Grenaderløpet: how do you train for the apocalyse?

2 Feb

The 90km Grenaderløpet is more a ski apocalyse than a ski race. If participating makes you a stronger skier, that can only be according to Nietzsche’s claim that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Surely the race is a great opportunity to build mental toughness. But a race that long won’t be training, but rather draining.

So, how should I prepare? I’ve done a couple trainings between marathon length and 68km this year. I’ll probably do one more before the race. I want to ensure I’ve been through the whole course. I have yet to ski the stretch that goes from the Løvlia forest lodge to the finish line located near the town of Asker.

So, I guess part of my strategy is occasional long distance practice runs combined with scouting. I think it will help to know what to expect the whole way through the race.

But the other key is daily medium-length training. Most days (or nights) I’ve been doing between 17 and 24km at a faster pace than my Grenaderløpet target.

However, the one big thing that has been complicating training for the Grenaderløpet is preparation for the Transjurassienne skate race in France. Unfortunately limited snow has forced race organisers to reroute the course and reduce the distance from 76km to 50km max.

It has been especially difficult for me to train for the Transjurassienne because trails near me wide enough to skate on are limited. Moreover, coming to a trail thickly covered in unprepared new snow or finding a trail usually prepped wide for skating prepped narrow for classic has resulted in some severely shortened training outings. If you arrive at a trail junction wearing skate gear, you can’t suddenly shift to classic. And I refuse to destroy a classic set track by skating over it. I manage to get through shorter narrow stretches by double-poling, but there’s limits to that. You can’t do that forever on long, steep climbs.

So, juggling two races with different styles has been a challenge. But, for what it’s worth, my physical condition and classic technique are probably as good as they’ve ever been. I think I’ll skate tonight to see where I stand with that.

2 Responses to “Grenaderløpet: how do you train for the apocalyse?”

  1. Engelski February 2, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Getting a little bit late in the day to prepare for Grenaderen. If you haven’t got a good foundation by now I would suggest that it is too late. Sounds like you already have a good foundation though. You could always focus on a couple of intervals a week and a longish trip where you give gas during the last hour (re Aukland bros).

    I will be focussing on technique during the last two weeks prep. I believe I have more to gain here than working on my physical condition at such short notice. I will also be doing Hk skimaraton on Sat as part of my prep, but this will be my last race/ big exertion before G-løpet. I will also be concentrating on keeping well and stuffing my face with carbs during the run up.

    Not sure where you go to skate. At the moment anywhere around Holmenkollen is good if you go for the quieter periods, outside normal club training. It’s artifical snow, but that doesn’t effect skate as much. You could also try Vestmarka with Sollihøgda as your starting point. This is where I tend to practice early on in the season.

    • fallwest February 2, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

      Thanks for the reply. I’ve been training for the Grenaderløpet on snow since 16 Nov. and tons of rollerski before that. For skating I tend to ply Sørkedalen amongst other spots that are public transport accessible or near home. Good luck with your preparations!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: