Cross-Country Talk: Lukas Bauer (CZE)
For several years Lukas Bauer has been the leading Czech Cross-Country skier. After the successful Olympic season he considered quit the professional racing career. In 36 years of age Bauer started another Olympic cycle and is training at full speed. As last year, Bauer has spent some training days with some of his biggest competitors.
Q: Lukas, you were training in Oberwiesenthal (GER) last. How did the training group look like?
L.B.: I was there with a group of 7 skiers, led by Alexander Legkov. I had planned before to meet some of the strongest skiers this summer. I trained with the Russians also last year and it worked fine.
Q: Alexander Legkov is one of your biggest competitors in the winter. Were not the Russians afraid to allow you train with them?
L.B.: Everything depends on those who build the training program. Coaches must be agreed with that. And of course athletes must support it too, particularly leaders of the team such as Alexander Legkov. Neither of them had a problem me joining the team for their training.
Q: How was the atmosphere in the team like?
L.B.: It was totally cool. They work and train in a friendly atmosphere. I also tried to speak with them in Russian so it was sometimes funny. I think they were surprised see me in a gym. They must have said to themselves, how is it possible that somebody like that could or can ski fast? (laughs)
Q: Was it difficult to keep up with them in a gym?
L.B.: Strength trainings were really tough, but it worked well. Russians are at a totally different level comparing to Germans or Norwegians when it comes to strength. We have other strong points that make us good.
Q: You trained with Legkov and his team also last year. Did you try to prepare for the training with them this year?
L.B.: No, I did not. I was not particularly exhausted last year. I was surprised how many weights they can lift and still be very good in running. Particularly Legkov is a very strong trail runner. He disarrays the concept that strong, muscular athletes are poor in running. That is inspiring. I trained not only how to lift weights but I was interested in how balanced and tuned their training is. It is not a big problem to train with them a day or two. The key point is how you can manage a longer period reaching a positive effect.
Q: What are the biggest differences in Russian training?
L.B.: Their training is not about records, maximum training hours. They focus a lot on intensity levels. I think their system is closer to Norway than to Russia. It’s not that type of Russian training when everything must hurt. It was of course very tough but in a different way. They did not rest much either, they practically worked all the time. Such an intensity is not very common in the Czech Cross-Country Skiing school.
Q: You train independently from the rest of the Czech national team. How often are you going to train with your teammates?
L.B.: I have a family and I want to spend more time at home. I also think that I don’t have to be under an every-day control, to train good. I asked for a possibility not an obligation to come to Czech national team camps. I would like to build the training so that it fits both my family life and my idea about the preparation.
Before the winter I am going to join the national team at approx. two training camps. But during the season I am not going to have a special program. The only think I would like to get the permission for is to skip the FIS Tour de Ski. My top priority is the World Championships in Falun and especially 50 km Classic. Also, I would like to take part in more than two long distance competitions.
Q: What are your plans after the training in Oberwiesenthal?
L.B.: I’m going to spend a few days with my family in the Bohemian Switzerland. Then I will be training for a week at home. From the 10th August I will train with the Czech team in the ski tunnel in Oberhof. Then I am joining the German team in Goms (SUI) at their toughest summer training camp. There will be a lot of roller skiing from valleys up high on the top of the peaks.
Contributed by www.czech-ski.com