Andrew Newell – Professional Cross Country Skier, US National Nordic Team, 2006 & 2010 US Olympian
Sponsors: US Ski Team, Salomon, SMS, Swix, Fischer, Bank of Bennington, Karhu, Rudy Project, Power Bar, New England Nordic Ski Association, T2 Foundation
Vermont native Andrew Newell brings an entire totally different gentle to the game of Cross Country Skiing. He is considered one of a sort, pushing the bounds of what might be finished on XC Skis. He skateboards, surfs, mountain bikes and produces excessive XC Ski movies; not what you’ll consider as a typical XC Skier. On the course, Andrew holds in his trophy case 3 World Cup podiums, 2-time US Olympian (2006, 2010) and is internationally acknowledged for his sprinting talents. I lately acquired the chance to meet up with Andy whereas he was on the highway and choose his mind somewhat on the current and future.
Q. What was your inspiration or driving components that made you start to consider X Ski Films and excessive XC Skiing?
A. Well I began X Ski Films over 10 years in the past once I first began coaching with the US Ski Team. Then and now my aim was to point out folks within the US what XC ski racing was all about and to seize the thrill of snowboarding. It’s one of the in style winter sports activities on the planet nevertheless it’s not likely seen within the mainstream media right here within the states. It was at all times humorous to fly to Europe the place there are 70,000 folks in attendance at races and skiers are thought-about celebrities, and then to return again to the US the place most individuals assume it is only a sport that outdated folks do within the woods. In addition to the ski racing I attempted to seize the lifetime of an XC skier, the truth that we’re out coaching is hard however we at all times have enjoyable with it. All of the methods and excessive snowboarding on XC skis was simply form of my character popping out within the movies. I at all times grew up making an attempt to go as quick as I may on the down hills or as large as I may off jumps and to me that is what XC snowboarding is all about. It’s about having the ability to concur the uphills, descents, corners, jumps, and every kind of terrain in all sorts of situations. Cross-country snowboarding was meant to be the final word out of doors journey. X Ski movies form of discovered a distinct segment on the time as a result of though each race was televised stay throughout Europe, discovering world cup ski racing in North America was powerful. Nowadays all of the followers of snowboarding can tune into all of the races by streaming them on-line or watching them on Universal Sports however that wasn’t the case again then. So now X Ski Films is kind of out of manufacturing, other than brief movies on-line when I’ve time to publish them, however the X Ski Films life-style at all times lives on!
Q. How do you envision the way forward for Cross Country Skiing and Team USA Nordic Skiing?
A. Right now could be an thrilling time to be a part of XC snowboarding on the US workforce. We’ve gone from being one of many underdogs on the world cup circuit to one of the profitable groups in a reasonably brief time period. In 2006 I reached the rostrum for the primary time in a world cup dash race, which on the time was the very best lead to over 25 years for the US. Since then our workforce dimension has tripled, we have gained World Championship medals and we have established ourselves as a workforce that may accomplish something. It’s cool to see how the momentum can construct from 12 months to 12 months and how we have grown as a workforce whereas having tons of enjoyable pushing one another. When I used to be a child it was an enormous aim to make the Olympics, however that was principally as a result of we did not know what was attainable. We did not have quick US skiers to look as much as. Now younger skiers within the US develop up motivated not solely to go the Olympics however that it is attainable to win and be the very best on the planet. It’s been superb to be a part of that course of.
Q. Could you present most people a glimpse of the coaching regime for an elite XC skier?
A. Being a world-class skier for certain takes numerous endurance coaching, power, and technical work. Just like most endurance sports activities like biking or triathlon we log the vast majority of our coaching hours within the low season, which is why snowboarding is such a full time job. In the summer season months we’re coaching twice a day understanding for a number of hours a day on curler skis and numerous working. Because we race such quite a lot of aggressive distances, every thing from sprints to marathons, we additionally have to consistently be engaged on intervals, constructing our Vo2max and velocity coaching. So even in the course of the summer season we’ve to do intervals and arduous coaching fairly typically. We will sometimes get on snow a number of instances all through the summer season in New Zealand or Europe however we’re additionally fortunate that we get to do numerous cross coaching. We’re not caught doing laps in a pool or spinning laps round a observe we get to take pleasure in totally different modes of coaching like working within the mountains, biking, weightlifting, we preserve train fascinating. When you might want to log between 800-900 hours of coaching within the 12 months it is vital to maintain it enjoyable.
