LIVIGNO (VG) Simen Hegstad Krüger (30) has almost become part of the women’s national cross-country team.
Published: 20/11/2023 20:52
– It is very strange. Overall, there will be almost as many meeting days with the women’s team as with my own team, says Krüger and laughs to VG.
He had the season of his life last year with three WC golds in Planica, three victories in the World Cup and second place in the Tour de Ski. In the weekend’s national cross-country opening at Beitostølen, he came 11th and 4th respectively in the ten-kilometre classic and freestyle.
For the 2023/24 season, he has recharged with altitude training (see fact box). He is the only one from them Norwegian men’s national teams. Norwegian men’s national teams. The women’s national team has “only” a common team, while the men are divided into a distance team and a sprint team.
The women’s team, on the other hand, focuses on altitude training. Krüger has therefore joined them on two gatherings, which lasted approximately three weeks, in the Italian Alps.
– It has worked very well. I’ve had a bit of individual adaptation, but I’ve also been involved in a lot and mostly had a fairly similar schedule. A very good solution as the rest of the boys did not want to go to the height, says Krüger.
Anne Kjersti Kalvå, one of the spearheads in the women’s national team, believes it has been “very positive” to have Krüger with her.
– Simen is part of the women’s team now, he will change teams next year, says Kalvå and laughs.
Before she gets more serious:
– Simen is a completely raw skier and a nice guy. He has contributed a lot to us and offered several pieces of advice. And we can only go behind him to see his skating technique, which is raw, to learn.
The joy is mutual. Krüger praises the women’s national team coaches Sjur Ole Svarstad and Stig Rune Kveen.
– It is very nice to be with the women. Sjur Ole and Stig Rune are good at making arrangements for me. It has actually gone better than expected, says Krüger.
He has also trained quite a bit with athletes from the national recruiting team at altitude.
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, who is outside the national team, is fully committed to altitude training and was in Livigno during the same period as Krüger.
– What do you think about the fact that not more people from the men’s national team choose altitude training?
– We as a team have shown that there are “many roads to Rome”. It is not the case that height determines how best to do endurance training, says Krüger.
This year is the first time since the run-up to the 2017/18 season that Krüger has put in so much altitude training. In addition to some altitude training before the 2021/2022 season, he has trained in the lowlands.
– It has worked well in the lowlands as well, I don’t feel that one is much better than the other, but I wanted to do something a little different now.
In recent years, there has been much debate about the fact that the men’s national cross-country teams do not train more at altitude.
Krüger points to another effect as important as the height itself:
– I get a lot of peace and quality in the training here. It can be more difficult at home where there is a bit more going on. All you have to do here is train twice a day and go to sleep in between. I think that effect is as great as the height itself.
– Now I’m testing this, so I’ll see what I do before the WC in Trondheim in 2025 and the Olympics in Milan/Cortina in 2026.
The World Cup starts in Finnish Ruka 24–26. November.