Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Kia Fjällmaraton 43K

Kia Fjällmaraton from Vålådalen to Trillevallen was my first fell race in Sweden. It’s a beautiful course that goes through three peaks: Ottfjället (1265m), Hållfjället (900m), and Välliste (1025m). Total climb on the 43K course is 2100m. The profile is fairly gentle and nice compared to European mountain races but this time the wet weather made it pretty tough and challenging. Mud was expected but what surprised me was the amount of duckboards. They may be okay to run when dry but awfully slippery when wet. And the layer of mud on top of it acted as lubricant. I thought I had right shoes for wet conditions but realized soon that it wasn’t the case. I had absolutely no grip whatsoever on those wet wooden paths and chose to run aside in marshes. It was definitively better but tough.

I had an ok start but could feel some tiredness in my legs early on (that tempo run a few days ago wasn’t such a good idea after all). I try to take the first long climb up to Ottfjället as easy as possible. There are many other orienteers along and it's fun to meet with friends I didn’t know were running. I climb up Ottfjället with Lilian Forsgren, a Swedish national team orienteer from Tisaren. But then in the first descent she disappears quickly. It’s wet, muddy, and slippery and I’m struggling big time while trying to keep balance on the way down. My shoes have no grip in the mud and I’m sliding wildly. For me mud is much more challenging than rocky alpine paths. I fall a few times before I decide to take it cautiously instead of risking. After all I want to run the whole thing and don’t want to get hurt. Elin Dahlstedt-Tysk, a former national team orienteer and an old friend from Lidingö, catches me on the way down and I continue running with her. It’s good to chat with a friend. She reminds me why we are here and I forget my frustration over the mud for a while. According to route description there should be nice views on the way down but it’s so foggy that I don’t see a thing.

Down in Nordbottnen is the first drink station at 15,6K. I’ve already taken one energy gel in the top of Ottfjället and here I grab a piece of energy bar before I continue. Next we climb up Hållfjället. It’s steeper but shorter than the first climb to Ottfjället. After the steepest climb comes a plateau with another drink station at 19,2K before the last short climb to the top. Here they serve air-dried meat and thin bread deli chips. I take a slice of dried meet and it tastes heavenly. Lilian (who had stopped earlier to help a friend) and Elin come right after and pass the station much quicker. I’m still chewing my thin bread chip but try to hurry up and catch Lilian as she runs off. But she’s fast and there are already a few runners between us. I follow her from distance and reach the summit at 21K just half a minute later. But then again in the descent she vanishes quickly and I need to focus in my steps. It feels like the descent from Hållfjället down to Ottsjö takes all my strengths. Downhill is supposed to be the easy part but I feel defeated. Once again, there should be magnificent views over the lake Ottsjön but all I see is mud.

After Ottsjö at 28K I more or less give up. 5h time goal doesn’t seem to be within my reach anymore and it hits me hard. I continue but there’s no drive anymore. I lose whole 20min on the last climb up to Välliste and a few positions too. It’s unbelievable how much time you lose after you give up trying. To my defense my legs and abs were cramping, making it impossible to push. After reaching the top of Välliste at 38K I thought the worst was over. Just 5K down, how hard can it be? But the last descend is the worst. The path is ok and nothing compared to previous two descents but with cramping abs it’s nearly impossible to run down. I lose 5min and one position on the way down but there’s nothing I can do. I just have this awful pain in my tummy and it is only afterwards I realize that it was my cramping abs. I finish 15th with the time 5:10. Gutted to lose so much in the end. It leaves you with an empty feeling. I had really hoped to go under 5h but the conditions made it quite hard. Feels like I have still loads to learn and improve before I can call myself a mountain runner.

Anyway, if I forgot to mention, Swedish fells are indeed incredibly beautiful and on the top of Välliste the sky actually cleared up for a while and the views were pretty nice. Even if I had a bad day the event itself was great and the atmosphere was very nice and relaxed.

Pictures taken from organiser's site (fjallmaraton.se).

Climb up to Ottfjället


One top reached, two more to go
Body language tells it all

Laughing to my own clumsiness
Not my best day on fells but still worth a smile




Friday, 30 June 2017

Marathon du Mont Blanc 42K

There's something special with long mountain races. I can’t really put my finger on it but they are unique, beautiful, and challenging races with very special atmosphere and most often held in gorgeous places with amazing views. Once you get hooked there’s no turning back.

