Astrid Jacobsen: I wanted to change my focus in training
In the end April Norway’s Astrid Jacobsen announced she would continue racing. Unlike last season she is going to split her time between and studying at university.
Jacobsen took bronze medal in the Team sprint at the home World Championships in Oslo and for the next season she was transferred to the sprint squad, which will be newly led by Roar Hjelmeset. FIS Cross-Country News asked Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen a few questions.
Q: Astrid, what is your summary of the season 2010/11? What was the best and worst moment?
Astrid Jacobsen: The best moment was last two days of the World Championships in Oslo. I did not compete and did only a few workouts and supported my team, but the atmosphere, weather and conditions were awesome! I'll always remember this! Worst moment in the season was maybe not to qualify for the Norwegian team at the 10km classic in Otepää.
Q: Some time ago you announced you would continue racing. What was in your mind when you were taking the decision?
A.J.: First of all if I was motivated to continue until the next Winter Olympic Games. The Championships in Oslo were such a big goal for me that I needed to think it through if I wanted to go for the next big happening. And I really do :-)
Q: You study medicine at the university. How are your studies?
A.J: I have 50% engagement comparing to fulltime students. I have finished 1, 5 year out of 6, and used 3 years for this. So it will take some time until I have finished the studies and have become a doctor. But it feels good to find something I love to learn about. Practically, my studies mean 10 weeks of full engagement from the mid-August. During the season I don’t have any lessons or exams. In late March I have again 10-12 weeks of fulltime studies. In summer I have to take my exams. In that exams period it is not easy to leave Oslo, so I have to stay at home.
Q: Last season you focused only on training. Next one you want to split your time between studying and training. How difficult it will be?
A.J.: It's just going back to how it has been for me the last years. I look forward to having different challenges, not only skiing. The school requires more time at home in Oslo, but that is not a problem for me.
Q: Being a medical student does it help you in your training?
A.J.: For me it's an advantage because I have two platforms to work on. If I don't succeed in skiing I still have something else I love to explore and use energy on. Sometimes it's good for me to take the focus away from the sport and concentrate on something else. It helps me keep the sport as a hobby, something I love and have fun with. There are more things that make the whole Astrid.
Q: For next season you were moved from the distance to the sprint team. How do you feel about that?
A.J.: I wanted to change my focus in training, and get some new inputs. The federation then found that the best solution will be if I changed teams. However, both distance and sprint teams carry out most of the training camps together. In fact only some trainings are going to be different. I'm very happy with the new situation; it will be challenging and interesting to work with a new coach.
Q: What is the most important for you in spring/early summer in terms of training?
A.J.: Month of May is when I’m getting used to running and rollerskiing again. It’s important for me to use this month to get back again to training loads without suffering any injuries from running etc. This spring basic strength-training will be my biggest focus. I'm still a bit behind here because of my accident and restricted training two years ago.
Q: Did you have a chance to go for a vacation?
A.J.: I had two weeks of vacation in Switzerland. I'm not so fond of high temperatures, so I spent some time with telemark-skiing and just relaxing in the mountains. And our first training camp with the team was at Fuerteventura, Canarian Islands, so that was more than enough summer for me.
Q: With no World Championships or Olympic Winter Games next year what will be your main goal?
A.J.: My main objectives next season is Tour de Ski and the Overall World Cup standing. If I can get back to my best level I have a chance to fight for top 3. But it’s going to be hard!
Q: Astrid, where do you see yourself in four years? What are your long term plans?
A.J.: Well, it's hard to say. I'm probably still living in Oslo, studying at the medical school. But it is hard to say if I'm still a top athlete. Too many plans will not make me any good anyway.