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      NMU student gets ready for Noquemanon

      The countdown to Noquemanon 2012 is on, and for Nik Krawczyk, this means some intense last minute training. "I just try to think, the more kilometers I ski today, the closer I'll be to being able to do the whole thing," said Nik Krawczyk, this year's featured skier by the race's organizers. Krawczyk will compete in the 50-kilometer freestyle race, his biggest feat yet. The Northern Michigan University student is no stranger to the Noquemanon having competed in last year's contest. But this year's monstrous race has brought Krawczyk out to areas like Forestville Trail to train five days a week. A jam-packed training schedule can also take a physical toll on skiers, even before they reach the starting line.>>"One thing that I've suffered from over the years are just dead legs," Krawczyk said. "That has been my biggest battle, is I'll get out and my legs will just feel like a thousand pounds." To figure out what may be causing Krawczyk's dead legs, we turned to athletic trainer Mark Stonerock, who routinely treats skiers this time of year. "Dead legs can be attributed to a couple different reasons," explained Stonerock. "Sometimes it's just an issue of weakness. You don't have enough strength in the quadriceps, hamstrings and core, and that causes you to feel dead and heavy.">>Stonerock says preventing this common ailment can be done off the snow. "With a dead leg problem, I'd stick with a lower and quadriceps and hamstring strengthening, and that can be as easy as using therabands to get that done." Despite the pain, Krawczyk says the rewards of the sport pay off. "It's something that I look forward to every day. It's a way to relax, kind of zone out, get into my own little planet. It's a way to clear my mind and just get away from the stress of the life of an everyday college student," Krawczyk said.