Thursday 29 June 2017

Week 1 - Showtime!

The last update from this physical trainingproject towards WOC 2017 and probably last update on this blog at all.

Week 1 (and the first part of week 0) has been a tapering-period consisting of high-intensity training every second day and easy recovery session in between. This period is always a bit weird because I'm training less than normal, and the respons from my body is often to feel more tired than usual. This time has been no exception, and I have had several days where I have felt tired, unmotivated and even frustrated.

But it has been going according to the plan, and after arrival in Estonia on Tuesday it has been feeling better and better. And even though the feeling may not be good the next days, it doesn't matter, because I know that the preparations have been going better than ever, and that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be the day before it all starts. 

I have tried to summarize some trainingdata from the last 8 months of training, and compare it to earlier years. In conclusion I have been training more than ever, and it has more or less been more running compared to earlier years (>1½ hours/week / >15-20 km/week). To analyze the intensity-distribution can be a bit difficult, as I have changed my way of classifying my intensity-zones 2-3 times the last years. I don't think I have trained less with high intensity, but still the conclusion must be that extra amount of running this year has mostly been with low intensity. More importantly I have almost avoided sickness and injuries the last 8 months (only some days of sickness in March) and I think this is the first time it has happened.

In conclusion this trainingproject combined with (almost) weekly updates on the blog have been going well and hopefully you have enjoyed to follow it. 

Tomorrow WOC starts with the sprint-qualification, and hopefully I will also be running the sprint-final on Saturday. Sunday it's time for the Sprint-relay and we will do everything we can to fight for the medals and victory. Monday will be a needed rest-day before I will also run the longdistance on Tuesday, and the relay on Friday.

My/our goals are to be top 6 at the sprint, top 3 at the sprint-relay, top 10 at the longdistance and top 6 at the relay. Ambitious, but realistic goals if I do well.

This will be my 11th WOC in a row, and I'm looking forward to give everything I have, because I don't know if there will be a 12th... Much more important things than sports are happening in the end of August (or maybe earlier or later...), which will be a life-changer for me/us. I hope that I have motivation to keep training and competing for more WOCs and honestly, I don't think I can put away elite-orienteering for good yet. But we will see... 

However, I don't think I will have time or energy to update this blog much in the future, at least not to this extent. 

So for now, thank you for reading, and let the games begin! 

Friday 23 June 2017

Week 9-2 - Final preparations

Here comes the second last training-update before WOC, which covers a long and very important period of training and competitions. I have been busy with a lot of travelling the last months, and haven't had time or big motivation to update more frequently.

Overall I will say that I'm very satisfied with the way training has been going the last 8 weeks, no sickness or injuries, and almost sticked to the plans. I don't think that have happened before. I have done some good competitions, but I also know that I will be on a higher level in one week when WOC starts.

Next week I will make the last update with the last week of training and a summary of the last 30 weeks training-project towards WOC.

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Week 10-12 - WOC trainingcamp and Danish Championships in Sprint/Ultralong

It has been a busy scedule the last weeks and the weekly update has constantly been far down on the priority-list. But now it's here, though in a less detailed version...

Shortly summarized the training has been going according to the plans. Week 12 and 11 was weeks with much training, and week 10 (last week) was a bit easier, but with Danish Championships in Sprint/Ultrallong in the weekend.

Week 12 consisted mostly of a National Team Camp in Århus, with more O-training than usual and also some meetings. In the end of the week we travelled to Estonia for a week of WOC-training. On Sunday we competed in a sprint-competition, and I did a good performance and ended up in 3rd place.

In week 11 we were training in Estonia, and we had two high-intensity session. A middle-distance and a relay-training. I'm happy with my performances, and especially that I was able to match the best Norwegians on out last training of the camp.

Last week (week 10) was a mix of recovery and some high-intensity sessions, including Danish Championships in Sprint and Ultralong. The sprint was no success, with a mistake in the beginning and a missing punch, but the Ultralong was good with a win.  

