Wednesday, 27 October 2010

spring? in october?

Over the past 24 hours it does actually feel like we have experienced the whole of winter and now it is spring here in Geilo. Last night the main road outside my apartment was completely black. This morning it was covered in snow and it was chucking it down with snow and showed now signs of letting up.
I went training in the gym at 8 for 1 hour 30, with the team. When we came out it was raining. It rained a lot all day, but i slept over lunch time and generally tried not too look outside as it was so depressing to see all the rain.
At 3:30pm when i went out for my second session, an easy ski with some sprints it was sunny. The thermometer in the ski stadium read 15 degrees C. No it was NOT actually that warm, i think a combination of the electronic thermometer being in the sun and it also reading a little high. but it was warm. All the snow that had fallen on the trees overnight was now melting and thick drips of water were leaving the trees. It was pleasant to train in just lycra trousers and a short sleeve top. True sognefjell clothing . (sognefjell is a place in norway they have ski trails often until august, last season it had all year round but this year the trails were gone by end of july)
So after being attacked by watery ice falling off trees i finished my session only for it to start raining again.
At the ski stadium they have now opened up a full loop so we dont have to go out and back now. There is a "4.5km" loop. They say 4.5 but i am highly doubtful it is even over 3. But sjusjoen (near lillehammer) has a 3.5km loop of man made snow, so now Geilo ha a "4.5km" loop they are claiming bragging rights to "the best" snow in norway to date.
The rain shouldnt affect the trails at the stadium as they are 40cm deep with man made snow that was made at really cold temperatures. So the temperature in the snow will remain well bellow 0.

All the news for now

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Friday, 22 October 2010

envious?

Skiing yesterday. looks nice eh?
but today it was like being on top of cairngorm, i could see about 5m, had fresh snow being blown in my face (and i forgot my glasses), and there were no trails.
but yesterday was nice ;)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Kragerø


View from our hotel room in the morning ;)

Every autumn the Norwegian junior national team hold a training camp were each of the ski gymnas send their best athletes. This year each gymnas sent 3 athletes and there were some more selected from last seasons results. In total 32 athletes. I was lucky enough to go as one of the NTG geilo athletes.
We were treated to possibly the best ever accommodation i have stayed in as an athlete. www.kragerospa.no It was a brilliant hotel with amazing spa facilities which we could use and our rooms with a nice view out over the sea. Anyway we weren't there for a good time we were there for training. The training was really good. It didnt differ much at all from what we have trained here in Geilo and not that much from how we train in the British team. Which is good to know we train just like the best train. There were 3 hard sessions planned for the camp, elghufs intervals, classic sprint race and an 11.5km skate test race. I did ok on the hard sessions, on the elghufs i couldnt keep with the front pace but i settled in nicely to the chase group. I had a rough day on the classic sprint intervals where i struggled in the head to head situation but still finished 7th in the prologue (the prologue is individual). In the test race i had an ok race and ended up being almost the "best of the rest". The race was won by 20 seconds then from 2nd place to 3rd a further 30seconds. So i finished 50 seconds down on the winner.
The hard sessions were good, but there were also many easy sessions. We used a nice road along the coast, that reminded me of some roads along the west coast in scotland, for our long rollerski sessions. And there was a forrest the other side of the resort area were we could go running. It was a perfect training environment.
The apartment i stayed in had 5 people in it.... 3 from here NTG Geilo and 2 guys from NTG Lillehammer. Over the coarse of 5 days i realized that each of the guys had there own "specially" ability. Markus - the uncanny ability to make any neat and tidy room a complete bomb site after being in it for 5 mins.
Ola Gunner - the only person i know who can spend over £5 on pik & mix claiming he "spent a lot of calories today"
Fredrik - can memorize the tune to any song and magically hum it randomly at any moment.
Petter - the limpet! In the test race he started in front of me, i caught him after a few km's but he just stuck behind me like a limpet and attached me at the end.

All together a fun few days with a great training atmosphere and a great experience.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Ice, rain, snow?

The weather here in Geilo is true autumn weather. We had a period of really cold overnights, as low as -7, leaving a nice thin lair of ice on the roads - perfect for roller skiing.

How to roller ski on ice. Pt 1 roller ski tuition
Remember watching bambi? well you feel like that. But with small gentle pushes and mainly relying on your poles to keep you up right it can be done. Skating that is. Classic is much more straightforward. Just dont kick because it wont help (no change from normal there then), dont go round sharp corners although you can do it you just feel like a rally driver when you start sliding. Again a good idea to use poles as balance aids in that situation.
Basically what im trying to say is dont do it.

After the cold period we have now received beautiful british autumn weather - constant rain.

How to roller ski in the rain. Pt 2 roller ski tuition
Roller skiing in the wet is remarkable like roller skiing in the dry with no obvious, clear dangers such as roller skiing in the ice. Apart from when you finish the session it looks like you have just got out of a swimming pool, it can be fun to do.
You have 2 options with roller skiing in the wet. 1) wear as little clothing as possible. - clothing only gets wet and keeps you cold. Skin repeals the water.
2) wear as much clothing as possible - waterproof jacket fends of the water and you stay dry and warm underneath. - you sweat so much it looks like you may as well just have not worn anything.
It is a good idea to invest in either mud flaps, heated floor or boot drier if you wish to make roller skiing in the wet one of your hobbies. Mud flaps can be made from a juice bottle costing 2.50NOK, heated floors can be found in most norwegian apartments and boot driers are for the few who have had the awful wet boot / day after syndrome.
Never Ever ask someone if you can borrow their boot drier. You will (as politely as is possible) be told where to (...) off to, and be told buy your own. And if you are scottish, no doubt some joke about being tight fisted will be thrown your way.
DO NOT do as some people have done and just remover a boot drier (no matter how dry the boots seem - they are NOT) from someones boots and put it in your own. That will have bad outcomes. Please note it is not from my own experience i have figured this out but from observing others.
In-between this rain and ice there has actually been some snow. A tiny a bit down here in Geilo, but at about 200 or 300m higher there is now a nice white covering. They actually had the snow cannons on at the alpine center here in Geilo but i have got now idea why. They turned them on when it was raining the ground was wet and when the forecast was for it to get to +7 later that day. So they produced a grand total of nothing, but never the less they were on!

Thats all for now, i will update you if i have anymore advice on how to roller ski in unfavorable weather conditions.