So. What to do this summer?
Sometimes Jakob and I have longer periods where nothing new is happening on our running horizon and where things kind of slow down to a leisurely tempo. It’s easy to be lazy during summer when schools are closed, there’s less to do at work and the weather is absolutely lovely. That’s when it’s important not to become sloppy with our training schedule and keep to it, as usual. For the first time in five years, we have a summer in front of us with no major races. Last summer we had just finished Trail du Verdon and the summer before that the Irondistance triathlon Forestman. In 2010 we were training all summer for our first huge challenge in September, Tjörn Half Ironman and in the end of May 2009 I was battling against myself in Edinburgh Marathon. Two and a half months have already passed since we finished Marathon des Sables. Our bodies have long since recovered and our sights are firmly set beyond the horizon.
At the moment I’m preparing for New York City marathon in November and I’m following a favourite training schedule of mine, the one on the Swedish site marathon.se where you can find training programs for distances from 5k up to 50k for every imaginable level. Unfortunately, Jakob won’t be able to join me for the NYC Marathon but in September we’ll try and gain the final qualification point for Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc via the race Alesia Trail in France 22 September.
That’s why I headed out for today’s long run of 22k and aimed for the forests of Nordmarka with my backpack annoyingly jumping up and down my back. On rainy days like today you often find yourself pretty much alone on the small trails and I love it! The tempo up to Sognsvann was pretty decent but the slippery tree roots were submerged under quite a bit of water trickling down the forest floor today, so I took it pretty easy and enjoyed the scenery. Even did a fair bit of walking in the steepest slopes. Heavy going during a few parts but enjoyable, as always. Still not in the shape I’d like to be, but I’m getting there, not least thanks to my personal strength coach Stefan. I’ll be rooting for him this weekend as he’ll be racing the supercool race Åre Extreme Challenge in the middling parts of Sweden, a multisport event that tests your skills at kayaking, trail running and finally mountain biking up, down and around the beautiful mountain of Åreskutan.
So what’s up next? Well, Tour de France starts on Saturday and for once I’ll try and follow the race since I have a week off. After our triathletic escapades we’ve gained a new understanding for cycling as a sport and how extremely tough it can be. Cycling’s arguably biggest star before 2012, Lance Armstrong, a huge idol of ours before he was exposed as the cheater he is, hasn’t been alone in dragging the venerable competition Tour de France in the mud. This year, Le Tour is run for the 100th time and what better way to inaugurate a newly found interest in the sport than following Froome, van Garderen, Boasson Hagen and the rest during an anniversary like that? Also, the final of the Confederations Cup is played on Sunday where the continental champions, the reigning world champion and the host of next year’s World Cup in football meet each other in a sort of mini-tournament. Writing these lines I’m enjoying the highly entertaining semifinal featuring Italy – Spain which will decide which team will face Brazil in the final. Last, but certainly not least, Wimbledon is well under way, having already seen the exit of two huge stars, Federer and Nadal, leaving the tournament open for other brilliant players like Djokovic and Murray to claim the British trophy.
All in all, it seems like a pretty decent sporting summer, right? I think I know what to do…