It’s always great to start the day with a race

imag0010I ran Fælledparken Parkrun again today. Very good athmosphere. I think I managed positive splits, first time for a 5k. I passed a few runners in the last 400 meters. 19:54 is not technically a PB, but my best 5k was on track, so I feel like this is the best I’ve run. I was number 9 out of 60, and first in my age group. That sounds nice, but it really just means I was beat by a bunch of gray-haired gentlemen. All in all a great day.

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400m is my new hobby

I’ve been snooping around the Østerbro track for a few days, but May seems to be high season for throwing javelins and other serious athletics. Obviously I don’t want to disturb those guys to run my (relatively) pathetic 800m intervals, so I went to the park to see how fast I could run 400 meters. Turns out it took me one minute and nine seconds. Can’t wait to try it on the track. For some reason I really like this distance, and I would like to see if I can get better at it. Should be faster on a firm surface at any rate.

I was partially inspired by the movie The Race that shocked the World. Not that it’s all that inspiring, it mostly just makes you want to slap Carl Lewis right on the dental braces. And then it’s just sad. But still pretty epic. It’s scary how steroids seems to turn people into agressive baboons. I’m not saying Carl Lewis was on drugs, I’m just insinuating it, like he did with Bolt.

Hill training is speed training in disguise

There's a 100 meter drop right at his feet!

There’s a 100 meter drop right at his feet!

Tiny pond at the top of the world

Tiny pond at the top of the world

I knew Bergen was hilly but not how hilly. I started at sea level, ran/walked up Fløyen, and ended up at 550 meters height at a peak called Blåmannen. It was a foggy day, and the view at the peak was like something out of Game of Thrones. The only flat route in Bergen is around a small lake in the city centre, but if you are willing to accept the insane dose of hills there are some beautiful routes. I have no idea what the runners of Bergen do when they want to NOT do hill training.

Running every day now for a while and I feel great. I’m doing a lot more of my running at comfortable tempo and it makes sense. At least I enjoy it more than ever, and don’t have any aches.

No witches allowed

No witches allowed

Insert theme from Game of Thrones here...

Insert theme from Game of Thrones here…

Water flask from Salomon. Genius! Buy it now!

Water flask from Salomon. Genius! Buy it now!

Runnung down Fløyen. Too steep to be fast.

Runnung down Fløyen. Too steep to be fast.

What is gluten?

 

The power of GLUTEN!

The power of GLUTEN!

Jimmy Kimmel wants to know what gluten is. I don’t mean to ridicule anyone, and there will always be unknown factors in health science, but I think when people say gluten they sometimes really mean white bread and cookies. I hope. If you, like Jimmy and I, are very pro-pizza, then there might be some good news for you. Australian scientist Peter Gibson made a study in 2011 showing that gluten sensitivity (not to be confused with celiac disease) did indeed exist, and that sparked a whole lot of debate. In fact almost one third of Americans try to eat less gluten!

Now, Gibson himself, being a scientist, of course remained a sceptic, and now he has published a new study indicating that people who believed they were given gluten showed the same symptoms as those who really were. Read more about it here.

Now feast your eyes on this:

PIZZA

 

 

 

 

What’s up with that 1 + 2

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Why is is that women land on the balls of their feet and men sturdily on their heels in shoe ads? Do we really run like that? Or is there some statistical truth to it: that women read books about Chi Running while men just gut it out? Most of the people I know who run well land on their midfoot.

And what is it with famous running coaches and unfortunate name sakes? I just ordered a book by the Hanson brothers, after considering a book called the “Jack Daniels running formula”.

I am not at all ambitious enough to go through any of the training programs from these books, I’m not even following my own simplistic program of “tempo run, speedwork, long run”. But I’m still very curious about how good runners train.

Run walk repeat

I tested the so called run walk run method as described by Jeff Galloway, and I almost broke my half marathon record. At 1:48 I missed it by only one minute. And it sure felt a lot easier. Instead of dragging my legs at 5min/km pace I could run at a more economical 4:30/km pace and stretch my legs for a walk every one and a half km. At least until km 16 I felt very rested.

Feels like cheating. I will definitely play with it some more. I didn’t set any new records except the record for easiest running in a long time.

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Nice view.

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The so called “whisky belt” north of Copenhagen. A very wealthy area with lots of big villas. Even smells like horses.

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Running ninja. Can’t believe it’s May already and still cold.

Sore throat, and Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run method.

