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Cyclova XC catches up with Garrott Kuzzy

Recently I caught up with Garrott Kuzzy, all around gentleman, great guy, Midwesterner, and world class XC Ski Racer. While Garrott has spent most of this race season leading the SuperTour race series, he is still waiting on a likely selection to the Olympic Team. There are a number of Olympic Team spots that likely will be reallocated from the Norwegian team to other nations, including the US, based on the new FIS Olympic team selection criteria. When that happens, we believe Garrott will be on the straight track to the Olympic Games!

CyclovaXC.com readers have been asking for advice on training and race prep, so who better to help us out than Garrrott? Thanks to Garrott for taking the time to chat and provide us his perspective on some great stuff below. Garrott, we're all rooting for you!

1) You're having an amazing season with some truly amazing results. Are you doing anything different with training or race prep this year as compared to in the past?

Thanks, Frank. I’ve still got plenty of work to do, but some of the races this year have been a step in the right direction. There haven’t been any drastic changes to my training. My biggest change is to have a specific focus on every day of training and trying to accomplish that goal, every day. My classic skiing has improved significantly this year, as I’ve been doing specific drills whenever I classic ski: no pole striding, one-ski balance, hill bounding, and double-pole only workouts.

Garrott ripping it up in a '09-'10 SuperTour event, as the series leader! - Photo Credit: Ian Harvey/Toko

2) What is your favorite place to ski? Your favorite race venue?

My favorite place to ski is definitely off the front — that’s a much better place to be than off the back.

I like a race venue with a good warming hut and plenty of trails to warm up on. Telemark is probably my favorite, especially since the first World Cups were held on those trails. I’ve never raced at Wirth Park, but from what I’ve seen recently with snow making and new hilly terrain, it strikes me as a very good race venue. Internationally, the Holmenkollen, which overlooks downtown Oslo, is definitely my favorite. They hold the only 50km interval start race in the world and the Norwegian spectators make racing there feel like you’re going up the Alpe D’Huez (as do the long climbs!).

3) In the week leading up to a race, how do you usually prepare (ie: how much to ski, intensity, diet, supplements, rest, etc)

Leading up to a priority race, I try to do as many workouts as I normally would (training twice/day), but cut workout time about in half. Rather than a 2 hour ski, I’ll usually go 1 hour. Rather than 8 intervals, I’ll do 4. Ideally, I get 70 hours of sleep per week, which ends up being 9.5 hours at night and a half hour nap during the day. Contrary to many athletes who carbo load with pasta dinners and oatmeal breakfasts, I prefer white rice and pancakes for my race fuel. On race day, I like to keep everything as simple as possible, knowing ahead of time exactly what I will do.

4) The US Ski Team (and CXC) has been consistently building more and more amazing results over the past decade in particular. What do you attribute this success to and how can citizen skiers help?

I wasn’t around in the past, so I don’t really know how things operated then. I will say that everyone in US skiing is working together very well. The National team is supporting the clubs by sending US Team coaches to club training camps and inviting dedicated club athletes to train with the US Team. There is a strong sense that everyone in the National ski community is working together towards a common goal. Keeping things positive is the best thing we can do.

The best thing that citizen skiers can do is to get involved and get other people involved, whether it be attending a CXC Masters camp in the summer, coaching a local junior team, or getting your friends to sign up for a race. To quote Bill Koch, “the more people we have on the trail skiing, the better off the whole world will be. Think about it.”

5) What are your predictions in general for the remainder of the XC Race Season?

The US is finally skiing with some swagger. Keep your eyes open and watch out!

Garrot enjoying some off season dirt in the Hayward area.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats to Garrott, as he is now an offical member of the Cross Country Olympic team, along with Holly Brooks!