Danmark fra Larkollen

søndag 31. oktober 2010

Suffering from Runner's knee-Part 1: intital measures

It appears that I suffer from what's referred to as "Runners knee". A condition of which the pain is localised around the knecap, becomes gradually worse over time and is exacerbated by running long distances. Walking steps causes discomformt as well as squatting and sitting with the knee bent for longer times. The condition of ligament and bones in this condition is abnormal, causing the pain.
Runner's knee, also known as patellofemoral stress syndrome, is a condition characterized by the kneecap rubbing against the thighbone (femur) when moving.

There may be different causes to this injury such as:

1. Running shoes: 
does not limit ankle-pronation

2. Training errors
training too hard, too far, too soon, always running on the same side of the road, interval training and racing too often

3. Training surfaces:
too much running on hard surfaces

4. Biomechanics:
flat feet, high-arched feet, increased quadriceps(q).angle at the knee, redusced ankle-flexibility, 

Measures to correct this injury are:

1. Anti-pronation shoes

2. Orthotics

Both measures are directed towards correcting biomechanical abnormality that causes the injury.

The advice is to try out these measures in prioritised order.

Well, that is as far as the general theory goes.

Facts about my situation is this:
1. Running shoes:
I've used 5-6 different shoes, but gravitated towards lighter shoes(competition shoes) of around 0,2 kg.
The first time I noticed pain in my knees was during Thueringen Ultra in the beginning of July. At the beginning of the third quarter I made more use of Mizuno Wave Ronin and the pain disappeared. Before that I'd been using Puma Concinnity extensively. After making that change I didn't notice any pain again before week 42.
The change when it comes to shoes is Saucony Kinvara which I bought 9.9.10 and have runned approximately 150 km since then. They may be the cause for this injury

2. Training errors:
I've been increasing my amount of training substancially from the first to second and third quarter. In addition I have done very long training session. This may have caused some of this, but I since the symptoms have occurred after changes of shoes I don't think that can be the cause of this injury. It doesn't reduce the injury to run long runs, but it's not the cause of it.

Initial measure:
I need to try out using a different shoe again that reduces pronation. I'll buy a pair of shoes first thing tomorrow and try out this approach during the next month. In addition I'll run shorter runs the next weeks and make use of ice the coming week to cool down the injured area which is mostly the right knee.
If this doesn't to work out I'll try orthotics as my next measure.

Swimming: working towards less resistance

This afternoon it was due for another technique-session. My aim with todays session was to work on relaxing more in the water by trying to rotate a bit on every stroke and at the same time make an effort to move my gravity-point forwards by pushing the head a bit more down in the water.
By reducing the area of which the water must travel past to a minimum I will reduce the resistance in the water. I achieve that by rotating a bit on every stroke and trying to move the gravity-point forwards.
I'm doing laps of 20 metres in a pool with a length of 10 metres. In addition I'm adding laps to a set of 5 laps trying to work on something in particular in that set. In todays session I clearly felt that by relaxing more, rotating a bit and pushing down at front had a significant effect. I was down by 1-2 stroke on each lap. I felt that rotating slightly was easily approachable, but moving the gravity-point fowards demands more work.Next time I'll assign one working task to each set-working on rotating and gravity-point in different sets. On the last set I'm combining.
I'll extend the length of the lap to 30 metres next time. When I'm managing laps of that length properly I'll add another weekly session of swimming. That will probably be from mid november.

 Swimming: Vestli school in Oslo, length of pool is 10m
-25 reps of 20 m-total of 500 m
-Total time spent: 45 minutes  

Race report: Copenhagen 6h-race

The one positive part conserning Yesterdays race was the possibility to learn from it. And there shure is something to learn from it. Being the first race I'd DNF it's paramount by being just that. To me having to stop before I'd finished the race was a very tough decision, but made easier because it was a very rational one.

Albertslund it's a dosy suburb to Copenhagen. Travelling by train it's a 20 minutes journey from the central station. I'd planned on travelling back and forth the same day and that worked allright as the race started at 10 a.m.
The race takes place around a very idyllic lake-Thueholmsøen. The lap is 2.221 metres and the elevation turned out to be just over 7 metres a lap. The surface is asphalt pavement. Weather was excellent. Light winds, partly clouded and around 10 degrees celsius.
Number of participants was around 130-mostly locals, some of them scheduled for marathon.
Facilities were a bit scarsed and the timing-system didn't function at the start-leaving the arranger to do manual counting of laps, but overall it seemed to be a job well done by the arranger Albertslund Løb og Triathlon(ALOT).
I arrived the spot well in time before the start and was able to make necessary preparations. My plan when it comes to nutrition was to make use of gels from WINFORCE. Water would be supplied from bottles in my own drinking-belt. The race started a few minutes past 10 a.m. I felt fresh right from the beginning. My strategy to execute 25 minutes of running and 5 minutes of walking worked out fine for me. My planned pace while running was 5 min/km and between 9-10 while walking. In the walking breaks I would attend my nutrition needs. That also worked out allright. I placed my gels at a table by the start and just picked up a gel on each turning point.
In principal it worked good, but I felt a growing nausea after having 3 gels and stopped using them Apparently gels arent the right choise for me. I'll stick to other means of nutrition-for instance energy drink.
After 5 laps of running I felt a growing pain in my knees-especially my right knee-and stopped by the storage tent and put on some support on my knee. The pain was more evenly distributed after that but didn't disappear. Anyway, I kept running and hoped for the best. Three laps later the pain was anything ells than evenly distributed-it was growing to be intense, again in my right knee, but also in the left. For two more rounds I tried to walk a bit during the lap, but that didn't made any difference. I felt a growing disbelief and worry. Was there any chanse that this was going to stop me from finishing the race? I made another and final approach, walk extended part of the lap and tried to run on several occasions, but the pain was just getting more intense. Clearly this wasn't going to work out at all for me. During all those last, three laps I was more and more emotionally shaken. I realised more and more that I was called upon to made a very though decision conserning finishing the race or not. To finish a race is paramount to me, but on some rare occasions it's rational to back off-the occasions when DNF stands for "did nothing fatal" To me Yesterdays race was such an occasion. At first being emotional disturbed I managed to think and act rational and made a very hard, but-I'm, conviced-right decision. It was obvious to me that finishing the race would leave me with knees even more injured and a bad result. The outcome simply wasn't worth it. If I'd been just exhausted I'd never given up-never! This time it was different. In fact I still felt pretty fresh after 31,4 km of running and 3h 14 on the road.
Important to me know is to think carefullly through what the right measures for me are short- and long term when it comes to further athletic activity.


Distance covered: 31,094

Placement: DNF after 14 laps due to knee-injury

Split times(average pace):
1. First 5 loop's: 
-Split time                                : 59m 5s
-Distance covered                    : 11,105 km
-Average pace, total                 : 5:19 min/km
-Average pace, in last 5 loops   : 5:19 min/km
-Average loop time, total          : 11m 49s
-Average loop time, split          :  11m 49s     

2. Next 5 loop's:
-Total time                                : 2h 4m 35s
-Split time                                 : 1h 5m 30s
-Distance covered, total            : 22,21 km
-Distance covered, split             : 11,105 km
-Average pace, total                  : 5:36 min/km
-Average pace, in last 5 loops   : 5:52 min/km
-Average loop time, total          : 12m 27s
-Average loop time, split          :  13m 06s  

3. Last 4 loop's:
-Total time                                : 3h 14m 27s
-Split time                                 : 1h 9m 46s
-Distance covered, total            : 31,094 km
-Distance covered, split             : 8,88 km
-Average pace, total                  : 6:15 min/km
-Average pace, in last 4 loops   : 7:51 min/km
-Average loop time, total          : 13m 53s
-Average loop time, split          :  17m 26s

Verticals: 100, 7,1 metres a lap

Calories: 2.104

Shoes: Saucony Kinvara

lørdag 30. oktober 2010

Copenhagen 6h-race

Growing up at Thueholms Sø. Due to severe pain in my right knee I decided to stop racing after 3h. It is my first DNF. I'm certain it was a right decision, but the emotional pain feels just as bad as the physical right now. Jannicke

fredag 29. oktober 2010

Copenhagen 6h-race, 30.10.10: Preparations

An new race is due tomorrow. It'll be my second 6h-race. Last one was this year when participating in Romerike 6h-race in Norway. I finished with a result of 60,096 km. Average pace was 5:59.
Overall goal this time is to improve on that performance.

During that race I lost some time because of two visits to the toilette. In addition I hadn't established good enough nutrition routines.
My improvements from the last race is to avoid the toilette visits, execute good nutrition routines and use a running/walking strategy. In addition I'm focusing on average pace-not laps. My goal, average pace is 5:30.


1. Running/walking:
25m with a pace of 5 min/km / 5m with a pace of 10min/km. That will result in an average pace of 5:28, covering 5,5 km every half hour, and 11 km every hour-resulting in a total of 66 km.
One lap is 2,221 km. That'll result in 4,95 laps pr hour and a total of 29,7 laps.

2. Nutrition:
I'll make use of energy gels from Winforce, one every 30 minutes, this will be supplemented with water.

3. Equipment:
-Shoes: Saucony Kinvara
-Clothing: thights(knee-length), singlet, jacket-all from GORE
-Monitoring: GF 205-I'm logging every lap
-Other: vaseline, drinking belt(6 bottles)

4. Mental part:
I'm focusing on the pace, reaching the next km and reaching the walking break. Important to me is to enter a zen-like zone consentrating on keeping the pace, reaching the next km and the walking break-no more to it! In addition I'm focusing on having a great run!

torsdag 28. oktober 2010

Helsfyr course-test-run: Race on Saturday?

Thueringen Ultra-2010
I've been suffering from a set of minor injuries the last couple of months. Last one in line was my knees. My measures when it comes to the latter has been to use support while running and ice afterwards. In addition I've been low on intensity while running(Luckily it complies with my training programme) and I've scheduled recovery days. This week I've noticed a rising degree of fitness and lesser problems with my knees. With a race coming up on Saturday it was time to test out if my knees were ready for some serious running again.
Equipped with my favourite shoes-Saucony Kinvara-I headed out in the dark, autumn evening. Not so chilly tonight as it has been recently. After a few hundred metres I could clearly feal that my feet were fresh. Wonderful! I finished the warm-up and went for a short-treshold session of around 4 km crusing at treshold pace. I didn't feel anything but a slight discomfort at the back of my right knee and I didn't use any support during the run. It didn't cause me any particular effort to run at treshold pace and I felt really excited during the session.
It's been quite a while since I've felt so fresh before a race. I'm also confident that I have enough amount of running to carry out a 6h race on Saturday, having runned three long runs in four weeks, two of 35 km and one of 45 km. I feel pretty set for the race. Question is, am I going to race?

-Distance: 5,42 km
-Time: 27m 44s
-Average pace: 5:07 min/km
-Average moving pace: 4:58 min/km
-Elevation gained: 44 m(8 m/km). Below 10-ok
-Calories: 386 kcal.
-Average heart rate(max): didn't measure
-Shoes: Saucony Kinvara
-Weather: Clouded, dark, 7degrees celsius, breeze,high humidity in the air

onsdag 27. oktober 2010

Cycling: back on stationary wheels again

A breath of winter has arrived. It's about time to end the outdoor season on wheels and head indoors instead.
The workout tonight was my first on stationary wheels since 16th of March this year-just over 7 months ago.
The goal with todays session was to prepare the bike for the indoor season and do a light endurance session.
It's noticeable that I haven't been on the bike much this year after the day in March. Allthough I have had some workouts outdoors they've been far to few. Anyway I  established a high cadence on a light gear(11th)and rode through 30 minutes. I aimed for an average speed of 25 km/h trying to stay in zone 2. I ended in the middle of zone 3(154-160). Next time my aim will be to lower the average heart rate.

-Distance: 11,9 km
-Time:  30m 00s
-Warmup: 5 m ( 20-25 km/h)
-Recovery: 5 m(20 km/h)
-Working time: 20 m
-Average speed: 23,8 km/h
-Cadence, average: 87
-Elevation gained: 0 m
-Calories:  301 kcal
-Average heart rate(max): 157

tirsdag 26. oktober 2010

Seminar-Sportspsychology, Hamar, 15-16.10.10

Some of the participants
Last weekend I participated in a seminar arranged by Hedmark and Oppland Idrettskrets in Hamar-Norway. The purpouse with the seminar was to give coaches and athletes a thorough presentation of  sportspsychology, some clues of what needs to be done in order to get as good you can get, the importance og motivation and goalsetting, why communication is important in a relationship between coach and athlete, how to build confidence and the importance of establishing a self.

1. Establishing a self:

Marco Elfasadi
Marco Elfasadi was first to adress the audience. He talked about why it is necessary and vital for each individual to have a solid self. A self deals with what you are-your identity. Confidence is all about what you do-your actions. To have relations with people you love and care about is vital in order to develop and establishing a self. Your family, friends and relatives are of outmost importance in connection with this.

2. How to fullfill your potensial:
Kjetil Andre Aamodt
Kjetil Andre Aamodt was the next lecturer. Being a former athlete in alpine sports and having won several gold medails both in the Olympics and WC he had no problem whatsoever to catch the attention of the audience. He told us about his years at young age, how he trained and what made a difference to him when it comes to the mental part. He had an inner motivation to do good in his sport-to achieve. Starting at young age and coached by his father he had a broad attitude when it comes to basic training. He made it very clear that the most important factors behind his success was commitment, focused connection, confidence, ongoing learning and mental readiness.

3. What is sportspshycology?:
Frank Abrahamsen talked about skills-what they are and how they are thaught. Further on he presented with good examples what characterises a good athlete. According to him a good athlete is commited, focused, has high confidence, is highly motivated, willing to learn, works towards targets in all activities, has established mental strategies and is conserned about to have high quality in all his works. It's important though not to identify with your own performances, but instead focus on getting better short term, and best long term.

4. Motivation and goalsetting:
Frank Abrahamsen, Anne Frøyen, Nicolas Lemyre
Nicolas Lemyre held a lecture about goalsetting. Distinction was made between short- and long term goals. It was also important to make sure that the goals were possible to quantify. In addition he defined different categories of goals. They were related to performance, process and results.

5. Confidence:
Anne Frøyen lectured about confidence. How to build it, maintain it and develop it. The latter is strengthened by a good relationship between coach and athlete.

6. Relationship-coach-athlete:
Finnally Frank Abrahamsen presented a model for communication between coach and athlete(SDT-model)
Important factors here are autonomy vs controll, high internalisation vs low internalisation. He also presented a motivational tool used as an interview .

It was two good days spent. Being an athlete myself it was very interesting to learn the importance of commitment, confidence and focused connection. Further on I made note of the practising of goalsetting, disiplin, mental strategies and most of all-patience, willingness to train over lengthy period of time with high quality in order to perform long term.

