lørdag 22. mars 2014

Making The Best out of Klister

We have a week of snow left in the shadowier forrest roads above 300m so there is no talk of new skintec skis or flourinated klister.

Instead I decided to strip my skis down and do a good clister job. A few tips then on a good job which uses only a few minutes while you fdo other stuff in between.

First tape off the kick wax zone at each end and clean off to the sole with the solvent. Allow to dry in a warm room to release solvent residues and open the plastic surface up.

Use either base binder clister spray or like me a base green V90 spray, swix, which is spread with the spatula tool as soon as it is on, one side at a time. Once an even layer is on, scrape off the excess in the groove.

Leave inside for a few minutes to let the solvent evapourate leaving wax. Check for any dry patches and touch up if need be. Now leave outside to set.

Cork in the layer with some real effort and then spray on a thinner layer repeating as above with a lighter corking though.

If you like me dont have a wax iron or dont want to let clister near yours, then hear is a good cheat.

Get your oven on to 50-60'C and put a tube of clister on an old plate making sure the cap is screwed on very well. Heat for five minutes and then take out with a good few layers of kitchen folded into a makeshift oven glove. Open carefully over paper and then go right to the skis.

Take one side of the groove at a time. Lay diagonal stripes of klister  from one inch in from each end along the kick zone on one side and smooth out immediately. You are aiming for a coating like a layer of oil based paint on wood for the first layer, not just a "film" but it should be thinner at the ends of the zone, hence you spread to there from stripes out to the ends. Put the tube back in the oven.

Do for all four flat sides and then leave the skis outside in the shade to harden. Repeat with a whole length thinner layer, a film allowing to cool again. Then take a third slightly thicker layer just in the middle of the foot sole under the binding.

I take my skis in the car to save on noise and petrol but ideally clistered skis should be on the roof to keep them cooler or at least out of the way. I tried baking paper secured with masking tape to mask clister off while in the skibag and it worked so well that the same paper could be wrapped round for the way home.

You can do this iron free way with hot water from a thermos or on the top of the car engine when you pull up at the car park and discover it will be klister conditions .

Result? Much better longevity than having clister ontop of old kicking wax because the harder green base holds the laminate better. Good kick on all but the iciest sections which really were concrete and no fun whatever you do. A bit grabby when coming off a fish bone ascent due to them holding snow crystals. At the end of the Drivheia Rundt i did a 5k warm down and the ends of the klistering had worn off enough for much better glide, confirming my usual practice.

I prefer usually to clister up only about 3/4 of the kick zone, leaving an inch and a half free on the heel and a good few inches on the front. This is becuase i am very heavy, and therefore i take a little thick extra layer in the "pocket". Yesterday i went to trad wisdom, full legnth as above, and the skis did jitter at the top of ascents or on hard stretches. I need a little more glide really, but had generally good kick which lasted all 17km mixed terrain and mixed hard-soft easter conditions.

Lighter skiers may avoid that grabbing by using thin full legnth application of clister in two layers of film,  and indeed some racer skiers use a longer clister zone than kick wax zone, laying very thin clister layers, with expenive stuff of course.

If you have back country "fjellski" with a lock groove for a short skin then for an up- down tour like this mini mountain then i would recommend using them and maybe whipping them off for the downhill , poling and skating up the humps.

Next year it is definetly skintecs for me, probably just with the glued in skin.

onsdag 19. mars 2014

The Norwegian Right are often Not Right , Right Now

The new slightly right of centre coaltion here are also slightly wrong-side-of-centre now.

Currently they are persuing a multi message approach on the progress-party side where the political party come out with some populist rant while the parliamentary party hold quiet lipped or to the current centre line. In order to win the election they had to come to the centre from their earlier unelectable right ranting stool. Now they are towing the middle line but nibbling away at some left wing holy cows.

The first is abortion where they have opted for a kind of sly way of letting GP doctors opt out of further recommending patients. The majority of abortions here over 12 weeks are due to medical grounds of the mother or foetus. Does the doctor then not refer someone who may have a condition which clearly will lead to a termination? I have pretty conservative views that 'economic ' and ' convenience' abortion over 12 weeks is ethically unacceptable. The most common form of termination is actually now the morning after pill anyway. So they have a kind of subtle playground which probably attracts some political funding from catholic conservative foundations abroad for the political parties. The public in general are a bit wooed maybe by this, but the women's movement are not.

A further issue which is alienating right wing feminists here is the abolition of the 'fedre
kvoter' the mandatory paternity leave which if I remember right was set at 3 months or 6, I took 6 once and 3 another time which fitted in with moving here. The Hoyre party, just @Right here have been against quotas which positively discriminate for women and equalisation of mens role in the family. So now they are abolishing this which was seen as a progress towards easing society into the fact that womens careers are just as important as mens, for better or for worse house prices.

Men can now choose to not really take any and effectively the choice will be who has the bigger, better Oslo 'power job' for those high achievers there versus, it will be the missus then out in the sticks where she is much more likely work in the public health and education sector. Step in then of course bigger bills for those sectors. It means to the right, less interference in business, or rather some principle of small government which will let women struggle on rather than giving them a punt up and knocking their mans careers down a notch or two.

So the new right are newly wrong in two areas already and are about to embark on a third area too in education.

Like the right all over the west, public service teachers are seen as a wasteful and the source of all badness in international performance tables. Firstly I take issue with these performance tables and if you compare the prospects for those who take a technical apprenticeship here or university then they will not only earn far more but they will be more productive by virtue of a comprehensive education and a balanced lifestyle. Norway is actually hellish productiver per capita if you EXCLUDE the oil production industry. This is because it has to be and was leaner and meaner before oil. People were clever in how they learned and what they did with that learning, and were cunning in how they made a profit given meagre pre oil prices and long transport costs.

I would like to have a look at these league tables in terms of the later life prospects for jobs,
responsibility level at work, international responsibility, innovation, productivity,  good personnel policy implementation, general health and longevity compared to korea and china. The chinese heirarchical work culture and flippant attitude to quality standards and control mean that it is actually expensive to do quality there and freight it to the west for many capital items and with suppressed costs and profit expectations in the EU, quite a few companies I know of have moved work back for major offshore projects.

Korea can do quality, but will they be the new Scotland with shipyards eventually becoming
ueconomic in the face of the communist capitalists over the south china sea?

When I hear worries about not enough engineers and not enough programmers the issue
is actually that companies are loathed to have to pay new graduates more than established employees of course, but in general would like to have a declining cost base which is at odds not least with demographics. In Norway too many spoilt children of the oil generations best earners go out and take social sciences or art subjects or of course th
that doyen of the middle classes, Media Studies only to find that there just arent many jobs in that anyway. We are looking at the non technical generation here in Norway too, as in theUK, as earning relatively less than their parents and having a lower standard of living.

