World Cup Mama Interview with Kikkan Randall
Tis the season of the World Cup mama with both Claudia Nystad and Katja Visnar having already welcomed their first children and Marit Bjoergen, Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Natalia Korosteleva and Kikkan Randall all due within the next 6 months. FIS Cross-Country had the chance to catch up with Kikkan Randall in Anchorage, Alaska as she prepared to watch her first World Cup season in 14 years through the TV.
FIS: Best part of being pregnant so far? The worst part?
KR: The best part so far has been being able to relax a little bit and just enjoy getting to train everyday without pressure to perform. I’ve been lucky that I’ve felt good so far and have been able to do pretty much everything. The worst part is knowing that I am going to be missing the whole 2015-16 season. I love racing and it’s going to be hard to miss all the action and miss seeing all my favorite world cup friends.
FIS: Any plans to compete at all during the upcoming season?
KR: I don’t plan to do any serious racing this winter. I will mostly be at home training in Alaska. If a local race comes up, I might jump in just for fun.
FIS: Do you plan to return to World Cup competition for the 2016-17 season?
KR: Yes! My motivation for ski racing on the World Cup is still very high and I’m excited to share the experience with my family. I’m looking forward to the next World Championships in Lahti in 2017! I hope to resume normal training next summer to be ready to compete for the start of the next World Cup season in November 2016.
FIS: Will you find out the gender of the baby before it is born?
KR: We’re hoping to make it a surprise! I think waiting until the baby comes out is one of life’s greatest surprises. I just want a healthy baby and would be pumped whether it’s a girl or a boy.
FIS: Do you hope your child will become a World Cup Nordic ski racer like yourself?
KR: It’s a great life and I would be happy if my child became a World Cup Nordic ski racer. However, my passion doesn’t have to be their passion. I just hope they find something to be just as passionate about. And I hope they enjoy being active and healthy.
FIS: How has pregnancy affected your training?
KR: In the 2nd month, I was pretty tired and had few days where I had to turn around early because I didn’t feel very good. But mostly my energy has been good and so far I’ve been able to train close to normal. My coach and I decided to reduce my volume slightly by about 20% and back down my intensity training to just aerobic threshold work. I am still doing speed and strength work but being careful not to push my body too far. I am not preparing for a race season but instead have the goal of maintaining good fitness through my pregnancy.
FIS Is there a food that you love to eat now more than before being pregnant?
KR: After the first month I had some queasy feelings throughout the day and only Mexican food sounded really good to me. So I was eating Mexican style meals almost every day for a while.
FIS: Anything you don’t like to eat now?
KR: I’ve had a hard time with oatmeal since I got pregnant. The consistency is just a little tough to swallow. Also, vegetables aren’t always as appetizing as usual so I have to make an effort to eat enough.
FIS: What do you think about so many female athletes being pregnant this year?
KR: I’m pretty excited that there are so many world cup athletes pregnant at the same time this year and that everyone is planning to return to racing next year. I think it’s great for the sport that our female athletes don’t feel they have to choose between having a family and ski racing, they can combine the two together. I am looking forward to sharing our experiences and seeing more families on the World Cup next winter!
FIS: Thank you for the interview and all the best to you with your pregnancy. Looking forward to seeing you back on World Cup next season.
KR: My pleasure! Thank you.