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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: BorisGr

In the 31 days ending Jan 31, 2006:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Skiing10 18:40:00
  Orienteering11 17:03:29 78.68(13:00) 126.63(8:05)
  Running13 10:41:19 76.92 123.79 600
  Biking12 4:35:00
  T.rex training6 2:50:00
  Soccer1 1:00:00
  Total27 54:49:48 155.6 250.42 600

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Tuesday Jan 31, 2006 #

Biking 20:00 [2]

To/from KG

Orienteering 1:02:33 [2] 10.0 km (6:15 / km)
shoes: Montrail Trail Shoes

Tuesday night training with Linne. Felt better than yesterday, but still not 100%, so took it very easy and just did the 10km loop. Today's course was particularly simple, too, mostly on trails. Lots of the trails were really icy due to the thaw we've been having, so, of course, i had one nice wipeout going down a steep hill and ended up sliding down on my butt for a few meters. Lovely.

Monday Jan 30, 2006 #

Biking 20:00 [2]

To/from school. Felt much better when I woke up this morning, so hopefully I am recovering. Ridiculous weather in Uppsala: +6C and raining...

Running 31:09 [2] 3.78 mi (8:14 / mi)
shoes: Montrail Trail Shoes

Decided to go out for an easy jog in the afternoon to see how I felt. Felt very weak, but at least no headache or anything. The trails in Stadsskogen were all very icy and slippery, so I stuck to the main ones, the biggest challenge on which was to avoid being attacked by the dogs being "walked" by their owners from several dozen yards away.

T.rex training 15:00 [1]

Some of the flexibility exercises after running.

There goes my plan for a 60-hour January... :(

Sunday Jan 29, 2006 #

Note

Slept 14 hours straight, felt a bit better when I woke up. Still very little appetite and a headache, though a milder one than on Saturday. Felt pretty good in the evening.

Saturday Jan 28, 2006 #

Note

Didn't leave my bed all day. Woke up with a headache and a fever, but no runny nose or sore throat or coughing. Had to cancel my plans to go to Stockholm and train with Andrew Quin. Miserable, miserable day.

Friday Jan 27, 2006 #

Biking 20:00 [2]

To and from Rob and Allison's place for dinner. Had a headache towards the end of the evening. Really didn't feel good when I got home.

Thursday Jan 26, 2006 #

Biking 20:00 [2]

To/from school. Rest day today to rest my back and random other sore parts.

Wednesday Jan 25, 2006 #

Note

Kat and I have started sending each other armchair exercises of all types and doing them.

Here are examples:
1) Read Sandy and Holger's presentation slides from the GHO training camp and discuss. These are here.

2) The route choice exercise that Spike suggested off Tero's page here.

3) A slightly different route choice exercise: take the WOC 2003 Men's Middle final course (now made famous by CF) and write down your route choices in words. I find that it makes you concentrate and think about the terrain and the course a lot more if you actually write down what you do. It's also a good way to practice simplifying, as you actually have to think about what features you'll see and notice, unlike when just drawing a line on a map. It took me a long time to write down my routes for the whole course, and I actually felt mentally tired afterwards. Comparing with Tero's winning routes afterwards was cool too. The clean course map is here and the one with Tero's routes here.

4) Read IOF's control description manual just to be familiar with all control descriptions. I think this is something every orienteer should do once, just to not be surprised by an unfamiliar symbol.
This is available off orienteering.org , under "Publications", then "Rules and Guidelines", then "Pictorial Control Symbols".

5) Randy's photo-O, which I haven't done yet, but it looks cool. It's here.

As major events approach, we will try to cater exercises more specifically towards those events, but for now, just trying out different things and looking around for ideas.

Biking 20:00 [4]

To/from KG in the snow. Riding back with Rob, talking about how we hate night-O.

