, how would you spend your time?
SE: Helping raise money for professional Nordic skiers (kind of like the NCCSEF), alpine skiing, and spending time with friends and family.
Q: What do you think the largest misconception about cross country skiing is outside of the xc community?
SE: That we are dorks. Wait…we are.
Q: In your mind, where is the best place in the U.S. to be a cross country skier?
SE: Craftsbury, VT. They have a great program, skiers, coaches, trails, and other facilities.
Q: What’s your favorite event of the year?
SE: The American Birkebeiner or Aspen Owl Creek Chase.
Q: What Fischer equipment do you use and why? I race on a complete Fischer package – skis, boots, bindings and poles. I choose Fischer because it’s simply the best. The skis are always fast and have a nice feel on the snow. The boots are great, especially the new skate boot. This is the most comfortable ski boot I have ever worn and the performance of the skate boot for racing is unmatched. The poles are light and strong and the new quick-fit strap is very comfortable and easy to ski with.