Erik Bjornsen (my teammate and roommate) and I just woke up in Obertsdorf, Germany to this view: 

We drove here last night from Val Müstair, Switzerland after racing the second stage of the Tour de Ski. This is my fourth Tour, and the routine and venues now feel familiar. Erik and I lived in the room next to this one last year and woke up to the same view. 

Yesterday’s race, like all of them so far this season, was not the breakthrough performance that I dreamt about while training this summer. I simply haven’t had the energy and fitness and pop to ski with the fastest guys in the world. I have had great opportunities. Yesterday, like in La Clusaz and Lillehammer, I had no excuses. I was skiing in a good position early in the race with good skis and plenty of room to move and I simply couldn’t hang.

My coaches and I aren’t sure why I haven’t been performing at the level that I have in the past, let alone at the next level. Maybe I haven’t fully absorbed the increased training load from the summer and fall, or maybe I’m not as recovered as I feel. 

Regardless, I know that I’ve done great training this year, and I’m executing my races and my lifestyle as well as I know how. The only thing to do, in the middle of the Tour de Ski, is to keep taking care of the things that are in my control. The next five stages, without exception, are great opportunities for me to have the results that I’m looking for. 

In the past I have forced myself to be disappointed and sad after poor performances. I felt like I had to show that I was dissatisfied or people wouldn’t think that I cared enough or tried hard enough. I am now trying to do the opposite. Regardless of my results I am trying to live in the moment, be present and absorb all of my experiences. I am still doing everything I can to achieve my goals, but skiing does not define me and it doesn’t need to define my emotions and my mood. 

I went to breakfast in the middle of writing this post and I’m now basking in the sun as I finish. Here’s an updated look at our view:

Life is good.

Strength Session

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at one of the short but intense strength sessions that I did this summer and fall. These sessions were in addition to two aerobic sessions per day. Hopefully they’ll help me ski fast this winter! Huge thanks to Andrew Fast at La Sportiva for helping me put it together!

Fantasy Podcast

FasterSkier just published an episode of their Nordic Nation podcast about Noah Hoffman Fantasy Cross Country. I honestly can’t believe that host Jason Albert managed to fill an hour entirely with fantasy content, but the episode is engaging and funny. Listen for some cameo appearances from Zach Caldwell and Kris Freeman. Find it here.

Also, Adam Mahar, who designed and operates the fantasy site, did a bunch of really interesting statistical analysis about predictability and nationality bias in last season’s fantasy picks. The graphs are amazing. Check them out here.

Lastly, fantasy team selection closes tomorrow for the opening weekend of World Cup racing. Don’t forget to finalize your team!

Ruka Threshold Intervals Video

Here is the video from a classic intensity session I did this morning here in Ruka/Kuusamo, Finland. The session was supported by coach Matt Whitcomb. Today was only my second day on snow since September. The workout was 4 by 5 minutes at a very controlled pace. It was not designed to be hard, nor was it hard. I am doing more intensity tomorrow, but this whole week is about getting fully recovered from travel and ready to race a World Cup on Sunday.

An Open Letter

An open letter,

As a person who travels internationally and represents the United States of America, the implications of the coming Trump presidency worry me. I fear being viewed through the lens that our president-elect represents, a lens of intolerance and nativism, divine privilege and arrogance. Rather, I’d like to be viewed through a lens of inclusivity, compassion and tolerance. Although I am an American, I do not stand with Trump when he diminishes our fellow humans, incites violence or belittles his critics.

Please understand that I, like so many of my fellow citizens, do not condone the devisiveness of our next president. I do not accept racism. I will not be misogynistic or sexist. I understand that human-caused climate change is an immediate threat to global stability. I prioritize peace. I believe in equal rights and equal protection for the LGBTQ+ community, the disabled community, and peoples of all nationalities, skin colors, socioeconomic statuses and education levels. I welcome immigrants. I believe in the right to worship and represent your religion in any way you see fit, as long as your actions don’t limit the ability of others to do the same. I honor our veterans and our relationships with our allies. Most of all, I dream of a world where every human is valued and has the opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Know that I acknowledge the division that has split our country, and I recognize that I come from a place of great privilege. I am working to understand the anger and pain, hopelessness and abandonment that so many of my fellow citizens feel. I recognize the need to heal deep and painful wounds and lift up those that are disenfranchised. I, as a U.S. citizen, acknowledge that our global and domestic actions have negatively affected so many lives. I will work to overcome the perils of globalism by finding progressive solutions.

I fear that I will be defined by the whims and tweets of our head of state. I simply ask for your understanding and reservation of judgement.


Noah Hoffman