Running 10:00 [2] 1.11 mi (9:01 / mi)
shoes: 2006 VJ Falcons

Jogging to the start and warm-up

Orienteering 1:15:54 [4] 8.2 km (9:15 / km)
shoes: 2006 VJ Falcons

I kinda felt this was coming - after a couple of good, solid night races, a disaster had to follow. And it did. This was a forked mass-start night race, with about a foot of snow in the woods. Right from the start my back felt tight, just like yesterday, so it wasn't going to be a great day physically, but I chose a good route to 1 and got there right with Mats, ahead of the pack. It happened to be the longer forking, so we were right back with the pack on the way to 2, and i stayed with the crowd through the unforked 3,4,5. Coming into 5, i smacked into a tree branch, and it sent my lamp flying in one direction, my hat in another. By the timw i collected everything and picked up my SI that i dropped looking for the hat, the pack was gone, and i was on my own. Now, night-O with a lot of other people aroundis fast and lots of fun. However, being by yourself, in the dark, knowing that you have to chase down a pack led by some of the best orienteers in the world is not fun. So i trudged on, much of the motivation gone, back hurting, just navigating and/or following footprints in the snow. There was a pair of butterfly loops from 7 to 13, and so i caught up to some people there, though ended up by myself after taking a hard stick to the ear and needing a bit of time to regain composure. This was followed by messing up 14, where i made a parallel error and found about five others who did the same. We milled around for a while and eventually relocated. As i picked up a bit of speed and passed a couple of guys, i promptly went to 16 before 15, and avoiding DFLing was my only goal. I managed that, just barely, and ended up finishing 18 minutes behind the winner - after being with the leaders more than a quarter into the course. Yuck. Well, i knew there'd be setbacks, so i'll take in stride. Maybe will also skip intervals tomorrow and rest my back - i think being physically unomfortable, even if you are only in slight (though constant) pain , makes it more difficult to concentrate on your race.

Tuesday Jan 24, 2006 #

Biking 20:00 [2]

To and from school. Bike fixed!

Orienteering 1:34:29 [2] 14.5 km (6:31 / km)
shoes: 2005 Falcons

Tuesday night training with the club. Thought about running the longest version available - a half-marathon (21097.5 meters), but my back was hurting from skiing, especially on uphills, so I just did the wussy 12.5km version, running by myself for the last few km. Nice evening - about -1C, fun running in the crispy snow.

Note

Hehe, looks like I got my first official Swedish ranking - with 'subjective results' put in to create a starting artificial ranking for me, which will hopefully improve as i actually race. So i am ranked 678th.

Monday Jan 23, 2006 #

Note

My full write-up of the ski camp is up on www.oklinne.nu . Yes, it's in English and not Swedish. That way it took 20 minutes to write instead of 2 hours, and I don't need to translate it for those that don't speak Swedish.

Running 1:16:06 [2] 8.95 mi (8:30 / mi)
shoes: Montrail Trail Shoes

Decided to go for a run and had this strange desire to climb some hills, which in Uppsala can only mean one place: backbana by the river. So i ran over there slowly, with the headlamp and the maps of Stadsskogen and Uppsalaasen. Ran up and down some hills, but sturuggled on the steep ones, as they were very icy and slippery. Legs felt tired from the ski camp, and a couple of times, out in the fields I felt like I was making no forward progress as the wind felt like it was sent over here from the stormy plains of Laramie by the Swampfox himself.

T.rex training 30:00 [1]

Flexibility training: the exercises I described a week or so ago. Boy, am i inflexible! Instead of 3 sets of 15 reps of each exercise, i did 2x10 and will hopefully build up over the next few weeks. The hamstring stretches had me howling in pain (literally - my neighbor across the hall came over to check if i was ok), but afterwards they feel looser than they have ever felt before.

Sunday Jan 22, 2006 #

Skiing 1:25:00 [3]

The last ski of the weekend, with Kalle and Ulrik. Felt very cold today, and my back began hurting (not surprising - it did that back in college when i was racing too, but never got worse. enough vitamin I normally makes me forget about it). Did about 16km or so. End of a great weekend of skiing! I hope I get to ski some more this winter, as my classic technique (if you can call it that) started coming back by the end of the weekend, and maybe I can look like someone at least moderately competent on skis if I get a bit more snow time this winter.

Note

A couple of notes to self after reading Sandy and Holger's awesome presentations from the GHO training camp. Things to try and improve on in terms of training in the next month or two:
- add 1 easy but long map run in terrain per week by myself (maybe fridays?)
- make sure to get 1 more strength workout per week in addition to club circuit training. work out a good specific-strength circuit for myself (maybe add the one-legged leg squats Marc does? does anyone know good orienteering-specific strenght exercises?)
- increase the amount of time spent armchair orienteering (and no, attackpoint doesn't count!) plan for this: homework assignments. right now the plan is (and kat hasn't been informed of this yet) to make up assignments for kat and have her make up assignments for me. assignments may include designing a course on a map; looking at a course and picking route choices; route choice assessments for long legs ala Spike's blog; looking at a course and visualizing running it; playing CF?; other suggestions? [Ok, i am getting a bit carried away with this and thinking of making it an AP-wide thing, where someone designs an exercise every few days and posts it and others do it home, and people take turns designing the exercises. Are people interested in this? Spike already does this from time to time in his blog, and it seems quite popular and definitely useful. ]
- the track club around here runs intervals on monday. i could potentially add that to my calendar, but am not sure if a 3rd speed session per week is needed right now. advice?

