Saturday, 29 October 2011

More pics from Majorca

some pics from the final classic session that ended in the dark, and from the Sa Colobra hill climb.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Mallorca training camp

Thats right you read it correct. I was in Mallorca or Majorca (however you wish to spell it) for a training camp the past week. (Thursday to Thursday).
So why go to mallorca? Well basically its sunny, warm and dry. In Norway it is cold, wet, windy and icy, but there is no snow yet. So we go to Mallorca to get better training conditions before the winter.
Last week was the highest hours per week i will train all year, coming in and above 25 hours of training. The first day was a 5 and a half hour training day. I learned a lesson, EAT LOTS. In the second session i decided to go in the fast group which only consisted of 3 of us. Coming down the last long downhill back to our hotell on the beach one of the others went on the "smellen". Smellen is a norwegian word which directly translated means "the crash". But in sporting terms in means ran out of energy. The body starts to crash. Mats, who was on the smellen, was exhausted. He was paddling or using skate 1 on the downhills (skate 1 is a climbing technique). My self and Gjøran had to push him down the hill back towards the town. Luckily we bumped into one of the other groups at a junction 5k from the hotell. Øyvind, one of the coaches gave mats an energy gel. it helped mats for 2k then he had to be pushed back to the hotell.
After this, I took it upon myself to eat lots. When i say lots i mean lots. Dinner consisted of:
1st course
3 types of carbs, normally chips, rice and pasta with a cheese sauce. 1 helpin of protein, either chicken or pork,
2nd course
more chips, more pasta, more rice
3rd course
soup (had to buy drinks and seeing as im scottish i wasnt buying anything, so i had to have soup to get over my thirst)
3 or 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream, 3 or 4 plums, a pear and a banana or an orange.

Breakfast was a similar amount of food, with a cereal course, a cooked breakfast course and a healthy helping of cakes. I would fill my pockets with cakes and take them out training with me. I would try to eat 1 cake per hour of training. For lunch i would eat sandwiches with chocolate spread, some fruit and some cheese. But mostly the long lunch breaks were used for sunbathing and drinking masses.

Once i had sorted my eating to adapt to the higher than normal training load everything went smoothly. No problems with running out of energy anyway.
We had a few interval sessions down in Mallorca but there is not much to write home about there from my perspective. The shape or form, what ever you want to call it, wasnt great. I wasnt skiing that fast and had to really dig hard to stay with the front groups. But i got good training and there is plenty of time for the shape to come good with a quarter of a year before the world junior championships and norwegian junior nationals.
One of the intervals, a brutal 6x6min skate session, was up the infamous Sa Colobra. An epic mountain pass winding its way up from the sea to over 600m. It was a truly epic session, even if the speed and form wasnt there, they views were. And the road is a true masterpiece in itself, winding and cutting into the hill side, including a full 360 degree turn with a corkscrew effect into the mountain.
Appart from lots of skiing we took some running sessions on the beach and some strength training on the beach to the delight of all the middle aged German women, who watched on with eager eyes. I had always thought the old joke about Germans leaving their beach towels on the deck chairs to be a false and just a joke. But living in a hotel that was predominately germans i found it to actually be true. They would leave there towels on the chairs at about 10am and return every now and then for maxim of 1 hour spells. Then some Germas lady came a tried to steel all of our sun beds when some of the guys had gone for a swim in the sea! The cheek, its about time we invade them!
Anyway, enough ranting about germans, or actually not quite, some german driver nearly knocked me over when i was out roller skiing. So inconsiderate. But yes, we had some alternative training which included getting back on the road bikes, which i hadnt done in a while. We were going to have 3 bike sessions of various lengths, but within the first hour of the first session i had decided to check out the tarmac. Scraping my chin, leg and chest on the ground. I swore a lot, chucked my bottle on the ground, got back on the bike, complained a lot. But generally i got on with it. It ended up being a great ride, with a mountain pass in it too.
I think i have just about covered everything, appart from how litte traveled the group i am training with are. I noticed this from two things. Firstly, on the way out at security, one of the guys was adamant you had to get your camera out for security and was bricking it as he couldn't find his in his bag. I told him he didnt have to, he relaxed a bit. Then he got his bag stopped at the check. he thought it was his camera, but he had 4 litres of water in his bag.
And the second is that people claimed they didnt like the food. I have to say, that a home made meal is nice. But food from a 4 star hotell with a buffet, where they cook the meat on a grill so you can see and have a fresh salads and french bread, is nothing to complain about. But nearly everybody expressed a joy to be back in Norway eating norwegian food. Well i say to them, that they should look forward to the day when they are in some small european village in the alps, where fresh means from the last year, cooked means when you cant tell what vegetable it was, and every night is the same mystery meet stew. Half way through the camp the family dog disappears and the mystery meet has changed to something else. Milk means UHT, and the concept of fruit is lost.
Only then can you appreciate good food.