Mont Blanc marathon was my third mountain race but it was almost two hours longer than those that I’ve done before so it was in another level and I really didn’t know how my body or mind would cope with it. Also the week leading to it was far from optimal and I felt quite weak and insecure before the race. I had flu earlier in the week and hadn’t really got my strengths back. And then just a few days before the travel I got news that my grandmother had passed away and after that I felt like I’d lost all my mental strengths too. I was hesitant whether to travel there at all but I’m glad I did. When you throw yourself into something with full heart and then somehow find strengths to survive from it, you realize that you are actually much stronger than you thought. It gives you perspective, appreciation, and strengths to cope with whatever troubles you may face in life.

Race started at 7am in the middle of Chamonix. We were too many, the streets were narrow, and it was quite chaotic. I was far back in the pack and there were hundreds of slower runners in front of me but I tried not to stress. There was nothing I could do before we came off from the town. After a kilometre streets changed into a trail and I could pick up the pace and start to overtake slower runners. It took while and quite a lot of energy before I found my place in the group and could settle in before the first climb.

Climb to Lavancher (1248m) at about 6k was still quite gentle. Some people started to walk but I ran the whole way. After Lavancher there was a fairly nice flat stretch to the first drink station in Argentiere (1257m) at about 10k. There I realized why I needed to carry a cup. You don’t get anything if you don’t have a cup. Ecological, I understand, but no one told me that! My cup is deep down in my backpack that I have tied tightly around me with no intension of opening it unless in case of emergency. But they have strict ‘no cup, no drink’ policy, so I just pass the station and take a sip from my own hydration pack.

Then we climb up to Coldes Montets at 1465m before descending back to Vallorcine at 1260m. I’ve run the whole way but try to take it steady before the big climb that is waiting for us after the second drink station at 18k. There I stop for the first time, open the ropes of my backpack and search for the cup. Elated I show it to the officials and get it immediately filled. I grab some food too. Now is the time to eat whatever you can get in because we are about to climb almost 1000 vertical meters during the next 6k. That is probably the hardest part of the course and I approach the climb very humble.

I tramp along in the line and settle in for the tempo that people around me are keeping. I feel like I could push a bit harder but I rather spare my strengths than put extra energy in overtaking others. I reassure myself that it’s better to be in a group that is a little too slow for you than being in a group that is slightly too fast. Climb goes well and surprisingly easily. It’s still foggy and rainy and we don’t see much when we reach the top of Aiguilles des Posettes at 2201m. I raise my hands in the air and yell aloud. Runners around me look astonished but I think it’s worth a yell since it’s the highest point of the course and the worst seems to be over. I get an SMS from Sami who tells me the same. The worse is over now. I smile and continue.

Next comes a long descent that is very rocky and technical, especially when wet, and our line stops moving. Some of my fellow runners get really scared and start to walk. I get a bit irritated when the line is not moving. It feels like a waste of time. It’s downhill, it’s free, why aren’t we running? But since it’s foggy and wet, it feels like risking your life in every overtaking. But after a while I get bored and gradually I start to pass slower runners whenever there’s a chance. There are a few stretches between the groups where I can run freely and it’s amazing. I’ve never been very good at descents but now it feels like I’m flying and I’m really enjoying it. We come down to the valley again and I realize that I’ve forgotten to eat. I don’t feel hungry but I try to follow my plan to eat something in every 45min or so.

We pass the village of Le Tour and there are lots of people cheering on the streets. Bravo Riina! Super! Allez Riina allez! Hyva Suomi! Yksi, kaksi, kolme. It’s hard not to smile when you hear it. I’m surprised how great I feel. After all, we’ve been out for 3,5h and climbed about 1700m.

We come to the drink station at 30k and I notice that my hydration pack is almost empty. I know that the rest is mostly upward and it’s hot so I need to stop and take off my backpack once more to get it filled. It takes a while to do that but it’s definitively worth it. I take a few pieces of banana, some crackers, and a handful of salted cashews before heading off to another 300m climb. After climbing up to Le Bechar at 1691m we descend back to the valley at 1400m before the final climb towards the summit finish in Planpraz at 2016m.

It’s getting harder now and I’m feeling more and more tired but it I’m able to keep going all the way up to the last drink station in La Flégère (1865m) at about 38k before my quads start to cramp. I’ve been surprised how well my body has taken it all up to that point. I’ve felt strong and on the last climb I’ve passed about 40 runners so I’m not ready to give up. At La Flégère I stop for the last time, take some salted nuts and coke, and try to shake my quads a bit before I continue. It works and I’m able to continue running. 