Summary by Oppland Idrettskrets:

All pictures with courtesy of Oppland and Hedmark Idrettskrets

Combined workout: running and strength training

Stavanger marathon-2010
I've grown to like this session more and more. It's timesaving and provides good results. The strength session went fine. I applied the same load as last time-new rowing maschine though. I'm considering adding one more exercise to my training programme. The one I have in mind is angled leg press.The reason for this is to work more on the hamstrings. I suspect a muscle-imbalance between quadriceps and the hamstrings,
Todays session with strength felt good. The rowing part left me pretty exausted at the end-it was ment to. It's a trap to add more load in the beginning. With a length of 15 minutes it'll be pretty heavy in the end. I'm staying on 3 this microcycle. The next microcycle I'm adding more load. That goes for the other exercises as well. I used the same load again as last time and it felt easier.
About the running then..It was meant to be low-intensive and it was. That's good. I was anxious to learn more about my knees after three days without running. I decided in advance to run without support. It went good. I didn't notice anything more than some light discomfort. Anyway, I'm considering to reduce the number of weekly running sessions from 6 to 5. It makes sense to run Man, Thue, Thurs, Fri, Sat-leaving Wednesday and Sunday to other activities. The ones I had in mind were cycling and swimming-to workouts each a week. I'll think more about this, but I will try it out tomorrow. The quality session with running on Wednesday will be added to the endurance session on Thursday.

1. Running:

-Distance: 8,92 km
-Time: 57m 05s
-Average pace: 6:23 min/km
-Average moving pace: 5:52 min/km
-Elevation gained: 90 m(12,2 m/km). 10-ok
-Calories: 635 kcal.
-Average heart rate(max): Not measured
-Shoes: Mizuno Wave Aero 8
-Weather: Sun, 3 degrees celsius, breeze, medium humidity in the air

2. Strength-training:

-Warm-up: no need due to run to the gym
-Seated rowing: 15 minutes, ligth load(level 3); 3.300 m (Consept 2-Rowing machine)
-Squats: 1 set/6 reps/ 32 kg(52 % load), 1 set/4 reps/37 kg(60 % load), 1 set/4 rep/42 kg(68 % load),
1 set/4 rep/47 kg(76 % load), 1 set/4 rep/52 kg(84 % load)
-Deadlift: 4 set/4 reps/52 kg(78 % load)
-Stretching: After I finished the return run back home
-Workout time: 35 minutes.

mandag 25. oktober 2010

Weakly report: 42/10

It's  been a good week. I'm pretty much even with my training programme except one session on the bike. Besides that I've done all sessions as planned. I'm down on intensity and up in amount as planned. My strength-training has started well and that goes for my swimming also. I'd planned a session on the bike on Sunday morning, but I cancelled that as I needed some more time to rest after Saturdays long run.
During my runs this week I've suffered from pain in my knees-especially my right knee. I've used measures like two recovery days(Wednesday and Friday), cancelled the bike-session and used ice to reduce the pain. It has worked out sufficient. I only noticed  pain during the last 10 km of my long run on Saturday.
When it comes to swimming I'm seriously considering to extend my programme with one more session. My progression is to slow with just one session. I need more amount. Wednesday is a good day for a session like this. If I decide to do that, I'll reduce the number of running-sessions with one. In addition I'm considering to add another session on the bike. That'll be carried out on Wednesday as well. Anyway, my sessions on the bike will be inside as the temperature has settled around zero and below.


1. Total amount of training since 1th of January: 
262,5h/ 7,3h pr week(Running: 206,8h/1.912,2 km) 
Verticals: Not monitored before 6th of June 

2. Total amount of training since 10th of Oct: 
16,1h /8,0h pr week (Running: 12,2h/ 109,4 km) 
Verticals: 1.347 m( Running: 1.212 m) 

3. Total amount of training this week:
9,0h(Running: 7,25h / 68,7 km)
Verticals: 565 m(Running: 565 m) 

4. Body weight: 73,2 kg
(Saturday morning) 

5. Shoes:
-Mizuno Wave Ronin (purchased 8.4.10)     : 522 km
-Puma Concinnity (purchased 30.4.10)        : 220 km
-Montrail Masochist (purchased 14.5.10)     : 415 km
-Mizuno Wave Aero 8 (purchased 28.7.10) : 210,4 km
-Saucony Kinvara (purchased 9.9.10)          : 101 km
-Puma Trailfox (purchased sep 2006)          : 85,5 km

søndag 24. oktober 2010

Swimming: technique session

Another workout focusing on technique this afternoon. The pool I'm swimming in has a rather small length(10 m), but it's more than adequate to work on technique. I'm doing laps of 20 m focusing on front crawl. So far my foot-work is good, my use of arm is adequate and my breathing needs improving. Naturally, I'm consentrating on my breathing. My technique is better on the first part of the lap-I need just 2 strokes to get to the turning point. On the second part then I suffer a bit when it comes to maintaining a good technique resulting in the need for more strokes(3-4) to get to the finish. There are two main reasons for this, I think.
First I haven't established a good breathing pattern yet-but I'm improving though. I'm more relaxed in the water and have established the ability to breathe out in the water before returning for more air. I think the solution for me is to establish a pattern which includes breathing on a pre-decided stroke(every second or third). In addition I need to breathe on the same side every time to be able to relax. My decision is to breathe on every second stroke and always on the left side. Before the next session I'll prepare myself mentally for it by visualising in advance.
Second I was a bit tired in my feet after the long run Yesterday. I'll continue my long runs so I'll just have to adapt.
I also tested out a watch meant to monitor my swimming by counting every time I turn and my strokes. I seems like the pool is to small to make the clock work so I'll just have to make notes of the number of reps and try it out in pools of longer lengths.
Finally I shure think it's about time to add another session of swimming in order to establish more amount of swimming training. One session a week is not enough. I'll consider adding one more session in a pool with greater length(25 m).
I'll decide on that in the weks to come and introduce it in the week after that.

Swimming: Vestli school in Oslo, length of pool is 10m
-25 reps of 20 m-total of 500 m
-Total time spent: 45 minutes

lørdag 23. oktober 2010

Kløfta-Oslo: Running towards the sun

Just south of Kløfta
Time for one of the most appreciated workouts of the week-the long run. What a joy to have hours of running ahead and nothing ells to worry about. Just empty your mind and head out. This session was planned to be of medium length-35 km/3,5 h. In addition I'd planned to train spesifically for ultra-runs. That means I'm practising cycles of 25 minutes running and 5 minutes walking. My aim is to stay between 5:30 and 6:00 when running and below 9:00 when walking. Further on I'm training on nutrition-routines. Right now my schedule is to drink every 5 minutes and eat every 30 minutes(during the walking-part).
I like to run on courses from one point to another point, or to run courses with just one loop. This time I decided to travel 35 km north of Oslo to a place called Kløfta by train and return running.
Nearby Frogner
Weather in Oslo was wonderful-sun, temperature just below zero and light wind. Kløfta is situated somewhat higher and tends to be pretty foggy. It sure was this time as well. I ran just over 20 km before the fog disappeared and the sun returned. Starting out I soon established a good running pattern that felt good. Allthough it was foggy and cold, it was very nice to be out running. I managed to stay just around 6:00 while running, but the pace while walking was between 9:00 and 10:00. That's just a matter of more consentration while starting my walking part. It's within my reach to walk below 9:00. In an ultrarun I can save lots of time by reducing the pace with 1:00. The course is pretty levelled south of Kløfta, but starts to descend a bit when approaching a small place called Leirsund. A charming place, but obviously a bit chilly outside today-just met a couple of people walking the dog. 
I was a bit anxious to learn if my right knee was going to cause me any difficulties today. After all it's just 4 days since a nearly could walk after finishing a combined running and strength-session. However, I'd taken measures by using some support over my knee. It went pretty well. I did notice some discomfort when around 10 km was left of the run, but nothing that caused me any problems. Passing Leirsund I soon encountered a long, open stretch-Leirsundslette-before arriving at Lillestrøm. It's an excellent place to do intervalls, running, cycling and skiing. I was just out for an easy run and the stretch soon disappeared in the mist. My body felt good. I managed to follow my nutrition routines, but experienced difficulties with my hydration-equipment. I was using a camelback, but wasn't satisfied with the amount of energy-drink I was able to drink every 5 min. It seems like the valve isn't functioning adequately.
I need to correct that before my next long run. Just after Lillestrøm I passed Kjeller-a small place with a minor airport. The fog was still embracing me with all it's humidity and cold. I must admit that running in the cold is not one of my favourite activities, but with certain measures it's berable. I still felt pretty good.
Municipal border
After passing the halfway-mark I ran towards Olavsgaard and some time after that encountered the one big ascent on the course-towards Gjelleråsen. By doing that I passed from one municipal to another-Skedsmo to Nittedal. When gaining height I was finally able to welcome the sun.
Arriving in Oslo
Turning south at Gjelleråsen the sun was fully exposed as it shone rigth towards me. After a short stop due to natures call I went for the last 10 km of the run. The other part of my nutrition regime consisted of Winforce gels-one every hour. The taste was delicate-some type of coccos. I'll continue using this one, but I need to change my energy-drink. I evolved a light naseau due to the taste of the energy-drink. I'm going to to change to a different brand-maybe Winforce. Shortly after I crossed the municipal border to Oslo. The knees-both of them actually-were sligthly painful-more than just a bit discomfort, but berable.
The rest of the course went well though, but I could sense that the chill was taking it's toll-pulling more energy out of me than at higher temperatures. Anyway, I soon finished my session and felt good by pulling off another long run.
I need to take measures conserning my hydration equipment. In addition to change the type of energy drink I'm using. During this session it was obvious that I didn't hydrate properly-I was down 2 kg after the run
It was a nice course. On longer runs I just have to extend a bit-Jessheim a bit more north for 45 km, Eidsvoll for 60 km.

