Since the last weekend Lukas Bauer has been roller skiing, mountain biking and running. On Monday a medical check was planned and then he jumped back in full preparation. "One thing is clear, I won't be running that much this off-season. Even if everything is OK, I will not take the risk," the best Czech Cross-Country skier said in an interview for www.czech-ski.com.
Q: How did your thigh muscle injury came along?
Lukas Bauer: Well, it's me. As soon as the heel fracture was healed at the end of the summer, I sustained a thigh muscle injury. Doctors found out that a part of the muscle was torn away. For a month I could not run or ride a bike, instead I spent hours in the gym.
Q: Before, you had been shooting new catalogue for Craft. You've become used to such breaks, haven't' you?
L.B.: Not a single summer and perhaps one winter has been without an injury. I've just had a look back and even in the season when I won the overall World Cup I was on antibiotics at least once. Top-level sport is all about fighting with your health, who lasts longer. My advantage is I can come back fast.
Q: What does mean for Cross-Country Skier less dry-land running?
L.B.: I have trained as I planed, just in a different way. Victory in the German performance tests was a good sign for me, I beat even Alexander Legkov. I had not been sure about the result but at the end it was sensational. It gave me a dose of extra motivation and optimism. The head is extremely important. I want to compete with the best again and beat them. And I know I can do it. The injury was an obstacle but should not hold me back.
Q: You are not considering putting off the start of the season?
L.B.: No,I am not. Most likely I will not join the first Czech Ski team's training camp on the Dacshtein glacier. If everything is OK, I will go for the second one couple of days earlier. I will be staying in 1800 m for almost 20 days. Autumn classics in Muonio will follow afterwards. It should not influence the World Cup opener. We will see about competitions in Canada. Most likely we will skip them. Just in case I feel super good I might go. Instead, we plan to go for a high altitude camp in Tauplitz.
Q: Dealing with your health problems is not easy, is it?
L.B.: You see, media analyse all my health problems. Speaking about them now, I look cool, but at home? Just imagine, second day at the training camp at home, in Bozi Dar, great weather conditions. I want to show the guys little bit around and on the second day I get injured. I was really upset. Instead of watching what I cannot do I took my family and went to sea. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot but at that time of the year I wanted to be somewhere else than on a beach. At first I had to take two weeks off, than another two. I hope it will pay back.
Q: How did you keep yourself in shape?
L.B.: I spent hours in the gym. I got better in the bench press. I was double polling a lot on the ercolina. I was watching Vasaloppet and chased the best.
Q: Four, five hours?
L.B.: No, I skied it at three times, three times 90 minutes. I also tried Jizerska 50 and König Ludwig where I beat Standa Rezac by a second.
Q: In spite of the busy World Cup schedule are you thinking of taking part in some of the long distance competitions?
L.B.: Yes, I'm thinking about it again. Jizerska 50 is on the schedule one week after the FIS Tour de Ski. that would suit me well but everything will depend on my shape. Last four Tour de Ski stages are very tough and it takes me at least a week to recuperate. The weekend after, the last relay before the World Champs is on the schedule in La Clusaz. Marcialonga would theoretically be an option too.
Q: So nothing new about your season goals?
L.B.: FIS Tour de Ski and the World Championships, equally important. I want to succeed in both. I have won FIS Tour de Ski but not the World Championships.
Q: What are your plans for Val di Fiemme 2013?
L.B.: 15 km and the relay. I do not want to ski the 50 km, I will see on place. I have analysed my performances in 50 km and the best result was in Sapporo 2007. I finished 5th and could have even won it if I had not made a wrong decision 2 km before the finish. Honestly, for me it's not worth trying so hard and finishing behind top 10.
Contributed by Tomas Nohejl, www.czech-ski.com