The last stretch from La Flégère to Planpraz is fairly nice and runnable with beautiful views of Mont Blanc range and Chamonix valley below. It’s been cloudy, rainy, and foggy most of the way but just when we reach this beautiful balcony path the clouds disappear and the breathtaking views open up. It’s hard to describe but I feel incredibly good considering the exhaustion. Suddenly it’s all very clear. Not just the view but my mind too. Obviously I’m tired and exhausted but I feel alive and happy. I’m still a few kilometres from the finish line but I’ve beaten my demons and I know that I’m going to finish the race. I’m even able to speed up a bit and pass a few more runners before the finish. I reach the finish line far behind women’s winner Megan Kimmel but I feel like a winner nevertheless. After all, I’ve beaten the course and I’ve beaten myself. It’s just a bonus to be 17th among senior women and 22nd overall.

If you read this far you may also want to check this video clip from the event!

Room with a view
Summit finish looming behind the clouds

Start of the race on the day before

An hour before the start. Getting crowded.. 

Summit finish in Planpraz at 2016m















Long last kilometre...
Views in the finish

Made it!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Trail racing

Last week I ran my first trail races of the year. First Milspåret 10K race around Djurgårdsbrunnsviken on Thursday evening, and then Lida Löparfestival 18K trail race in Lida Naturreservat on Saturday morning. They both were wonderful events in beautiful settings. Milspåret wasn’t really categorised as trail race but it went mostly on undulating gravel road in beautiful milieu so it certainly felt like one. And all of this in the hearth of Stockholm, just a few kilometres from the main railway station. Pretty amazing.

I had just run Kungsholmen Runt a few days earlier and didn’t know what to expect from Milspåret. Usually you get very focused on your time in 10K races but it was obvious that it wasn’t going to go faster than in Kungsholmen, rather the opposite. So I couldn’t expect a better time. But it was indeed a beautiful course and a gorgeous summer night, so I just thought to have fun and enjoy it.

I started off at my normal 10K pace but noticed quickly that the sand under the feet was quite soft and loose and it was difficult to push hard without a good grip. The undulating course profile didn’t help much either. I saw early on that I was among the top three women but after a few kilometres I had to let those two girls in front of me go if I wanted to survive the second lap. We did two laps around Djurgårdsbrunnsviken and I wanted to do a faster second lap. At least that was the plan. But it seldom goes as you plan.

First lap went fairly easily but already in the first hills of the second lap I could literally feel Tuesday’s hill reps in my quads and had to slow down a bit and let a lady who had been on my heels for a while to pass me. She was pushing really hard and suddenly I was far behind her. I just wanted to spare my legs to the end. After passing the hills on the second round I gradually picked up the pace again and started to close the gap between us. I had just reached her at 9K when she glanced over her shoulder and accelerated. I was really struggling to keep up with her at the end and it wasn’t before the final hundred meters before I knew I could pass her. I crossed the finish line just a few inches ahead but got the third place. I don’t know how I did it. It’s amazing how you can find some extra power in your legs at the end of a race that you didn’t know existed. I’m just grateful to see that I’ve found back something that I thought I had lost for good.


Views along the route
Start and finish by the Maritime Museum 
One lap to go (Spårvägens FK)















A few days later it was time for Lida Löparfestival, a longer trail race in Lida Naturreservat in Tullinge. You could choose distances from 8K to 89K. I chose 18K, which was one long loop in the forest. It was very runnable and incredibly beautiful course on heavily undulating trails. Steep hills made it tough and I could feel it early on in my quads but somehow I managed to ignore the pain and ran a decent race very close to the men's winner. I started offensively and ran the first two kilometres behind the two top men. But they pushed hard in the hills and after a while I couldn't keep up with them anymore. Then I was on my own for some kilometres until a third guy came and passed me just before the half way mark. After the drink stop at 9K I perked up a bit and decided to push harder in order to keep the third guy in sight. After a while there was an easier stretch where I managed to close the gap between us inch by inch. At 13K I caught up with him but he left me again in the next hills. I was able to close the gap one more time but then he pushed hard the last 5K and I wasn’t able to follow. I kept seeing him until the end but had no chance catching him in the hills. Anyway I was happy to finish as first lady not too far behind the fastest guys. 

