I'm coming to the end of a two week block of training in Lillehammer. On Monday I'm going to altitude with the British team in Tignes.
Training back in Lillehammer has been fun. The weather has been awesome, and everything has gone to plan. During my first week back most skiers were still away or at home for the summer. So I trained a bit on my own and also with Andrew Musgrave. We trained a speed session together and a long running session. During our running session we got rather lost. I was out running for 2.45, i have since ran the loop we were trying to run in 1.30. So somehow we managed to get lost enough for over an hour. In our defence it was foggy. In my defence... it was completely Andrew's fault. He was clearly 180 degrees out. Anyway, after having ran up and down the same hill about 100 times an being completely certain we were going on a new trail but found our footprints going the other way, we found where we were. And we made it back to civilisation without much damage.
Living in Lillehammer it is impossible to go out training and not meet someone you know or someone to ski with. Completely by chance i have had headed out of town at the same time as other skiers 3 times this week and had a good sessions with them. During one session i got introduced to a new loop and new roads... after having lived here for a year i thought i knew the place... but clearly not. It was a really fun loop... mainly because of a 10min downhill. There weren't any bad corners and it was really high speeds in places.
An article came out this week in a local news paper. It reckons there are about 500 skiers who roller ski. Which maybe explains why I always end up meeting people out training. Anyway the article was about a local politician complaining about roller skiers going up and DOWN Nordseterveien. Nordseterveien is the road connecting the town to the Birkebeiner ski stadium and roller ski track. It is about a 400m height difference and the road has 3 hairpin bends. The article reckoned we reach 50kmph going down the road, which is the speed limit. The idea is to ban rollerskiing on the road and build a foot path beside the road that we have to use. It has caused a lot of talk amongst skiers in the town. It won't be done until next year... but even so nearly every skier i have talked to about it has complained. The first complaint is that rollerskis don't have breaks so if we go down a footpath with walkers, dogs and cars cross into drives or other roads we can't stop... on the road we have right of way and can carry on down to the bottom. The other complaint is that if they did ban rollerskiiing on the road they would have a world class facility at the top of the hill that nobody would use. I read a tweet the other day that said if Lillehammer was to be one of the major winter sports resorts in Europe then rollerskiing on Nordseterveien has to be tolerated.
Your can read the article here.... if your norwegian or google translate skills are up to scratch. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future...
I had a fun running session this week were I ended up running through some bogs, I knew i was running towards a boggy section but my memory was that it was only about 1km long from having skied that way in the winter. Turns out it is much longer than i remembered... and the bog sort of turns into a lake... I ended up sort of swim/wading may way across with mud up to my waist. It is a good job the washing machine works. I had forgotten how much washing i have to do when i'm training lots. Just about every other day it feels like i have a new load of washing of sweaty training tops, shorts and socks. Carrying washing up and down the basement is more tiring than the actually training.
Yesterday i had an interval session with Gjøran Tefre and a few other skiers. Gjøran was at NTG Geilo at the same time i was training there and he is now on the Norwegian Junior team. We are both still coach by Geir Endre so will probably end up training quite a bit together throughout the autumn and winter. The plan was 5x10min starting up the now infamous Nordseterveien and then finishing in the rollerski track. The first two went quite nice and controlled before we came to the track. The last 3 the speed was a bit higher as the terrain was more varied with flats, downs and ups instead of the constant uphill on the road. We started as a group of 5 but after 3 we were down to a group of 4. Me, 2 junior and a biathlete... I was not particularly happy that 2 juniors and a biathlete had managed to keep up (in all fairness the biathlete is a senior). So on the last interval i put in a dig on the toughest climb on the loop. Gjøran kept up and we dropped to two others. The long descent afterwards let everyone come back together, however. We had a really good session and for my part everything worked as it should... even if they did all manage to keep up... it's on snow that counts anyway!
This morning i trained strength at Haakons Hall. I was the first person in the Gym and awaiting me beside the lifting platform was a mouse. Pulling a mental blank and forgetting the norwegian word for mouse i took a picture on my phone and showed it to the guys working at reception... a quick drop of 5kg disc ended the poor things journey into the weightlifting world. The guy from reception was so pleased with him self for having killed it before he realised it meant he had to wash to floor, the 5kg disc and get rid of the body.
This afternoon i have my last session before the camp as i have a rest day tomorrow.