Anyway the right wing coalition here turn on that bastion of socialism in the times table, the
school teacher. They have actually their most radical policy on anything aimed at teachers and are ready for a fight. So ready in fact that their raft of proposed reforms are just the old chesnut of talking a big fight, backing down and then actually achieving the small move
-ment they originally wanted. They want both their cake in front of them and to eat it at the same time by wanting better results, harder working teachers but labouring more beaurcratic tasks on teachers outside quality teaching hours. They want to rip up the old agreements on longer working hours marking and doing non curricular out of hourrs activities for longer holidays, and get some form of wonder planning and efffectiveness from teachers working into July, when as anyone knows you can get sod all done in private industry in Norway. I think this is just a stalking horse for a simpler and popular goal which is to remove planning days into general school holidays and out of hours time, which is a good idea and if they acheive zero planning days they will save industry and public service masses of lost hours as people continue to stream to the metropolii out of reach fo the grandparents, who are getting too old now to look after 7 year olds anyway. I mean do SFO need planning days in school term? No.

The next big fight will no doubt be on health, but here it is more softly softly be pragmatic at the moment before talk of a market system outside additional capacity. Really this bunch are so arrogant to believe that they have the right to two terms in parliament to 'fix the red green mess' and then move the country forward. The next fight after these will be temporary contract work, where in fact Labour here did a cunning thing opting into the EU directive which basically puts agency workers on the same level as ordinary workers rights in that nation and has removed much of the competitive, low cost and cheating advantages they had. Temporary contracts will be good for the economy and get the long term out of work back into employment they say. Everyone here knows that you need a permanent job to get house and bling loans so this will make temp work with small companies even less popular with the brighter graduates, meaning like in the UK, you pay peanuts on short contracts and you get monkeys who are counter productive and not motivated. The finance
sector largely abuse the law ironically enough, where mid ranking analysts as in the rest of the west are on one year fixed contracts, take it or leave it, in breach of the law.

The new right keep on quoting the 'lost youth' who fall out of education as the need for much of this reform. These are the wasters, the dope smokers, the bullies, the dont care and of course those with undiagnosed dyslexia, ADHD and aspbergers. In most other western countries these wasters end up doing the shitty jobs and maybe get some adult literacty and a new start if they carre. Here they learn to go on sick-benefits or take aforementioned temp job, be shit at it, not get taken on further but earn up points for
unemployment benefit. They no doubt drag down the average on those league tables
and if you want to compare private school tables, forget it, they arre discouraged from sitting the examinations in the key metric areas of maths in particular. Double gymn for them. The simple answer is a right wing answer even Labour in the UK adopted its long reign over a bouyant ecconomy / if you dont get out and gett work then  you are going to be very poor. Here they are pandered to and get extra education and work placements I would quite fancy for myself in times between job contracts. Another thing, immigrants are seen as temp job workers, expendable so this law will just make a big rise in immigrant or guest worker unemployment as indeed the slump in house building did> they laid off all the poles and Lithuanians after five years of lots of work, and hey presto did the guests go home to abject poverty? No they signed on the dole here and kept on paying their mortgages and sending their kids to preschool and were better off than here in their newly made home than going home as they were expected to do. Temp work is bad news for me in future> I have been used and abused by contracts and even in permanent jobs but I have also used and abused contracts to suit my own ends of getting the right experience and having time with the family.Now I have to get back on the ladder soon in either a stable job or a fast moving job so temp work is bad news as we need a new car and a new mortgage.

The new soft right are then wanting to rattle sabres but come out with a series of wins
which they can parade out in time for the next general election. The trouble is that they are tickeling with the way of life and models people are used to here  and in that they stand on shallow ground, already reliant on the dieing liberal party 'venstre' who are not sitting in government but prefer wheeler dealing in back rooms. Labour here had ironically their best showing ever and have a ground of a solid force in a possible 2018 coalition leftist government where the centre-party and the left socialists will have less say but there will need to be concessions made to them in order to form a coalition. Currently the right wing are going to be putting a bung in everyone's wallet only to take it away from the below average family income in various ways over time, money floating upwards in a one way street is not popular here.

Basically Norwegians would never be fooled by bullshit like
Reaganist 'Trickle Down' - instead they have since oil came always wanted their own piece of the pie against the old right capitalists here who ran shipping lines and relied on poverty
for their supply of labour. A days work was going to be a living wage and then some, with time off in there too. Now the skilled working masses earn a lot more and are taxed too much - but the question is who voted right who did not in the last eight years? The answer is not labour and not socialist left. The answer is somewhere in the floating voter land, and not voted much before land where in my personal experience, people have been fed iup with road tolls and high taxes and the perception of waiting times in hospital. Poor roads too, but since most of Norwegian labour live within 30 minutes of their job and the roads outside rush hour resemble a Sunday 2 am in other western countries this has not been a very big swing. Enough though it has been, just as those teachers who were not political before, and those workers who do not want temp contracts and deunionisation will scome out in the next election.

Labour here has been seen as far too immigrant and assylum seeker freindly, and thgey will now inherit a more careful structure with fewer taken, maybe some selection on cultural comaptibility, locked assylum camps and extradition of paperless seekers and anyone caught doing anything else criminal while here or from abroad. This is a must happen for the right governement, another area swing voters came out in force for. A future labour government may whipe its brow and say phew because the human rights lobby are too strong in the movement and in socialist left they had to endure in the last governm,ent.

I see this as a one term government and a new centre right Labour government following them. The trouble is that all the parties are completely reliant on the 80 dollar barrell oil right now. In future gas will be more important and then the North Sea electricity net will help keep the exchequer in kroner, but no one is really addressing a possible low dollar price and of course when oil and gas becomes uneconomic here in maybe 2030 or as long as 2050.  What will Statoil and Aker Solutions do then? Will norway be lumbered with uncompetitive labour costs or will low power costs make electro industries once again the white heat thing they were in 1905 when Norway became a state again?

Innovation outside oil has been difficult here but in areas where technical creativity and qaulity production are to the fore, norway has been a world player. The set back usu6lly comes when they go big too early in a market, and this is what happened in solar cells which became both commoditised and fiddled enough with in China that a major new industry fell on its face on the starting blocks. Norway has to think nimble and support technical entrepreneurs more rather than tyring to build a new aker-kværner or Statoil.

