With midwinter conditions in the Southern Hemisphere a a collection of some of the world’s top skiers have assembled in New Zealand for training camps and racing. Led by strong contingents from the US and Canada, there is no shortage of talent.
On-snow training is occurring at New Zealand’s premier cross country ski venue, Wairou Snow Farm, located just South of Wanaka, NZ. The athletes arrived at the end of July and will stay through the New Zealand’s Winter Games, which take place at the Snow Farm August 13th (15/10k classic), 14th (sprint) and 16th (10/15km freestyle).
FasterSkier is pleased to present our NZ Sprint Interviews, a good warm up for more indepth coverage of various team camps, workouts, and the Winter Games themselves. Each interview will consist of a quick ten questions (hence “Sprint”).
Sprint Interview: Kris Freeman
Birthdate: October 14, 1980
Hometown: Andover NH
Current Residence: Thornton NH
Ski Club: Waterville Valley
Weight: 175 lbs
Number of World Cup Starts: 90
First World Cup Start: Soldier Hollow, Utah. January 13, 2001. 15km Classic. 29th place.
Number of World Championship Starts: 18 (13 individual, 5 team)
Olympics: 2002 – Salt Lake City, UT, USA. 2006 – Turin (Pragelato), ITA. 2010 – Vancouver (Whistler), CAN.
Best Results: 5th 4x10k relay 2002 Olympics, Under 23 World Champion 30k classic 2003, 4th World Championships 15k classic 2003, 6th World Cup 30k skate Italy 2004, 5th World Cup 15k classic Davos Switzerland 2004, 10th World Cup 15k skate Cancun China 2007, 5th 15k classic World Cup Kuusamo Finnland 2007, 4th World Cup 15k classic 2009 in Kuusamo, FIN, 4th World Championship 15k classic 2009 in Liberec, CZE.
FasterSkier: What are your overall goals for this camp?
Kris Freeman: This camp [at the Snowfarm] is the first camp of serious and ski specific training; everything else has been less specific up to this point. I want to focus on preparing for the World Cup both mentally and physically. It’s going to be good racing against the Canadians and Russians after 25 hour weeks and seeing how they race.
FS: Are you focusing more on intensity or volume?
KF: Volume. [I] won’t start focusing on intensity until late September, early October. This camp comes at the end of my big volume block. The higher the volume, the more ski specific the training, until we’re actually here on snow.
FS: Do you have any specific technique goals?
KF: I’m working on a longer push in skating phase, and staying lower with hips in classic skiing. It’s subtle, but how I teach myself to ski at this camp is how I ski my whole season on the World Cup.
FS: Are you participating in the NZ winter games? If so, do you have any specific race goals?
KF: Yes. I want to win.
FS: How do these goals fit in with your overall season goals?
KF: I want to get in a ton of ski specificity, and continue on with a rather large volume block through our camp in Lake Placid in Sept. Then, I’m going change gears to intensity.
FS: What is your favorite workout?
KF: Here, overdistance, as much as you can. I can go for a five-hour ski, get out there, get into a rhythm, come back and eat more sheep.
FS: What is your least favorite workout?
KF: I love it here and I love skiing, but maybe I would say speeds, probably because I get my ass kicked. I do them alone and I feel like I’m going pretty fast, but when you’re up against the fastest guy in the world, Andy Newell, you get your ass kicked.
FS: What do you think of the Snowfarm? How do the snow conditions compare?
KF: Today was the best it’s ever been, and it’s some of the best skiing all year-round. It’s just extra blue or multigrade all day, and you can’t beat the scenery. Rollerskiing sucks.
FS: What is your favourite thing about New Zealand?
KF: The food’s great at the Snowfarm, but more generally, the people are really nice and the surroundings are beautiful. It’s hard not to be motivated when everything is great when you go outside.
FS: What do you do in your spare time here in New Zealand?
KF: Read, stretch, watch movies. Some people get bored here because there’s not much to do, but I get caught up. At home there’s always something, but here, it’s nice to do nothing but recover.