The road to the 2022 Olympics: Sturla Holm Lægreid
Check out how the new king of biathlon Sturla Holm Lægreid (NOR) prepares for his first Olympic Winter Games.
Four gold medals from his first World Championships will be hard to match at the upcoming 2022 Olympics. Add to that ten World Cup podiums at the IBU World Cup level. The expectations are sky high for Lægreid, who rose from national team rookie to king of biathlon in just one single season.
Madshus caught up with Lægreid on his training and plans leading up to the 2021-22 season, where the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in China is his obvious overall goal.
Lægreid makes it crystal clear that he doesn’t expect to match the 2021 World Championship loot at the Olympics, and that he doesn’t take any victory for granted. But he does try to improve every day. And while Lægreid swept the podiums nearly every weekend throughout his rookie season with the national team, the ambitious 24-year-old believes he has potential for more.
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Is it even possible to top your 2020-21 season?
“I’m still fairly new to the World Cup level, and I can’t expect to do equally well at the Olympics as I did at the IBU World Championships. But I know how well I can perform, I’m constantly striving to improve and progress, and I know what I need to do in order to be as prepared as possible at the Olympics in February,” Lægreid says.
Specifically, what are you working on in order to improve?
“I know that I have potential for improvement in fitness, and you can always get even sharper at the range. But I have to keep in mind where I was even just a year ago.”
How do you go about that in your everyday training effort?
“I always have an overall focus area. Last season, my overall task was to be optimally prepared for every training camp. I would never travel to a national team camp feeling even slightly tired, in order to get the most from each workout and really match myself against the other national team racers. I have carried over that overall focus this season, and won’t do any major changes to my overall training program this year.”
What a way to kick off the World Cup season
Do you have any specific areas you will pay extra attention to this season?
“I am working really hard to improve my ski technique. With better technique, I can take utilize my VO2 capacity to the max. That will be crucial in order to improve in every area.”
What are the things you do to improve your technique?
“There is a lot of skill and experience in the Norwegian national team. We learn a lot from each other, and this process is particularly useful for me, who is still quite new to the World Cup level,” says Lægreid, pointing out that this is one reason it’s so crucial to be totally ready for each training camp both physically and mentally.
“I learn so much from watching the others on the team. I try to copy what they do and incorporate those elements into my own training program. But I’m also no clone of Tarjei (Boe) or Johannes (Tingnes Boe). I have to do things my way, and adapt the things they do to my body,” says Lægreid, and explains:
“When I see they ski fast, I try to note exactly what they do. I don’t ski 100 percent the same way they ski, but I try to observe what they do and experiment with how I can adapt that to the way I ski.”
Curious about Sturla Holm Lægreid’s gear?
Check out the entire Madshus Redline collection: #SeriouslyFast