Kikan Randall ranks among top US Cross-Country skiers and is one of top sprint specialists. She claimed second place in the Sprint Free in Liberec 2009 and grabbed second spot in Oslo at the Pre-World Champs in the same discipline. No surprise she looks for next season with optimism and big ambitions. Will she make the last step an become sprint champion? FIS Cross-Country had a chance to talk to Kikkan at US training camp in New Zealand.
FIS Cross-Country: What is your feeling about the training camp in New Zealand?
Kikkan Randall: The training camp here in New Zealand has been excellent so far. We've had really nice winter skiing conditions which has been great for logging a lot of volume, a few intensity sessions and some valuable ski testing.
FIS Cross-Country: Is it a new thing you carry out skiing in summer training or is it regular part of your training process?
KR: I always ski in the summer, although it has been a few years since I have been to New Zealand. Usually I ski close to my home in Anchorage, AK at a glacier training facility for three camps each summer. This year I decided to take a break from the glacier and join the rest of my US teammates down in New Zealand. The travel was a little long but the skiing has definitely been worth it. Being able to keep touch with the snow during the summer is really important for making improvements in technique and keeping the flow in the ski movements.
FIS Cross-Country: What is goal of the camp? Intensity, volume?
KR: The goal of the camp is mostly volume. We have put in some intensity as well, mostly threshold, and some speed training. We will finish off our three-week camp with three FIS races this weekend. The Canadian team is down here which should give us plenty of good competition!
FIS Cross-Country:How does your day in New Zealand look like?
KR: It's a pretty great training lifestyle right now. We usually wake up around 7am, and eat breakfast. At 9am, we can walk right out the door and put our skis. After training a couple hours, we come back in for ice baths, showers and lunch. Then I usually catch a little nap before afternoon training at 4pm. Twice a week we've been driving down the hill 30 min into the town of Wanaka for running and strength training.
FIS Cross-Country: You seem enjoying the time downunder. How is the atmosphere in the team?
KR: The atmosphere of our team is the best I've ever seen it. We're all really fired up about the results we've achieved over the last few seasons and everyone is committed to working hard to improve even further. We really have fun together and have been enjoying movies, puzzles, and games in between training sessions. These guys are like my family and it makes being at camp pretty fun.
FIS Cross-Country: Have you had time to think about next season? Any concrete goals?
KR: I think we all have the Oslo World Championships on our minds. We've been watching some footage from the World Cups there last March and looking for ways to simulate the courses while we're down here. Chandra Crawford and I have been teaming up in some sprint training sessions and I know we will both be gunning for some top sprint results this season.