-Distance: 35,3 km
-Time: 3h 46m 58s
-Average pace: 6:25 min/km
-Average moving pace: 6:18 min/km
-Elevation gained: 235 m(6,7 m/km). Below 10-ok
-Calories: 2.387 kcal.
-Average heart rate(max): Not measured
-Shoes: Saucony Kinvara
-Weather: Mostly fog, daylight, -2 degrees celsius, breeze, high humidity in the air

torsdag 21. oktober 2010

Combined workout: Running and strength-training

Another session with a combined workout. It certainly is time-saving and I kind of like it to. It adds variety to my training programme. The strength session went fine. The seated rowing was more demanding this time and thats good. I'm keeping the length and workload throughout all the quarter when it comes to seated rowing. However, Im adding more load as my capasity increases when it comes to the other two other exercises.
About the running-part then.. I was anxious to learn if my measures had been useful. I've been cooling the right kne two times a day with ice and I used some support during my run today. The pain was there, but a lot less painful. It was manageable and I hope it disappears after a period of more low-intensity running. Luckilly that's just whats on my training programme for the next weeks. It was a good session.

1. Running:

-Distance: 8,66 km
-Time: 55m 19s
-Average pace: 6:23 min/km
-Average moving pace: 5:53 min/km
-Elevation gained: 106 m(12,2 m/km). Just over 10
-Calories: 614 kcal.
-Average heart rate(max): 150(  high zone 2-excellent)
-Shoes: Saucony Kinvara(4,3 km), Mizuno Wave Ronin(4,3 km)
-Weather: Sun, -1 degrees celsius, breeze, low humidity in the air

2. Strength-training:

-Warm-up: no need due to run to the gym
-Seated rowing: 15 minutes, ligth load; 3.100 m
-Squats: 1 set/6 reps/ 32 kg(52 % load), 1 set/4 reps/37 kg(60 % load), 1 set/4 rep/42 kg(68 % load),
1 set/4 rep/47 kg(76 % load), 1 set/4 rep/52 kg(84 % load)
-Deadlift: 4 set/4 reps/52 kg(78 % load)
-Stretching: After I finished the return run back home
-Workout time: 35 minutes.

onsdag 20. oktober 2010

Weakly report: 41/10

Thueringen Ultra-2010
Another week has passed. This one being the preparation period before the start of the basic period who's stretching all the way to christmas time. My aim with the week was to prepare the body for the workload which is to come in the basic-period. That I did by doing one session of each sport-strength, cycling, running and swimming. At the end of the week I felt that the body felt more rested than it has been for a long time. If I am free of injuries in the time to come I'll be more than ready for some serious training again-focusing on amount, low intensity and technique.


1. Total amount of training since 1th of January: 
253,4h/ 7,24h pr week(Running: 199,6h/1.843,5 km) 
Verticals: Not monitored before 6th of June 

2. Total amount of training since 10th of Oct: 
7,0h /7,0h pr week (Running: 4,93h/ 40,7 km) 
Verticals: 782 m( Running: 648 m) 

3. Total amount of training this week:
7,0h(Running: 4,93h / 40,7 km)
Verticals: 782 m(Running: 648 m) 

4. Body weight: 72,7 kg
(Sunday morning) 

5. Shoes:
-Mizuno Wave Ronin (purchased 8.4.10)     : 512 km
-Puma Concinnity (purchased 30.4.10)        : 220 km
-Montrail Masochist (purchased 14.5.10)     : 415 km
-Mizuno Wave Aero 8 (purchased 28.7.10) : 185,7 km
-Saucony Kinvara (purchased 9.9.10)          : 61,4 km
-Puma Trailfox (purchased sep 2006)          : 85,5 km

tirsdag 19. oktober 2010

Combined workout: Running and strength-training

Nordmarka, photo by Ole Arne Schlytter
New approach this one. Every thuesday and Thursday in the fourth quarter I'm running to the gym, executing my programme of strength-training and running back home again. The run is a light endurance-session, approximately 4,3 km and pretty levelled. The running went fine. I ran as planned, staying in the upper part of zone 2. However, I experienced severe problem with my right knee. On the way back home it was really painfull. I need to take measures before my next run on Thursday. They are ice, keeping the foot unstrained, changing running shoe on my next run and using some kne-support. The knee strongly affected my running performance.
The strength-session went fine. More load this time without pushing myself to much. Just adding more load as I log more and more sessions.

1. Running:

-Distance: 8,61 km
-Time: 56m 24s
-Average pace: 6:32 min/km
-Average moving pace: 6:05 min/km
-Elevation gained: 96 m(11,1 m/km). Just over 10
-Calories: 611 kcal.
-Average heart rate(max): 150(  high zone 2-excellent)
-Shoes: Mizuno Wave Aero 8.
-Weather: Dark, 9 degrees celsius, breeze, low humidity in the air

The Garmin logfile can be found here:

2. Strength-training:

-Warm-up: no need due to run to the gym
-Seated rowing: 15 minutes, ligth load; 3.100 m
-Squats: 1 set/6 reps/50 % load, 1 set/4 reps/60 % load, 2 set/4 rep/70 % load
-Deadlift: 4 set/4 reps/60 % load
-Stretching: After I finished the return run back home
-Time, total: 33 minutes
-Workout time: 30 minutes.

mandag 18. oktober 2010

Smestad course: endurance session

Thueringen Ultra-2010
Well, at last it's the first week in the basic-period(micro-cycle). I had a good preparation-period last week and I feel ready for some more volume this week. More volume means mainly more running. The first part of the basic period consists of three weeks-two build-ups and one recovery week. This micro-cycle I'm doing just light endurance-sessions when it comes to running and one session a week with technique.
By light I mean a heart rate no higher than zone 3(154-160). Preferably I'd like to go no higher than zone 2(145-152). I'm aiming for that.
Body felt good as I headed for a short, long run in the evening dark. I didn't experience any problems whatsoever except some minor discomfort in my knees. I'll try some other shoes tomorrow. I managed to stay slightly below 6 min/km and had an average heart rate in the low part of zone 3.

