Tuesday 13 November 2012

A lot of possibilities in Århus

One of the reasons I have moved to Århus, is to be a part of the Elitecenter in orienteering and the training environment here. 

2 years ago the Danish Orienteering Federation decided to make an Elitecenter in Denmark, in an attempt to make the possibilities for development for danish orienteers better. Earlier there were two elitecenters in Denmark, in Hillerød (north of Copenhagen) and in Århus, but after World Champs in Denmark 2006, they slowly died, because a lot of runners retired or moved to either Sweden or Norway (myself included). The talentwork in danish orienteering has always been good in my opinion, and even though we're not many orienteers in Denmark, we have had and also will have very big talents in the future. Just look at the results at JWOC, JEC and EYOC. But not many of the runners have succeded as a senior...
The decision about making only one elitecenter is a good idea, because we're so few senior-runners in Denmark right now, and we need to gather us and make use of each other to become better. The choice of Århus is difficult and there have been and will be a lot of different opinions. Let's just hope that the clubs north of Copenhagen, which was the other option, keep up the good work, because a majority of the talents in Danish Orienteering comes from that area. But for a young student, the possibilities in Århus are quite perfect. You have the University (10-15min biking) and the Marselisborg-forest close, with very varied forest and parts with hilly and quite technical demanding terrain (in Denmark...). For me, the school (Institute of Sports Science) and Team Denmarks facilities are very close, and it makes me save a lot of travel time each day. And when I start almost every training from my home, the travel time is minimal, and I have much more time for recovery. So for me, the physical surroundings makes the possibilities for training very good. The only thing I miss, is Oslos beautiful and demanding terrain, but after 5 years in Norway, I feel that I have quite good understanding of the orienteering and running technique in Nordic terrain. And luckily I will go to Sweden, Norway and Finland several times next year, to maintain what I've learned in Oslo. Besides the terrains around Silkeborg (45min drive) offers some of the best O-terrains in Denmark.

But good physical surroundings is not enough to make a good training environment. You also need a good trainingprogram, a coach and some other runners to push and motivate you all the time. And the possibilities for that are also very good in Århus right now, with help from the Elitecenter (EC) and the local club Pan Århus (Pan), who starts trainingsessions from their club house Silistria, 4,5km southeast from my home. I usually run back and forth to get some longer trainingsessions.

Ex this week I have following trainingpossibilities:

Monday evening: EC O-technique/longrun in terrain from Silistria - 2h15min
Tuesday morning: EC Intervaltraining from TD training center, 5x8min - 1h30min
Tuesday evening: Pan VinterCup from Silistria - 1h45min
Wedensday morning: TeamDenmark strengthtraining - 1h
Thursday morning: EC longrun in terrain from TD training center 1h45min
Thursday evening: Night Champs middle distance near Silkeborg - 1h15min
Saturday morning: EC O-intervaltraining near Silkeborg 1h15min
Saturday afternoon: EC Longrun in terrain near Silkeborg 2h00
Sunday morning: EC O-training near Silkeborg 1h15min
Sunday afternoon: EC O-training near Silkeborg 1h15min

In total more than 15h of high-quality traningoptions! This week I just have to do 2 extra strenghttraining-sessions (monday and friday morning) and some low-intensity running (wedensday and friday afternoon) to have a quite good and tough program. And when most of the danish senior-elite orienteers (and also some good juniors) live in Århus now and take part in the trainingsessions, the quality of the sessions are high. Besides, the EC-program are planned and coached by Torbjørn Gasbjerg and Lars Lindstrøm, who are also coaching the national team, and makes sure that the sessions in the program are focusing on the international championships, both technically and physically. So there are good possibilities for developing world class orienteers in Århus right now, and I wanted to be a part of that both for my own development, but also to inspire and motivate other runners. I hope that I will succeed in both ways :)

Training is going really well for me, since I started training for the new season 1st of october, and I'm running and orienteering more than ever. On saturday I took part in the Nordic Championships in cross-country runnning, and did an okay race and finished as the 12th-best danish runner, 2min down on the danish winner. Results here.
Sunday I ran Jættemilen, the final stage of the danish ranking 2012. I had a good race and was running with Claus Bloch most of the way, until he got tired, and I won both the race and the danish ranking 2012. Results here

So things are going well. Right now I'm only studying 33%, so thats quite easy, and gives me all the time I need for training and recovery. The life with my girlfriend in our new appartment is good, and its very important for me to have her with me all the time, because she means a lot to me, and makes me happy. I'm optimistic about the future :)

Thursday 1 November 2012

Training season 2012

My training diary ended yesterday and it's time to to look back and analyze a bit, to be able to get better next year.