These trail races were not only great confidence boost but also perfect steps in my transition from roads to mountains. Especially Lida with its brutally steep ascents. None of the hills were very long but they were definitively steep enough to induce the burning sensation in my legs that I must be prepared to endure for a long time in the Alps. It’s clear I need a few more rounds of Väsjöbacken. Back to hill work then!


18k of Lida wasn't as painful as it sounds like (lida=suffer)
Floating sauna and first dip of the year 
Thrilled about the swim

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

From road to mountains

After Paris marathon I just put my road shoes aside for a while and tried to find my inner orienteer again. First I gave myself two weeks rest and recovery but did a few jogs in the woods just for my soul. I really love walking and running around in the woods and I missed that a lot during my marathon training.

Three weeks after Paris was Tiomila, the highlight of the spring for orienteers. I was probably more nervous than ever before since I hadn’t practiced orienteering during the winter and only had time for a few rounds in the woods with a map before the race. I had hoped to get a technically “easier” leg to be able to maximize my running capacity and to get some help with orienteering. However, I wasn’t convincing enough, and got a second leg. I did a controlled run technically, with only a few small mistakes, but I was far too defensive to match the best ones on my leg. I really enjoyed the run and the beautiful terrain of Partille but felt like I did too little. I just lacked the confidence to push hard and I was barely exhausted after the run. My teammates Rebecka, Johanna, Julia, and Hilda were terrific and our newly formed team had good chances to a top20 position but unfortunately we had some bad luck on the last leg and had to retire. We’ll be back in Venla!

After Tiomila I started my training towards Mont Blanc marathon. The closer it comes, the more horrified I become. It will be like a jump towards unknown. I have absolutely no idea how (or if) I’m going to survive there and how to approach the race. It will be very different from everything I’ve done before and I’ve never done a race that long and challenging. I did Jungfrau marathon in 2012, which is probably the most challenging race I’ve done and the closest thing to Mont Blanc, but the first half of Jungfrau was on road, which made it significantly faster. Jungfrau was a bit over 4h race for me, whereas Mont Blanc will probably take around 6h or more. I really don’t know. But I do know that it will be more or less like an ultra race for me, almost like a double marathon. It really makes me humble.

The crucial elements in my preparation will be hills and overlong long runs. The more hours I spend on hills and in rough terrain, the better. So now I’m back in my element again, running on trails and in terrain. I just love it and it suits me better than the roads. However, in order to retain some speed in my legs I decided to run a few shorter road races just for fun. Last weekend I took part to Kungsholmen Runt 10k run, which was absolutely brilliant. It was beautiful weather, great atmosphere, and a nice course around Kungsholmen. First half was almost flat and I clocked it fairly easily in just under 20min. The second half was tougher with several climbs, sharp turns, and gravel, which made it impossible to keep a steady pace. I lost a bit but managed to run the whole thing in 40:50, which is one of my fastest 10k runs in Stockholm. I was probably in better shape just before Paris but after all problems with the pollen allergy during the past weeks I was very happy to do a sub 41min 10k. Now time for some hill reps!


Excitement of getting back to green pastures (Photo: Sami Takaluoma)

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Marathon de Paris

Ever since my first road marathon in Valencia in 2012 my aim has been to beat 3h. On my first try I didn’t have a goal, I just went and run on feeling. No time goal, just running for the experience. Plan was not to push before 30k and enjoy the race. That’s what I did and it went ridiculously easy. I ran 42,2k in 3:01:11. My official time was a few minutes slower (3:03:21) due to some zigzagging on the way and thus a longer distance (42,6k). Anyway I was within sub 3h schedule up to 37k, which made me think that with a bit of training I could easily run it some minutes faster. Now I’m not that convinced about the easiness anymore.

After Valencia I’ve had a few tries and a few failures. A year later I ran Florence marathon in 3:06:41, which was obviously a huge disappointment. Maybe the route there was slightly slower due to sharp turns and cobbles but I also went off too fast in the beginning. I was a minute ahead of my target in the half way and ran out of energy much earlier. I managed to run 30k within sub 3h schedule but lost loads on the last 12k. I realized that the key to a good finish time on a marathon is a steady pace.

After Florence I haven’t really had a chance to beat my goal before now in Paris. Last two years I’ve struggled with injuries and haven’t got to the start line uninjured, so getting there in one piece was already an achievement. Training towards Paris wasn’t smooth and unproblematic but at least I managed to get to the start line. I had some niggles on the way but reacted fast and cut my long runs short when needed. I just tried to avoid risks at all costs. My longest training run was 32k so I wasn’t sure how I would survive the last 10k. Still, I was quite confident because I knew I had trained better and more marathon-specific than before and I was in fairly good shape.

