Norwegians. 1000 meters (well, Africa 1000s, you never know how long it actually is..) right up by the train tracks 5 minutes jog from where we stay. Normally one would expect that some time is needed between the travel and the hard training but the travel down here is close to perfect ; leaving from Oslo at 19 (7 pm) and landing in South Africa the next morning at 8.50 am. So you can do two good training both the day of leaving and arriving. With some good sleep on the place that leaves you pretty fresh for immediate hard sessions. It “feels” long to travel here but going to Portugal was actually much more “tiring” with getting up very early and missing training going down + home.
On the way here I met the former coach of 04 Olympic rowing champ Olaf Tufte, who is up in Belfast – 20 minutes drive from here training. Interesting talk with him, who is now a coach for the Olympic team “Olympiatoppen”. He came directly from China where he had checked the Olympic places, through Frankfurt so felt like he had been travelling forever. The rowers have been very successful through the years and have adopted a very aerobic training regime (mixed with bouts of harder training) with a supercomp in the summer for maximum peaking.
Today is day three up here so a bit more heavy (those natural variations almost always hit it..) but fine for some longer repeats that I did this morning. Going up to the small town north of Dullstrom where most of the workers live pluss some on the side of the road where you have the same nice,soft “vulcanic” mud that you have other places in Africa.
For a fun story on Africa and racing up here, click on the article below written by Olli Pekka, the coach up here 🙂 He is the one organizing things here but has also been a very successfull distance coach – coahing Carsten Joergensen to 2750s in the 10000 and European cross gold medal.