-Distance: 16,1 km
-Time: 1h 35m 27s
-Average pace: 5:55 min/km
-Average moving pace: 5:47 min/km
-Elevation gained: 128 m(8 m/km). Below 10-ok
-Calories: 1.139 kcal.
-Average heart rate(max): 156( low zone 3)
-Shoes: Mizuno Wave Aero 8.
-Weather: Clouden, dark, 9 degrees celsius, breeze, low humidity in the air

The GARMIN logfile can be found at:

søndag 17. oktober 2010

Swimming: improving on my breath

Good to be back again in the swimming pool. I've missed the sessions during the summer and the third quarter. First time was two weeks ago and now I'm having one session a week until the end of this quarter. My focus now is on breathing. I've established an adequate technique so far when it comes to feet-work and the use of arms to enable me to move forwards in an efficient way. Now it's time to work on my breathing-technique. I tend to breathe on every, second stroke and on the same side always(left). In a way I feel more confident by doing so. I think I'll stick to that for the time being. In addition I'm trying to increase the distance covered in one single repetition. The pool we're using is small(10 metres long), but that just mean I need to turn a lot more. It's good to practise that as well. Right now one rep is two lenghts and one turn. I must have done 15-20 of these this afternoon. It's diificult to tell just how many. I need to buy a watch that does the counting. Swimming is all about technique, so my focus is on executing good technique. If I get tired it's important to take short rest in order to be able to execute good technique during my workout. Today I did good by improving the length of my rep. I also managed to adjust my arm-work enabling me to have a more straight-forward direction in my swimming. The next time I'll be working more on breathing technique by using a spesific breathing-pattern decided upon in advance. Before the session I'll visualise myself doing it and make sure I'm mentally prepared.

2. Swimming: Vestli school in Oslo, length of pool is 10m
-15 reps of 20 m-total of 300 m
-Total time spent: 45 minutes

Quarterly report: 3th quarter-2010

UltraBirken 2010
The third quarter of the year is history and it's about time to do a thorough evaluation of the activity and what I've achieved. Total amount of activity measured in hours is about the same as in the second qyuarter. That goes for the number of races as well(one more ultra in the third though). However the third quarter is one week shorter and I've therefore increased my weekly volume of activity. That's good.

1. Marathon:
Improved my personal best two times. First in Stavanger(aug) and finally in Berlin(sep)
2. Ultras:
Finished my first 6h race with a distance covered of 60,096km(Romerike 6h). In addition finished a very technical ultrarace on trail of 73 km(UltraBirken).

Primary targets this quarter was UltraBirken and Berlin marathon.Allthough I aimed for a better finish time on both occasions I'm satisified with the outcomes of the races. It was very demanding to go through both races in one week, but I managed to do so. I'm pretty certain that the outcome of the last race(Berlin marathon) was affected by the efforts from the first race(UltraBirken) one week earlier. However, it's doable if I plan on doing it, and this time I planned on it.
6 races in a quarter is not too much, but some of these races were pretty demanding-ultra races. I future I need to consider more carefully what races I'm going to attend to and what priority they'll have.
When it comes to recovery I need to make improvements both in general and after my competitions.

90 % of the training has been running-in second quarter it was 86 %(40 % in first quarter). I've suffered from injuries of a light to modest character. These are overstrained muscles in my butt and hamstrings. They affected the outcome of my two A-priority races to some degree. In addition I needed to start tapering a week earlier than initially planned due to need for more recovery. There are several reasons for this. First I've had to high intensity on my endurance sessions, second I had to high volume in the building period. I need to differ more between my quality workouts and my endurance sessions. I also had some pains in my knees at the beginning of the quarter, but got that sorted out by changing running-shoes.
However, the quality work has made me capable of improving my finish time on two occasions when it comes to marathons. In addition my long runs has made me capable of finishing the ultra-races I've attended. Including hill-work in my traning has made me stronger runner. During the quarter I've executed 5 sessions each of speed-work, treshold-sessions and hill-work, mostly in the building period.
My amount of cross-training has suffered due to extended amounts of running. Due to that I've experienced injuries and general fatigue. In future I'll make sure that cross-training is carried out during all period, except the tapering and competition-period. I consider 20-30 % of total volume as acceptable.

Preparations for the races have been good. To establish a strategy in advance has paid off. I can clearly feel that I'm improving my mental strength and getting able to endure more and more pain.
I need to improve on my nutrition routines before, during and after the races. I've been in need of attending the toilette in several races and that affects my finish time with 5-10 minutes in a marathon.
Further on I need to work with mental training regularly and incorporate is as an integrated part of my training programme. I've had trouble with keeping a steady pace in my races and part of that is due to lack of enough strength in my core. I need to work with that in the next two quarters.

1. Total activity:
-Workouts: 52, including 6 competitions; 3 ultraruns and 3 marathon
-A priority races: 2(1 ultra and 1 marathon); UltraBirken and Berlin Marathon; 115, 2 km
-B-priority races: 2(1 ultra and 1 marathon); Romerike 6h and Stavanger Marathon; 102,3 km
-C priority races: 2(1 ultra and 1 marathon): Rallarvegløpet and Kongsvinger skogsmarathon; 123,3 km
-Distance: 884,7 km
-Time: 96h 44m 32s
-Verticals: 11.814 m
-Calories: 58.246 C
-Days off: 30 days of 84 (35,7 %)

2. Running:
-Workouts: 41, including 6 competitions.
-Distance: 784,3 km
-Time: 89h 4m 16s
-Verticals: 11.064 m
-Calories: 53.401 C

3. Bike:
-Workouts: 4
-Distance: 100,4 km
-Time:  4h 00m 15s
-Verticals: 750 m
-Calories: 4.845 C

4. Strength:
-Workouts: 3
-Time: 2h 5m

5. Flexibility:
-Workouts: 4
-Time: 1h 35m

6. Shoes(as of 3th of Oct):
-Mizuno Wave Ronin (purchased 8.4.10)     : 512 km
-Puma Concinnity (purchased 30.4.10)        : 220 km
-Montrail Masochist (purchased 14.5.10)     : 415 km
-Mizuno Wave Aero 8 (purchased 28.7.10) : 146 km
-Saucony Kinvara (purchased 9.9.10)          : 56 km
-Puma Trailfox (purchased sep 2006)          : 40 km

torsdag 14. oktober 2010

Maridalen course: light endurance ride

Finally back on the bike again after some weeks of recovery. I've been using the bike far to little both in the second and third quarter this year. In the fourth quarter I've scheduled one session a week. The aim with todays workout was to prepare the body for that kind of training in the months to come. Initially the body felt a bit rusty, but I soon got the hang of it. After 20 minutes of cycling I started to feel fresher in my feet and managed to speed up a bit. It was an evening session and it shure is getting chilly outside. Hopefully I will be getting some more weeks outside on the bike before winter is settling and forcing me to ride on stationary wheels inside.
I experienced problems with the cadence sensor. I need to sort that out before next session.

-Distance: 17,9 km
-Time:  50m 00s
-Average speed: 21,4 km/h
-Cadence, average: didn't function-needs mending
-Elevation gained: 134m
-Calories:  886 kcal
-Average heart rate(max): 154
-Weather: dark, windy, low humidity, chilly, 5 degrees celsius

The GARMIN logfile can be found here:

onsdag 13. oktober 2010

Running: light endurance session

Thueringen Ultra-2010
Three days since my last running session. Back then I experienced discomfort both in my knees-especially the left-and in my butt. No wonder then I was a bit worried as I set out for a light running session in the evening chill. Autumn is definately here-as a matter of fact winter is fast approaching. My body and feet felt pretty fresh tonight. I almost felt airborne from time to time in a way that it didn't cost me anything to run at pace just a slight slower than marathon pace. In addition I didn't feel any discomfort to mention at all. I'm especially happy for not feeling anything in my knees. I'm pretty certain that Yesterdays strength-session made a difference on that matter.
Anyway, my aim was just to have a light endurance-session to prepare the body for the training in the fourth quarter. Mission completed so far.