I dont beleive there is the risk investment , the number of tech literate real entrepreneura or the government will to diversify the economy. However i do think that the current generation of young engineers do have thr attitudes to break free of the big corporate
Blankets especially if they find more and more of their time being in Korea, Brasil and China.


lørdag 15. mars 2014

The Zombie Late Ski Season

Last year we had a medium cold winter followed by a thaw and hey presto, new snow at the turn of april with skiing at easter a stones throw from  breaking waves on the beaches of skaggerak.

This year we have now had more than a month of old snow. Abstinately covering the ground above 200m, a hard blanket in places, while other places more exposed to the sun are a slushy white mass with indefinite viscosity and granularity. The becks and sun and rainshowers tickle at the edges and in random places, threatening to truncate the bliss. However these claw at the ragged body of the living dead.

Usually this type of limbo lasts a couple of weeks and midway through this the aforementioned detractory factors render all runs below 500m to disjointed stretches and therefore abandonment by the langrenn fraternity.

This year, there lies the whole white messy indecency out in the woods and valleys. I am drawn out to the zombie. A dying ribbon of fun and fitness, great to be out in nature.

The zombie is soul-less and unforgiving though, it takes more from the living than it gives. Your clister will fail you on the shadowy medium steep sections and then give up altogether after about 9km. Fish bone becomes a clowning affair like a cat who has leapt onto a slippery roof.

Downhill is where the zombie wants to really take your blood. Exposed sections  with slack descents suck your speed and require poling and even some kicking, draining you by negating the expected joy of effortless speed and breathing in reward for uphill sweat and gasping. Then the opposite is true on most of the steep descents where the trees seem to be denser on each side. There any bravado or belief in braking later are punished with jittery skis which follow no reason. Unpredictability leads to my usual bail outs onto my left thigh and bootokk.

So take clister out of the equation and my waxless 1979 numbers and i was having a much better day out than a few others. Earlier in the week i had the clister come away as expected at the foot of the hill after the long descent. This lead to a hell 2km final slack ascent and 'staking' the rest.

Funnily enough i escaped the zombie the last few runs with very minor bruising and when our more local zombie finally lost to many body parts to be useful, i had hardly fallen at all ans managed to drag the kids round the 6km route.

Skiers are sparse midweek now, cyclists came out like the daffodils. Me, well this zombie may last to easter! Bring it on!


The zombie of Drivheia finally began to decompose this week. The lower stretches were still icey in the shadows, with a varied half meter cover down to 20cm.

As forecast there had been steady temperature inversions and the entire run up , round and down the mountain was easter soft snow, but firm enough for good training. I did break a spike though when 'wheel slip rectification' went wrong and i found snow.

The trail of the undead is apparently a winter spectre only  In summer there is no ribbon to follow, just nature below. As the flesh decays it reveals bog, rock, heather....it returns to the etheral.

With the lethal now just a cadavre i tramped and slid over its rotting flesh with joy. The way up had a photo stop and adjusted my fancy combi R which i have decided are pretty uncormfortable relative to my anciennes blue ankle laced light tourers from the same marque.

There was only one booby trap on the way up where a snow bridge fell through at an awkward place in a steep dip in the tracks, you could easily avoid it. However the descent was different.

Here i took extra care,  achieved easily on the soft easter top layer  affording a slow progress and easy braking. Soon there were booby traps and a huge slab of rock had broken through like the back of a whale breaching the ocean of white.

The course on the last exposed descent had now become a slalom challenge between all types of natural surface, heather sprigs and the tops of shrub like trees. The whole thing became a bit comical, so i stopped at the last hair pin to take some photos and tried step turning it three times , failing each time due to an uneven and negative camber.

More gaps and as advised i did some real back country, finding the fischers to be just the job for firm but not icey off piste snow. Eventually it was over and i felt that i could have done another round.

The zombie of the hill may be consigned to rot, undead now deceased but the 5km to Østertjenn was almost alive an.d kicking with some  snowfall in the tracks, now slushy making it truly a zombie again. There will maybe be a week on this voodoo corpse then.

onsdag 12. mars 2014

Den Ærlige Birke'Mannen

Lengre dager sammenhengende med sol og påskeøre frister meg altfor mye men jeg greier å utføre det som jeg skal før skiene kastes i bilen om ettermiddagen. I uken må jeg nå kjøre mye lengre for å få en brukbar tur uten labbing, nemlig 45km. Men det viste seg å ikke være bare meg fra hjemmebyen som skulle dit.

Jeg traff en bekjente i det jeg hadde egntlig kastet skiene tilbake i bilen og dusjet hode med drikkeflaskteknikken. Han er en ivrig sportsman, og jeg antok at dette skulle være hans siste treningsøkt før laurdags Birkebeinerennet 2014. Riktig nok, han ville prøve et par mil kanskje slikt hans 50år gamle bein skulles løses litt før den store utfordringen på laurdag.

Men når jeg spurte om hva hans merkettid var, han bare svarte med at han hadde fått det til i både sykkel- og løpe- birkebeinet men ikke på ski. Jeg tror han har gått seks ganger før minst.

Han spurte da om føre på Drivheia og fikk det samme svar fra meg som jeg vet han fikk fra den første tilfedig skigåere han hadde spurt. Påske-aktig mem noe skårpete samt isete strekninger. Jeg tilføyde at klisteren kanske bare varte da 9 av de 14 kilometer på rundtirem over "fjellet" og begynte å si at jeg kunne tenke meg et par Atomic Skintec og hvor grei de høres ut når han sa ja vel og viåpet et par utmavskiboksen. Da holdte jeg sjeften!

De var skaffet hos vår lokale intersport og var av det samme typen jeg så ved G Sport, nemlige uten utbyttbare felller. Limte på. De virket nokså myke de fellene. Mem han var kjempe fornøyde med dem som treningsski, skaffet til kona opprinelig, men nå var det en siste prøvetur før de skulle være første valg for Birke'n. Et hemmelig våpen tatt i bruk mot slurvete bortkasting av tid på slitt klister og nye smøringsrunder. Spikerfeste med skintec ,mente han altså.

Han da også tilføyde at de var ikke noe dårlig med glid heller, som har vært klager fra flere proffe testere. Disse er da 2014 modellen som er kamskje første ut i Norge med en mye hyggeligere pris en de med magnetisk teknologi. Ekslusiv til de overnevnte butikkkjedene kamskje, de er med på det siste youtube innlegg om skintec som er en reklame for 2014 miodellen uten noe henvisning til den teite lille nøklen og magnetene.

Eneste klager var at de er etter hans oppfstning, egentligmturski. De er litt breie. De er ikke noe fjærlett heller ikke med tilpassende spenn etter forespørsel direkte fra fabrikkens spennmålere. Men fine var de og både lettere og smalere enn mine fischer powerwax.