Saturday Jan 21, 2006 #

Skiing 2:25:00 [3]

A great day for skiing! A bit cold (-14C), not windy, and the tracks were finally set so we could go at a decent pace. Classic skiing, mostly with Lars, Kalle, and Bjorn - about 28km.

Skiing 1:40:00 [3]

After watching the double-pursuit XC skiing world cup race from Obersdorf on TV, we went out for an evening ski with headlamps - my first time skiing with a headlamp. Definitely feeling sore (i haven't skied more than 4-5 times a winter since 2002, so getting back into it is taking a while, but is most welcome!), but the snow was great, and the trails were very uncrowded in the dark, making it really fun. About 20km with Lars.

Friday Jan 20, 2006 #

Skiing 2:20:00 [3]

A tough ski in new snow with the resort's groomer broken. We (Jan, Micke, Bjorn, and me) had to make new tracks for a while, and on the way back found that tons of people were in them following us, so we had to make new sets of tracks to go the other way. Jan was desperate enough that he had us go up the downhill skiing mountain and ski back down a couple of times, since the snow was better there. That was cold!

Skiing 1:20:00 [3]

Skate skiing in a blizzard/. The trails were finally groomed by the afternoon, but the snow was so soft that skating was very slow and tiring and the wind right in the face made things a bit unpleasant.

Wednesday Jan 18, 2006 #

Soccer 1:00:00 [2]

Last soccer game in the snow with Christoph before he goes back to Germany.... I got Salman to come out for this one, and he even scored the first two goals of his life! Fun!!

Running 5:00 [2] 0.56 mi (8:56 / mi)
shoes: 2005 Falcons

Trying to warm up for the night-O.

Orienteering race 1:04:33 [3] 7.3 km (8:51 / km)
shoes: 2005 Falcons

Wednesday Night-O at Hagby. What a good race! Probably the most fun I've had with night-O so far and also my best race, where I was by myself the whole way. Somehow my forking at the start was different from that of people around me, and I ended up alone. Except this time, unlike normally, the map made sense, the woods were nice, and I was anticipating features coming up instead of being surprised by them. The result isn't impressive - 11th place out of 19, 11 minutes back of Jan's winning time, but this was the smoothest I've felt orienteering at night so far and also the most confident in my orienteering. And, of course, i left my map on the ground when changing... Oh well.

Tomorrow we leave for the week-end ski camp, so probably no updates till Sunday night or Monday. Woohoo, snow!!!!

Tuesday Jan 17, 2006 #

Biking 20:00 [2]

Ugh. Chain came off twice on the way to the clubhouse, so on the way back I rode down the middle of big streets, where there are no bumps and no ice, and it was ok, but I really need to get it fixed and stop being lazy about it.

Orienteering 2:20:46 [3] 20.1 km (7:00 / km)
shoes: 2006 VJ Falcons

Tuesday night training. This time I wanted to run the longest course, since I didn't run from home. The first past was mostly straight through woods, with some pretty tough orienteering and running. At least it was relatively warm (around 0C), so feet recovered pretty quickly after falling through the ice into marshes. Saw lots of moose tracks and poop, but still no actual moose... Towards the end, there was a cut-off that most people took, and only five of us did the longest loop (just an extra 1.5km): Mats, Jan, Rob, Ulrik, and me. The last few kilometers were mostly on roads and trails, and everyone started to pick up speed, which did not seem like the wisest idea on icy trails. Sure enough, I was running right behind Mats going downhill pretty quickly when I saw him trip over a rock, stumble, and go flying, sprawling across the ice and smacking his knee pretty bad. He was ok, of course, but still pretty scary.... I can't wait for the ice to turn either into snow so we can ski again or dirt so we can run normally.

Monday Jan 16, 2006 #

Note

Ok, here are my attempts at translating the descriptions of the exercises Mimmi Enoksson recommended. I emailed her asking if she can send me the pictures of the exercises so I can post them somewhere. Otherwise I might try to get my roommate to take pictures of me doing the exercises and put them up. :)

First of all, make sure you are warmed up when you do the exercises. Mimmi had us go for an easy 30-minute jog to warm up.

