Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Get Your Vert

In May we enjoyed an early summer weather. It was sunny enough to make running feel hot. Luckily it was also warm enough for a quick refreshing dip in one of the hundreds of lakes around. The water in lakes is already 18C, which is pretty unusual in May.

My training focused on accumulating vertical ascent, not horizontal distance like before. Swiss Irontrail involves 11.5K vertical. I figured it out by finishing T201 last year that if I cannot do at least the same amount of climbing in one whole training month, the race will certainly eat me alive - shorts and all. Get your monthly vert or DNF - the choice is yours!

I don't care about collecting horizontal 'junk miles' any more. I simply stay on my feet all day to make my legs stronger. For example I'm writing this blog post standing up, not sitting down.

I did six all-day trips to Nuuksio National Park for on/off trail running. The park is only an hour away from Helsinki and absolutely fab. Not surprisingly, the marked trails were filled with hikers, immigrants and tourists. By going off-trail I was able to enjoy wilderness solitude in Barkley Marathons type of terrain. In other words it was unforgiving terrain where every step felt like a challenge.

I also did 6x Vertical K in Malminkartano 'Jättäri' - the biggest skyrunning hill in Helsinki. There are always people training there these days and the steep Fasaaninousu trail is wider than ever. After a while it gets a bit boring to do 16 repeats of the same hill for every 1000 meters of ascension. On the other hand, having done 100x ascents in one session a few years ago helps mentally.

My May total climbing in running sessions was 10300 meters. Then there is a little extra climbing for climbing stairs, cycling around the town, bouldering and frequent indoor workouts at the climbing gym. I don't record those, but I'm pretty sure that my body gets its money's worth.

It will be an interesting June, July and August this year. Each month has great challenges for me, but more about that later.

See you at trails and races!

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