Thursday, September 10, 2015

Antwerpen Sprint O-Meeting

Last weekend I competed in Antwerpen Sprint Orienteering Meeting, and it was actually the first time ever I was running orienteering in Belgium.

I arrived already on Tuesday to have some extra time to explore the country. The local star Yannick Michiels picked me up at the airport, and we went directly to Brussels where we did some sightseeing (including eating Belgium waffle with chocolate) and afterwards we ran a course from last years Brussels City race.

Friday we did an orienteering training in the morning, on a nice map called Sahara, plus a sprint training in the afternoon, followed by diner in Antwerpen together with some of the other international runners.

Saturday ASOM started with two sprint races just North of Antwerpen. In the first sprint I did some mistakes, but still managed to finish 2nd, 43 sec behind Yannick.

The second sprint went well, and I was again 2nd, now 23 sec behind Yannick.

Sunday it was an Urban middle distance in Antwerpen Old Town. I was happy with my performance, and I again came 2nd, 1 min behind Yannick.

Overall Yannick won in front of me, and the two last years JOWC winner Tim Robinson came 3rd. In the women's Galina Vinogradova won in front of the Norwegian girls Elise Egseth, Lone Brochmann and Kristine Fjellanger.

It was great weekend in Belgium, with nice courses on good sprint maps, and I definitely want to come back to ASOM the last weekend i June next year. I was also nice to visit several citys, and enjoying good food, and Yannick was a perfect host and training partner the whole weekend.

My pictures from has made a report from both Saturday and Sunday.

Today the Norwegian Champs starts in Levanger (1 hour drive North of Trondheim), and the four coming days it will be Long distance, Middle distance (qual + final) and Relay. In the Live center you can follow all races with results, GPS trackling and speaker sound.

PS: The last year my main focus has been on training, work and social life, and I have not prioritized updating this blog so frequently. For weekly updates you can follow me on Twitter: @Kvaal_Osterbo and Instagram: @okvaal.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

St. Moritz and Livigno as WOC preparation

This season I have followed a bit different training program than the previous years, and it's the first time I have used high altitude training systematically. I have not been on so many training camps, but when I have been away I have tried to stay at the same place for a longer time. In January I spent 3 weeks in the Swiss mountains, in March/April I spent 3 weeks in Sierra Nevada in Spain, and in July I have spent 16 days in St. Moritz and Livigno as a last preparation for the World Orienteering Champs in Scotland that starts on Friday this week.

In the beginning of July we had Norwegian WOC selection races. I skipped the Middle distance since it came in conflict with the Swedish Sprint Champs, that I wanted to run since Sprint is my main focus this season. But I ran the two last selection races in Norway. In the Sprint in Vikersund I came 3rd, and in the Long distance in Høydalsmo i came 7th. That was good enough to be selected to run Sprint and Sprint Relay in WOC, and I'm also a reserve to the Forest Relay.

The day after the selection races I traveled directly to St. Moritz in Switzerland, where I stayed alone for two days before I met Borger Melsom and Sindre Rønning. Together with them I stayed 2 weeks in Livigno. Livigno is just over the boarder to Italy, 1 hour drive from St. Moritz, but the price level is much lover. We traveled back to St. Moritz  and the Engadin valley some days to get variation in the training environment.

The first week I took it quite easy to acclimate to the high altitude, and did some longer trainings with hiking/jogging where I was out for 2 - 7 hours, plus some shorter training and a medium speed run.

The second week I started with some tougher training, and in total I did 3 interval sessions and 2 more medium speed runs. I did also Via Ferrata two times. The second last day Sindre and I were out hiking in Engadin most of the day. We climbed two peaks higher than 3000 masl (Piz Murtel and Piz Nair), and took cable cars down to save the legs.

In total I was very happy with the weeks in St. Moritz and Livigno. The weather was great, the training conditions perfect with nice mountain on all sides, and Sindre and Borger gave me good company. I was also healthy the whole time, and managed to do what I had planed.

