Welcome to “17 Questions for 2017″, where we are catching up with American and Canadian national-team members before the beginning of the winter season.
U.S. Ski Team member Noah Hoffman made a big change to his training this season: he is aiming for 1,000 hours of training, a significant increase compared to the past few years.
“I am excited about it, that is the biggest thing for me,” the 27-year-old Colorado native told FasterSkier in June. “I am really excited about doing what I’m doing right now.”
Hoffman is a 2014 Olympian and a three-time World Championships team member; he made his first World Championships at age 21. He has two World Cup top-10’s to his name, a skiathlon in Canmore, Alberta, in 2012, and a ninth-place mini-tour finish in Kuusamo, Finland, in 2013. Last month, he won the 42 k Merino Muster in New Zealand.
1. Biggest change in your life in the last five or so months since the ski season ended?
The big change for me in my life outside of skiing/training was the ending of a relationship that I was in for nearly three years.
2. Biggest change in your training?
The biggest change in my training is the increase in my volume by nearly 40% over last year.
3. Major areas of improvement you’ve seen so far?
I am handling the increased training load well, and I believe it has resulted in better fitness.
4. Whom you’ve been working closest with this offseason (coaches or training partners)?
I have continued to work primarily with my two personal coaches, John Callahan and Zach Caldwell. I have continued to train almost exclusively alone.
5. Best trip in the last five months (and why)?
My training year is notable because of the sharp reduction in travel from years past. However, I have had two productive camps in Bend and New Zealand.
6. Favorite cross-training?
I just got a new mountain bike. I LOVE it!
7. Favorite non-athletic activity or pastime this summer?
This summer has also been notable for me because of the reduction in energy-intensive “fun” or “social” activities outside of training. However, I have played a lot of the yard game Cornhole, including playing in a couple of tournaments, which has been really fun.
8. Song that was your jam this summer?
This summer has been marked by live music for me. I have seen Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Motown the Musical, Emmylou Harris & Lyle Lovett, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos and North Mississippi Allstars, Brandi Carlile, Ray LaMontagne and Marian Hill. They have all been amazing! Before I depart for the World Cup I have tickets for Mandolin Orange, Colbie Caillat, Indigo Girls, The Head and the Heart and the Goo Goo Dolls as well as a Broadway Musical and a ballet.
9. All-time favorite race moment?
Racing the 50k at the World Championships in Oslo, with +/- 120,000 people on course, was something I’ll never forget.
10. First thing you pack in your bag when you leave for Europe?
My Kindle. When the training load is low in the winter, there’s lots of time to read!
11. Venue/event you’re most excited to visit this season?
I’m very excited to go to Ullricehamn, Sweden, and Tyumen, Russia, as they will be my two new venues this year.
12. Who will win the men’s and women’s World Cup titles this year?
Who’s to bet against Sundby? And for the women, I’ll be very interested to see how Bjørgen’s comeback goes.
13. Biggest sacrifice you feel you’ve made choosing this career path?
Skiing has afforded me more opportunities than I ever imagined, and I am so excited to live a different lifestyle after my career is over.
14. If you could change one thing about your sport, what would it be?
I would like to see more World Cup and World Championship level racing on this continent and I’d like to see Nordic skiing intensify the fight against doping and become as clean as possible.
15. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Eggs, cheese, sour cream and salsa in a tortilla. I have that almost every morning.
16. In 5 years, I’ll be ____?
Going to school and adventuring every chance I get.
17. In 50 years, I’ll be ____?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Chelsea Little is FasterSkier's Editor-At-Large. A former racer at Ford Sayre, Dartmouth College and the Craftsbury Green Racing Project, she is a PhD candidate in aquatic ecology in the @Altermatt_lab at Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. You can follow her on twitter @ChelskiLittle.