Thursday 21 March 2013

Ny sponsoraftale med Løberen og Asics + Danish Spring

Last year the danish running shop, Løberen, helped me getting training-shoes and -clothes from Asics, and for the 2013-season, they have agreed to help me again.

I've always used Asics-shoes for training because they're the most comfortable for my feet, which is the most important about running shoes I think. I never tried Asics running-clothes before, but it has been a positive experience to use their clothes the last year. So I'm really happy that Løberen will continue to help me, and provide me with the best training-equipment for my training.
This year I will also help Løberen by testing especially some of the terrain-shoes Asics make. Last year I have been using Asics Gel Fujiattack, which has a good grip in the terrain, but is a bit high in the heel and heavy for my taste. Now I got a pair of Asics Gel-Fujiracer 2 (right in the picture), which is comparable to fx Inov8 Trailroc 245, but has a more solid sole, and more gentle to the feet, which is good for training, and some competitions in easy terrain.

As a supplement to Asics Gel-DS Trainer for running on tracks and roads, I have got the the classic Gel-DS Racer 9 (in the middle of the picture) for faster trainings. Unfortunately Asics don't make specific orienteering-shoes for running in rocky or slippery terrain, but I have got some ideal sprint-shoes for urban sprint and/or running competitions. They are called Asics Piranha SP 4 (to the left), and has a weight of only 120 grams! Almost just like a sock over a light sole, but still pretty comfortable, and a good grip on asphalt and dry grass.
I have also got some running clothes from their new collection, which is better than last year. I am really satisfied with especially their thights and t-shirts, but their new running-jackets are also comfortable and light.

Take a look at  to see what they can offer you. The service is always good, and they will help you get the right running-equipment for you.

Danish Spring

Last weekend I ran Danish Spring (Spring Cup). I was nervous about how my sore and tight front-thighs would react, but like at Nordjysk 2-dages I didn't feel much pain during the race, and it was actually a bit better after the race. Maybe I have just been to focused on any signs on pain when I have been training, that I haven't been relaxed when running. Anyway, a good competition, a map and a compass, can take away all worries, and I haven't felt the same soreness after saturday...
"The Chase" on saturday (which is actually a mass start), went well for me. I did a solid technical race, and because of the forkings I was able to get a gap to the rest out on the last loop, and only Nicolas Oskarsson, Lillomarka, had my back. I know him from Oslo as a fast runner, so I knew I had to do well to beat him. I had a little gap to him towards the end, but I missed the 3rd last control, and he was again right behind me. On the way down to the last control, he accelerated, and normally I would have tried to follow, but this time I wouldn't take any risks with my fragile legs going downhill, and he won the race 10sec in front of me. Anyway, it was a good performance for me, without taking out everything, and again like last weekend, the technical level was higher than before during 2013.


Not many foreign runners visited Danish Spring this year, and it's a shame, because the competitions is high-quality and very good relay-preparation for the bigger relays. I guess it's difficult for danish organizers to compete with attractive terrains and warmer climate in southern Europe, which is very popular during the winter. But I still don't understand why not more Swedish clubs use fx Danish Spring, if they want to prepare in good time and well enough before 10mila, because the setup is optimal. Maybe that's why Norwegian and Finnish clubs have dominated 10mila and Jukola for many years now... :)

This week, the winter has really returned to Denmark, and 5-15cm of snow is lying everywhere. So I have been doing some fast running on treadmill, some longer slow running in the snow, but still some indoor cycling. My legs are getting better and hopefully I will be able to run 100% again on next weeks national training camp. The plan was actually to go to Tidaholm, Sweden, but since there is still a lot of snow in Sweden, we changed the plans to Czech Republic. Hopefully the spring will come soon, and the snow will be gone, when we come back after Easter.
But before going, I will maybe do Danish Champs in 10km on sunday in Århus, if they have managed to get the snow and ice away from the roads by then. Last year I did 31:29, but back then it was 15 degrees and a fast route in Copenhagen, and this year the route is not very flat. But I think my shape is better now, and I will try to make a new PR, if there's no snow and ice...

Friday 15 March 2013

Nordjysk 2-dages

Last weekend I ran Nordjysk 2-dages in Vester Torup, the same terrain that was used for Military World Champs last year. I don't like to kill other people, so I couldn't run, but finally I got the chance to do some races on the new map in one of the best terrains in Denmark.