-Distance: 5,41 km
-Time:  28m 51s
-Average pace: 5:19 min/km
-Elevation gained: 52 m
-Calories:  379 kcal
-Average heart rate(max): Not monitored.
-Shoes: Saucony Kinvara

The GARMIN logfile can be found at:

tirsdag 12. oktober 2010

Strength-training: beginning of the 4th quarter

Autumn-Nordmarka, Oslo
It feels good to resume strength-training. It seems like to much effort put in running and leaving cross-training out, results in injuries. Right now I'm having some difficulties with my knees-especially my left knee. After 30 minutes of light strength-training it felt better. This 4th quarter I'm doing three exercises. Deadlift, squat and seated rowing. Length of each workout is 30 minutes. The most of it is dedicated to seated rowing(15 min). On average two sessions a week. The purpouse with this is to strenghten my core. It is one of my limiters when it comes to basic strength and I'm putting more emphasis on correcting that now. Hopefully I shall se some results of it in Bislett 24h race at the of Nov-2010(in just over 6 weeks).

1. Technicals:

-Warm-up: 5 min running on treadmill
-Seated rowing: 10 minutes, ligth load + 4 minutes, light load
-Squats: 1 set/6 reps/40 % load, 1 set/6 reps/50 % load, 1 set/4 rep/40 % load
-Deadlift: 3 set/4 reps/50 % load
-Stretching: 6 minutes
-Time, total: 41 minutes
-Workout time: 30 minutes.

søndag 10. oktober 2010

Kikut-loop: long run

Towards Kikuttoppen
What a beautiful day! Late autumn, ligth breeze, sun and lovely colours in the woods.
When getting the opportunity I try to extend the period of which I run in the woods before the winter is putting these kind of activities to an end. I ran mostly on gravel roads and a short section on trail. My aim with todays workout was to have a medium, long run, practising routines I need to make use of at Bislett 24h-race at the end of November this year. I was a bit anxious to to learn how my body would react a week after my last training session, which also happened to be a long run. I have stayed away from training the whole week deliberately in order to recover properly before starting on a new meso-cycle(fourth quarter of 2010).
Well, I have lost some fitness during the last two week-mostly speed. I experienced some discomfort in my butt during the run but not much. The final 5km the knee were starting to bother me and after the run I could barely walk. Interesting.. I had some similar pains in Thueringen Ultra, 3th of July this year and some minor pain at Berlin Marathon two weeks ago, but this was more painful. The question is what my measures are going to be. Initially I've decided to monitor it closely, put of the next running session till the end of the coming week and after two sessions of cross-training. In addition I'm down on wolume on my next long run the next Sunday.
Lake Skjærsjøen
I did 25 minutes of running and 5 minutes of walking. The running part I tried to make easy crusing at 5:30-6:00. The walking part I aimed to stay between 8:00-9:00, and not over 10:00. To some degree I managed to do so. Average pace was down a bit due to a part on trails, and a toilette visit after 5,5 km. In addition elevation gained was 596 m-that had an affect on my average pace as well. My feet weren't as fresh as I hoped they would be, but I guess that's just what to expect after a period of recovery with little running.
Next week is preparation-period. Time to prepare the body and mind for some basic training again.

-Distance: 35,28 km
-Time: 4h 26m 52s
-Average pace: 7:33 min/km
-Average moving pace: 6:48 min/km
-Elevation gained: 596 m(16,9 m/km). I need to get down under 10 in the basic period.
-Calories: 2.410 kcal. I guess half of this was replaced. I need to increase my energy-intake. Improvement task in the basic-period.
-Average heart rate(max): Not monitored.
-Shoes: Mizuno Aero 8.
-Weather: Partly sun, 8-10 degrees celsius, breeze, low humidity in the air

The GARMIN logfile can be found at:

lørdag 9. oktober 2010

Monthly report: Sep-2010

In short this month has consisted of two weeks of tapering and an competition period of two weeks-the latter with one A-priority competition at the end of the week.
In the beginning of the tapering-period I suffered from a ligth stretch in both my hamstrings. In addition I was subjected to a virusinfection that put me off for a couple off days.
At the end of the tapering period I felt very fit, but experienced injury-problems. I had pain in my butt  right where the muscles of the feet is attached to the butt. I spent some time stretching and made use of ice and managed to reduce the pain. I didn't disappear, though.
First week of the competition period I participated in the race UltraBirken. I finsihed, but somewhat slower than I'd expected. I experienced again pain in my butt and felt a bit unfit on race-day. I endured a great deal of pain to finish the race. The race was nearly pure trail and I need to train more on racelike conditions to improve on my finish time.
Second week of the competition period I was just resting and trying to recover after UltraBirken which cost a lot of effort to finish. Anyway, I felt rather fit at Berlin Marathon and managed again to finish at PB under difficult conditions with a crowdlike race and lousy weather.

I went through three, tough races in August-the last one at the end of the month-and I didn't recover properly before starting the tapering period. As a matter of fact I needed to start the tapering period a week earlier. I've been putting a lot of strain on my body both in July and August and I suffered from that in September. I have scheduled to many competitions on a limited time-range. In addition I'm not good enough to differ between hard and easy workouts. Further on my quality workouts is to lengthy. Not including cross-training in
the building period was a mistake. I paid the price with experiencing injuries in my hamstrings and butt.
Both the races taught me invaluable lessons. First I need to train more in the terrain to improve on my time. Second I'm able to endure a lot of pain allready and I'm sure that I can improve a lot on that area by including mental training in my programme. Thirdly, I need to improve on my nutrition-intake during my races-I have to establish a routine. Fourth, my core is weak and I need to improve on that in order to increase on my running pace and keep it steady over the whole time of the race. Fifth, I'm attending to many races. It wears me out and leave me less prepared for the important races. Sixth, I need to improve on my recovery routine-in general and after competitions.

1. Total activity:
-Workouts: 12, including 2 A-priority competitions
-Distance: 224,9 km
-Time: 25h 3m 4s
-Verticals: 2.948 m
-Calories: 14.805 C
-Days off: 18 days of 30(60 %, the whole month is in the tapering and competition period adn half a week in the transition period).

2. Running:
-Distance: 208,59 km
-Time: 23h 21m 50s
-Verticals: 2.836 m
-Calories: 13.919 C

3. Bike:
-Workouts: 1
-Distance: 16,34 km
-Time:  51m 14s
-Verticals: 112 m
-Calories: 886 C

4. Strength:
-Workouts: 0
-Time: 0m

5. Flexibility:
-Workouts: 1 (sportsmassage)
-Time: 50m

6. Shoes(as of 3th of Oct):
-Mizuno Wave Ronin (purchased 8.4.10)     : 512 km
-Puma Concinnity (purchased 30.4.10)        : 220 km
-Montrail Masochist (purchased 14.5.10)     : 415 km
-Mizuno Wave Aero 8 (purchased 28.7.10) : 146 km
-Saucony Kinvara (purchased 9.9.10)          : 56 km
-Puma Trailfox (purchased sep 2006)          : 40 km

fredag 8. oktober 2010

Weakly report: 39/10

From Nordmarka-Oslo,  Photo by Ole Arne Schlytter
Originally I planned it to be a transition week, but I decided to extend the third quarter a bit leaving room for some recovery activity and a long run on trails before the winter.

