By Teemu Virtanen
One of the greatest Nordic skiers in the world and last winter’s World Champion in Seefeld (15 km), Martin Johnsrud Sundby, 34, is known for his extremely hard training regime. Traditionally, he has trained about 1,200 hours every year, but after his victorious 2019 season he decided to do a little less.
According to the Norwegian VG magazine, he is now shooting for 800-900 hours this year, which is still an impressive number and something that many other pro skiers tend to go for. He was told to reduce his training hours and find time to relax a bit. He did what the doctor ordered and enjoyed easier workouts in May and June.
“I don’t know why I didn’t feel like training that much in early summer,” Sundby said in the interview. “But I think it was a combination of things that have happened to me including finally winning the World Championship title. As a family man, there’s always something going on, but I have been training every day. However, it’s different when you aim to improve something in every workout versus going out without thinking about it too much. I still have a lot of motivation left, but I have just given myself permission to relax every once in a while.”
Sundby won the 54 km Birkebeinerrennet, a Visma Ski Classics Pro Tour race, in Norway in 2017 and finished second in 2015 after a tight cat-and-mouse game with Petter Eliassen. As the next winter has no World Championships or Olympic Games, he might be willing to test his endurance and double-poling capacity at more Visma Ski Classics events.