Cross-Country Talk: Virginia De Martin Topranin (ITA)
This summer you trained with the US Ski Team. How was it?
That was an outstanding experience for me. I spent two weeks in Alaska and I had the chance to join the U.S. national team for a training camp. I want to thank them so much, the coaches and everyone who made it possible! I had such an amazing time there: exploring wild mountains, meeting and getting to know amazing people, sharing different training (and life!) point of views...and pushing myself hard!
How did it happen you went to Alaska?
At the end of the last season, I had the pleasure to spend some days with Liz. We were really looking forward to train together during the summer time. Then, at the end of April, she invited me to join the Alaska training camp. And I didn’t hesitate to book my flight!;)
What was the best experience?
Oh, I can’t say how many things I learned. Actually, training programs and methods aren’t that different from the ones in Italy. But I learned a lot of things about the attitude they’re training: the focus on their goals, how they give their best every time, the atmosphere in the team, the way they’re supporting each other. I think that last point is what I liked most. They always support and push each other, they always celebrate achievements of others on the team. I loved the belief that your victory today will be mine tomorrow.
How has been your training season so far? Have you made any changes in your training?
My training season is going well. I’m training with a very good team in Italy and we participated in two roller ski festivals in Norway, in order to compare ourselves with the best skiers. I’m not training that different from last summer, because my coach is the same and also because I had a pretty good season; but of course I’m training more hours than last year and I’m working on my weaknesses, such as double poling and lower body strength.
Last year you finished 28th in the Overall World Cup and had your best season ever. Looking at the results, you seem to be headed in the right direction?
Yes, I can say I’m heading in the right direction. I’m pretty satisfied with my last season. I made a step forward from the previous seasons, I had some good highs but I also struggled in the middle of the season because of tiredness and stomach problems. And I didn’t accomplish all the goals I had set set, so, I’m still hungry!;)
For a few years Italian women’s team was struggling. Recently, the situation seems to be changing. Do you see the positive trend?
Yes, we struggled a lot in the past few years: the best Italian athletes (Longa, Follis, Genuin) ended their careers almost at the same time and we weren’t ready for that. Now the situation is getting better. The Juniors are doing well and we are improving in the World Cup too. This summer we decided to train A and B ladies teams together. That is really stimulating and exciting during training sessions. And we’re also having so much fun!
What about next season?
Needless to say, the most important event of the season will be the World Championship in Lahti. But I don’t want to focus all my attention on it, because I’d like to enjoy the World Cup and improve my performance in every race. A good trend will take me to confidence in Lahti.