During the winter, all of our coaching is on skis however we additionally taper so much and do not put in too many hours. In a typical season I’ll race as much as 40 instances in 15 totally different international locations, so with all of the journey we concentrate on constructing our health by means of intervals and most of all racing.
Q. What sort of applied sciences are you incorporating into your coaching and racing?
A. Technology is at all times pushing our sport not solely in how we prepare but in addition in our tools. Training theories are at all times evolving and we use numerous expertise to check our our bodies and be certain the coaching we’re doing is having a optimistic impact. At the US Ski Team coaching heart in Utah we’ve treadmills that we are able to ski on and they measure how our lungs and coronary heart are working at excessive depth. Having a excessive Vo2max is basically vital in cross nation snowboarding but in addition learning what sort of method and actions to make use of at sure speeds. We additionally use machines to measure our blood quantity and hemoglobin mass and are consistently protecting observe of what number of pink blood cells we’re constructing all through the coaching 12 months. We additionally use very primary applied sciences like coronary heart price screens and lactic acid testing each day to verify we’re getting probably the most out of every exercise.
The expertise behind tools is mind-blowing, so I wont even get into it. But a really cool aspect of XC snowboarding that most individuals do not see is what goes into the race skis and the waxing of skis. Each nation on the world cup has their very own employees of wherever from 5-15 wax technicians who’s job it’s to check several types of skis and several types of wax for the bases. Because snow situations might be totally different at each venue and consistently altering all through the day wax techs are principally like scientists looking for us the very best mixtures of wax and grinds (which is the construction that’s pressed into the bottom of the skis). When I journey I normally have round 30 skis in my quiver at a given time. The days main as much as the races I work along with my wax tech to select the skis with the very best flex and base for the snow situations and then they apply the race wax which has examined greatest earlier than the race begins. It’s extremely difficult so I’m glad I simply need to concentrate on racing more often than not.
Q. How do you imagine different sports activities you take part in like skateboarding, browsing, path working and mountain biking contribute to your success on the snow?
A. I’ve at all times been drawn to sports activities like skateboarding and browsing due to how addicting and enjoyable they’re. That’s what I grew up doing and I nonetheless love skating. I believe I take pleasure in sports activities like that due to how non-competitive they’re and due to the type and move you’re feeling when driving a wave or a half pipe. Realistically although sports activities like skateboarding and mountain biking are nice for snowboarding. Typically athletes who’re drawn to endurance sports activities like working, highway biking, and cross nation snowboarding lack athleticism. And folks give me a ton of crap once I say that nevertheless it’s true. Endurance athletes are extremely match and sturdy however that does not imply we’ve nice ‘athleticism’; that means agility, physique consciousness, velocity, issues like that. I believe taking part in sports activities like soccer are nice for constructing agility and in fact sports activities like browsing and skating are nice maintaining stability and studying to maneuver your physique in a selected approach. Things like that have not essentially helped my health over time, nevertheless it’s improved my athleticism and has made me higher at adapting my ski method and studying transfer in an environment friendly approach.
Q. Do you imagine there are every other sports activities as bodily demanding with reference to stamina as cross-country snowboarding?
A. There are numerous powerful sports activities on the market for certain, and there are numerous sports activities on the market the place athletes cross the end line in full exhaustion identical to in ski racing. I believe XC snowboarding is particular as a result of it’s a distinctive mixture of energy and effectivity. We have races that final wherever from over 2 hours, to as brief as Three minutes, so creating endurance and velocity is vital to being profitable. Skiing can also be a full physique train which requires the usage of actually each muscle within the physique so the sensation you get after a tough race is fairly superb.