All the exercises involve using a stick - preferably something that won't bend or break easily, such as a wooden club of constant thickness (2-4ft long) or the shaft of an old hockey stick or perhaps of an old golf club.

"Always make sure to:
- have the stomach tucked in and flat; chest out
- have good posture.

1. Deep knee bend with lat stretch.
Hold the stick over your head with straight arms. Feet at shoulder-width. Slowly lower yourself, bending at the knees and always facing forward. Try to go as far down as you can, with the knees always directly above the feet. (3 sets of 15 reps each)

2. Total rotation with bent knee
Put the stick on your shoulders behind your head, holding it with both hands. Spread the legs. Lean slightly forward with the torso and also slightly bend the knees. Look straight ahead with the head still. Rotate your torso with respect to the spinal cord, going to the position where one hand is directly above the other (both still holding the stick on the shoulders.) After rotating to one side, return to the starting position and rotate to the other side. The knee that the body is rotating towards should be slightly bent and the other one straight. (3 x 15)

3. Side bends
Stick on straight arms overhead. Bend to the side, keping the arms straight, holding the stick. The knee you are bending over should be straight and the other one slightly bent. Bend until one hand is directly above the other. (3 x 15)

4. Hamstring stretch
Lie down on your back, preferably on a mat. Legs up in the air, bent at the knees. Hold the stick with your hands so that one leg is in front of it and the other behind, preferably not right at the knee, but slightly below. Push hard towards the stick with each leg to stabilize and activate stomach muscles. The leg behind the stick should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the knee the whole time. Straighten your other leg (the one in front of the stick, or closer to your face) up in the air as much as you can, pushing hard against the stick to increase flexibility in the back of the thigh. Then slowly lower that leg back down to a bent-at-the-knee position and repeat. (3 x 15)

5. Sit-ups with stick
Lie down on the ground, holding the stick with straight arms behind the head. Legs bent at the knee, feet on the ground. Roll up, bringing the stick towards the feet (arms still straight) and at the same time, bringing the knees closer to your chin, head slightly off the ground. Try to bring the stick over the toes or onto the other side of the toes. (3 x 15)

6. Lunge with stick
Stand straight, with feet at shoulder-width, tucked-in stomach, good posture. The stick is held vertically behind the head, with one hand holding the stick behind the head and the other close to the waist. The upper hand should be of the same side as the leg lunging forward. Luge forward with your leg carefully, not stomping but bringing the foot slowly down, the back still straight. The knee of the lunging leg should be directly over the foot, and the leg should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the knee. The back knee should end up low, close to the ground, with the back heel off the ground. Then bring the forward leg back to standing position, keeping the back straight the whole time and, preferably, not shifting the back foot. (3 x 15 on each side.)"

Ok, i added lots of information and details to the descriptions to make up for the lack of pictures, so hopefully this can be useful. Tell me if any of this makes any sense and ask if something is unclear, I'll do my best to clarify. A comment on the choice of stick: i pulled an orange hard-plastic pole (used, i think, to show where the road goes in case of a blizzard) out of the snow and it worked ok, except during the hamstring stretch (which is awesome, by the way! - my favorite) when i broke it in half pushing against it.

Note

After much thought and agonizing, I decided to take a complete day off today, aside from some stretching. My own training volume the last two weeks sort of scared me and I don't think the first day off in 2006 can do much harm. (Although a couple of hours ago i looked out the window to see a bunch of Linne guys doing some road intervals and was extremely tempted to join....)

Sunday Jan 15, 2006 #

Running 29:53 [2] 3.74 mi (7:59 / mi)
shoes: Nike Pegasus '05

Warm-up run on icy trails at the club beginning-of-season meeting. I took a nice fall, this time not only banging my knee on the ice, but also taking the legs out from under poor Tomas Stenstrom, who crumbled to the ice on top of me, luckily unhurt.

T.rex training 1:00:00 [2]

The morning started with a presentation by Mimmi Enoksson, the Swedish national team's physical therapist. She talked about the importance of flexibility and balance training for orienteers and the relationship (still somewhat dubious in my mind) between inflexibility and injury. She also cited a survey of 215 elite orienteers, of which (i am not making this up!) 75 were male and 63 female.

But anyway, after the warm-up jog, we did flexibility and strength exercises for back, hamstring, stomach, shoulders. If anyone wants the specific exercises, let me know. I can try to scan in the handout sheet she gave out with pictures and explanations. I liked the exercises and will try to force myself to incorporate a couple of them into some training routines.