Lettere og trangere nok også enn mine 33kr loppemarkdsski. Det var enn selfølge at de skulle produseres ut a skibuen for mimntur i dag etter at klisteret valgt å forlate meg på det kritiske punktet etter utforkjøring på en motbakke i skyggen. Selvsagt hadde Herr Universal brukt fagforeningens avtale om å jobbe kun 2 av 4 onshore óg. I tillegg er mine lange Fischer planker ikke noe bra for skøyting på sørpete stekninger i solen og verre for de usnille betongarbeidet delene som ikke har betalt for solen ennå.

Min tur i dag var til en fløy som sjelden kjøres opp på et eller annet grunn, i stedet for over "fjellet" dvs Drivheiarundt. Denne fløyen er mot traffiken og til tross for tydeligheten at en veiskjøring har avsluttet fra den litt ville utforkjørimg rumdt fjellsiden, mange kjøre på engelsk siden av sporene når det passer dem. Litt obs da må mam være opp motbakke. Så oppmerksom må mam værr ved krysset fordi den er ved em liten dunk hvor nokså høy fart kan oppnås fra dem motsatte retningen.

Jomfruturen for meg da- det store intet av enn ukjent skogsvei med utforkjøring, sving og kanskje Sotsji Alpint isete strekninger importerte for de uvarsome.  Klink is var det ikke ,en en liten lapse på konsentrasjon og vips da gikk de galt for meg på circa 1979 Trak "winner" som er av den tapere typen som kjørte mange litt trangsynte norske skiprodusenter som som tok innovasjon i materialler bare så langt som å lime en plastsåle på, og male dem i stedet for lakkering. Men gode er de. Å jeg elske dem. Myk spenn som er greit for påskeføre. Gammel fiskeskinnmønstre som føre sugende vannmasse vekk fra sålen bedre enn flourokarbonmidler. Ikke noe klister å knagge og å hindre skøyting når muligheten oppstås. Mest av alle jeg bryr meg ikke om dem, det er ingen stor tap hvis de skades på isete føre eller dårlig plaserte tre , asfalt, noe sånn. Selmotigende litt ? Ja de er en billig elskerine jeg trodde jeg kunne misbruke noen dager mens fischerskjerringa varte igjen hos skibua. Men til tross for at de er white-trash og ikke tilpassende respektabelt selskap, de er så gøye! Fantisien vandrer ikke lenge før det kommer på en alenemor i byen her egentlig, men nok med den metaphoren gutter!

Drivheia rundt har en skikkelig "sting-in-the-tale" ende dvs i det man når toppen før eden tilfrestillende "alpint" tur nedover, er man egentlig ikke halvveis gjennom turen. Dete er en bratt, isete motbakke som nevnte etter dunken ved krysset. Deretter er det både slakke utforkjøringer av ubestemte fart, ofte skuffende av og til smilgjørende , og da en veldig lang motbakke som puttet den "mot" bitten inntil ordboket. Med ødelagt smøreinnsats mange sliter med bakkeglatte ski men kun tre-fire k'ere igjen ikke verdt å smøre på nytt selv om med klistertape. Der blir man tappet av energi og egen mot. Men jeg ble vel sliten av bare godefeste og pisseglide dvs "a damn good work-out" på mine billige elskerinnene. Det var hele vitsen av dagens tur, skulle ikke noe sight-seeing. Jeg tok ikke med 5megapixelens mobilen for den første rundte og mente å ta to sjappe runder uten særlig pause, sein lunsj kl 16 kanskje. Men med ved den store hvite tjenna så langt det var rådelig å gå med langrennsski, det var så fint at kameraet måtte hentes og noe erstatning for kalde kyllingslår blir tatt med fra bilen.

På veien tilbake var det slikt da at jeg var nokså ivrig å gjennoppleve den hele turen og slå det sammen med litt fotografi og forsyning av både energi og vitamin D fra solens vårlig gang.

Tre fjerde dels av turen langs den overnevnte- nemligemden dårlige, slappe, irksome siden av fjellet , kom en man plutselig ut av skauen litt foran meg og kjørte da den engleske måten på venstre spor. Jeg kom som en tung men bestemte damplokomotiv opp på ham, ham hadde litt usikkert feste. Nå er jeg blitt litt flinkere å erkjemne om en norsk skigåere er av den utadvententypen for hvem en samtalemom smøring og hvor-greit-det-e'-å-komme-seg-ut er en glede. Hans forklaringen for en tverssom rute utenfor sporene men på c.1989 era racingski var at han var ut etter nye muilige ruter hvor pistemaskinen kunne kjøres slikt de få stedene som var snø fattige eller vasket bort av bekkene kunne unngås og den gode meteren av snødekket kunne utnyttes videre mot kanskje selveste påskeferie. Han var en original, med kotelettesjeggsider og en litt villt, gutteaktig blikk. Han selv kjørte sporene ned den fløyen jeg hadde vært på og det kun til fordelennav birkebeine folket som ville har føere runder opp og ned den kanskje 100m stigningen som er c 2 km lang.

Jeg blunket litt når jeg gjenhilste på ham på andre runden denne gangen med en liten ryggsekk på meg. Jeg var på en viss grad med de derbirkebeinene, ellers lgt jeg ut de førstemtrimnene mot deltagelse i en ordemntlig skirenn.

I allefall etter min senere samtale med min bekjente ved parkeringsplassen, følte jeg at nå hadde jeg truffet på de ekte og ikke minste ærlige Birkebene typene og ikke de som får så mye oppmerksomhet i nasjonal media. Dem vil runde merket. Dem vil trene spesifikk. Dem tar alt som et bra formål som balansere livet litt kanskje feil på et par månder men som og gir dem en masokistisk glede og kjæreste noe å være stolt over.

tirsdag 11. mars 2014

Four and Fifty ...The Birkebeinerennet , 'Birke'n 2014'

This weekend sees the annual homage to pain and passion on the 54km between Rena and lLillehammer which is called the Birkerbeinerennet.  For keen skiers, profs and obsessive amaterus, the test is born from a Legend and lives on myths.

You can read the legend of 1206, for yourself, but the biggest myth is that the race is dominated by professionals and the super competitive oil executives and finance 'wolves' .

The only remarkable thing about the later managment participation  is that they have managed to subdue the otherwise untamable shrew into a housewife and overcome the eventual boredom of Nordmarka hour by hour. Many are out eight hours during the week , without sunlight, and then more at the weekend at their cabin on the Norsk Hamptons, so the wives become Birke/widows and the kids must wonder what daddy looks like if he is not either stuffed into a red condom tight ski suit or with both hands at the wheel of his BMW.

