Cross-Country Talk: Sylwia Jaskowiec (POL)
Besides Justyna Kowalczyk, Sylwia Jaskowiec is the best Polish Cross-Country skier. Last winter she scored the first World Cup podium as she finished in 3rd place in the FIS Tour de Ski Prologue in Oberhof, GER.
This spring, the Polish Cross-Country skier decided to join the training group of Justyna Kowalczyk. FIS Cross-Country News talked with Sylwia about how is it like to train with Justyna Kowalczyk and plans for the next winter.
Q: How has been the training season with Justyna Kowalczyk?
Sylwia Jaskowiec: I am very grateful to Justyna and her coach that I can be a part of their team. It was unbelievably big thing to get a green light from them. I am very happy I got this chance. After my accident on roller skis I have been working hard last for years to get back to a professional level of skiing. When I joined Justyna I had to prepare myself mentally and physically for a really hard work.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge for you?
S.J.: The general training scheme of the team is hard trainings day by day. The biggest surprise for me was watch Justyna during the hardest trainings; how strong she is, how she fights together with her training partner Maciek. It was amazing and gave me extra motivation for my training. Mostly we have the same workouts together but of course we have individual training plans.
Q: You trained in a bigger group before; Justyna is used to training alone. How is the cooperation like?
S.J.: You are right, training in a group has a lot advantages, especially in a mixed team. However, there is also a very good atmosphere and friendly spirit in our group. In our small team we got to know each other very well, everyone knows we must take care of each other. We are trying to create positive conditions for physical and mental work. We have time for everything, for hard work, fun, laughs and as well for privacy.
Q: What has been the biggest benefit you got from changing the training group?
S.J.: I have changed the group because our coach Ivan Hudac left. He had prepared me last seasons in a very good way. I wanted to develop my skills further and I had to look for the best training opportunities. Now I have a chance to train together with an Olympic and World Champion. Justyna Kowalczyk is a very friendly girl. She is a driving force for me. Of course I am also under control of one of the best coaches, Aleksander Wierietielny. I trust and believe in all what we do in training.
Q: What has been the main target for you during this training season?
S.J.: The most important thing for me is to progress in physical capacity, especially endurance and strength. I want to get better in the classical technique too.
Q: In August you took part in the first competitions in New Zealand. How did it go?
S.J.: I got a really positive feedback from the races in New Zealand; especially the result in free technique was good. The Merino Muster Marathon was a big challenge for me but I am happy about the result. I had a great fight with Justyna. The races were a nice break from the training routine.
Q: What are your plans for autumn?
S.J.: We came back from New Zealand at the end of August. We just started another training camp in Polish mountains in Zakopane. It is going to be a three-week camp with a lot of running in the Tatras. In October we are going to Ramsau and the Dachstein glacier. Then it will be time to move to the North for the final phase of the training.
Q: What are your main goals for the winter?
S.J.: The main goal is of course the World Championships in Falun. I am going to focus on sprint races, especially the team sprint in free technique. I want to improve my results from last season.