I love kindergarten but I hate those pesky germs! I have more or less constantly had a sore throat since Christmas 2012 (except after vacations, when no new kindergarten germs are introduced), and I’M GOING MAD. I cancelled my long run today. If you’re wondering what could be worth cancelling a long run, this is what I do for a living:

 

I was supposed to test out the “run-walk-run” system for my long run. Apparently by walking for a minute every x km, your legs stay fresh in longer races. Initially the method was made for avoiding injuries and speeding up recovery after long training runs, but reportedly, some average runners actually improve their PB in half marathon distance and longer. There’s a funny calculator at Runner’s World, where you can play with various pace and interval settings. I can’t see how it can improve my half marathon time, but I’m curious to test it.

Hipster injury and Boston Billy

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Sprained my ankle in these shoes from H&M today on my way to interval training with Marathon Sport. I felt a bit dumb for not putting on better shoes. I slipped in some broken glass. It still hurts a little bit. Hopefully it will be fine in a couple of days.

I have developed a specific taste in running shoes, and most so called casual sneakers fit perfectly. They have the right amount of cushioning and usually a better shape than regular running shoes. Unfortunately they have terrible traction and durability and weigh too much. Imagine the choice of colours and styles I would have if they were just a bit better made!

I managed to hang onto the fastest guy of the pack for a while longer than before. Sooner or later I’ll catch him. Maybe. All in all a very good training session. I enjoyed doing an extra effort today, inspired by last Saturday’s 5k.

I also finished my first ebook; Bill Rogers’ autobiography, which my wife gave me for Christmas. Very practical to always have a good book with me (on my phone). I enjoyed it very much, although I must shamefully admit I didn’t know anything about Bill Rodgers beforehand. I especially enjoyed his stories from his student days, with the anti Vietnam war movement, and his slowly awakening marathon ambitions. Recommended.

I am on a running literature frenzy again, rereading Born to run. I also bought Noakes’ “Lore of running”, which is not as entertaining, but speaks more to my inner nerd.

Parkrun, one word

Parkrun is a free, local, unofficial 5k race. ImageThe concept started as the Bushy Park Time Trial in 2004. The idea caught peoples interest, including , importantly, some sponsors. Soon it spread all overUK and now is gaining popularity in several countries, including Denmark! It’s volunteer- and community driven, and as far as I can tell from my local race, there’s a very friendly atmosphere. Here in Copenhagen it takes place every Saturday at 09:00 in a couple of different venues.

It was sunny today and for once I had dressed properly. I came in as number 13 out of about 60, with the time 20:12. I was hoping to beat my 19:50 record, but I’m still happy and felt like I ran well. Also happy that my previous time wan’t just a fluke or GPS fault. We ran on loose gravel today, record was set on track. I really like running on a track.

It might be the post run bagel speaking, but I have rarely felt so relaxed and easy after a run. Something about the 5k distance seems to agree with me. It’s short enough that you can run till you puke without hurting yourself, and long enough to enforce some simple race tactics. I also think the 5000m is one of the most nerve wrecking sports to watch on the TV, because you never know until the last KM what is going to happen, and there’s all kinds of bullying and tactics going on.

No bullying today, except for a guy in a tri suit passing me so smoothly and evenly it killed my buzz. I usually run steadily, but never with a negative split. I think I’m just not as good at gutting it out as some. I felt very relaxed and elevated after the race, while the dudes in front of me were rolling on the grass and moaning. I think I could have tried just a little bit harder. My wife and daughter were there to cheer me on, but I was so focused I didn’t even notice them. Very happy to see them afterwards though.

Next time I’m going with a terrible plan: Sticking with the front guys as far as I can, and then facing the consequences. Literally the worst race plan ever, but I’m struggling to overcome my innate laziness, and want to see if I can wake the dragon.

Anyway I have now found my perfect free running club(s). Marathon Sport free interval training on Mondays or Wednesdays, and then Parkrun as a tempo run (or somtimes faster) on Saturdays.

There were a lot of Brits running as well. People here on business and holiday. Recommend to anyone passing through.

Remote locations

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I haven’t been stretching much lately. I don’t get any soreness after running, so I didn’t see the point. Not so after a run in dense forest and hilly terrain in Norway. I have been so sore that I’ve been walking funny for three days. 

I started from my dad’s cabin, up an old logger road. It’s covered in tall grass and very steep. The first km took me 15 minutes, running as fast as I could. The second km was more climbing, with a lot of fallen trees, took me 20 minutes. Then I got lost, and after another hour I’d run/walked two more km in very dense forest. The trip down was easier. I finally encountered a well kept gravel road, and I flew down the hill again, about 4km, with 3:45 as my average tempo. I haven’t been running much hills, and I’m fascinated by the fact that I could run up to 3:20 tempo without even breathing hard. I think the downhill running probably is to blame for the soreness. Worth it.

I accidentally deleted all the photos, so I inserted a random painting from google, of the area I was running in. Really beautiful, and very remote. I had to stop and enjoy the view several times on the way up.