Noah Hoffman's Life as a Nordic Skier
Noah Hoffman eats 4,000 to 6,000 calories daily.
Those are fairly routine numbers for an NFL linebacker. Those numbers are close to what Bradley Cooper ate daily while bulking up for his role in American Sniper. Picture12 Big Macs. The image is of a big big dude with a very large appetite. Noah Hoffman is not a big big dude but the calories he eats serve big big ambitions and unending fortitude.
“It seems to me that most of my job is anything but sexy: long 5 hour roller ski sessions in the pouring rain, hard interval sessions in the blistering heat with sweat running down my face, racing at -20C with a spit icicle on my chin, collapsing in exhaustion after crossing the finish line of a 50k, bonking so hard after a race that I start crying for no particular reason, wanting to break something in frustration at not skiing the way I know I can,” Hoffman speaks about the intensity of World Cup cross country skiing with a type of calculated distance. He’s scientifically studying exactly what he’s done for the past 12 years of his life. The U.S. Ski Team member, Julbo athlete and distance skiing specialist grew up in Aspen, Colorado and discovered skiing young. Hoffman was small enough that he’d get car sick in van rides to junior races unless he sat in the front seat. Still, his motivation was clear even then. His successful junior career included multiple junior national championships. The Hoff as he’s known to fellow racers, owns the strongest finish ever by an American racer at the U23 World Championships, he finished 2nd in 2012, a result that inspired his push to the highest ranks in racing.
Noah Hoffman trains 760 hours per year.
“When I first started racing, I thought I was committed to being the best because I did every training session that my coach and I had planned,” Hoffman explains. “When I wasn’t training, however, I did whatever I wanted. I did worry about recovery, nutrition, hydration, flexibility. My results stagnated.” That plateau pushed Noah into a deeper level of commitment. “Skiing on the world stage taught me a new definition of the word, ‘commit.’ Everything I do, all day long, everyday, reflects the push to get better.”
Noah Hoffman travels with 40 pair of skis.
That commitment is reflected in a particular attitude about equipment. Hoffman has a long relationship with Zach Caldwell, who manages his ski fleet and provides some careful technique feedback. The changes to both skis and technique, daily routines and travel schedules is minute. “My athletic hero is tennis player, Andre Agassi. After he experienced a mid-career slump, he came back with unmatched professionalism that reflected his love for the sport. I strive to match that attitude,” Hoffman explains. The commitment at the highest confines of sport, as the Hoff has learned, are less to do with merely completing the tasks and more to do with an identity, a statement of being against a sea of difficulty and doubt. Everything the Hoff does is a flag planted in the ground that says, I’m here to do this for real.
Noah Hoffman’s longest World Cup race is 50 kilometers.
A 50k ski race isn’t slow. It’s an ebb and flow, a game of cat and mouse that follows who has the ability to withstand tough conditions and who can strike out at incredibly high speeds to break away from a charging pack. There’s a lot of time to think but little reprieve from the sharpness of the efforts it requires. “I remember everything else (about being a professional skier): traveling to Scandinavia, the Dolomites, the Swiss and French Alps, New Zealand, meeting motivated and successful people from all over the world, being fit and healthy, getting near daily massage, having a personal wax technician preparing my world class skis, turning my team into my family, feeling pride in my teammates astounding success, hearing from the stadium announcer that I had the fastest time in a World Cup.” These are the brightest parts of being a mountain athlete racing against the world.
Noah Hoffman is a mountain performance athlete.
”Growing up in Aspen has instilled in me a love for the outdoors and an even more passionate love for snow. Snow makes me dream of powder days in Highland Bowl, winter trips to the 10th Mountain Division Huts, biking to school on studded tires and sledding down Smuggler Mountain,” Hoffman explains. The foundation that life in the Roaring Fork Valley built for him can be seen in his comfort amidst skiing’s toughest competition. “Being in a fringe sport in the U.S. means that my teammates and I rely on sponsors and the incredible support we receive to chase our dreams. Because of that, we have a unique relationship with a very passionate community. Our success is shared by everyone who allows us to be here.”
Noah Hoffman takes on the World this month in the Tour de Ski. The Mountain Performance Eyewear models Noah travels with include the Dust, the AERO, the Sniper and the Cortina.