On my Twitter @Kvaal_Osterbo you can see some of the highlights I have mentioned:
  • Easy first day in St. Moritz
  • Took some different cable cars 2nd day in St. Moritz
  • Nice mountain hike/run between St. Moritz and Corvatsch
  • First interval session
  • Climbed the via feratta to Piz Trovat 3146 masl
  • Sprint-o + track intervals in St. Moritz
  • Easy day while the others rollerskied to Passo Stelvio 2758 masl
  • Hike to Piza di Rin 3007 masl and medium speed running
  • Interval training in Bormio
  • Hiking for 7,5 h in Engadin
  • Ends 2 great weeks in Switzerland / Italy with sprint-o in Ardez

Pictures from St. Moritz and Livigno.

Now I have stayed home in Stockholm for almost a week, and on Wednesday I will travel to Scotland for the World Champs. My WOC program is as following:
  • Fri 31st July Sprint Qualifier
  • Sat 1st August Sprint Relay
  • Sun 2nd August Sprint Final 
  • Wed 5th August Relay (I'm reserve)

You can follow the races live on TV in several countries (Norway/NRK and Sweden/SVT), and through the organizers web service.

PS: The last year my main focus has been on training, work and social life, and I have not prioritized updating this blog so frequently. For weekly updates you can follow me on Twitter: @Kvaal_Osterbo and Instagram: @okvaal.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

3 weeks in Sierra Nevada

Last winter I followed a bit different training program than the previous years. Since I'm not in the Norwegian National Teams training group I have had the opportunity to plan my training exactly as I want and believe in. I have not been on so many training camps, but when I have been away I have tried to stay at the same place for a longer time. I have not been running too much orienteering, but had main focus in becoming a faster runner. A main goal has been to have continuity in my training, without to many disturbing elements.

In January I spent 3 weeks in Swiss mountains and in February 10 days in Alicante with my club IFK Lidingö. In connection with the Easter I had my second high altitude training camp, and from the end of March to the middle of April I spent almost 3 weeks in Sierra Nevada in Spain.

Originally I was thinking about going to Flagstaff in USA or Dullstroom or Eldoret/Iten in Africa, but ended up with Sierra Nevada since it was a much shorter travel, and still seemed to be a place for good training conditions. In short terms I can say that it was fantastic environments for training, and that the first two weeks was really good, while the last week was partly destroyed by stomach problems and fever.

I stayed in Sierra Nevada ski resort 2200 masl the whole period. The day I arrived it was snowing, but the following days the temperature increased to be around 15 degrees in daytime. The first week I did only easy training, and the last two weeks I had planed to have a high intensive training every third day.

For most of my training I traveled down to altitude between 1200 and 1800 masl. There it was mostly great weather, and possible to run in short pants and without shirt. I did several long easy runs in the mountains, where I was out for 3 – 4 hours.

The website Trek Sierra Nevada was useful for finding nice places to run, and I was running all of the 10 closest hikes in the area between Sierra Nevada and Granada. Sometimes I made a combination of several hikes, or made an extra loop.

The first two weeks my training went really well and here are the highlights I have mentioned on Twitter @Kvaal_Osterbo:

The first week I stayed alone. That was fine because I had a lot of work to do, and was mainly sitting in front of my computer when I was not out training. The two last weeks I got company from a Norwegian friend and my family.

The third week was unfortunately partly ruined because I got some serious stomach problems. In that period I traveled down to Nerja at the coast, to recover faster than in high altitude. I had to stay in bed (or at the bathroom) for some days, with fever in the beginning.

Pictures from Sierra Nevada

It took some weeks before I felt recovered from the stomach problems, and I think the sickness also influenced in my results during the Norwegian World Cup selection races in the end of April, where I finished 3rd in Sprint and 16th in Long.

But the last weeks my shape has felt better and better, and I have got some pretty good results, even if my orienteering have not always been the best. In 10mila I ran in the IFK Lidingö team finising in 4th place, and in a Swedish League WRE Sprint in Dalarna I finished with the 2nd best time, but was disqualified because I punched a wrong control. Last week I was 3rd in Stockholm City Cup2nd in Centrum Team Sprint together with Niklas Serrander and did a pretty good 5 km street race finishing 2nd in the time 15.33 (in a too hilly course to set a top time).

Now I am looking forward the Norwegian Sprint Champs in Tønsberg the coming weekend, and hopefully World Cup in Norway and Sweden next week.

PS: The last year my main focus has been on training, work and social life, and I have not prioritized updating this blog so frequently. For weekly updates you can follow me on Twitter @Kvaal_Osterbo and Instagram @okvaal.

Monday, May 18, 2015

4th in 10mila with IFK Lidingö

My club IFK Lidingö had great result in all the 5 major relays last season, finishing 2nd in 10mila, Jukola and Swedish Champs, and winning 25manna and Smålandskavlen. The winter training have gone well for the whole team, and we had quite big expectations for 10mila this year.

The Lidingö boys did a great job during the night, and sent me out on the 7th leg in the leading group together with 4 other teams.

I followed my plan and ran secure night orienteering in the beginning of the leg. Had company with Frol and SNO, but from the forking in the east part of the course I was alone (in 3rd position).

It started to be lighter when I headed back, and I tried to increase the speed. But on the long leg to the 15th control I lost more than 1 minute going too much to the right in the middle part of the leg. Tried to be accurate with the direction on the shorter legs in the green in the end, but missed the 18th control with almost 3 minutes. I was then passed by IFK Göteborg, Kalevan Rasti and Halden, and changed over as 6th team.

Filip and Mårten did great races on the following legs and brought us up in the lead before the last leg, but Fredrik didn't have a good day technical (even if it seemed like he had the highest running speed), and we finished in 4th position. It felt bittersweet since we were so close to the victory, even if most of the team did really well. IFK Göteborg won in front of Halden and Kalevan Rasti after a strong sprint finish by Eskil Kinneberg.

Lidingö's women's teams did also great, and finished 6th, 21th and 39th. We have already started to look forward to Jukola, that will be held in Finland in just one month.

ResultsGPS tracking and video broadcast from 10mila.

IFK Lidingö's homepage has a report from each leg for both the women's and men's teams.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lidingö camp in Guardamar

In the middle of February i spent 10 days in the Alicante area in Spain on training camp with my club IFK Lidingö. We stayed in Guardamar, where JWOC middle distance was arranged in 2002.

A camp like this is often almost only orienteering trainings with map. But I wanted to have a good training period with different types of training, and skipped some of the orienteering trainings to do running on hard surface, running exercises and some longer trainings.

Fredrik Johansson and I arrived on Wednesday 11th Feb, two days before most of the other Lidingö runners.

Thursday we ran the Long and Middle course from the World Cup held North West of Murcia in April 2014.

Friday I joned Fredrik for a 90 min progressive run. We started running 4.00 min/km, and increased the speed every 10 min. I finished with 3.20, while Fredrik ran a bit longer and faster. In the afternoon I did the first of many training on the Guardamar maps along the coast.

Saturday the club camp started, and we did two shorter orienteering trainings (plus running exercises).

Sunday we had three orienteering sessions; a normal course, a relay simulation and a night orienteering training.

Monday I took a day off from running, and did a 5 h bike ride with Niels-Peter Foppen. We biked over a mountain to Hondon, where we ate lunch. Both the nature and weather was great.

Tuesday I did running exercises lead by Anders Gärderud plus a tricky sprint training in Alicante.

Wednesday most of the Lidingö runners did a long run i the mountains. I did also a night orienteering training.

Thursday we had a tough day, with a prologue plus a night orienteering chasing start. I won the prologue, and was running alone  most of the chasing start. But I blow it in the end, and was passed by almost all the others to the last control. Many Lidingö runners are training good and running well at the moment.

Friday I again did running exercises with Gärderud plus a sprint training. This time at the university in Elx, where full speed the whole way was required. Nick Simonin, Mårten Boström and I all finished within 1 second.

Saturday I ended the camp with a long orienteering course plus some road running. (Most of the others stayed one day longer then me.)

