Hello there! My name is Zak Ketterson and I am a professional Nordic skier from the beautiful city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ski racing has been a huge part of my life since I first discovered the sport in high school. I have always had a passion for pushing myself and love the continuous challenge of trying to improve year after year.
Recently, I have been fortunate enough to earn a spot as a member of the U.S. Ski Team, where I get to compete on the World Cup circuit, the highest level of competition in our sport. Nordic skiing is primarily a European sport, with essentially all World Cup races taking place in central Europe and Scandinavia. That means from the months of November to March, I am traveling from country to country living out of my suitcase.
In the summer and fall months, I live and train in Minneapolis. You might wonder how a Nordic skier trains when there is no snow, and the answer is that we actually do quite a bit of running. I do tons of two- or three-hour runs on the local trails around my apartment. I also do lots of intervals, sometimes using poles to more closely imitate skiing technique. Come winter, I still do quite a bit of running, usually in the form of 20-to 45-minute afternoon runs after I’ve skied in the morning. There’s nothing sexy about these runs, but they are a staple to my success in the racing season.
In total, last year I trained for 810 hours. Running accounted for 500 of those hours. When I am dealing with such a high volume of running, it is essential that my equipment is incredibly dialed so that I avoid injury and get the most out of my training. Icebug’s running shoes have been my best friend throughout all of those running hours, especially in the winter where they have allowed me to run safely and confidently in some of the nastiest winter conditions I have ever seen.
One great example was this past December in Lillehammer, Norway. We were there to compete in a couple of World Cup races over the weekend, and the roads that were available to me for my afternoon runs were an absolute sheet of ice. Luckily, I had my Icebug shoes with BUGrip studs and had zero issues completing my runs as planned. Having the confidence to be able to get my runs done in even the worst winter conditions has been a huge source of calm for me over the course of this World Cup season.
I want to thank Icebug for their incredible support of my dreams as a World Cup skier. It’s not an easy task to try to become the best in the world as an American in a European sport. Life in professional sports certainly has its challenges, especially when we spend so much time away from our home country. Icebug has been an amazing partner in my training and supported me every step of the way. The snow is starting to melt here in Minneapolis, and I can’t wait to start training again soon for next season.
See you on the trails! :)