11 January 2012

Real Winter

The holidays were perhaps not as merry as I hoped: I managed to get ill, twice in fact. I haven't been sick in a long time, so this wasn't very usual. Any kind of illness is a menace, even if there are no evident symptoms; this was the case with me. It's like I wasn't really ill, but I didn't feel whole either. It was more sensible to lay off exercises and try alternative treatment. Anyway, this shook my trainings quite a bit, but fortunately I didn't get hopelessly sick and recovered well. Basically I had two weeks with a good beginning, the emphasis being on strength trainings. But both of the weekends, when I didn't feel well, were very scattered and necessary training components were cancelled.

Since I felt fit as a fiddle the next week, I had my planned training camp in Evertsberg, Mora. The idea was to emphasize endurance on that week. Talk about great training conditions and a real winter! I had longed for awesome ski trainings for some time already and finally had the opportunity to do it. Besides the very enjoyable tracks in Älvdalen, I had 46 km of Vasaloppet's tracks going one way and 44 km the other way. No matter which way I started going, I always had to climb a long way back... All the trainings in six days were something I was really looking forward to. It's not like I have roads where I can run uphill continuously for 20 minutes back home... What an amazing and unforgettable week it was!

Also, I did some scouting for the upcoming EOC: I visited two official training terrains. Although there was snow, the layer of it wasn't thick enough to really obstruct running, but it was a bit more difficult physically and also technically. I hadn't taken the opportunity of running there into consideration before, so I didn't have any compass with me, which made it more complicated. Adding the "shock" of fine and demanding orienteering in the middle of winter = lots of fun (and mistakes)! The demanding terrains affirmed that the Championships will be something to really look forward to. It's going to be a really fast and unmerciful competition, where no mistake will be left unpunished.
Vika, where I had no major problems and felt secure, resembles the finals terrain. Map.
Gesunda looks more like the qualification area, where I imagine that big mistakes will be made. It might look easy and fast, but the diffuse slopes can make even a professional lose several necessary minutes. And it's pretty difficult to catch up again. Map.
All in all, one must not lose in sheer running speed and must be able to be in control all the way. The best will win!

Next week, as traditionally, Nike Winter XDream 8!

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