The prevalence of their participation in the event is all blown up by the finance media, who have after all only a small stock exchange to cover, minor scandals and a majority of workers in Statoil, public services or protected food industries. 

For the majority of competitors, or participants really, they will average about 4 hours depending on the conditions which have a lot to play and are often variable due to the ascent of 1000m underway over the 54km. That by my reckoning corresponds to 5 hours training a week, but within that there must very good technique and some longer february weekend runs or events.

 For the elite, well this is a bit of a surprise because those 8 hours a week training to come under 3 hours need not be all year round but rather built on a base of fitness off ski and off rollers too. As with okay times for M45 , men full mid life crisis just under 4 hours, then specific stamina training, some speed sessions each week and technique coaching coupled to good 'feste' are the factors which  rule to keep you within the mark. Here is one elite-peleton guy's account who went from almost five hours downwards as he entered the so called mid life crisis, clearly he was just peaking!

So the event is not unassailable as would be the myth , and fully possible for the average club competitor or even the averagely fit skier who decides to increase their training and have first qualification and then participation to a sensible 4.30 hrs mark.

Younger seeded adults have a tougher time because their marks are more restricted. But also later seeded/starting competitors can have harder 'spor' with partly destroyed edges, and of course rising temperatures as the day goes on so conditions play a part for everyone in their variance. This year may like 2007 be blown off with sleet and wind chill forecast. partly destroyed edges, and of course rising temperatures as the day goes on so conditions play a part for everyone in their variance. This year may like 2007 be blown off with sleet and wind chill forecast.

You have to gain seeding to enter Birke'n by competiting in other events or from self same 54km west from Rena the year before. From this result profile  you are then allocated a peleton by age and performance and a time to make it in / to round the mark they say, very nautical for this most inland and land lubber of events. i reckon I could seed at 4 hours mark if I could train from late November,  this would have been possible in earlier years due to snow conditions, if I had taken some more instruction and in technique. Finally I catch up with technique in a weird year with no underlying groundfrost and a meter of snow or more lying still on most forrest roads. Soft, hard, sharp...best for waxless in fact.

I would without doubt do a 50 km ski run at this time of uyear on Atomic Skintecs or Fischer RCS waxless because for longer run'feste' is best- grip is best , as long as you have some glide, avoiding back slides in the kick which can drain or injure you and saving time in not rewaxing.

In any case, I could aspire to Birken given a good season, but it is a palava to go up to Rena from here. Yesterday I did a meagre 14 km with 200 m climbing but i would have done it at 9km/ht if my mobile had not gone off and i had not stopped to take photties on the wonderful sunny day. An Icey way back round-the-mountain was only slow on the worst uphills, and back in the car after one minutes breathing I felt like I had just warmed up!
This reminds me of cycling where eventually the first hour was a warm up for stiff, highly trained muscles and if I was late for a race I paid for not warming up  by being OTB!

 I may move up that way to the great valley Lillehammer lies in a few years time though and have the route on my doorstep more or less.  For now, there are several runs within eaasier access and in any case I would like to set up my own run with the club here at about 40/45km with both styles catered for not just classic. This makes it easier to train for with a mild snowless autumn and november, because classic roller skiing is a fussy affaire. Easier to skate on roads, and it is so popular now here partly due to worn out tram lines with ice forming, while the middle lane was soft. 

This year I have had the time between contracts and financial capability to live off my wife and my own savings. New car, new sofa, biggerr house on hold...thank god , I am really into
downsizing and degrowth any hows. So my training has all been in daylight or twilight with a base of exercise in the mild autumn on woodland elg-hoofing. Loping with poles at 9am after the day is wound up like a family faced clock of preschool, school, washing machine on, dishwasher emptied. Most of it has been foggy and damp, around freexing point and it has threatened to be washed away by rain every week for the last four, but miraculously has survived to a decent depth on the harder under surfacesI rather miss not stretching a head torch over my brow. 

Headtorches a plenty to find in Oslos Nordmarka, the woods and moors which are actually the second best thing about Oslo after the Fjord with its Islands. The town itself is a bit of a dump by in large, now festooned with messy achitecture on its seafront. For the finance and oil executive crowd there will be eight to twelve hours a week training on skis. That will not include family tours or other events which are often taken as a test of form. This self announced wolf pack are actually a tiny part of the  whole event.

  The majority are club racers and old timers, many a year-on-year seasoned sixty year old as much as there are the midlife crisis type. Not forgetting the 2 on four week off semi pro oil workers, who can train up like hell if their shift pattern matches the event.  There you have the three main segments who maybe make up 90% of competition with pros and the executive/finance crowd being a fraction of the remaining.

The down side of the small economy outside dollar-barrell indexing is that financiers get a lot of boring personal coverage in the media. Partly because they are as arrogant as their more numerous London or NYSE comrades who by in large like anonymity. Here when they/ disinvest or close sites the effect is much more amplified for the local society because if they work outside the dollar-barrell cushion which creates living costs amongte the highest in the world, they fall pretty hard. Also the state and councils even are allowed to co invest in enterprises here, all above board, hands off the operational management and 
this means that local societies get an interested investor as in the current rage about fishing port and processing plants in the north where there are few other on shore jobsand fishing in family sized boats runs in the blood. Most other countries set up an innovation board to do this which is of course highly beaurcatised and wastes money as in Scottish Enterprise. Norway has that too, but I have yet to see any real fruits personally. 

Anyway, out they will with cheering wives at the finish, how clever daddy is if only you knew what he looked like outside the red swix condom-lycra suit. Remember you are a small percentage and only the business dailies care about you, we dont give a damn.

mandag 10. mars 2014

Påskes Skitur, men i Mars.....

I dag fantes jeg i Austre Aust Agder og hadde da planlagt en tur i Nordre Austre Aust Agder så nord man kan før alt blir Nordstogelig Telemarkisk.

Vanligvis er det to eller tre anledninger hvert år for meg å gå på ski Drivheia rundt mellom Gjerd- og Ve - stølingenes beite. I tillegg er det en tur med familien, og i fjor til og med var det opp den første bratte fløyen med datteren min langt ut foran med oss på jakt etter henne.

I året har det vært så grått vær at det er knapt verdt turen mener jeg: jeg labbet opp og måtte pigge ned Drivheia etter 3cm sludd hadde fylt sporene.

I dag skinte solen  som en sommersdag nesten og tanker på kviklunsj, appelsinbåter, galloschers og klister bobblet fram. Men det var bare det siste som gjaldt.

