Helene Marie Fossesholm (NOR) is heading into the 2022/23 season one year older, stronger and wiser.
Helene Marie Fossesholm was still a junior when she was named to the Norwegian elite national team for the 2020/21 season.
“Age is just a number,” the bold junior said at that time, and took home a handsome collection of World Cup podiums, top 10-finishes, national championship medals and a gold medal from her first World Championships.
Her second season at the top international level was a brutal journey. While Fossesholm made the 2022 Olympic team and helped Norway to the silver medal in the relay, she returned to Norway halfway through the Beijing Olympics. Helene was exhausted, didn’t enter another race for the rest of the season, and took several months off from systematic training.
But now, the 21-year-old is back, embarking on her third World Cup season one year older, stronger and wiser. Fossesholm is excited about the winter and the 2023 World Championships in Planica (SLO). However, starting her dryland season in June at a much different level than she’s used to, Fossesholm is quick to point out that she doesn’t expect to win the national season opener at Beitostølen next week.
“After quitting my race in February, I allowed myself a really long off-season. I’ve put in a solid amount of training the last few months, but I have to train a bit smarter this year, and I will have to be more patient,” Fossesholm says. As one of her measures, Fossesholm has opted out of all the national team altitude camps this season, and focused on her own plan.
“One of the problems last year, was that I did a little too much of everything all the time. I also increased my overall volume, so the overall load just became too much. This year, I have to be a little smarter,” Fossesholm says.
What are some of the specifics you’ve changed this year? “I am even more diligent about how I do my strength training. Every workout needs to have a specific purpose, and everything needs to be ski-specific. So, I am more careful about which drills and exercises I do, and when I do them. In terms of technique, there is always areas to work on. I don’t think you ever can say you’re done with technique.”
Where are you now, just prior to the national season opener?
“I’m pretty much on track, and my body is responding to my workouts. I hope to have a good feeling at the first races, but I don’t expect to be chasing podiums at the season opener in Beitostølen this year,” says Fossesholm, explaining that her plan is to be peaking later in the season.
“The idea is to use the first part of the season to build my fitness, in order to peak a little later, when I really want to perform. Of course, the 2023 World Championships are the main goal for the season, and I know I have to qualify for a spot on the Championship team.”
What are your thoughts for the season overall?
“I’m heading into the World Cup as an underdog. The Swedish women have taken the responsibility for the status as overall favorites, so my plan is just to hit hard from below,” Fossesholm says with a grin.
Well-equipped for the main event
The 2021 World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER) was a slush fest, with day-time temperatures well above freezing throughout the championship period. The 2023 World Championships in Planica (SLO) could very well prove to be another wet and wild adventure in terms of weather and snow conditions.
But Fossesholm feels well-equipped for the challenge, including some pairs of Redline skis with Madshus’ revolutionary green bases. These bases, which are specifically engineered to perform at their best the wetter and warmer the snow, delivered medals at the 2021 World Championship - the first season they were tested at the World Cup level.
“I’ve tested the new purple Madshus Redline LTD with the green bases both for skate and classic a lot now. They are amazing for those wet and crazy conditions. And the purple design is seriously bold. I like that. I’m ready to make a statement.”