I had a recovery session on the bike and a short, recovery run. In addition I started swimming again which felt pretty good. I'd missed that part of my training. Now it's back again. I've scheduled one session a week throughout the whole winter. Finally I had a wonderful, long run on trails along Nordmarka from north to south accompanied with some runner-friends of mine. We had a good run in spite of a lousy weather.
It has been a pretty though third quarter, but I've managed to perfom well in the races I've attended. I'll evaluate the quarter in a separate report, but I feel that there's a potensial for better performances if I make sure to get proper recovery. I feel now that I've been training and racing a bit hard both the second and the third quarter. It's time to go for another approach the fourth quarter this year and the first quarter next year.
I'll write more about that later, but I need to get better to distinguish between low- and high-intensity training. In the last two quarters I've been wearing my body down a bit leaving me not fully rested before the next race or workout. I can't keep on doing it this way in the time to come. I'll do a thorough evaluation in a quarterly report next week. Next week it's tranistion and I'll begin training again on Saturday.


1. Total amount of training since 1th of January: 
246,4h/ 7,25h pr week(Running: 194,6h/1.802,8 km) 
Verticals: Not monitored before 6th of June 

2. Total amount of training since 12th of July: 
95,2h /7,9h pr week (Running: 86,3h/ 783,9 km) 
Verticals: 11.814 m( Running: 11.064 m) 

3. Total amount of training this week:
8,8h(Running: 6,7h / 49,9 km)
Verticals: 884 m(Running: 771 m) 

4. Body weight: 70,2 kg
(Sunday morning) 

5. Shoes:
-Mizuno Wave Ronin (purchased 8.4.10)     : 512 km
-Puma Concinnity (purchased 30.4.10)        : 220 km
-Montrail Masochist (purchased 14.5.10)     : 415 km
-Mizuno Wave Aero 8 (purchased 28.7.10) : 150,4 km
-Saucony Kinvara (purchased 9.9.10)          : 56 km
-Puma Trailfox (purchased sep 2006)          : 85,5 km

mandag 4. oktober 2010

Nordmarka-Oslo: Autumn run

At the start-lake Mylla
Spirit is good as we travel by train towards our destination Grua. Todays run is going to be the last long run in the terrain before the winter. Luckilly I've been accompanied with some of my runner-friends-Gunnar, Leyla, Thore and Ole-Arne. After a short drive from the train station we're ready to embark on our journey on trails towards Sognsvann-some 50 km longer south. We all agree that this is going to be both a social happening as well as a long run. The point is to spend a great deal of time in the terrain and have fun.

Our first port of call is the mountain top-Kolleren, situated at 688 m above sea-level-a difference in height from our starting point at the eastern end of the lake Mylla of almost 200 m. Distance is just over 5km.
At Kolleren
Not a soft start-the trail moves steeply upwards the first km and we're quickly gaining height. Conditions are demanding today with densed rain and a very wet trail, but we've decided to have a good run and continue along the trail. The trail is marked-or suppose to be marked-so I follow the course carefully as self-appointed navigator as we head for our next target. The conditions set aside, it's beautiful terrain. It's Nordmarka exhibiting it's best parts. The course levels out and we soon pass the lovely lake Aasjøen. Shortly after we begin the final ascend towards the top Kolleren. A km longer down the road we're experiencing a demanding situation as we have lost our marking, the fog is closing up and we're a bit uncertain about were to head. A bit of active working with the compass and the map and we reach the top after some serious off-road running having spent just over 1h and 20m to cover 5,5 km. Not very impressing, but we managed to solve what could have developed in to a serious situation, and we reached our destination. I'm sure the view from the top is magnificent but today we saw almost nothing.
A short break to have some snack and we're on our way towards our next check point-Katnosa Gård. The trail descends rapidly and the forrest soon gives shelter from the stiff winds present up on the mountain.
It is also more visible now, good marked and takes us along beautiful wooden trails that makes an impression in spite of a lousy weather. A good path gives less consern about our whereabouts.
After some time we're able to see one of Nordmarka's most lovely lakes Gjerdingen. Indeed it's marvellous to be out running in the woods. We've managed to move forwards at a greater pace than on the first lap, and after a while we're making the last descend down to the fram Katnosa. At this point we've spent 3h to cover 14 km-1h 40m on the last lap. Not an impressing pace, but the conditions are demanding and we're moving forward as a team. Having enjoyed our run so far we decide to increase our average pace by running the next lap on gravel roads. Our next check point will be Sandungen Gård-situated by the lakes Store og Vesle Sandungen.
As we move forward we suddenly realise we're not alone in the woods in spite of the dreadfull weather. It's hunting season and we spend some minutes talking to some nice people with a different aim than ours this day.
Pace is definately up as we're covering ground towards Sandungen. The last descend brings us down to Sandungen Gård. During the run I get a chance to speak with Leyla. She's pretty new in the ultra-arena, like myself actually. She's been doing a few training runs and ran her first ultra-race at Romerike 6h earlier this year, finishing with a distance of just over 52 km. That's a pretty good first-time performance. It's also pretty impressive to embark on a run like this. The length of the distance is one thing, but with more than half of it on terrain and under lousy conditions, it is nothing more than impressive to take part and complete it.
At Sandungen Gård, 3h 45m from start we've covered 20 km. Weather is still lousy and having spent some more time than we thought we would the decision to run a faster course towards our next check-point Kikut, is soon reached. Instead of running straight south and visiting the mountain-top "Kikuttoppen" we decide to run south of the lake st Sandungen towards Hakloa and run south on gravel roads towards our check-point from there. Kikut is a very welcome check-point as it will provide us a shelter from the wind and rain, an opportunity to warm up a bit, have something warm to eat and a longer rest.
The trail south of the lake st Sandungen is good and pleasant to run. It's pretty wet though. 
During the remains of the lap Ole Arne tells me he's been an active runner for some years, but have recently started running again after a two year break pursuing another passion-photographing. I'm pretty certain he'll be up and running again so to say after a period of patient training.
After some time on the road we finally approach Kikut and get a chance to step inside, warm up and have something to eat and drink. The cottage is cousy and warm. Time passes by as we enjoy the warmth by the fire, the food and talk about just about anything that we se fit-most of it running though. It appears that both Thore and I are participitating in Fredrikstad marathon later this month and Bislet 24h at the end of next month.
All good things must come to and end and we decide to head for our final port of call-Sognsvann. The course now is almost completely on gravel roads and passes Bjørnholt and the lake Skjærsjøvannet.
Sognsvann-final destination
Darkness is fast approaching as we make our way towards our final destination. Right after the lake Bjørnsjøen the road ascends steeply a few 200 metres. Thore and Gunnar appears to be excellent climbers as they soon disappear in the mist towards the top. Shortly after the road levels out and the rest of us is soon running again. Come to think of it we haven't seen much of other people on our way through Nordmarka today. A few hunters, one or two bikers and some hikers at the cottage Kikut. Besides that the woods are silent.
Passing the lake Skjærsjøen we are entering the last 5 km of our trip. The last km is runned together and as always it's a great pleasure to arrive at the finish line-almost as great as running. Having spent just over 46 k  and about 8h 17m in the woods-6h 15m on the move-it's great to complete a good day spent.

All photos by Ole Arne Schlytter.

-Distance: 45,5 km
-Time:  8h 17m 42s
-Moving time: 6h 13m 59s
-Average pace: 10:56 min/km
-Average, moving pace: 8:13 min/km
-Elevation gained: 725 m
-Calories:  3.068 kcal
-Average heart rate(max): Not monitored.

The GARMIN logfile can be found at:

lørdag 2. oktober 2010

Combined workout: strength and swimming

Good to finally be able to start working on establishing muscular strength and resume my swimming sessions again. Today I had a very easy strength session first in order to let the body adapt after 1,5 months of just running. I'm going to consentrate on a very small number of exercises this winter. Two basic exersises-squats and deadlifts. In addition I'm going to use much time on seated rowing. My aim is to strengthen both my core and back. Todays session went fine. My muscles are still a bit sore after to demanding competitions, but my condition is improving. Naturally I've lost some muscle-capasity, but that doesn't bother me much. It'll be regained after some months of training.
An hour after finishing my strength-session I had a swimming session consentrating entirly on technique. I'm attending an advanced course in front-crawling. Well it's been even longer since my last swimming session-20th of May. Very pleased then to discover that I haven't forgotten how to execute a good technique. My prime target this winter is to establish a better technique and improve on my week point-the breathing. Anyway, it felt excellent to be penetrating the water again and I managed to cower a lot of ground before I got tired. A good workout, and an excellent instructor.