I did the preparations as well as I could but some things you just can’t control. For instance, when I went to pick up my bib number the day before, there was an unexpected stop in the underground and I got to walk some extra miles just because the train wasn’t working. Not optimal, especially when my morning run had already been a few kilometres too long, and the Italian restaurant, where we went for dinner, was also further away than I had hoped. Nevertheless, I was feeling good and optimistic when standing on the start line.

Starting at Champs-Élysées with Arc de Triomphe in the background was pretty amazing. I ran the first half controlled and steady in 1:29:08, just as planned, with all four 5k splits within 10 seconds. I was still feeling quite alright at that point but I was sweating heavily. The weather was well over +20C and just getting warmer and warmer the longer we got. After doing most of my training in sub zero temperatures I just couldn’t handle the heat. I believe it became harder than it should have because of the weather and therefore I burned more energy early on than necessary. I wasn’t able to replace the liquid and salts I lost through sweating and I started to faint after 25k.

Sami was yelling at me euphorically at 28k, just before the Eiffel, but it didn’t help. He was sure I was going to beat my goal but I knew I wasn’t. I was just getting slower and there was nothing I could do. I was able to hang in there for 30k but not further. The remaining 12k were really painful with stomach cramps and empty legs. 3:00 pacers passed me around 35k but I couldn’t accelerate. I tried but nothing happened. I just watched them to vanish in the horizon. During the last 10k I was constantly thinking about quitting so I’m kind of proud that I didn’t. I finished 52nd among 10339 women. When you put it like that it doesn’t sound too bad. However, my time 3:06:37 was 6:38 slower than I had hoped for, but when you change to jogging the minutes pass fast. I was really looking forward to not having to train for another marathon but now I may need to postpone that. Oh dear.

Whether I continue with marathons remains to be seen but right now I’m enjoying the recovery and looking forward to get back to trails and forests! After all it’s there my hearth lies. I have learned to like the simplicity of road running and the easiness of seeing progress and measuring yourself but in my hearth I’m still an orienteer. 

For the vibes, check out this video

Pont Alexandre III 
Sunrise over Seine
French breakfast

Exciiiiited!
Less springy legs today



Finisher t-shirt!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

A week in the sun

Recently I wrote about strategies how to cope with the winter as a runner and then escaped from it myself. Ironic, I know, but after a fair amount of compromises and small niggles I just couldn’t stand it anymore and headed to Fuerteventura for a week’s warm weather training camp. Our base was at Las Playitas, a wonderful well-equipped sports centre in the southeastern corner of the island, that I knew from previously would serve me well even if I faced some problems. On holidays I seldom want to go back to places where I’ve been before and rather seek for new places to explore. However, when it comes to training, it’s different, and it actually feels good to go back to a place that you know has got everything you need (see my comprehensive description of Playitas here)

















My week was more or less a replay from last year. It was funny to see flashbacks from my own Facebook updates from exactly the same dates a year ago. It was like a tailored-made training plan. Just when I was about to go for a long ride the pictures from last years’ ride jumped into my face. Again, I gathered about 20h and 230km in a week, of which 80km cycling and nearly 150km running, and over 4000m vertical climb. For me it’s like two weeks training squeezed in one week. And the best of it was that it all came like nothing. In addition to actual training I took part to some morning yoga sessions and climbed about 720 stairs a day (that being part of living in the upper most house of the resort).



So here is roughly what I did. It was important for me to get a proper long run and I also wanted to get a longer tempo run and long intervals. Hill reps were a nice bonus. To play safe I took one day off from running and spent it in the saddle.

Day 1: A short jog on the hills after a long travel. Can’t describe the feeling of running in shorts and t-shirt again!

Day 2: Easy off-road run on the hills in the morning with some strides and 5x1600m intervals on the red carpet in the evening.

Day 3: 18km progressive run in the morning and 2km swimming in the evening. 

Day 4: 13km tempo run in the morning, then an easy off roader on hills in the afternoon, followed by a strength workout. 

Day 5: A day off from running. Just a short morning jog to the nearest hilltop before the sunrise, then a massive breakfast and a long ride on the mountains. Some relaxing swimming in the evening.



Day 6: 5x6min hill reps of varying length and steepness, followed by some short sprints. Quads were dead from the ride and some of the climbs felt too steep. I dig in but it wasn’t pretty. Some easy running and core exercises in the evening.