Orienteering 1:59:24 [2] 10.0 km (11:56 / km)
shoes: 2006 VJ Falcons

Long map run in Lunsen with Mats, Jan, Joffe, Ulrik, Micke, and Bjorn. I think when the spring comes, I will follow Spike's advice and take map walk here. This is the single hardest place to orienteer I have ever been. I managed to keep slightly better map contact as we ran along than the last time I did night-o here (a total disaster!), but it's still so hard, and relocation is nearly impossible. After the first few controls (just circles drawn on the map, no flags or relfectors), we started taking turns leading the group on a bunch of short legs, and let me tell you, there is no pressure like being told by the #2 ranked orienteer in the world "ok, Boris, you lead the next one." And, of course, i messed up in the control circle. But when Joffe led us in a circle on the next leg, and Jan Troeng stopped on his leg and said he had no clue where we were (neither did anyone else), I didn't feel so bad anymore. It was one of the most fun training runs I've had here so far, probably because of the fun group of people, the really hard terrain, and the camaraderie evidence by the collective "ooooh"'s that echoed through the night each time one of us fell particularly deep down through the ice. When we came to particularly wide marshes, we tended to spread out and tread carefully and slowly, the night silence broken only by the occasional sounds of ice cracking and a curse, followed by an "ooooh". Good times.

Saturday Jan 14, 2006 #

Biking 20:00 [2]

To/from KG. Me and bikes don't get along. The chain came off twice....And this is a brand-new bike!

Running 20:00 [2] 2.35 mi (8:31 / mi)
shoes: 2005 Falcons

Warm-up in the snow

Orienteering race 1:26:13 [4] 10.8 km (7:59 / km)
shoes: 2005 Falcons

NC Sport Cup #1. A mass-start forked race in Norrtalje with a pretty small field: just 17 people in elite, more than half from Linne, I think. Had a longer forking at the beginning and lost the lead pack and felt sluggish and tired the whole way. The terrain was not very technical, but my navigation still wasn't crisp and I wasted some time in control circles and just wasn't moving fast through the snow. Although my result wasn't particularly good, it was nice to navigate on my own some - it's been a while since I've done that in a day race. Results:
http://www.svenskidrott.se/Organisation.asp?WCI=wi...
After the race one of the coaches working with the Swedish team gave a presentation on training, talking about different stages of a training plan, peaking for big events, percentages of volume that should be devoted to base training, intervals, and so on. As his main source, he used what I believe was Kostylev's book on elite orienteering training, though it may have been some other Russian book, but I had definitely seen it before. This led me to ask Jan and Mats why Linne has no elite coach or anyone who helps make training calendars and works with athletes individually, and they had no good answer, saying only that no person that would fit the position well has been found.... Strange.

Friday Jan 13, 2006 #

Orienteering 46:33 [2] 5.48 mi (8:30 / mi)
shoes: Montrail Trail Shoes

Easy trail line-O in Stadsskogen without a compass. Legs felt tried from the last two days, so I took it very easy, but still managed to get confused and lose concentration a couple of times on some of the smaller trails, hard to see because of all the snow. I think this is a nice training for an easy day, though, because reading everything you see on a map while running on a trail still seems useful. The trails were icy today, though, and I slipped a few times. Lots of stretching when I got home. Will take the rest of today off.

Biking 30:00 [2]

To/from city in the evening.

Thursday Jan 12, 2006 #

Biking 20:00 [2]

To/from school, where I spent four hours sitting in front of a computer with a mental block of some sort, unable to even look at the exam completions my professor wants me to do for the Functional Programming exam I took in December. Instead, I surfed the web for far too long and finally stooped to reading attackpoint discussion threads from year 2000 onwards. One observation (this made me write a big long post which I was about to put up but thought better of): a lot of the AP discussion early on seemed to center around several things:
(1) How bad the US Team is;
(2) How bad the US Junior Team is;
(3) How little American orienteers train;
(4) How the US Team has no sense of community.

This very negative talk seems to have dwindled and maybe even disappeared the last year or two. I have some theories why this is so, but I am curious what others think about this, and whether this is only because people are tired of talking about it or because something has actually changed for the better in national team-level US orienteering (notice, Peter, I didn't say "elite") in the last couple of years?

(As evidence, compare the AP discussion from around the time of JWOC 2002 with the discussion from WOC 2005!)

Running 42:30 [2] 5.0 mi (8:30 / mi)
shoes: Nike Pegasus '05

From school to Hagadalsskolan, then to Pollacksbacken for intervals, and back.