First some facts about my training in 2012:

- Total amount of training: 728 hours
- Total amount of traningsessions: 534
- Total amount of running: 483 hours or 5004 km (about 50/50 running on road/track or terrain)
- Total amount of orienteering: 166 hours
- Injuries: 5-6 weeks almost without running in april/may due to 2 fractures in my left leg after falling. Besides that 2-3 small injuries, but not for more than 1-4 days
- Sickness: 4 days without training the first week of november, 2 days without training in the middle of february, 2 days without training in the middle of august all due to small colds.

Physically compared to last year, I have been training almost 100 hours more, and its all running hours. And if you look at the figure regarding intensity, the 100 hours more running are all with low intensity (I1 or I2). The amount of high intensity training (I3-I5) is similar compared to earlier years.
Some of my physical training-goals this year were to do 700 hours of training and 500 hours of running, and I almost reached that, even though I had 5-6 weeks almost without running in the spring.  I have been running more longer runs on hard surface during the winter than before, and it was possible due to the less amount of snow in Oslo last winter. I have also had longer interval-sessions during the winter, but with a bit lower intensity (35-45min in I3-I4) to be able to train more.
Totally I ran 5004 km this season, with an average speed of 10,3 km/h. I did not differ between roadrunning or orienteering in terrain, so it's difficult to say much about the amount. I have run about 160 km/week in the toughest weeks and the average is 96 km/week. It's the first year I have registered how many kilometers I have been running, and I think its a good supplement to the training hours, to be able to analyze the total load.

I was in quite good shape in the end of march, just some weeks before I injured my knee, and did 31,29 on a 10km race. I also had some tests which showed that I had improved my submaximal capacity with 1km/h.
I was really lucky that my injury was "only" 2 small fractures, because that kind of injury often damage so much, that you will never be able to run again. The rehabilitation went according to the plan, and I did a lot of cycling, strenghttraining and crosstraining during april and may. I was actually able to increase my running more than expected during the second part of may and june, without any problems, and that was the reason why I managed to get in a good shape at WOC. A week before WOC, I did a 5000m in 15,01, running the race be myself, so I almost reached my goal for 2012 about being faster than 15,00.
After WOC I was exhausted and had some easy months in august and september, with not so much training, but still a lot of competitions. And since the season 2013 is starting already in january on New Zealand, I started my training for next season 1/10. October has been a great training month with increased amount of training and running, and I now feel ready to train hard for next season. It has also been the month of the year with the most running.
I did 166 hours of orienteering in 2012, the same amount that I have been doing in 2010 and 2011. It has been difficult to do more because of the snow conditions in Oslo, my injury and my school during the spring. But I still have to focus more on my orienteering skills next year, and one way is to increase the amount of orienteering hours. But the quality of my orienteering session can also be better, and by quality I mean a good plan for a long-term development, preparation for each o-training, 100% focus during the session and a good evaluation afterwards. The mental-work is surely a part of the orienteering, and after my injury, the quality of my orienteering and mental-training sessions haven't been good enough. This is surely another thing I have to improve next year.

Overall, I must say that I'm satisfied with my training this season, and I have no doubt that the increased amount of running has been important for my results this year. And since I had full-time study during the spring, because I had to finish my bachelor-degree, and had a really serious injury, it makes me even more satisfied. It also makes me motivated because I know that with a similar training effort next year, and without the injury and less school, I have the abilities to do better than I have done before.  
I have to continue with my good physical training and strenghttraining and try to do a little more running both on hard surface and in the terrain. If I can manage to avoid serious injuries next year, I'm sure that I will be stronger than ever. Right now my biggest potential for improvement is in my orienteering skills, and I have to make a good plan for what to do, and improve the quality of my o-training.
The possibilities for both physical and technical training are good in Århus right now, and I'm looking forward to a new training-year and to aim for new goals.