I have naturally been tired after the ultralong, and have rested some days now. Next up will be 10mila this weekend. I'm still in a period of basic training, and besides racing on Saturday night, I'm planning to train much the rest of this week, and the next week as well, before a new competition period will start in the middle of May (Test-races in Estonia and World Cup in Finland).

And now less than 10 weeks to WOC...  

Friday 7 April 2017

Week 13 + March summary

Week 13 was the first week of a new 6-7 weeks period of basic-training, and since I was still fighting sickness, it worked as a transition week to the "new" type of training.

March was a month of less training volume, but more training with high intensity and competitions. The first week of March was also different since I was mostly cross-country skiing in Norway.

Total training: 64h01min
Total running: 37h48min / 419km
Cross-country skiing: 14h39min
Hockey: 37min
Crosstrainer: 1h03min
Strength-training: 9h52min
HIT (I4-5): 7h50min (January and Februay was ~6h)

In the beginning of the week I was mostly training short and easy, to recover from Danish Spring and my sickness. The first high-intensity session on Thursday was tough and didn't work well, but in the weekend I was able to perform really well on a middle-distance and two sprints. These trainings were the first part of a nationalteam trainingcamp in Århus. More technical training than usually, and also some meetings. This week I have also been busy with sending an application to a science project, that's why the weekly update has been delayed :) 

Right now I'm sitting in Copenhagen Airport waiting for a flight to Estonia and a week of WOC-trainings. On sunday it will be a WRE-sprint, and the coming week we will also have some trainings with the Norwegian Team.

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Week 14 - Don't do this at home

This weekend I ran Danish Spring even though I was sick, and I have considered a lot how I should write about this subject. However, when starting this weekly training-updates I said that I would be as honest and open as possible, so here comes the uncensored story.

This week was supposed to be the last of three weeks with many competitions, increased intensity and reduced volume. Danish Spring was also supposed to be a test of where I stand compared to the best, as the startlists included some of the best orienteers in the world.  Unfortunately I got sick on Tuesday night and it didn't look promising towards Fridays Sprint. It wasn't too bad, though, and I didn't have fever, just a sore throat, a blocked nose and some headache. I have tried this many times and know by experience how to react suitably in this situation. On Thursday I was feeling a bit more fresh even though the throat was still sore, and I went for an easy evening-jog, as I have done other times on day two of the cold. I was of course not feeling perfect, but the feeling was ok, and the heart rate was normal in this speed, which supported that it was "only" a local infection/virus in my respiratory system.

On Friday it was again a little better, not so sore throat anymore, but still blocked nose and headache. I went to Danish Spring, and I decided that if I would feel ok on the warm-up, I would run the sprint full speed, as it was short. It was and I did. It is not the first time I have competed like this (maybe in more important competitions), and sometimes I can compete on normal level and sometimes I am not 100%. Most importantly is that I was pretty sure that competing wouldn't make me more sick, but maybe delay the recovery a bit, and I considered that I could live with that. I was not feeling physically like normal on the sprint and I was tired all the way, but I wasn't feeling any worse afterwards. 

The next morning my throat wasn't sore anymore, but I had started coughing, which is normally the last (and longest) step, when I have a cold. Again I took the decision on the warm-up to the middle-distance if I should run or not, and again I decided to run. The feeling was a bit similar to the sprint and I didn't feel like I could push as hard as normally, especially on the last half of the race. The result, however, convinced me that I was still running fast even though I wasn't feeling like it.  

On Sundays longdistance I was aiming for a stabil performance, and I thought that the little slower speed but for a long time would suit me better, as I had been struggling with the maximum intensity the last two days. Still I had to slow down a little bit from my normal longdistance-speed to be sure that my energy would last all the way. I found "the right" speed for me that day and had a satisfying race and result.