"Klisterføre" er dette en form of eufemisme for noe som nesten ikke går annen?
Selv i Putins PR prelud til Krimea, V.OL i Sotsji, snakket landslagets smørebugutter om "klassiske klisterføre".  Emil'n hadde bare glider å grine over heldig gris.

I dag var det faktisk c 6km kortere enn mine vanlig avstand på treningsøkt så lenge i 2014. Men det kastet alt mot meg: slørpete, sugende påskeføre, isete spor, så kornete føre, steder med et skorp som urgammelt grovbrød, så ingen spor, så til noe steder som naturens grønne farger og boblende bekk skulle trasse vi som skal på plastplanker. Utforkjøring ble litt av en balanseringsøkt mellom nok fart å komme over små berger og så mye at man ikke kunne svinge når man kom i skyggen der klinkis og en betong liknende "skøytebane" lå ventende for de uvarsome.

Den Britisk Bremse Metoden, bakdelen først var da handig. Noen andre steder ble det så myk at skiene plutselig suget og balansen var mistet. Mer bremseklosse-blåmerker. Bland inn at to tydligvis gamle og lite kompetent skiskøytere hadde vært litt ubestemt om de skulle bruke sporene eller bare ødelegge dem i strategiske steder ved sving, små daler og blind utforkjøring. De hadde då hjulpet litt i nedoverbakken ved å ta en  vidt  slalom  stilling og dermed hadde knuste gjennom det skorpete overlag til en blaut underlag. Det var ikke så morsomt når det ombestemte seg og hadde begynte å ploge eller ville ha litt fart og plutselig skøytet og ødelagt effekten av to trykkspor laget for en man på nesten 190.

Klister hadde jeg preppet opp med på riktig viss: to tynne lag fra tuben på toppen av blå VR 45 HF bunnstoff. Jeg hadde spikerfeste, men uvantet spikring når jeg ville kjøyte litt i sving eller gjor fiskebein. Klisteren knagget på de kornene i snøen og tok dem med som middag slikt det var en nervøs fremgang i små utforkjlringer eller pigging.

Drivheia da er en veldig spesielle tur fordi det er en fjell som en pistemaskin kjøres gode spor rundt. Det betyr spor heleveien nesten. Og en god skøytebane, men tydligvis verken stort nok eller fristende nok å holde skøyteskigåere utenfor spor og strategisk ødeleggelse, se ovenfor. The bastards. Nevnte jeg at jeg skal nemlig ha et par til 2015?

Turen har alt at langrenn har å tilby plus litt fjellskitur uten at man trenger enn altforstorblåjakke, ryggsekk halv så stor enn kroppen din, og ikke minste, uten at man bruke hele helgen over turen og framkomst til starten (hvis man er en Gjerstøling, da er det utenfor døren.

Warm-up er til stedet! Motbakke er til stedet i mange ulike form. Sving er det mangt, men det er den utforkjøring rundt baksiden av fjellet som gjør drivheia rundt så bloody-satisfying. Det er jækla spennende, og man kunne likedan ta slalomski på ryggen og bytt på toppen.

Det er faktisk mye mer behagelig for store og gode vokene menn å ta opp en lav , bred slalom stilling utfor sporene som en gamling som heter Truls og er en tidligere lege og motstandsgutt viste meg en dag. Jeg følgte etter ham, men fikk med at han var tre og åtti år gammel. Det skulle ha vært hjerteløs å forbikjøre ham og jeg kunne lære litt fra å følge hans linje og se hvor han var litt skånsom og bremset eller hvor han ga blaffen og gassen på i den der "tuck"'n. Det var veldig flott å se en så moden en Nordman utføre det og jeg kunne tenke litt av livet etter 70 er ikke bare noe å grue seg til.

Utsikt har det også som man bør nytes. Samlingstedene faktisk ikke har de beste utsiktene, de finnes egentlig på toppen av den første fløyen og halvveis ned den store utforkjøringen.

Turen har vel et naturlig stoppested hvor det berømte utforkjøring begynner og det bare er nettop passerlig utmerket bra at en stor stein og furu merker det og gjår den ellers umerkverdige vendepunkt til en Ås som man tar litt beverage på. I det siste to minutter før ankomst begynner mobilen og ringe samtidig som min høyere ankel begynner å føle litt hoven pga en britisk bremse episode. Jeg bestemte meg at det var nok klister å føre meg opp og nok damp pustene i-og-ut av lokomotiven at jeg ville nå den åsen før jeg svarte. Men hvis bare ikke min lille vesle guttungen hadde også skadet poten sin. Det viste seg å ikke være samtidig men desverre han var mer uhabil enn meg.

Då hadde jeg et valg: smøre litt til med klister for den 7km "round the mountain" med sine slappe motbakker, eller ikke gidder fordi den store, spennende utforkjøring skulle skrape vekk 95% av klisteren? Som forventent jeg pigget nedover bakken uten "swix quick klister" pålegg. Selvsagt var da kun 5 hundre deler av klister og effekten deretter igjen på skiene.

Men praksis i staking trengte jeg i forhold hvor utbytte var tydelig og tilfredstillende. Så fra siste to turene hadde jeg ikke husket at det er en nokså liten utforkjøring. Det hadde blitt til is og med lite pigging oppnåde jeg det "scaletrix" opplevelse me lyden og fart. Halv annen kilometer gikk kjempe fort med litt bruk av øverkroppen, og de delene jeg fikk ikke feste på ble bare små labbende pustepauser.

Siste utforkjøringen klemmes in løkken og føres til den lille halen som er greit for opp- og ned-varmering. Men det var som betong og jeg bestemt at jeg ikke ville treffe 90 graderen utenfor kontroll, og da var det et bein plog et bein i sporet som gjaldt og som et tog i en gammel film som har skrikende bremse og enorme momentum som virker ustoppelig så kom jeg til en sakte inngang til svingen.

Litt mer pigging med litt av den moderne teknikken , staver ut og loddrett, kroppsvekt slengt fremover med bøyet ermer, og sous, hender under kneer.

Då var jeg tilbake til bilen og en bratt ende til sporene, som en isbre de pekte ut over jorden og var litt ut av stedet, litt for tøffe for det som er uunngåelig, at det skal smeltes vekk.

Klister hadde gjort sitt best og glider med litt rilling hadde fungerte bra også. Mannen ovenfor skiene kunne bare være takknemelig at ingen var i sporene ved bålplassen når han kom dundrende ned og tenkte å bail out istedenfor å gi litt mot og kommer rundt de svingene. Problemstillingen var at jeg har brukte de siste to eller tre uker på loppemarkedets fineste 1979 smørefrie, som er kortere og bredere, og har myk spenn. Altså jeg var uvant til 207cm Fischer Power Wax planker med enorme bus midt i sålen.

