2013 World Champion Kikkan Randall took last season off from the World Cup circuit and in April had her first child, a son named Breck with husband, Jeff Ellis. Since then she has been getting back to training and is looking for a successful return to the sport’s highest level, where she won the Sprint World Cup three times.
“I know there’s parts that are going to be really challenging, just getting back into shape and trying to still be able to handle that high load with this new lifestyle, but on the other hand, I feel refreshed,” she told FasterSkier in May. “My body is refreshed from a little break, my mind is refreshed and that could open totally new doors.”
Randall is back to training with the APU team — frequently alongside Sadie Bjornsen — and at camps with the U.S. Ski Team. Randall reportedly won the team’s sprint time trial in Park City last weekend.
1. Biggest change in your life in the last five or so months since the ski season ended?
Hmm, let me think about that, A BABY BOY!!!!
2. Biggest change in your training?
For the first time in a long, long time, I have had to build my training from the ground up after Breck’s birth. I’ve added one mode of training at a time and then gradually built up the volume and intensity. It’s been a gradual progression over six months to get back close to normal.
3. Major areas of improvement you’ve seen so far?
My aerobic capacity feels really strong from all the distance and threshold training I’ve done over the past year.
4. Whom you’ve been working closest with this offseason (coaches or training partners)?
It’s been really fun and invigorating to be back with both of my teams, the APU team and the US Ski Team. I’ve been working daily with my coach of 10 years, Erik Flora, as well as great support from the National Team coaches and always insightful advice from my husband Jeff
5. Best trip in the last five months (and why)?
Visiting my husband’s parents in Collingwood, Ontario, this summer. My sister-in-law had a baby boy last summer and it was the first time the cousins got to meet. We got some nice chill time at the lake and some great miles on the road bike. So great to see the family growing.
6. Favorite cross-training?
I did a lot on my mountain bike early in the summer to get my body reacquainted with training. It was fun to do some longer rides and epic climbs!
7. Favorite non-athletic activity or pastime this summer?
Playing with my son! I can’t believe how much fun I’m having just watching and holding him. The time is already going by too fast!
8. Song that was your jam this summer?
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
9. All-time favorite race moment?
Crossing the finish line in Val di Fiemme World Championship Team Sprint and celebrating with Jessie [Diggins] and the Team!
10. First thing you pack in your bag when you leave for Europe?
Aeropress coffee maker!
11. Venue/event you’re most excited to visit this season?
Excited to get back to Davos (one of my euro favs) and also excited to see the new venue in Ulricehamm, Sweden.
12. Who will win the World Cup title this year?
I’d love to see Ingvild Flugstad [Østberg] continue building on her success from last year and put a strong sprinter on the top of the World Cup!
13. Biggest sacrifice you feel you’ve made choosing this career path?
The limitations my schedule puts on my family in terms of a daily schedule (not many late nights) and hard to attend weddings, family vacations, etc.
14. If you could change one thing about your sport, what would it be?
I wish skis were less of a make or break. It’s always tough when you feel you have all the training and capacity to make a big result and then the skis just aren’t competitive. It’s rare when that happens but it can be a real bummer!
15. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
A big egg scramble with Canadian bacon, peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach and cheddar cheese. Complemented with cinnamon sugar toast!
16. In 5 years, I’ll be ____?
A family woman making my way through a totally new phase in my life, discovering my next challenge and passion beyond ski racing and hopefully inspiring others to live healthy active lifestyles!
17. In 50 years, I’ll be ____?
Energetic, active and chasing my grandkids around!