In totalt I would say it was a great training camp, with a lot of good trainings together with almost 20 other Lidingö runners. Thanks to the club and our trainer Thomas Furuheim who organized everything!

Pictured from Guardamar

Maps in my DOMA

Lidingö's GPS tracking

Monday, February 9, 2015

3 weeks in Swiss altitude

In January I spent 3 weeks in the Swiss mountains. The first and third week I stayed in Pontresina in the Engadin valley, and the second week in Lenzerheide, where the European Ski-o Champs was arranged. The main focus for the trip was to get a lot of easy training (mostly on cross country skies) on high altitude, but I did also some sessions with fast running on lower altitude. It was 3 great weeks with a lot of good training in really nice environments!

The first week i spent in Pontresina, 5 km from St. Moritz in the Engadin valley. I stayed together with the Norwegian Ski-o Team, that had a pre camp before the European Ski-o Champs the following week. The first week on high altitude I did only easy training. The first days it was not much snow, and we skied on artificial snow. But it was good for the running. In the weekend it came a lot of new snow, and the last day in Pontresina it was nice ski conditions.

The second week I moved with the Ski-o Team to Lenzerheide, where the European Ski-o Champs was arranged. I was there mainly for doing my own training, but since the Norwegian coach got sick, and had to stay home in Norway, I helped the team as a leader, joining team leaders meetings and being at start and arena during the races. It was quite busy days, but I was still able to train pretty well.

I was also competing in the Long distance with mass start, since Norway had a free starting spot. The race went OK, and I finished 29th, 5 min behind the winner Erik Rost. On the first loop I had the short forking, and was in front of many of the best, but when I had the long forking on the last loop I was pretty alone. Results, video, GPS, maps and pictures from all races.

It was nice to be a part of the Ski-o Team again, and be able to help them, after competing on international level most of the seasons from 2003 - 2009. (I have relay medals and individual top 6 positions from 3 World or European Ski-o Champs.) The week was ended in the best possible way when Norway won the mens relay (like last year), and we got also medals to Øyvind Watterdal in the Sprint and Audhild Bakken Rognstad / Hans Jørgen Kvåle in the Sprint relay.

The third and last week in Switzerland I went back to Pontresina, where I stayed together with a friend from Trondheim. The skiing conditions was now excellent with almost 200 km of tracks.

The last one and a half week I traveled down to lower altitude every third day for running faster sessions. I did sprint-o and track intervals in Chur, longer intervalls in Tirano and track intervalls in Chiavenna. At all these places it was totally snow free, and in Tirano as warm as 10°C.

I did also the two longest skiing sessions of my life during the last week in Pontresina. The first more then 5 hours (80 km) up the valley to Maloja, and the last 7 hours (100 km) down the valley to Zernez.

I was also able to taste the local dishes fondue and raclette, and the last weekend I meet my parents. Before I took the flight home I did a sprint-o in the historical city of Milano.

In total I got 3 great weeks in the Swiss mountains, with a lot of good training. Both the Engadin valley and Lenzerheide are really nice places, especially when you love skiing, and that was also the reason I was choosing to go the the Alps on this time of the year, in stead of for example Kenya or South- Africa.

Pictures from Pontresina

Pictures from ESOC in Lenzerheide

Yesterday I tested my shape running 3000 m indoor during the Norwegian Champs in Steinkjer. I had aimed to run below my personal best that is 8.29, but was not feeling too fresh, and had to struggle the whole race, without having the best feeling. In the beginning it was a fight for the positions, and the runners in the front started really fast. I was leading the second group from 600 to 2400 m, but was passed by some fast guys in the end, and finished 10th, on the time 8.44. Results and video from the race

The result was not as good as I had hoped. But I have not been running too much during the 3 weeks in the Swiss Alps, even if the speed on the shorter intervalls has been pretty good. And I probably need more practice on keeping a stable high speed to perform better. But it's still a long time until the orienteering season starts, and I think I have made a good base of training so far this winter.

The coming week the World Ski-o Champs will be arranged on Budor in Norway. I would have liked to be there and watch may friends, but I will focus on training for the orienteering season, and will instead follow them live on internet.