Overall I am happy that I took the decision of running the competitions at Danish Spring even though it would have been with less risk not to. However, if I should have been given advise to another runner having a cold, I would have advised not to run and to be patient and not taken any risk. I ran because I know by experience when it's ok to run and when it's not. I didn't feel like I was taking a risk, because I was constantly aware of the symptoms and trying to be honest to myself of how I was feeling and if I was ready to compete. I don't think I could have done that 5-10 years ago, though.
The results were good but of course not as good as it could have been if I had been 100% ready physically. Still I'm satisfied with my technical performances and that I was capable of staying focused even though it would have been easy to focus too much on the physical feelings. 

The sprint-result was the worst of the three, but the results reflects what I have been training during the winter. Very little sprinttraining and not much training in the sprint-speed. This has been intended though, and this three weeks competition-period has kickstarted the next phase of the season, which is 6 weeks of basic-training before out test-races in Estonia and the World Cup in Finland in the middle/end of May. This basic-training will, however, consist of less training/running-hours than during the winter and more high/maximum-intensity training. I will also start to do significantly more sprinttraining from now on towards WOC as a part of this intensified training.
By experience, it's important for me that this period of training including a lot of maximum-intensity training, and a lot of sprint-training, doesn't start too early (~3 months before WOC) as it can be tough for me to do for a longer time both physically and mentally. I know that many others (and especially many of the sprint-specialists) train more or less the same all the year, with a lot of sprint-races and maximum speed-trainings. I think this is why I am normally not doing so good results in the early spring, but instead I have succeeded in reaching my top-level when it really counts in summertime. Hopefully it will be the same this year :)  

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Week 15 + some words about my employment beside the sport

In week 15 I became Danish Nightorienteering Champ for the first time as a senior, and it was also announced that beside my aim for more medals, I'm now also leading a new project about ATK (age-related training koncept) in Danish Orienteering Federation.

After I finished my master-thesis in sportsscience in the spring of 2016 I have more or less just been running. In the autumn I was doing some applications of a PhD-project about performance enhancing approaches in orienteering and other endurance sports, but it have been difficult to get funding to the project so far. Somehow all the money go to sportsrelated health-projects and that is not my main interest.
Together with the Sports Manager and National Coach in DOF we decided that meanwhile this uncertain funding-process continues, I will start this new ATK-project up. It's a renewal of a 10-years old successfull project in DOF, and I'm looking forward to work with the development in Danish Orienteering.
The project will consist of a process of writing and publishing a book about all aspects of orienteering from childhood to junior (~8-20 years) and a longer phase of implementation of the content of the book in the clubs and in the educationprogram of coaches in DOF. It will be a very interesting and challenging project, but with my education, comprehensive experiences from a long career and my passion for orienteering, I hope that I can make a change.
We're still in the phase of defining the project, and next up will be some open meetings with the clubs in DOF, the first already this Saturday after the middle-distance at Danish Spring. The next after DM-sprint in April. I really hope that many clubs will use the opportunity to participate in these meetings as we're looking for as many inputs as possible, before starting the writing process. The ATK-project is targeting several of the the challenges and hurdles that the clubs in DOF are facing in their child/youth/junior-training, so hopefully these meetings will enlighten some things we haven't thought of.    
So far the employment with this project also fits well with my training, as I can plan my workload according to the trainingplans, and for me it's good to have something besides my training.
Some days ago I made some statistics about my winter-training so far, as it sometimes can be difficult to see how the training is going in a longer perspective than  a few weeks
The focus this winter has mostly been on high-volume training and running, combined with some high-intensity-training, but not much training with maximal intensity.

This figure shows that I have been training more than ever this winter (11,3%), and that running both in hours and km has been ~20% higher than last winter, which was the winter so far with most training and running. These kind of data is always nice to bring with you into the competition season, and give me confidence, that I'm on the right way to be able to perform well this year. It will be interesting to see if this increase in training and running will make a difference in the beginning of July in Estonia...

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Week 18, 17 and 16 + February summary

First of all I would like to apologize that it has now been quiet on the blog for some weeks, but here come the training-summaries for the last three weeks. Three weeks of different training and also three different small injury-problems.