Det som jeg lærte var at "klisterføre" er en liten glede kun i sterk sollys. Man kan vel da tilpasse foranderlig forhold med en smil og litt innsats.  Ellers mener jeg at slike "hvit underfots helvete" forhold kan bli best opplevde på smørefrie hvor feste er sikret. Atomic Skintecs kanskje, men for meg har det vært en overraskelse med så mye nyt fra Lopp og ski som ikke har trekjerne, nei de har trestruktur fullstending med en p-tex såle.

søndag 9. mars 2014

Skiing and Motivation for the Over-the-Hill-Gang

I was drawn to cross country skiing as long ago as 1992 or even earlier on a visit to Braemar with the GUMC.

The winter of 91 had covered the Cairngorms and much of Aberdeenshire with fence high snow which lay for ages. I moved up there that summer and the winter after prove to be thaw back ice with the braemar nordic skischool sticking to high level ski mountaineering unfort. In 95 i met a couple of mad fort billers at Aonoch Mor ski centre who were off up hill ijn jogging clothes and with skins on very skinny skis.

That year i took up with tours jin the Glen Fruin range in winter, which were pretty much topped off in thick white sthuff ljike inviting chelsea buns. On one truhdge i saw som sod had enjoyed a lot more fun on quhite narrow xc skis.

It took me years to eventually get the skinny type planks onto  my lower paws when i set out to vijsit a mountaineering pal who lived in bergen. Train up to geilo and a 20km day later i was sore ,but hooked.

What is so good bout it all?

Well i liked snowboarding, got good at it for the few hours i put in each year but the whole lift queuing thing and it not being very good exercise really drew me away to more all year mountain biking.

But xc skiing has a whole pile more to it in technique, equipment and of course waxing that add a lot to the sport as an adult learning their way through classic.

I never picked up on the huge value in learnijng skatijn.g style asap, parallel or even before classic. I'll say it again, classic diagonal style is parallel skating! I often felt my legs drawn like magnets  ,with a little weight left okn one leg always and a sketchy two legged style down hill with lijttle cornerijng control out of the tram lines.

This year i have suddenly cracked a lot of technique in downhill in partjicular and this has all come from skatijn.g practice. Unloading a leg completely frees up everythijng from getting into a wide plog stance to whizzing round a corner step turning your way.

Lilke my more prof sport sailing , you realise you are always learning and adapting technique in new ways to the condijtion.s.

In saiing dinghies there c ame a stage where i was stagnant in sloppy mnoevres and stronger winds. Then i took some instructionnal races and practiced in lasers and moved up a notch in confidence and coordination. A little pain, big gain. There aftfer i could learn from books and evt' Youtube etc and pijck selectivde thijn.gs like roll tackin.g and gyb iung to get help..on. from better sailors.

This year i have cracked that in skiing and challenged myself as i did in laser boats. Out alone gojing through set parts repeititivly, challenging my limits. I actaully never capsized the laser even wjith extreme roll tackin.g and gybes.

Skiin.g is then an jin.terestin.g way to get fit and you can use sessions to practice some movements which makes two three hours fly b y!

fredag 7. mars 2014

Training Methodologies for the Over Hill Gang

There is the old cyclist's saying that your slow long winter legs are the foundation of your summer racing topform is for many of us true to a large extent. This is What we forget as forty year olds "just out of nappies" and with kids being older we are just back on bike or skis.

We clear forget the number of hours we put in as kids and young adults and the years to get to our personal top form, for me age 20-21 for many sportive types at age 24-26, and for very serious or pro racers in any sport usually a higher peaking aged 28 - 32.

Also we forget the " lampost by lampost " build up when doing intervals or hill climbing, and the mile on mile or minute less minute as we pushed harder or picked up benefit from different rides. Also our bodies were better at recovering in resting while our minds could carry on pretty much normally or even at a higher level of attention and cognition! N.ow we need a nap! Ole Einar BjØrndalen takes a nap in his camper after some sessions.

What we know now is that people respond differently to different regimes and genetics plays a big role in that. Soon everyone will be matching their genetic profile to their base fitness level, tied into their biometrics - the phenotybe - to then build a training and testing programme which will be academically correct for them at least..

For now it is more ethically comfortable to take some advice and also to try some new approaches.

Start low and slow: i struggle with this, and really it is walking after you can run - it is te old cyclist adage:  extending the duration to over one hour immediately and going up to three hours midweek and more at the weekend. Starting with about four hours in three sessions and going up to eight. This is for the first three weeks of a rebuild for a fairly athletiuc person and up to a year for people with weight problems.

The intensity is low and it is worth taking a heart rate monitor with a max alarä set to 80% max and while trying to stay over 65% as a base minimum.

Very few non athletic people train this way and that is one reason so many people are fat and faddy: they never build a cardiovascular foundation which has appetite stabilising and blood glucose- insulin response benefits. Instead they dabble in new diets and quick fix exercise regimes punted by the gymns and tv personalities trying to appease the belief in the modern busy lifestyle needing short bits of this and that.

For other people more varied training of one hour core session duration plus  warm up warm down of ten minutes has an equally good effect as duration low intensity. This is dooable in the gymn without going stir crazy and the variation in intensity, intervals or machines makes it more interesting. However i do not respond so well to this and so decided to up to longer sessions with natural intervals on up hill sections, good feeling minutes and sprint lines to drink breaks.

Prolonging intensity and recovery from peak bursts/sprints , for duration sports are the real goals for the amateur as much as for the professional racer. This is built upon a vascular base in the muscles, a stronger heart and a body ready to use its energy stores effectively and those three elements for most people probably need to be laid down with longer sessions in the early "season" .

Some people are though able to train up based purely on intensity training for shorter duration events like 10km distance in skiing and running. Others like the Oslo Nordmarka type, get most benefit from weekday multiple intense sessions and medium hard bike or running commuting followed by a very long day on skis or the bike in the woods upto an eight hour day at the weekend.

Given though you are starting from a low base from the previous two years lacking activity or indeed you have never trained, then the long low intensity 4 to 8 weeks will only be highly beneficial to you and may uncover any health weaknesses whicb could be dangerous if you went max-out interval training from day one. Until genetic testing is accurate and comprehensive across relevant factors then this is the best bet.

The other two training factors can be the HIT "switch" and strenght training.