Nordjysk 2-dages is the traditional season opening in Denmark, and usually offers good terrains and good courses for the o-hungry Danes, Norwegians and Swedes. This year wasn't a disappointment, and even though the wintercold came back to Denmark the week before, it was still a pleasure. The terrain varies between pretty dense and very contour-detailed areas, with slow runnability, but still very demanding, and more open flat areas. The course-setters had chosen to use the detailed areas with a lot of controlpicking, and slow speed, so the 13,5km on saturday took some time.
I was very excited to see the new map, because the earlier editions haven't been really good... But the new map was very good (most of the places), and I enjoyed running through the forest and being able to navigate from detail to detail, and really understand the map-maker. So I was just enjoying the terrain and courses all the way, and had some of the best o-experiences for a long time.
And was also excited about how my legs would react to some competitions, but after an easy nighttraining on friday, my legs felt good and I didn't feel any problems with my calfs.

Saturday was the long-distance, and I tried to focus on my controlpicking and mental state during the course, and wasn't pushing maximum, especially not in the end. Anyway, it wasn't possible to run fast in the detailed areas, and we didn't have much running on big tracks. It was really challenging most of the way but I had a good flow and was just picking control after control. I made a huge mistake on 25th, were I lost it getting in to the control, and lost 2½ minut trying to relocate again, but otherwise I just did small mistakes. I finished in 1h37min, and it was enough for a clear victory, with more than 11min! The others must have done a lot of mistakes...

Results here

On sunday it was middledistance, and I wanted to run competition speed, to challenge myself in this terrain. I had a good start, but out from control no.3, I had some problems passing a norwegian man in the dense vegetation, and asked him if he could move. As I passed him, he got very angry and sprinted after me, shouting, and I was afraid he would attack me. I totally lost my focus, and missed the control a bit. When I found the right one, I read the wrong number on my description, and searched around for another minute, before realising my mistake (1min45sek in total). It was a tough mental fight on the next controls to get the right focus back, but I managed to do it, and was running a really good race the rest of the way, except for a bad route out from no.13. The terrain from 10 - the finish, was so much fun and it was possible to be very offensive and still be in control of the orienteering. I won 20 out of 26 splits, and was only out of top3 on 2 splits (3 and 13). The results gave me another victory, with more than 6 minutes this time!

Results here 

I didn't have any problems with my calfs, but after the weekend and training monday, my thighs (and especially M.Sartorius) were sore, and I had some pain on the inside of my knee. So once again I had to reduce my running this week, and have been doing some cycling and crosstraining instead. Unfortunately the muscle tension haven't decreased much during the last 3-4 days, and the physiotherapists have once again warned me about doing competitions this weekend, so I won't get injured.
Tomorrow it's time for Danish Spring, and once again I don't know if I will be able to run full speed in the chasing start. I'll decide tomorrow morning when I have had another day of easy training and rest. On sunday I will definitely just be running easy in the relay.
It's annoying that my muscles can't tolerate much running right now, but I just have to accept, that the marathon 3 weeks ago, is still not gone from my body, and that it will take some time to get back in normal training without risking anything...

Thursday 7 March 2013

Thy Trail Marathon

23rd of February I ran Thy Trail Marathon along the coastline of the northwestern part of Denmark (Thy), a race from Lodbjerg Fyr to Klitmøller on small tracks in the sanddunes, the coastal forests and on the beach. 

I entered the race in October to challenge myself, and because the date and terrain would suit well for my first marathon. Unfortunately I got a cold in the end of the camp in Portugal, and couldn't race all of the WRE Long-distance in Osso da Baleia, and I had some easy days after coming back to Denmark. I got better quickly and did an submaximal and VO2max-test on thursday before the race as a part of the scientific study we participated in Portugal. I did a good test, and had a very good submaximal test, with higher capacity than ever before, so that was very good. The VO2max-test didn't go as planned and I wasn't able to reach my maximum capacity.

