Maubet Bjornsen Taking Strategic Approach to 2020-21 Season
Sadie Maubet Bjornsen has learned quite a bit during the past nine seasons on the FIS Cross Country World Cup circuit, including the glamorous, and not so glamorous, side of living out of a suitcase for months at a time while competing throughout Europe.
Over the past nine years, she has also scored World Cup points (top 30) at more than 150 races, in addition to a dozen podium results. So it’s safe to say the World Cup school of hard knocks has taught her quite a bit. Now, she is taking that knowledge to the next level as she’ll apply a more strategic, tactical approach to the 2020-21 season.
“I have shaped a plan that will entail a different path than normal for competing on the World Cup circuit this season. I will spend more time at home in Alaska preparing for the season, which includes missing Period One (late November through December events) of the World Cup season.”
- Two-time Olympian Sadie Maubet Bjornsen
This year, the 2021 FIS Cross Country World Championships take place in late February - a couple of weeks later than in the past. World Championships events are Sadie’s number one goal for the season, and she knows that competing at the World Cup level for a full three months before World Championships would be a challenge to prepare her body and mind to compete at her fullest potential.
“Between the challenges we are facing with COVID-19 right now, and some persistent overuse injuries I have been working through during the summer and fall training, this plan will provide me the extra months to get my body in the place it needs to be for the World Championships,” she said. “I will certainly miss some of my favorite races of the year, but am confident this balanced approach will allow me to perform at my best at the World Championships.”
As she enters her 10th year of competing at the highest level of the sport and eyeing the potential of competing in her third Olympic Winter Games, this new strategy will also provide her the opportunity to enjoy more family time, including time with her husband Jo, and keeping a promise that she made to herself last season - spending the holidays at home with her family.
“I have to look at the sustainability of that type of lifestyle,” she said of competing and traveling for months on end throughout Europe. “Also, when you’re 30 years old, your family starts meaning a lot to you, and spending time with them is important. I haven’t enjoyed Christmas with my family in nine years, so I’m looking forward to enjoying the holidays with them.”
When Sadie returns to Europe, she will be based out of France with Jo, and while racing she will continue her studies for the CPA exam and working towards her Master’s Degree in business. When this past season was cut short due to COVID-19, she put her accounting degree to good use, working at the CPA firm - which she admits helped her to avoid a potential midlife crisis.
“It’s been really nice because when I get injured, it's really hard not to get bummed out about it because our jobs depend on our bodies and being healthy,” she said. “Plus, (working) allows me some time to see a different perspective and having to learn and be OK with not knowing and asking questions. But, I’m also looking forward to getting back to racing and rejoining my teammates in Europe.”