Monthly Archives: November 2004

Interesting by Craig Mottrams coach

“alot of athletes start training hard too soon after the season, before they are mentally ready”.

I could not agree more. There are two important points to this 1) the mental aspect. Even if you are hungry all year along, the attitude you get when you are always chasing new times (because you will be on a steady climb all prime training months along, instead of just as good shape in the autumn/fall as in the spring) cannot be relaced by the steady hard work. If you want exceptional results, you need an exceptional attitude – every single day of your prime training period.

Then you have the physical aspect. Training is really a matter of proper adaption. a) Proper, because you need to do things the most specific as possible. That means even within the running specific frame you need to make wise choices of that is proper. It may “feel” right on your muscular system to train alot at race pace – because you need to “get used to running on this kind of pace”, but on performance it can be a disaster because you do not get the proper internal adaption you need to really perform (like eg threshold running would on 5000 performance) b) Adaption because this is what brings your body to the next level of performance. If you are able to adapt, both mentally and physically all year that would have been great. But it is extremely difficult because you then tend to pleatue too early in the season and do not get the late winter “rush” you need to perform well in the spring transition going into the summer peaks. I like to always “feel like I am behind of the training scheduele, but not more than a week” 😉 That kind of attitude never lets of rest..

Training is going nice and steady at the moment. Because it has been very hard to run good sessions outside recently I have stayed at the treadmill at the top athletics center. Running a mix of longer and shorter intervalls nice and controlled. A little over a month and I will be going south for warm weather training again :))

From Oslo,

The need for speed…

to any athletes, whereas the endurance is the element where you can have the most improvement. That is 99% of athletes will get much, much better from just doing the endurance work better but at the ultimate end of this you will also have a limitation in the speed area (not speed endurance, but pure speed).

Problem with especially weight training, is that when you are very aerobic trainined and the muscular adaption is to long distance running you will in most cases experience a loss of endurance when doing so not only because of the local lactatic acid accumulation during that work but also because of a reduction in general circulation.

I have managed to a fair degree to balance this, with much help from Leif Olav but still it is very, very difficult to get it 100 % right.
It was much easier when I was a middle distance runner or a moderate long distance athletes. But when the margines are like now, you have absolutely nothing to lose from on the endurance side.

So we are spending some time this fall doing some easy drills to get into a pattern of training that may help this element without losing out on the other stuff. Quite interesting actually.

We started working on this back in 2001 and have been through many models. It will be fun data to look back on when I have more time to reflect over the last years work (maybe in a few years when it will all be gathered together). :)

Treadmill running again, as it was snowing quite hard yesterday. Which is fine sometimes in between the other sessions.

All well !


Snow, snow, snow!

the treadmills at the top athletics center have been out of order recently.

Though I have to say I dislike the Norwegian winters, it also brings certain benefit with it.

I spoke to Ingrid Kristiansen about it once. She claimed that it was maybe better to stay in the south-east areas of Norway during the winter (vs. west), as the winter conditions naturally made the running a bit slower so that you got a good progression towards the summer.

I have to agree with her. Spending time in the US, close to Indianapolis at University there, we had the “perfect” winters. Seasons, but very mild winters. However, I found it hard to get the real periodization there like I get here in Norway – especially when the Norwegian winter is alternated with training camps in warm conditions. Then you get really hard training while gone, and easy enough easy running on the more snowy surfaces in Norway. Plus a real booster in training when the spring sets in! Nothing like April and May in Norway when you feel the season getting closer :)

Not much news in training. Just doing the daily training like I should and getting in the mileage needed in between my studies.

From snowy Oslo!


Interesting on exercise physiology

Model. It is very, very interesting stuff – brings some freshness into the debate with its theories of limitations of performance for endurance athletes. Noakes is a South African medical doctor and one of the prime exercise physiologists in the world.

He makes a point about how those with the best running performance is acutally those with the best cornorary blood flow, the most economical heats plus the muscles with the greatest contractility and elasticity. This is regulated by a central governor in the brains motor cortex – that regulates so that the heart will not get anaerobic.

So he makes a point about how Vo2 max “is not the critical factor determining exercise performance”. Rather “it could be said that athletes heart and muscle strength and fatigue resistance enables them to run at a high speed;once the high speeds are reached athletes need a high rate of oxygen confumption (high Vo2 max). But the high rate of oxygen consumption does not create the ability to run fast – rather the high Vo2 max is the complex result of heart and muscle factors that determine the ability to run fast”

He has worked with many of the best South African marathoners and has done high class research on elite athletes over decades so his latest conclusions are quite interesting ; how the body regulates itself to avoid the heart from going anaerobic (resulting in collapse) rather than the muscles.

The fall is a good time to go into these things. Alot of research does not apply to daily training -most of it is done on just moderately trained and with too small groups (and many, many other factors playing in) but sometimes you find intersting stuff. And I believe, either way that it is important to have a general interst in these things to keep the flame alive. It gives you things to think about, and new challenges develop. You avoid the static by looking at running as a dynamic process.

Things are going fine with training. We still have no snow here in Oslo, so I can run my longer intervalls outside still. So I can run them with the Vidar group. Quite nice, I just run a bit longer and we take the recoveries together. Plus, Henrik will be in full practice again very soon so then we can do those sessions together again :) Another few weeks now with buildup before going up to maximum volume and load in January.

From Oslo,


Some reflections

to also get in the right mental mode.

It will be my seventh year on top level and it is very easy to fall into the same old pattern and rythms from previous years without really giving yourself a challenge. Therefore you need wakeup calls on the way. I am lucky because I have worked with and work with people who are very professional in their work. They know me and they know this aspect. Without these people pushing me, the way down to 13.20, 13.30 is very, very short. I have to be professional, not only in the planning and doing – but also mentally.

When I first started long distance running I had Per Halle working with me – and his own experience as a top runner made me hungry to reach where he once was. In my first season I managed 13.22 and the year after that I started working with Frank Evertsen. The attitude we developed during the years together was quite special. To put it quite simply, when I ran 13.09 I could not possible think that I would ever have a season where I ran slower.. it was forward, faster and stronger. It was the way and the only way. Much can be said of what happened in 2002 but either way when I speak to him I still get that attitude out right away. And it is a reminder of what is needed if you want running to go as fast as you want – and give you as much of a challenge as possible.

Two easy days this weekend :)


Back from Hareid:)

for the younger athletes.
They had managed to gather almost 150 kids from young age up to 19 on this small island outside of Aalesund on the Norwegian coast. Very well organized and must have been a huge inspiration for those young ones :) I can remember myself back then, one of the main things that kept me running (instead of just playing soccer/handball) was the social things around. And when time was ready for it, I commited but that was long, long after I started athletics originally.

Then on Saturday I did a small race up there, a local race that was held for the 24th year in a row. In absolutely beautiful weather and surroundings it was nice to get a nice float around. Though sore legs today after hammering down the last part there on asphalt :)
You can see a link to the race just below.

I will continue the same training path this week and hopefully get another few weeks with no snow..