All for now.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Busy week

Just finished i busy week, or few days. Not in terms of training but in terms of Visitos! First of all i had my dad come out and visit it me. He stocked me up with suplies, and cooked me meal, and washed up. Nice to have a change with some else's cooking. He only stayed here for 2 nights before visiting one of the other guys on the team in Lillehammer for 2 nights, before going to Ramsau in Austria.
The day after my dad left, my friend Erik came to visit me for 2 days. We have the same coach, but seing as Erik lives down in Oslo and our coach lives up here in Geilo they dont see each other very often. So eriks plan was to take a training session with me on sunday before have a technique session and a meeting with Geir Endre today, monday. Things didnt quite go to plan. The weather forecast was for some cold weather, but no snow, maybe some sleet. We woke up on sunday to find the grass covered outside. We took a very long time to get up, hoping it would warm up and the conditions become favorable for roller skiing. As Eriks bed was in the living room/kitchen this consisted of him having breakfast i bed and me having breakfast lieing on the sofa. We would occasionally sit up to see if it had stopped snowing yet. At 10.30 we decided to head to the shops to get food for dinner. We arrived at the shop to find a post it note on the door changing the opening time from 10.30 to 11. By 11 the car park was full of cars sitting there waiting for the shop to open. Clearly there was nothing better to do yesterday. We bought about enough food to feed a small army.
After coming home and having one of the largest lunches ive ever eaten, we decided that we should probably go training now. Having seen some of the other guys out rollerskiing when we were at the shop, we could tell it was pretty miserable here in geilo, so thought we would be smart and drive down to the bottom of the valley, 400m bellow here. Half way down i commented that i thought there was more snow here than in geilo. A further 2k down and the road was white. Erik had winter tires on the car but clearly not everybody did. The trafic was at a standstill and the road conditions would have made it impossible to roller ski. So we headed back to Geilo. We went to the roller ski track. Did 1 minute and 8 seconds before deciding this was miserable. With our rollerskis covered in snow and our legs and feet all ready soaked we headed back and clocked up 3min and 16 seconds. Not exactly great when you are meant to be doing a 3 hour session. So we headed home got some shorts and went swimming. We did actually swim properly for about 1 hour, but with both of us in baggy shorts, and no goggles it wasn't exactly favorable training.
After that we came home, and the time being only about 4 o'clock, but both of us were starving so we ate out dinner that was actually enough food to feed about 100 people but we still ate it. I cooked us some brownies, and erik had bought ice cream so we even had dessert, wich isnt often.
The rest of the evening was spent slagging off, the norwegian weather forecast website and laughing at the fact we had trained 3min and 16 seconds. We contemplated telling people we were out for 3.16 and hope they made the connection to 3 hours and 16min.
In all seriousness, this is the problem that faces us in the Autumn. Yesterday i think we made the right call, the guys i saw out roller skiing weren't having fun. I feel it is stupid to risk it in snow and ice.
Today was a nicer day, but i trained inside, taking a running test on the treadmill and a strength session in the afternoon. There was still too much ice and Erik had to drop his technique session, and went back to oslo having accomplished next to nothing of what he set out to do.
The weather is meant to be nicer the next week before turning back to snow again in just over a weeks time, but then i am off to Mallorca for a training camp in the sun right before the winter comes.
I hope you have been more fortunate where ever you were this weekend.
All for now.