Day 7: Long run. I had my doubts about 32km on top of the week but it was pure enjoyment. Amazed that my legs didn’t protest. Very happy. 

Day 8: Last run to the lighthouse, 13km. Had thought about taking the ridge back to the village as suggested but it looked quite rough and I didn't have proper trail shoes. There were also dark clouds hanging low so I started to hesitate. I was tempted but at the same time it all looked very alarming and so I decided not to take the adventure this time. Instead I just ran the road down and when the first drops came I was quite happy about it. Coward, yes, maybe, but I just felt like acting sensible for once. I had a long day of travel ahead and I kind of wanted to feel reasonable fresh for it. Just avoiding risks at all costs. Next time…

 



Friday, 27 January 2017

Winter training challenges

There are many challenges with winter training. First there’s too much snow, then it’s too cold, and finally there’s ice everywhere. Having a proper winter is not a problem, it’s the constant temperature changes that make it unbearable. Like here in Stockholm. There’s almost never enough snow for cross-country skiing and nearly always too icy to run. What a perfect combination! Sometimes the weather is indeed excellent for ice-skating on lakes but it seldom lasts very long due to sudden temperature raises and rainy days. On the other hand the ice-cover seems to last forever on roads and trails. So here I’ve gathered some tips how to keep on the good work despite the nasty weather.

Studded shoesIf you want to keep on training outside through the winter you should at least have is a good pair of studded shoes. It’s the only way to keep on running safely outside. A pair of skis or skates is a nice extra, but seems like a waste of money if the opportunities are few. Getting studded wheels to your bike is probably a better investment, especially if you are commuting to work with a bike. Sometimes, when the conditions are really crappy, the best idea is to stick with indoor activities.

Indoor training is not really my cup of tea but I’ve learned the hard way that it’s a smart thing to do when the conditions outside are what they are. To keep it interesting, plan your trainings in advance and vary them. Do different types of intervals and hill reps and change between the sports. That way it’s easier to stay motivated and get the work done.

Entertainment. Music and TV will help too. Some people watch movies while they train indoors, I personally prefer music or sports on TV. For me it has to go fast and have a good rhythm while I’m doing my intervals. Choose your favourite songs in advance to fit in with your workout, just like on spinning classes. It makes it so much easier!

Indoor track. Best option for indoor running is an indoor track. Your stride on track is more natural than on treadmill. Track is at the same time soft but firm and an excellent surface to run. Unfortunately it’s a luxury that is seldom available for everyone. Many indoor tracks are only for club runners and the rest of us have to settle for a treadmill. One way to get a chance to run on an indoor track is to enter to a race. That’s what I did. Never before have I had courage to race on track but now I was desperate to get a good race pace tempo session done and there was no way to do it outside. So I went and ran a 3000m track race despite the fact that I was far off from my PB. Self-five!

Intervals. Good workouts on treadmill are intervals. My personal favourites are short 30-60s intervals, for example 20x45sec. Longer intervals such as 5x5min or 6x4min work too but longer intervals or continuous tempo runs are just horrible and time seems to stand still. A minute on treadmill can feel like an eternity. Two of my most hated treadmill workouts of the winter have been 3km intervals and an 8km tempo run. On the other hand, a half-long brisk steady run is definitively better than a sluggish long run because the overall time is shorter and your posture and stride remains better at slightly faster pace. Slow jogging on treadmill is just not worth doing. If you want to keep it slow and easy then it’s probably better to jump on a crosstrainer or bike.

Combination workouts. The remaining workout is the long run. It’s definitively the most challenging workout in the winter. It’s monotonous and extremely boring on a treadmill and outside in sub-zero temperatures your legs start to freeze and grow numb at latest after 90min of running. After that the risks overweigh the benefits and there’s no use to continue. Also running on icy roads longer than 90min is definitively a risk factor. For an orienteer or a trail runner I would recommend running in terrain instead of roads and if there’s too much snow or too cold then I would suggest 2h spinning or some other alternative training. For a runner training for a marathon I would suggest combination workouts, for instance 90min cycling, followed by 60min running. After the ride your legs are already slightly fatigued and you get the benefits of a long run without the risk of getting crazy or injured.

Be flexible. Also, last but not least, be flexible. You can postpone your workouts if required. Better to do it well than to force it through the worst snowstorm. Remember that continuity overweighs any singular workout. Look at the big picture.


The day you had your long run scheduled...