Interview with Women’s 50k Classic champion 2019 Anni Kainulainen

Anni Kainulainen, a skier from Jyväskylä, is preparing for the skiing season 2019-2020, now at her home in Jyväskylä after several training camps. She won the Jyväskylä Ski Marathon 50k Classic Race Women’s series last winter and we asked a few questions about her experience of the race and how the summer and autumn training has been. Anni also revealed during the interview that one of her (secret) goals for the upcoming season is to beat the writer of this story next winter in Jyväskylä Ski Marathon –the challenge has been set!

Anni Kainulainen

How did the 50k Classic Jyväskylä Ski Marathon race fit into your training plan last winter? 

Very well as my plan is to take part in 1-2 long distance races every winter, although my main aim is to succeed in normal distance races from 5-15k.

How did you prepare yourself for the event?

I did nothing special. I ate well before the race days and did some ski tests to get the best pairs for the race.

Ski club: Hämeenlinnan Hiihtoseura / Team Minken (long distance races)
Residence: Jyväskylä, Laajavuori

You used grip wax in the race, right?

Yes. I was not even thinking to go for double poling in this race. The terrain should be flatter for me to choose double poling. As a normal distance skier I have not done that much long-distance double poling training and additionally I have not tested that much skis for double poling. Normally I go with grip wax in these kind of races. If the terrain is flat then I can choose to go without grip wax.

How has your training been during summer and autumn?

Very well as I have been healthy and without problems. In training I have concentrated on strength training and on sprint style exercises. My speed and stamina are on higher level than last year. I have been in training camps in Livigno for three weeks, three times in Vuokatti and once in Syöte.

How does your normal training week look like?

On average it has been 18-19hrs training per week, including 1-2 intensive trainings, 1-2 strenght trainings, 1-2 speed/interval trainings, and one longer training. At some weeks the focus has been more on interval/intensive training whereas on other weeks I have done more hours with lower tempo. In most days the other training has been on roller skies. The longer training, up to 3.5hrs, I usually do as combined training for instance roller skiing and running or cycling.

 How much do you train per year?

Quite exactly 800hrs.

What do you do when not training?

I am currently a professional skier, so my days are around skiing -such as taking care of my sponsor relationships and other skiing related tasks, and of course resting. As hobbies I like to read and cook.

Anni skiing in ELITE men's group (246-Juho Sihvola, 9-Antti Peltonen, 6-Toni Huuskonen)

What kind of memories do you have from last season’s victory?

Good memories as my own race succeeded well. I skied with a good group of men skiers who chatted with me and we had fun! There were also many people on the track cheering to the skiers that provided a nice atmosphere. My skis also worked very well.

Anni at the finish

At what point of the race did you believe you would win?

Actually quite at the beginning when I broke away from the other women and got a good position in the men’s group. I thought without any technical troubles I could win the race. As 50k is not that long distance I was not afraid that I would not have enough strength to finish the race in good shape. The only thing I actually asked during the race from my service person was how my boyfriend (Olli Tyrväinen) is doing -and when I heard he’s doing great (Olli finished third in the Men’s 50k Classic race) that gave me a good boost!

Do we see you next year as well participating in Jyväskylä Ski Marathon?

I have checked the date of the event and I can participate in case I am not attending Scandinavia Cup in Otepää Estonia one week later. So let’s see. If I participate, my goal is to win you :-).

What kind of plans do you have for the next season?

My main goals are in shorter distances -getting some World Cup points from Classic style races (sprint and normal distances). Ruka’s World Cup is very important goal for me. At the national level we aim to win the Women’s Relay at Finnish Championships and in the individual distances my goal is to be in the TOP8 in Finnish Championships.

What kind of training tips you would like to give to the participants of Jyväskylä Ski Marathon?

The main thing is to go skiing on a regular basis, depending of course on the level you are. It is also recommended to do some longer distance trainings with double poling, especially if you go without grip wax.

Do you have any greetings to the race organizers?

Good greetings, the event has been very well organized. I have taken part in many long-distance cross-country ski events and also cycling events, and in my opinion, Jyväskylä Ski Marathon is very well organized. Many things have been taken into account from the skiers perspective. I have especially liked the communication of the event and instructions for the skiers, good prizes!, etc. And special thanks to how the start place has been organised as there are for instance numbered starting positions for elite skiers. Service on the track works also very well and it is easy for your own service person to find good places for providing drinking and nutrition service.

We warmly thank you Anni for the interview and see you next year in the event!

Heikki Karjaluoto / Jyväskylä Ski Marathon

Photos: Touho Häkkinen

By registering to the event by December 31, 2019, you will receive the following benefits:

-The cheapest payment step is valid until December 31, 2019

-You will receive a free SWIX V40 grip wax (given in participant bag)

-You are involved in SWIX and SALOMON prize draws including one pair of SWIX Quantum poles and one pair of SALOMON Skin skis. Prizes are drawn among all who have registered by December 31, 2019.

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