Week 18: Recovery week after trainingcamp

I was very tired coming back from Spain, and was also afraid of getting getting sick, so I took it quite easy the first days of the week. Unfortunately my right ankle got locked when I made a little twist on a run Tuesday, and I had to adjust my training the coming days, before a chiropractor unlocked it, and it was better immediately. Had a tough trail ½-marathon on Saturday before going on ski-vacation together with my girlfriend and her family in Skeikampen, Norway.

February summary:

Total training: 76 h 58 min (~2 h 45 min / day)

Total running: 56 h 57 min (~2 h / day)
 - Total running: 577 km (~20,6 km / day)

Total strength-training: 10 h 55 min

Total alternative training: 9 h 2 min
 - Crosstrainer-intervals: 1 h 16 min
 - Cross country skiing: 7 h 50 min

Even though the last week of Februay was not totally according to the plan, the total month was really good with a lot of quality training.

Week 17:

All the week I was in Skeikampen, doing cross country skiing and having some vacation. It was a good week of training with a lot of cross country skiing (21 hours and 268 km), but only one running-session (uphill-intervals) and a total of only two high intensity-session, because I injured my calf in the end of the week in a crash, resulting in a deep wound. I was able to do easy skating the last 2 days though so it wasn't a disaster, and the calf got better fast.

Week 18:

The week was supposed to be a tough week, starting a three week period of much high-intensity training and competitions. It was ok to run with my calf-injury in the beginning of the week, and I tried to stick to the original plan, with two high-intensity sessions on Tuesday. Unfortunately this was too much load for my legs, and my front-thighs were overloaded resulting in a sore knee on Wedensday. Apparently the (non-intended) break from running in Norway for 6-7 day was too long for my thighs to be ready for a big (but normal) runningload. I was good to adjust my training for a couple of days, and get some extra treatment on my legs, so I was ready to run the first competitions of the season in the weekend. 

Even though the week was not totally according to the plan, the goal of a lot of high-intensity training, was well completed. 

This week has also been the week since November which have consisted of clearly the most high-intensity training (I-zone 4-6). 2 h 56 min HIT this week compared to max 1 h 48 min HIT in a week earlier this season, marks a clear change in the periodization of my training, and HIT will have much more focus from now on and until WOC. Hopefully this will also give some more speed in the coming weeks of competitions.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

Week 19

The second and last week in Spain was another great trainingweek, as many others this winter. Despite the big trainingload, I was still able to do some good performances in the two trainingcompetitions (sprint and o-intervals) we had during the week. My body is responding well to the many traininghours and the long and slow build-up in training from November has really paid off, as I'm now capable of a lot of training. The last two weeks has been the weeks with most training this winter, but not so much more than I'm used to from earlier this winter.

Many people tend to train (and run) a lot when they are on trainingcamp during the winter, but "forget" to train as much and hard when they are back home, and its colder and darker. In my experience a few weeks now and then with a huge trainingload isn't as benefitial in a long term as many weeks of a little less, but more constant, trainingload. Beside that, the risk of getting injured or sick in these overload trainingcamps (or when you get home), are simply too big, when you're not used to so much training. I have done that many times...

Another goal of the trainingcamp was to find back my technical routines, and especially in high speed. I'm quite pleased with the outcome of that, and even though I had a few sessions where nothing worked, most technical sessions were really good.

We also had a lot of good meetings in the team during the camp and discussed a lot of different things, mostly about technical/tactical preparation and analysis in different distances, but also about mental training. Emily Kemp joined us during the whole trainingcamp and she shared a lot about what she is doing and how she is training. It's always great to get some new views on orienteering.
During the last week many of us also took part in a scientific project about optimizing nutrition for athletes, and we learned a lot during the week, and also had some good talks in the team about how to get a good and healthy relationship to nutrition as individuals and as a team. 

Now I'm back home and will have a easier recovery-week before I will go with Ane and her family to Skeikampen in Norway next week. It will be a lot of cross-country skiing, and not so much running, that week, but I'm looking forward to go cross country skiing again, as I did a lot when I lived in Norway.