Q. If you might solely seize a pair gadgets from the pantry earlier than race day, what would they be?
A. On race day I preserve it fairly primary with issues like oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter issues like which can be what I wish to eat earlier than a race. When you journey for competitions as a lot as we do it is positively arduous to be too choosy about what you eat. I’ve adopted some fairly unusual Euro consuming habits like salmon fish paste on bread for breakfast or Norwegian brown cheese to listing a few of my favorites.
Q. What’s on the agenda within the coming years for Andrew Newell?
A. The large focus is on the Olympics in Feb. 2014 in Sochi Russia. To win an Olympic medal could be a dream come true for me and the entire XC snowboarding neighborhood within the US, so that’s at all times a driving aim. It’s humorous how numerous sports activities really revolve across the Olympics, I believe numerous athletes can get to caught up within the four 12 months cycle of the Olympics and have an excessive amount of of a one observe thoughts. To me XC snowboarding is a way of life and that simply would not come round as soon as each four years. We have an unimaginable world cup tour and we race as arduous as we are able to every weekend on behalf of the USA. So sure the Olympics are essential, however I there may be much more that goes into being a ski racer and I’ll proceed to take pleasure in that life-style so long as it is nonetheless enjoyable.
Q. Could you share a few of your favourite locations to XC Ski and X Ski?
A. In the US I actually just like the snowboarding round residence in Vermont. VT has a ton of small native ski areas which have some candy old fashioned winding trails. There is that this one place close to Stratton known as Wild Wings that may be a traditional snowboarding solely path system. All the paths are tremendous slender and rolling and it is nice to exit with the buddies and hammer by means of the woods. Prospect Mountain outdoors Bennington VT is the ski space I grew up at and that is additionally considered one of my favorites when I’m within the States. When it involves Europe its arduous to beat the superb solar and mountains of snowboarding in Switzerland or Italy across the Alps. We spend numerous time coaching and racing round Davos Switzerland and it is unimaginable there. Finland, Norway and Sweden for certain have among the largest ski areas since XC snowboarding is such part of their tradition. Skiing round Oslo is superior as a result of there are such a lot of trails connecting all of the totally different cities. Holmenkollen ski stadium is true outdoors of Oslo and it is form of the house of snowboarding and has among the coolest and most difficult terrain.
Q. What’s the vibe like on race day?
A. Race days on the world cup are what I stay for as a result of all the strain and pleasure of racing on behalf of your nation. One factor I did not understand about XC ski racing till I got here to Europe, was how intense the followers are and the form of ambiance created by 80 thousand spectators across the ski stadium. Sprint races particularly convey within the large crowds and you begin to understand that, in a approach, we’re concerned within the leisure business as a lot as the game side of snowboarding which makes racing much more enjoyable. Things like betting on ski races is massively in style in Europe and with how unpredictable dash racing might be it is fairly thrilling for the followers. Some of the rowdiest race venues are normally my favorites to compete at. Each 12 months we’ve a number of sprints in downtown cities like Oslo or Stockholm the place they lay down snow on the streets for us to race on. In a approach it is introduced ski racing to the folks and the city sprints have a reasonably unimaginable ambiance.
Q. Lastly, Just a few ideas for these desirous to progress in cross nation snowboarding?
A. I might encourage anybody who’s up for an journey and desirous about staying match to attempt cross nation snowboarding. Even for people who aren’t into the racing aspect of issues can exit and have a very good time on skis and benefit from the open air in a wholesome approach. For the skiers desirous about pushing their limits and velocity within the racing scene, I might encourage them to keep it up and not hand over on the technical aspect of snowboarding. XC snowboarding tends to have a a lot slower studying curve than say a sport like biking due to the stability and actions are extra difficult. It’s straightforward for folks to purchase a elaborate bike, placed on a jersey, and unexpectedly really feel like they’re prepared for the Tour de France; however with snowboarding the method might be as a lot a limiting issue because the health. So for folks trying to progress, generally the very best factor to do is break the actions down into sections. First work on the decrease physique actions and stability by snowboarding with out poles, and then spend some exercises simply working towards the higher physique and poling motions. This is one of the simplest ways to dial in your method and additionally construct power.