Alexander Legkov: What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger

10 November 2011 07:01
Alexander Legkov
Alexander Legkov -

After last season, Alexander Legkov and Iliya Chernousov got permission from the Russian ministry of sport to set up their training group apart from the Russian Cross-Country team and Sergey Novikov and Michail Devjatiarov joined them.

 Former Swiss Cross-Country skier Reto Burgermeister has been leading the squad since the spring while German Isabel Knauthe has been looking after the planning, organization and has been working as the team’s physiotherapist.

The small training group trained over summer in Oberhof, Andermatt and Davos. “The training year has been good. We trained without problems, injuries or illnesses,” coach Reto Burgermeister said to FIS Cross-Country News. “Only Alexander (Legkov) got tired very quickly in May/June. Perhaps there were still some aftereffects of the swine flu,” Isabel Knauthe added.

Legkov had to hence adapt the summer training a bit. Legkov, Chernousov and Co. has been working a lot on technique. “We organized two high altitude training camps to see how the boys reacted,” Burgermeister explained.

The whole team is happy with the set up that enables them to work individually and enjoy great atmosphere. “Our team works great. We are a small team but the spirit within is perfect,” Knauthe confirmed.

Alexander Legkov is known for his determination and hard work in training. Last year before the national opening in Beitostoelen he skied 700 km in 10 days. Also this training year Legkov has had big training loads. “However, in spite of hard training we controlled the intensity,” Burgermeister commented.

Alexander Legkov began the last season in great style and left for the short Christmas break in the yellow bib. The FIS Tour de Ski started well too but then he was struck by swine flu, had to skip a couple of World Cups and returned in Rybinsk. At the World Championships in Oslo he had some bad luck, a fall and broken pole at the 30 km skiathlon and then an unsuccessful third leg of the relay.

However, Legkov has put the last season behind and is looking forward to the upcoming winter. “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger,” he says and feels mentally better equipped than ever before. On the other hand he is aware of the limits of his body and says: “I’m not a machine that would function when pushing a button.”

When it comes to plans for the upcoming season Alexander Legkov has firmly set his priorities, “Tour de Ski,” he briefly replies when asked about the main goal for the upcoming winter.

In spite of being a separate training group the squad has kept in touch with the Russian team. “We met for the first time at the Russian summer nationals in Ostrov. Until the first FIS Cross-Country World Cup we will travel and train on our own and then come together with the Russian team,” Burgermeister concludes.