Cross Country Stumbling
Cross country skiing is supposed to be one of the best alternative training modes for running, not only strengthening your legs, but also improving your balance, your coordination (ski poles are tricky) and your upper body strength. Last weekend, Jakob & Jakob found themselves in the lesser travelled forests and highlands north of Lillehammer, borrowing a cabin from a close relative. As cabins go, this one was marvellous in all it’s simplicity and extreme cosiness. But since it lacks running water, a WC and central heating, you need to take care of all of this yourself. Having to light a fire in the stove, keeping it burning through the night in two-hour shifts, fetching water for washing up, drinking and cleaning from a nearby well, carry in new logs of firewood and let them dry by the fireplace, shovel snow all the way to the outhouse around the corner: those are things that’ll keep a man warm and tired enough to fall asleep at 8 p.m.
After a Saturday morning breakfast of bacon, eggs, orange juice and müsli, we clipped on our skis and started down the prepared tracks closest to the cabin. This being Norway, we met scores of people swooshing past us, and the general fitness level of the average retired Norwegian seemed to be pretty high. Panting as we were, trying to close the gap to miss H who was impatiently tapping her foot half a kilometre away, we could indeed confirm that our stumbling across the frozen lake was properly fatiguing. Extremely good training, though. It all has to do with technique, and as a friend of our’s put it: you’re supposed to feel it in your butt, abdomen and legs. If your arms and back hurt, you’re doing something wrong. Since we couldn’t lift the cutlery during dinner later that day, we suppose we still have some training to do. Behold, the beautiful Lillehammerian countryside: