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Hill, mountains and more climb!

Hill, mountains and more climb!

The theme for my training since the European Champs in Portugal has been “hills is good”, “more hills is awesome” and climb has been an ascending number in the training diary. The training period has included a training camp in World Champs relevant terrain in Lavarone – Italy and a World Cup round in Kongsberg, Norway.

20140611-002317-1397897.jpgThe injury I got during the long distance at the European Champs in the right calf (the joint of the muscle and ligament) gave me a week or two with alternative training. The calf has only given me grief when I have been running downhill on hard surfaces, so I have had plenty of time to climb mountains. As a good motivation to train in hills and hill intervals, which are going to be a crucial factor at the World Champs Long distance this summer in Italy,  I have had a climb competition with Rasmus Djurhuus. The competition has been on since the Danish Ultra Long Champs. It is basically decided based on who will get most climb under the belt before we hopefully both get selected for running the long distance at WOC.

As per today my magic number is just below 16 000 meters of climb.

My magic number has had a few good weeks. A week in Bergen with nice weather (I know this is unusual) and a lot of tops to explore and a training camp in Italy last week was very beneficial for my magic number. The week in Lavarone in Italy gave me a good indication of which challenges the Long distance at WOC this summer will throw at the runners. I had a perfect chance to find the key to the awaiting navigation challenge. I was also very beneficial to be able to discuss the challenges with Rasmus who also focus on the long distance. This has resulted in a lot course planning/guessing and many challenging legs have been drawn. I even have a WOC calendar which unveil a new long distance leg every day to keep me hungry for the challenges lying ahead.

One training was a middle distance simulation, where all the runners aiming for the middle gave it a good go. We even got the France Sheriff Thierry Gueorgiou to join and show us how to race in this type of terrain. I got caught by Thierry after 2/3 of the course and from there to the finish got a lesson in how to navigate in Northern Italy. It was very inspiring to see how the navigation challenge should be solved at high speed. This gave me a lot of reflection and thinks to work with going forward.20140611-002317-1397430.jpg

After 15 hours or running, primarily orienteering, the training camp was for me concluded with a long distance, where I could compare myself against the best. The Finns used the race as their selection races and Thierry Gueorgiou was on the start line as well. Even with a lot of training under the belt the plan was to go hard, so the navigation challenge would be the same even though the speed wouldn’t match the best.

I was a great test and I did a good job navigation wise. I lost a little bit of time in the butterfly otherwise the route choices and navigation looked good. The only eye-opener I got was how fast the pack were running downhill. I have a bit to work with here. I still were a little curious in relation to my right calf so I didn’t go for full downhill, even though I still have some room for improvement here. Results

World Cup in Kongsberg:

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I knew it would be tough to race for full after only four rest days after a tough week of training and with a proper long distance in the end where the legs already were tired. My legs were starting to feel better on Thursday and Friday, but I had hoped that they would have recovered faster.  I was positive when I stood at the start line for the middle distance on Saturday. As I approached the hills and high blueberry undergrowth in the beginning of the race I soon understood that I didn’t have the power in the legs and that it was going to be a rough day in the office. With about 2 mns of time loss I was still more than 8 mns behind the winner not a great result, I hoped for more.

 

 

I was a little naive and hoped the kick start of the legs on Saturday would get my body ready for the long distance. The terrain was less challenging than the day before, though it didn’t take long before I struggled and had trouble keeping up the concentration as a result i made several mistakes early on. After a long leg on tow behind Matthias Kyburz my power supply was empty and my only choice was to abort mission, to save the body.

A disappointing way to end a World Cup race but now I have a few days of rest before Jukola. I’m really looking forward to Jukola it’s always a fantastic experience to run around in the Finnish forest with more than 1000 other teams.

It won’t be long before the last few spots on the Danish WOC team will be decided. I have been training hard and I know all the hill running and tough training and preparation will pay off, if I’m on the start line for the long distance at WOC this summer. The continental navigation challenges suits me and I still believe a top 15 is a realistic goal the only question left… does the National coach have the same view?

http://www.woc2014.info/woc.php

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