And in three weeks the competition-season will start in Denmark with Nordjysk 2-days. I will also have a short period of more high-intensity training and less high-volume training when I come back from Norway and three weeks forward (incl. Danish Night-champs and Danish Spring), before a new period of basic training starts in the end of March.

Monday 13 February 2017

Week 20 - First week of National Team trainingcamp in Spain

And now only 20 weeks until WOC 2017...

You can read about my training week in the figure. A short summary says a lot of good training (20½ hours, 17:42 hours (170km) running, 7 hours orienteering). And no broken ribs...

Friday 10 February 2017

Week 21 - and January summary

Week 21 was the first week of a three-week block of high load training, starting in Denmark and ending in Southern Spain on Sunday.

But first...

January summary:

Training: 78:02 hours (~2,5 h/day)
- Running: 61:12 hours (~2 h/day)
   - Running: 624 km (~20 km/day)
- Strength-training: 13:39 hours
- Floorball: 3:11 hours 

January was a very good trainingmonth, with only minor adjustments in training, due to some sickness in the beginning (2 days without training) and some extra easy days in the end of the month.
I have increased the amount of total training and running slowly but constantly from November 1st, but I have also been able to increase the amount of high-intensity training in January.

It is not the month which I have been training the most (when I lived in Norway I had some winter-months with a ot of cross-country skiing), but I think it is the month which I have been running the most. Considering that November and December also worked out fine, I am quite pleased with the season so far. I know that this long period of constant hard training and mostly running will be important later in the season to be able to be at my best when it really counts in 21 weeks.

Week 21 was the month of this season which I have been running the longest (164,9 km in 15:41 hours). This includes that half my running-sessions were either orienteering or running in hilly terrain. I had four high-intensity sessions this week, consisting af two long interval-sessions (40 min HI) with the Elitecenter on Tuesday (paths) and Thursday (hilly terrain), a short but very intense OK Pan Vintercup (~20 min) Tuesday evening and a Middle-distance training-competition on Sunday after arrival in Spain (see the description of the Middle-distance in the figure above and the map below).

I can tell that the training in Spain is going well so far (Friday), and that my ribs show no sign of fracture (so far). I will try to speed up my weekly training-updates from next week on.

Saturday 4 February 2017

Week 22 - Some words about recovery

This week was a recovery week, with less training than normal. I cut down some trainings in the beginning and in the end of the week, to make sure that I would be ready for the upcoming hard trainingweeks.

Even though I trained less than normal and theoretically should be feeling more fresh, it's not always how recovery works. Often it takes some days with reduced training before you will actually feel that you are recovered, and sometimes you won't even get the this feeling. Of course you should react on how you feel sometimes, but sometimes your feelings in your body is not giving the true picture of how you are. I can often feel a bit restless and even less motivated for training in my recovery weeks, but I know that I need this little physical and mental break to be able to train hard later on.

I don't do much different recovery in my recovery-weeks compared to other weeks, just more of it. I aim to sleep between 8-9 hours every night, which often means I normally go to bed between 22:15-22:45, because I get up around 7:15-7:30 in the morning. I don't take a nap during the daytime, because I normally don't have the time or need for that, but I know that many other athletes do.  
Besides the sleep, the nutrition is an important part of my recovery. I'm not fanatic about what I eat and drink, but I'm very aware of how much I eat and to vary it, considering what I train. I know this from many years of experience from nutritionplans and own experiences. I use my morningweight every morning to check if I get the right amount of food or if I should adjust. The weight is also an important tool for me during the last months before the important competitions, trying to hit my "competition"-weight. My weight can very up to 2-3 kg from winter to summer...

Right now I'm on my way to Spain on a 2 week trainingcamp with the national team. I'm looking forward to this camp, as I think this can boost my motivation for training, which has varied a bit the last couple of weeks. The most important goal about this camp is not to break a rib, though, which has been the case the last two years...

