This weekend I raced the 3000 meter in the European Cup at the Nadderud Stadium in Norway. The field was very strong with Mouhrit, ex.Marrocco now Belgium (7.32/12.58) who won the World Cross Country Championships this spring and Diaz of Spain, a…
3.31 1500 meter runner. The race started very slow. I had discussed with one of my close advisors, Per Halle, before the race about race tactics. We agreed on staying behind and relaxing up to the 1800 meter mark, and then gradually build up for a 400 m. sprint finish. This tactic worked perfect. With 1400 meter to go I advanced to 2nd place and with 1200 I took the lead. The pace then gradually got faster the next two laps, with lap times dropping from 66 to 61 and 60. With one lap to go, Diaz and Mouhrit was still there. Diaz kicked hard with 200 meter to go and I tried to go with him. Mouhrit did the same. Diaz got a few meters when he passed me, and it was difficult to close that gap. But when I saw Mouhrit coming on my shoulder I realized that this was a chance to beat a great runner. So I kept on pushing and kicking down the straightaway and finished 8/100 of a second in front of Mouhrit with a 8.02 for second place. The last 1500 meters was right around 3.44. I was very happy with it because such a tactical affair is something I am not used to. Usually I have to run as hard as I can the whole race just to keep up. I learned a great deal from it, and it was another experience that will help me run well in a tactical race in Sydney.
On the 8th of June I set a new Norwegian and Nordic record in the Florø Grand Prix. The old Norwegian record was from 1974 and the old Nordic one from 1979. Before the race I had 7.47.66 and did not really think about any records. Knut Kvalheim, who…
had the old record, is a legend in Norwegian long distance running, and taking the last of his records was not even in my thoughts. But the week before I had some really good workouts. The altitude stays in Kenya started to work, and I was running faster then ever on my long, hard Mr.Coe Vo2 max sessions (I hate those session, but they work great!).
The pacemaker Stokes passed the 1200 meter in 3.06. I was right on pace at the 1500 meter, passing it in 3.52. But at that stage I was starting to feel it. My breathing felt great, but I had only raced once on the track and my legs were getting hammered in the 12 degrees C weather. I lost focus for a lap, but at 2000 meter in 5.09 I knew I had a shot at the record. 400 meters to go I took a quick glance at the watch. At the stage I had to decide : take the pain and go for the record, or just run for victory. The Kenyan behind me was falling off, and I started to push. At 100 meters to go, I heard the speaker 7.22/23/24…..7.38 and only a few meters to go. I threw myself over the finish in 7.42.05. Still 10-12 seconds away from world class, but getting closer every year.
The be successful in athletics, especially on an international level, you are also dependent on having a hard working team around you. I have picked my team, and the group works very well together. They all have special strengths and have helped me…
as a runner. I respect them a lot, they respect me, and they respect each other. These are the people daily involved in my work:
Ståle Jan Frøynes