Saturday it was time for Thy Trail Marathon (and ½-marathon for Ane), and we drove very early in the morning to Klitmøller packed with skis, because we were going to Norway and Sjusjøen afterwards to do some cross-country skiing. 
We were transported in busses south to the start at Lodbjerg Fyr. The weather was really good, some minus dergrees, sunny and almost no wind. The route followed the old "Redningsvej" ("Rescue-road") on the first half, but with some parts in the forest and on the beach. The last part was a lot on the beach, but with some  parts on sandy tracks. The route included 3-5 km on gravel roads, and 1 km on asphalt, the rest were small  sandy "singletracks" or on the beach. During the danish winter (and the rest of the year...) it can be quite wet, and we had to cross 3-4 new big lakes on the first 15km, but because of the cold, they were covered in extremely slippery ice. I was running in Inov8 X-talon, and crashed on the first lake on my back, so I was very careful when crossing ice the rest of the way. The ice was cracking and making some uncomfortable noice when crossing it, but I only break through one time...

I didn't know what to expect from the competition, so I just decided to run my own race and find a pace which was comfortable, and see if I could keep it all the way. I was running away from the others in the beginning, but after my crash after 3-4 km I needed some 100 meters to check if everything was okay. After that I was running in moderate speed (4 min/km) with René Rokkjær on the gravel roads and talking about orienteering, and we did the 2 biggest ice-passages together at 11-12 km. We had to do it very slowly not to slip, and it must have been fun to look at... I had some isotonic energy gels in my pocket, but there were also drink/food every 6-7 km and i tried to get some energy every 20-25min. Unfortunately the water and sportsdrinks were icecold and not very nice for your stomach, so I didn't drink very much during the race.
After the ice-passages we had some kilometers through Stenbjerg Plantage, and I really enjoyed the small tracks there, and got a gap to René after 15 km and decided not to look back the rest of the race. After 18 km we reached the beach for the first time and I was surprised, that the sand wasn't as soft as expected. I did the first ½-marathon in 1h22min, and my body and legs still felt good.
The beach was more soft and stony as we ran further north, and I started to feel tense in my muscles after 25km, but luckily we left the beach and had some more variated tracks the next 10km. The last 10km my thighs and calfes hurted, especially when going downhill, and I struggled to keep up the pace. At 37km we had to go through two short deep water-passages to the hip, and my legs didn't function probably after that, but luckily I didn't get any cramps. I missed the marking going out to the beach for the last time, and passed 2 big ice-passages before realising it, but didn't loose much time, I think. The last 2 km on the beach was extremely tough, because the beach was covered in small rocks, and you had to fight for every step. My stomach also struggled here and I was close to walking some times on the last km, but i reached the finish in new best time on the route: 2h57min51sec, but with 1h35min on the last ½-marathon... René died more than I did in the end and was 8 minutes slower, but still with the second best time.
Ane also did a strong performance and won the ½-marathon for the women.

Results here
This video can give some impressions about the race and the terrain

It was a really good experience and I'm satisfied with my performance and also learned some things about myself and how to find the right pace and push yourself in long races. And of course the good weather was a very important to make it a good day, because 4 weeks earlier, I experienced how bad the weather can be in the same area on a o-training camp.

We stayed overnight in Gothenburg and went to Sjusjøen the day after. I couldn't walk normally the day after because of sore muscles, but I was able to ski without problems, and the soreness dissapeared after some days. I tried to run 3 days after, and I worked ok in the beginning, but after 20-30 minutes of running my thigh and calf muscles tightened up, but I still did 1½h easy running. The muscles were really tight after the run, and I decided just to ski the rest of the days in Sjusjøen, and to variate between classic and skate. I did 20 hours of skiing in 5 days, and the conditions were really good and I enjoyed it a lot, since I'm not living in Norway anymore. I went to Halden for 1½ day to talk with my coach Kenneth, and do some orienteering. My legs were better, and I was able to do 2 o-sessions, including Høiås Day Cup on sunday, but my navigation skills in norwegian terrain needs some refreshment...
After coming back to Århus on sunday I have tried to keep on running as planned, but especially my right calf-muscle is still tight and sore, and my physiotherapist have warned me about running with high-speed, to be able to recover my muscles again after the overload from the marathon. So I'm doing some long slow runs and orienteering right now, including some cycling and strenghttraining, and hopefully my legs will avoid injuries.
I'm going to Nordjysk 2-days in the weekend, to do 3 races in Vester Torup, one of the best and most challenging terrains in Denmark.. Most likely I won't do any of the races in full-speed, but let's see how the recovery goes the next days. There's still long time to next important competition for me, so I'm trying to be patient :)