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The coaches about Heidi Weng: “She must train well, like a real top athlete”

Heidi Weng struggles with recurring health problems and has not trained well for over a year.

Photo: Modica/NordicFocus

Heidi Weng (NOR) during Tour de Ski season 2022/2023.

Ever since Heidi Weng fell and hit her head just before the Norwegian National Championships in 2022, she has had recurring health problems. It has been over a year, and it still bothers her, affecting the quality of training and life. 

As a result of the fall in March last year, she lost the National Championships and the rest of the skiing season. The concussion would be challenging, and Weng missed all the national team training camps until after the summer holidays. 

Also Read: Heidi Weng is back after concussion

The preparations for the World Championships season 2022/2023 were anything but optimal. When Langrenn.com caught up with her at a meeting with the rest of the national team at the start of autumn, she needed to catch up to the training schedule. 

Over the autumn, Weng participated in what she could, and this winter, she did both the Tour de Ski and most of the World Cup, delivering two individual podium places and many top-10 positions.  

But now the 31-year-old admits that the concussion still affects her training and everyday life, more than a year after the bad luck. 

“I have an almost constant headache. It’s usually like that during the day; I need many more breaks and to be alone a bit. It’s a bit tough at times,” Weng told NRK during last week’s national team meeting at Sognefjellet.  

It affects every day life

Weng is also exhausted by everyday activities like driving and socializing with friends. 

Now the 31-year-old feels that she must ignore the pain and discomfort if she is to have any chance of returning to the top level in cross-country skiing. 

“Now, I’ve decided to try to make the best of it. I will try to train optimally,” says Weng.

The national team coaches want to ensure that Weng can continue investing in her goals, but they also recognize that she will have to do the required training. 

“She can have good and bad days; we must adapt training and recovery based on that. It is important. But we must focus on her having to get the job done too. She must train well, like a real top athlete, in the next few months to keep up with the top,” says national team coach Sjur Ole Svarstad. 

Weng does her best to adapt to the new everyday life and adjust the load according to the form. This means, for example, that she puts in a little extra during the training camp but then has to prioritize rest and breaks afterward. 

“The most important thing for me is to get well and have a more normal life.”

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