Monday 23 January 2017

Week 23 - Toughest trainingweek - and biggest mistake - for many years

This was the last hard week of this cycle, consisting of three hard trainingweek followed by an easier week. The week also ended with a lot of great orienteering in Göteborg.

I the beginning of the week I thought it would be difficult to complete the planned training of this week, because I was tired and the legs were already sore from earlier. But I was actually feeling good in Göteborg and was also able to get some high quality orienteering sessions, both day- and night, high- and low-intensity.

Read more about each training session in the figure below.

Now it is time for some recovery, both physically and mentally. The coming week will start with some easy days with low training volume, but still with interval-sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. In the weekend I will have some longer sessions as well. I haven't planned any orienteering-sessions this week, as I want to be hungry for a lot of orienteering when we go for a two week trainingcamp to Barbate in 1½ week. 

Monday 16 January 2017

Week 24 - 150 km running in 6 days

24 weeks until WOC doesn't sound like a long time, and last week was another week with some good basic training.

The week didn't start well though, as I woke up with pain in my stomach on Monday and wasn't feeling good. Actually it was pretty much the same feeling as the beginning of last week, which got better quickly, but I decided anyway to take a complete day of rest. It has been a lot of virusses and bacteria around in Denmark and amongst orienteers the last couple of months, and maybe I got infected during our training camp or at the sportsshow. 
However, it didn't get worse during Monday and Tuesday I started training again, but started out with strength-training instead of the planned intervals. Even though my stomach wasn't feeling normal the first days, I was able to train well, also with high-intensity. From Friday my stomach has been normal and I have trained quite much during the weekend.

The week ended up as a good week of training, 6 days with 17 hours of training, 13:20 hours (150 km) of running and with 3 quality high-intensity sessions.

On Thursday I was in Copenhagen as I was asked to participate as an expert in the TV-show "5.halvleg" on Kanal 5. They have competitions in different kinds of sports and this time it was orienteering. My part of the show was to introduce orienteering a little bit and tell a bit about myself, before some Comedians had to compete on the "orienteering"-course inside the studio. It didn't have much to do with orienteering, as they didn't have a map (!), but it was a fun experience to participate and see how these shows works. It will be broadcasted sometime in the Spring.   

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Week 25 - Almost 20 hours training

The first week of the year was a good week of training even though I was still fighting some illness in the beginning of the week which affected some trainings.

From Thursday-Saturday we had a Nationalteam Camp in Silkeborg. A lot of good orienteering was done, and we also had some interesting meetings about WOC 2017.

Monday 2 January 2017

Week 26 - and December summary

The last week of 2016 was supposed to be an easier week and it got a little easier than planned in the end due to some nausea and general uncomfortable feeling on New Years Eve and yesterday. 

I had some easy days in the beginning of the week, with no high-intensity training, combined with a visit at my parents, which pushed the "normal" trainingcycle some days. Wedensday-Saturday was more normal and I was well recovered to be able to push quite hard on the two high-intensity sessions this week. Yesterday I didn't train at all, because I wasn't feeling well, but since the next weeks will be quite tough, it might be okay to be a little more recovered. I'm feeling better today after all.

December ended up with:

- 70h37min training whereas:

   - 53h31min running (565 km)
        - 6h03min orienteering
   - 13h34min strength-training
   - 3h33min alternative training (mostly hockey)

Despite a little week of sickness (couging) in the beginning of December and some small stomach problems in the end, it has been a good month of basic training and I have been able to train (and run) a lot, which is important to make a good base for the coming months of training.

January will be a lot like December, still with focus on a high training load, but I will try to have a little more speed on the high-intensity sessions. I didn't do much orienteering in December, and this will also increase in January. We have a National Team trainingcamp on Thursday for 3 days, and then it will be a combined EC/OK Pan-trainingcamp to Göteborg in 3 weeks. Besides that, I will stay in Århus and find a good rhytm in the training, before we will go to Spain for two weeks in the beginning of Februay.