1. Strength-training:
-Warm up: 5 min of running on the treadmill
-Squats: 1) 2 sets/8reps/50 % load, 2) 2 sets/6 reps/60 % load, 2 sets/4 reps/70 % load
-Deadlifts: 1) 2 sets/4 reps/50 % load
-Seated rowing: 7,5 min/low load
-Stretching: 5 minutes
Total time spent: 40 minutes.

2. Swimming: Vestli school in Oslo, length of pool is 10m
-50 reps-total of 500 m
-Total time spent: 50 minutes

fredag 1. oktober 2010

Marathon: how to improve on my finish time

Thuringen Ultra-2010
By now I've runned nine marathons on thirtheen months. Finish time on my first was 4h 37m 27s. Finish time on my last marathon-one week ago in Berlin-was 3h 44m 32s. Improvement in finish time is 53 min. That's excellent given that short range of time. I'm very satisfied with it.
However, I'm eager to continue with my development. In order to do that I need to summarize the evalutations from all my marathons and seek to establish week points that limits my performance as a marathon runner.

1. Marathons, completed:

.1 Stavanger Marathon-Norway, 29.8.09.
Finish time: 4h 37m 27s (1. Marathon)

.2 Oslo Marathon-Norway, 27.9.09.
Finish time: 4h 31m 10s (2. Marathon-New personal best!)

.3 Rome Marathon-Italy, 21.3.10.
Finish time: 4h 18m 50s (3. Marathon-New personal best!)

.4 Ålesund Marathon-Norway, 8.5.10.
Finish time: 3h 52m 9s (4. Marathon-New personal best!)
Placement: Overall winner, age group winner

.5 Copenhagen Marathon-Denmark, 23.5.10
Finish time: 3h 49m 14s (5. Marathon-New personal best!)

.6 Nordmarka Skogsmaraton-Norway, 12.6.10
(Forrest marathon)
Finish time: 4h 20m 23s (6. Marathon / First forrest marathon)

.7 Kongsvinger Skogsmaraton-Norway, 7th of August
(Forrest marathon)
Finish time: 4h 6m 26s (7. Marathon / Second forrest marathon)
Placement: Age-group winner, 4th overall.

.8 Stavanger Marathon-Norway, 28th of August
Finish time: 3h 46m 21s (8. Marathon-New personal best!)
Placement: Age-group winner, 4th overall.

.9 Berlin Marathon-Germany, 26th of Sep
Finish time: 3h 44m 32s (9. Marathon-New personal best!)
Placement: Age-group; 182 av 1.448 / Overall: 858 av 7.430

2. Experiences from finished marathon races:
The first marathon was like heading out in foreign territory. My longest run in advance had been 25 km. I was determined to finish, but I didn't know what kind of effort it would demand of me. Well. I had to walk large parts of the last 10km. My feet were pretty stiff. The limiter then was the ability of my feet to endure the distanse-lack of muscular endurance. One month later I ran my second marathon in Oslo. Not much of improvement, but I finished at a better time. In both races I needed to attend the toilette during the race-some 25-30 km out in the race.
The period leading up to the third marathon I had two sessions of running a week along with the same amount of sessions on the bike and strength-sessions. In addition I had a weekly session of swimming the frist quarter in 2010. I'm pretty certain that my emphasis on strength-training improved my core strength and made it possible to keep a higher, steady pace on my third marathon in Rome. The improvement in time is significant-13 minutes. A short visit at the toilette was needed this time as well.
After that I had a good transition period when travelling in Italy before starting my training in the second quarter. I then made the strategic decision to prioritize running the rest of the year to see how much I could improve on my running skills. It paid of well. After some weeks of building-focusing of quality-sessions-I finished at a new personal best in Ålesund. The improvement this time was very significant-26 minutes-finishing at 3h 52m 9s. At this race I remember feeling very fit. I'd planned on a slower pace, but quickly changed my mind and altered my moving pace. I felt almost surprised to finish at such a good finish time.
I'm certain that a rested body and mind after the stay in Italy, and 4-5 weeks of quality training made this possible. No need for a toilette visit this time.
In Copenhagen, two weeks later, I improved on my time with three more minutes. The reason? More quality work. In this race, as in the previous ones, I had made use of supply stations along the course as well as water from my drinking belt. No need for a toilette visit in Copenhagen either, but I was close by.
Positive split was 8,5 minutes.
The next two races are forrest-marathons and can only be compared with each other-not the other street-marathons. Anyhow, in Nordmarka skogsmarathon, I finished 8 minutes later than my targeted time. Positive split of 15 minutes. No toilette break.
After some ultra-races Kongsvinger skogsmarathon was due in August and I finished before my targeted time.
It was a tough race-hot and humid. No toilette break. Positive split of 6 minutes.
In both races I made use of supply stations in addition to water from my drinking belt. However, I think that the improvement of time in Kongsvinger-compared to Nordmarka(the races are pretty similar) is due to my focus on executing a predifined strategy. Three ultra-races had taught me some lessons on that matter.
In addition, to endure more pain as well.
At Stavanger marathon, in August-a week after an ultrarun-I managed to keep a steady pace right up to 33 km. By then I needed to made use of the supply station and lost 5 minutes. 5 km later I needed to attend natures call and lost additional 5 minutes. In spite of this I finished at new personal best. Positive split of 12 minutes. Again to decide on a strategy in advance paid off.
Finally in Berlin-a week after an demanding ultra-race on trails-I'd decided to run for a pace of 5min/km all the way through. The conditions weren't good for a record run with a lot of runners preventing me from keeping a steady pace and a lousy weather. Anyway, new PB. Toilette break after 24 km, and I needed to make use of supply stations after 30 km. Pains in my butt and some stiff hamstrings made the race difficult. My predetermined strategy helped me to keep focus during the race. Positive split of 11 min. I noticed pain in my lower back after the race and still feel some of it now-several days later.

3. Evaluation:
I need to improve on that point. Now I'm not fully prepared at the start and I need to supply during the race in addition to what I bring along. Both points affects my finish time in a negative way. In later races I'll use my drinking belt, but load up with 6 bottles of energy drink and two bottles of Coca Cola. In addition I'll use energy gels to supply with energy during the race. I'll go for four-one every 45 min. In advance I will make sure that my glycogen storages are full. I will eat no solid food on race day before the race. I will establish a strict nutrition-regime before and throughout the race to follow.

My core strength needs to be improved. The last races I have only been improving with minutes. I clearly feel that I'm capable of running at 5 min/km all the way, but that my core strength is a limiter. During the coming winter I'll be working serious on improving on that point.

-Mental part: 
I feel I'm getting better race by race on this point. Focus now is to accept that a good finish time demands more suffering-learn to endure even more pain. I'll be working on that during the coming winter in my ultra-long training runs(6h +), during the 6h race at the end of October this year and at my first 24h race at the end of November.

To get more steady is important. In marathon there is no such thing as a stop or a walking break during the race. I'm running all the time. Important to me during my training in the winter is to establish a more steady pace throughout all my running time. I'm going to use my ultra.long training runs to improve on that point.
I'm going to make an effort to get used to split times every 5km and work my way through every km checking on my pace.

-Preparing for race:
Next time my aim is to improve on my finish time I will have to make sure I am more rested. To race a week after an ultrarace is far from ideal. The way my competition programme looks now it seems like the fourth quarter next year will be a good time to establish a substancial improvement of PB.