Running 5:00 [1]

Secret Russian Running Drills (high knees, butt-kicks, strides, bounding)

Running 41:25 [4] 10.8 km (3:50 / km)
shoes: Nike Pegasus '05

Threshold run with the club on icy pavement. We ran three loops around Pollacksbacken, each loop 3.6km, starting with a long downhill and finishing with a long, steephish uphill. My stomach hurt on the first lap, but got better, and the only problem in the end was the ice, which made me slip quite a bit and almost had me end up in the (frozen, i hope) river on the first lap. I managed to avoid slipping badly enough to fall during the threshold run, although, I did just that, hitting my knee hard on the ice with my first step of the warm-up.
Lap times: 13:59,13:59,13:27. (Jan and Mats Troeng ran 36:55! One other guy was ahead of me.)

T.rex training 30:00 [2]

Normal Linne cicuit training after the run, cut a bit short because we came back late from the threshold run.

Wednesday Jan 11, 2006 #

Skiing 1:20:00 [2]

With temperature at around +3C and the snow melting, went to Stadsskogen to ski with Christoph and give him some more technique tips. The snow was awful in the woods, but not too bad on the golf course, where I ended up double poling a whole lot, which makes for some very tired triceps.

Biking 20:00 [1]

Biking to and from KG, very carefully, trying hard (and successfully this time) to not fall in the slush.

Running 49:29 [2] 5.82 mi (8:30 / mi)
shoes: 2005 Falcons

Jogging from KG to the start of the night-O with Rob, Jan Troeng, Joffe, Lina B., and Lasso and then back to KG after the finish as a cool-down before a nice hot sauna.

Orienteering 56:07 [4] 7.91 km (7:06 / km)
shoes: 2005 Falcons

Wednesday Night-O - my first race of 2006 and my first long course at one of these night-O's. This was the simplest terrain of all the night-O's so far (lots of trails between small hills with contour detail - but a lot of trail running), and so a good one for me to try the long course. As always at night, it took me a while to get into the map, and i made a 40-second mistake on the second control, running by it and having to go back. Things got better after that, until a long leg, where all I had to do was keep track of the right trails to stay on, but I didn't see one intersection on the map, as it was covered by a north line, and ran off the wrong way, eventually relocating after losting 1:30 or so. One more 30-second mistake later on, but a good, fast race otherwise, running the last few controls with Rob and Michael Nordstrom. Running in the deep snow/slush was tough, and I felt very tired towards the end, but pleased to be able to hang with the fast guys. The result was far from spectacular: 7th place out of 11, but my time was quite competitive (the winner ran 50:30), and so I'll consider this a success.

Tuesday Jan 10, 2006 #

Orienteering 2:14:53 [2] 12.5 km (10:47 / km)
shoes: 2005 Falcons

Long line-O in the snow on Nasten with Kat. Not too cold, and nice to run with a map in daylight, for once. Started snowing by the end of the run... We saw ski tracks going through the most ridiculous places: rocks, cliffs, swamps...

Monday Jan 9, 2006 #

Skiing 1:25:00 [2]

Classic ski. What a difference five days make! Last wednesday I had a great time skiing all through the length of Nasten from Kung Bjorn's Hill to Hammarskog, with mostly very good snow the whole way. Today, almost right from the start, I had to hop from track to track and often ski on one leg, trying to avoid the dirt, rocks, and grass cropping up all over the tracks. We need more snow! Unfortunately, the weather forecast promises +4C tomorrow, so it doesn't look so good.... The snow was a bit better in Hagadalen, but I didn't get very far as I wasn't having a great time and my left shoulder started hurting a bit.

On the way back, there was a lady walking right on the tracks in front of me with her small, stupid-looking dog, which had just taken a dump in the tracks. I skied slowly behind them, expecting her at least to get out of my way, but she didn't, so I got out of the tracks and skied around, quite angry and annoyed at people and dogs ruining the tracks. At that point, the stupid little dog snarled, began yipping, and jumped at me, which is not a bright idea when you are attacking a 6ft-tall man armed with ski poles and already in a bad mood... I narrowly missed the dog's head with my left pole, and the lady was just left standing there gaping in shock as I skied away.
[Disclaimer: I neither condone nor encourage such behavior.]

