KRIS FREEMAN PREPARES FOR THE SEASON
US, Fischer skier, Kris Freeman is gearing up for another season on the World Cup. This year looks different for Freeman and he talks about his preparations leading up to the season, changes in his program and his goals for 2014.
1. What will your season look like? Specifically, what races are you scheduling? What are you targeting?
I have my season pretty well planned out. I start out with a 10k classic and 15k free in Muonio Finland, followed by the first period world cup which includes a mini tour in Kuusamo, a 15k classic and team relay in Lillehammer and a 30k skate in Davos. At this point I will travel home and then to Utah for US Nationals. I will rejoin the World Cup for a 15k classic in Toblach Italy before going to the Olympics. I am planning my season to have my top performance at the Olympics.
2. You’ve got a different scene happening this year, having been dropped from the US team. What’s been the largest change and have there been any unexpected benefits from your new scene?
I have had more control over my schedule which is a good thing. I make most of my training gains when I am home so not having to travel to training camps every month has been advantageous.
3. You have a ton of experience at the highest level and you’re among the smallest minority of elite athletes working within the constraints of diabetes. What has experience taught you in adjusting to blood sugar issues? How has technology helped?
Technology gets better every year but I am still having to replace the insulin hormone artificially. Any over or under dosing can cause other hormone imbalances so I am constantly monitoring myself. Everything in life impacts the way glucose and insulin interact. Altitude, stress level, fatigue, viruses, just to name a few. No matter how good I get at controlling my glucose levels something unexpected can happen. I have learned to expect the unexpected and to role with it.
4. You put in some serious volume in Stelvio last month and had some good fitness indicators. What does October look like before you head to Munio?
How tough will the workouts be? What, in your mind, is key in the month leading up to competition? In past years I have done a ton of intensity prior to going to Period One. The training left me sharp but a little ragged. I have often had my best races early, gotten sick, and never regained form. To avoid that I have kept my volume up this fall and added a few key intensity sessions but nothing too extreme. I want to make sure I am at my best in February.
5. You wrote that the accommodations for your recent training camp in Italy were great, particularly the coffee bar. What creature comforts do you bring along the circuit with? Are there any stops that you particularly look forward to for the food / travel/ culture?
"Great" is a relative term. The creature comforts in Stelvio were "great" for a glacier but pretty sparse compared to normal life. I love coffee and I am partial to the brew in Italy and Switzerland. Cafe Klatsch in Davos is definitely a highlight.
6. In addition to Fischer & Swix, what other brands are supporting you and hence should be supported by skiers?
Toko gloves came on board this year and I have had a great partnership with Oakley for five years now. I also work with PowerBar, Insulet (insulin pumps), Lifescan (glucose monitors), Dexcom (continuous glucose monitors) and of course, Eli Lilly.
7. You’re renown for being deliberate with preparation. With the entirety of your career on Fischer skis, what (if any) changes will you make to your fleet for the coming season for optimum performance?
I have grown to like using 902 classic skis in a wider variety of conditions. I have a few pair that I plan to test in extreme cold in Finland. I also continue to replace my old skate skis with Speed Max whenever possible as they are almost always faster.
8. What are your favorite conditions to race in?
The ones that I win in.
9. In addition to the elusive Olympic medal, are there any other skiing goals you’d like to knock down?
I have three 4ths and a bunch of 5th and 6ths on the world cup so I would really like to step up onto the podium.
10. What advice do you wish you were given as a junior? What would you tell up-and-coming racers?
I think that if I had access to systematic training as a junior that I would have been internationally competitive earlier in my career. I think that Junior programs around the country have become much better and we will see strong results from them in years to come.
Best of luck for the season, Kris!