Sunday Jan 8, 2006 #

Running 2:04:18 [3] 20.0 km (6:13 / km) +600m 5:24 / km
shoes: 2005 Falcons

Within the last 48 hours, multiple people pointed out to me that the one major thing missing from my training this week has been hills. So here you go: hills. Ran my least favorite run at Uppsala, backbanan (5.06km, 300m climb) with Jan Troeng, Stan, and Rob. We ran at an easy pace in the deep snow, and it felt good, my most pleasant experience with the backbana so far. Did two loops (35:19, 35:30) and thought about staying for a third, but decided this was enough for this time and ran home. Was tired towards the end, and added a small loop in Stadsskogen through the woods to see how dead my legs were in the snow, but there wasn't quite enough snow to make me struggle significantly. A nice run and a good way to end my personal highest-volume week ever.

Saturday Jan 7, 2006 #

Skiing 1:10:00 [2]

Feeling pretty tired from a good, hard week of training, so I took it easy. Went skiing with Allison Jones and Rob Walter, again at Knivsta. First did some classic to give Allison and Rob some tips (imagine: _me_ giving ski technique tips to someone!) and then skated for a while. Felt good to skate, but my skate form is definitely much rustier from the long layoff from skiing than my classic... Actually, helping other people with their form and telling them what to focus on is very helpful for me too, since it makes me think about some problems with my technique that I normally don't pay attention to. I think the same is true in orienteering too: it's good to talk through what you should be doing once in a while. Even if some skills become automatic, it probably can't hurt to remind yourself why and how you do a certain thing.

Friday Jan 6, 2006 #

Skiing 1:20:00 [3]

A very nice morning classic ski with Ulrik and Stan at Knivsta. Nice and warm: -1C. Sauna at the clubhouse afterwards.

Thursday Jan 5, 2006 #

Running 1:00:25 [2] 7.55 mi (8:00 / mi)
shoes: Nike Pegasus '05

As Spike would put, shuffled around the neighborhood. Running a loop around Ekeby, then through Flogsta to Stenhagen, around Stenhagen and back home through Flogsta with an extra hill thrown in up and down Eriksberg.

Running 39:04 [2] 4.74 mi (8:15 / mi)
shoes: Montrail Trail Shoes

From home to Hagadalsskolan, then warm-up, cool-down, and home again.

Running 24:00 [5] 4.12 mi (5:50 / mi)
shoes: Montrail Trail Shoes

Intervals. This is still vacation week, so very few people showed up. I ran with Stan, Ulrik, and Oskar Wallen. We did 3-minute intervals, with 1-minute rest in between, on roads. Eight reps total. Felt very good the whole way.

T.rex training 20:00 [1]

Abbreviated circuit training after the intervals.

Note

Ok, I put in what must be a record training week for me, and am still 4 hours behind Swampfox for the week... The Fox is impressive!!
Easy day tomorrow.

Wednesday Jan 4, 2006 #

Skiing 2:10:00 [2]

A nice, steady-pace classic ski: from home to Kung Bjorn's Hill (2.5km), then the trail all the way through Nasten to Hammarskog (10km one-way), a ten minute break to eat a gu and rewax, then back to Kung Bjorn's Hill, a loop in Hagadalen (about 4km), and back home (2.5 km), around 29km total.
Nasten is perfect for classic skiing: no steep hills, just long gradual slopes, where you can stride up and double-pole down, without ever tucking on the downhills or having to herring-bone on the uphills. The snow was good, not great, but this was still lots of fun!!! The most fun i've had skiing in years, though i did get tired in the end. Definitely need to work on arm strength. Lots of people out in the woods skiing, too. A lot of old Swedish couples shuffling along, and a few middle-aged dudes, but not many young people. I guess they have jobs or something...
Will probably take the afternoon off and go back to two-a-day tomorrow, but I'll see how I feel.

Note

Ok, time for a summary and a look back at 2005. First, training:
Total - 364 hours (most since I started logging);
Orienteering - 129 hours (35%)
Running - 132 hours (36%)
Certainly, I am happy with these numbers given the comparison with, say, 2004:
Total - 215 hours;
Orienteering - 78 hours (36%)
Running - 97 hours (45%).

Racing:
I counted 67 O-races in 2005, those these include pretty informal ones, like the OK Linne Wednesday Night-O's.
Of these:
Classic - 24;
Sprint - 21 (!!);
Middle - 20;
Relay - 2. (Just at WOC and WC).
(Among thse, 9 at night.)

Countries:
USA - 25;
Sweden - 23;
Canada - 6;
Italy - 6;
Japan - 4;
England - 1;
Denmark - 1;
France - 1.

Many more sprints than before, not nearly enough relays!!!

My worst 5 races:
1. WOC Relay, Japan - felt awful and had no strength or energy from the start. Pure torture.
2. Uppland District Champs Classic - one of my very first races in Sweden, a complete disaster: 49 minutes behind the winner's time of 77!
3. World Cup Classic - Big mistake early, and then not strong enough to fight and get the lost time back.
4. Canadian Champs Day 2 Classic - After two good races, had a chance to finish with a very good overall result, but my lack of good shape showed, and I wasn't there physically or mentally.
5. Sprint Series Finals Round 1 - Not the worst race time-wise, but bitterly disappointing to be knocked out in the first round after flying from Sweden for the weekend.

My best 5 races:
1. WOC Sprint Qualifier - the closest I have come to making a WOC final so far, just 30 seconds. Not a perfect race, but a solid one, in a pressure situation.
2. World Cup Middle B-Final - managed to focus well for the second race of the day and run a virtually clean course in a downpour.
3. Canadian Champs Middle - technical unfamiliar terrain, pouring rain, very good race.
4. Stora Vandan - even though it was a mass start race, finishing just 3 minutes behind the Troengs on an 18.5km course was a great confidence-boost.
5. Sprint Series Finals B-Final - good mass start sprint race, both technically and tactically, reading ahead and figuring out the last couple of route choices while staying behind people, then pushing to the front in the end. A small consolation for being knocked out early, but still lots of fun!

Most fun events:
1. Sprint Series Finals!!
2. World Cup Final Round, Italy.
3. Canadian O-Champs.
4. Denmark Training Camp with Tom Hollowell.
5. GHO Training Camp in March.
6. Jan Svanlund Open, Sweden.

Tuesday Jan 3, 2006 #

Skiing 1:00:00 [2]

Took my friend Christoph skiing in Stadsskogen. Did a loop with him, helping him get comfortable on skis, then a couple of loops skating by myself. Coldest day of the winter so far: -16C. The woods were beautiful, though!

Running 10:00 [2] 1.0 mi (10:00 / mi)

Jogging to and from Stadsskogen with skis.

Orienteering 2:22:04 [2] 16.5 km (8:37 / km)
shoes: 2006 VJ Falcons

This may have been overkill. After tonight, I have more respect for crazy Swedes than ever before. I don't know how they can run for hours through the completely frozen woods in a foot of snow at night and still manage to orienteer flawlessly. I can only barely qualify this workout as orienteering, as after about ninety minutes I was totally frozen with chunks of ice hanging off my eyelashes and only occasionally glancing at my map and hoping that Mats and his headlamp were still right in front of me. I suppose this is all a good experience and only makes one stronger, but this was one of those nights when I wondered why on earth I am in this frozen jungle instead of back in warm, sunny (well, ok, not really) NYC and Greg's nice apartment with cats.

On the other hand, I certainly knew what I was getting into and, really, this is a damn good training experience, and so I am already looking forward to next Tuesday's run.

Monday Jan 2, 2006 #

Skiing 1:05:00 [2]

Skating and some double poling at Stadsskogen. Swedes don't seem to skate very much: I was the only one skating in the woods today, while lots of people were classicing and no trails were groomed for skating, so I just found trails that were more or less wide enough to skate on. It felt good to be out and skiing, but I need to ski a few more times before I feel comfortable and before I stop getting aches in muscles that aren't used to working so much. Also, my lower back is quite sore now, just like it used to be after every ski practice in college...

Running 10:00 [2] 1.18 mi (8:28 / mi)

Running to and from Stadsskogen in ski boots to warm up.

Biking 45:00 [4]

Spinning class at the Ekeby gym. I was looking for something, preferably low-impact, to do in the evening, and Lars put up this spinning thing in the training bank, so I decided to come along and see what it was like, especially since the gym is about 200 meters from my house. Spinning turned out to be a real cardio workout (i guess everyone already knows this, but it was news for me), which almost felt like intervals at times. Very cool. At the end, they announced that they are looking to hire more male gympa and spinning instructors for this semester. That would be a funny part-time job: Boris the gympa instructor...

T.rex training 15:00 [1]

Stetching and stuff after spinning.

Sunday Jan 1, 2006 #

Running 1:03:00 [3] 7.88 mi (8:00 / mi)
shoes: Montrail Trail Shoes

First workout of the year! Not the most exciting of workouts, though - finally got off my butt in the afternoon to run all over Stadsskogen and investigate the ski trail situation there. Tracks all over the place, but none of them in great condition. Could be worse, I guess. Pretty sore from skiing the last two days - my body has definitely forgotten how to ski.

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