High intensity interval training is super short duration with near max heart rate for just bursts of 30 seconds in a really small session. The total duration including a comfortable warm up and down would be 12 mins or so, but the Nottingham Uni researchers are basing research on a super short burst to prove that there is a switch in some people for upgrading VO2 max and a general improvement in insulin response.

So my advice for anyone like me, former fabby now flabby , is to

1) recall your own training patterns and build up as sporty young you. What benefited you most?
2) cut out a huge amount of sugar and starchy products with low fibre including of course beer but also cutting down on fruit outside training refreshment.
3) try longer very slow sessions early season so to speak. Get over the hour and up to two and three hours out a session.
4) do not pre-eat or compensation eat at this point. Take a banana or a small sports bar with you and eat half way through if you are feeling weak. Otherwise reduce your ijntensity s you tire and then try a bit of stretching and meditative breathing after you stop, avoid refuelling as this becomes a top up and shuts down your fat metabolism.

5)  Eat a dinner earlier after exercise not a snack with a later dinner. Avoid eating after training in the mid to late evening and do not train hard after 8:30pm, wind down and be in the shower before news-at-ten. For long slow exercise you can begin sooner after dinner , breakfast or lunch than for harder exercise anyway.

6) introduce shorter runs where you have some "lampost by lampost" goal setting or push yourself by training with others in a club or social setting. Fall back an.d take rests. Do this after your body's own feedback to begin with using visual queus like lamposts or hilltops or road junctions to measure your endurance at this higher intensity.

7) Later you can use the watch alarm to do fixed intervals based on challenging your body after its initial self limiting approach as above.

8) pick up a training buddy who is around the same level as you or prepared to slow a little to train with you.

9) pick some sportive event to do in a social context or arrange your own ride/run/ski with office folk or the club or whatever.

10) get advice on your technical shortcomings and find new technical challenges. This applies to running and cycling but more to swimming and xc skiing. Use this for setting another set of goals for the season

11) once you have chosen a highpoint and set of goals then train towards that in a more focused way. For shorter faster racing move that way, for a longer endurance race or sportive combine duration with gymn and home based stregnth exercises. In the season of races or events, include them in your target training hours as if they were just more hours logged and take rest days after them. First in after that use a long slow intensity session of around one and a half hours and see how you feel. If you are very stiff and tight in muscles you may need to call it a day and spend tijme stretching out and rehydrating. If you feel good then add some intervals or a hard climb for half an hour,   followed by a slow half hour warm down and 5- 10mins stretching.

12) as you get say 8 weeks into your programme challenge yourself by improving times on known runs or by going out with people of better fitness than you in a group. See how long you can keep up!

14) if you get a cold or a small injury then cut out the  long and the intense sessions. Train indoors and take time to do more well instructed, relevant strength work. With a fever or bronchitis stop everything, get a sick line and stay in bed. Training will make it worse.

torsdag 6. mars 2014

Lykke, Lyktestolpe, Livstil...The Joy Of Ski

Du kjenner ham der syltetynn og litt over trent gubbe. Birkebeinetmannen er i sporene. Han som vil utfordre selveste  finansulvene i Birke'n. Ellers Aker Solutions mann , avdeling bygda som trener med firmalaget halv seks om morgen i lysløypet. Neida dette er ikke noe krise heller ikke midt i livets gang. Ikke noka solution trengs, de er i toppform. Sjelveste Ole Einar'n skal fortsetter som to og førti åring i VM.

Barna og kone ser lite av dem der og mange vil holde formen med gummidekk versjonen av den opplandske mannsprøven.

Formål , blir det Birk'n eller ei...

Birke'n er då en veldig bra formål for mange som er veldig aktive som skigåere ellers som noe å bygge opp formen mot over flere år for den tidligere lathans eller to barns far som ville tilbake til formen de hadde for et par tiår siden.

Prioritisering er noe jeg er flink på i jobb sammenheng, ikke alltid hjemme. Men de store steinene i glasset dvs de livsdelene som er mest viktig til meg har jeg i fokus. De må balanseres, noen ganger er det frustrerende fordi en vil fremstår i ønske listen ofte trening eller det sosiale faller fra til fordelen for familien og huset.

Men velg da et muligt merke som er tilpasset hvor mye tid om uken du har og beregner da din forventet form. Ta råd og leser opp om hvordan formen kan utvikles for din alder og tidligere form. Til slutt minus femten prosent og dermed er du fram til fornuft i merketiden. Da forbli feber, småskader eller dårlig føre som noe du har tatt høyde for.

Formen er Beregnelig til en viss grad...

Formen din er en funksjon av antall timer og plannleggning av innhold over tid og det skal gjerne være ni måneders målrettet trening altså mye uten en fnøgg på bakken.

Eg snakkar fra høyhesten som delvis kvalifisert trener og halv utdannet sportsfysiolog, delvis universitet i Glasgow, Skottland, delvis selv lært. Og en gubbe som helst unngår folkemengder og flokkatferd, særlig når det er konkurranse i blandet.

Men ikke ha din kone som skienke og barna som tror pappa leser korte godnatthistorier fra kondomdrakten.

Trives du veldig i skisporene ? Er kroppsformen bra for skirenn over de lengre avstan? Vet du hva du må oppnå med stilen og hvordan du skal tilpasse det, smøringen, innsats og spising ut på Birken eller en annen utfordrende skirenn?

Andre Formål enn Konkurranse og Lange Skirenn

Jeg har en tung og kraftig kroppsform som er kanskje best evnet mot skiskøyting, men jeg liker de tekniske nuansene i klassiske. Jeg har dermed lagt opp tekniske formål for meg selv i året samt at jeg skal utføre lengre treningsøkt tom tre timer, og gjennomføre et selvbestemt skitur på fire eller fem mil på en dag.

Då tok jeg meg selv gjennom bøker og tonnevis av Youtube innlegg for å forbedre klassiske sitlen. Vekk med stavene for de første 45 minutter av sesongen da !  Det som jeg fort  oppdaget var at klassiske og skøytestilen egentlig ha mer tilfelles enn man synes kanskje. Det er nå lenge siden Robert Koch innførte revolusjonen som ble til en schism i sporten. Folk glemmer hele episoden, er glad for at skiskytere padler opp over bakken og skileverandør er begeistret å få solgt en annen "nødvendig" skipakke og alt av tilbehør.

Egentlig jeg har aldri hadt skøyteski bundet på beina. Men skøyta på ski har jeg ofte.  Et teknisk formål jeg hadde var å slutte med uryddige sving med halv plog, slalom kroppstilling og dermed ofte et sakte endepuntke til utforkjøringen. Jeg er da ikke stilte til å skli inntil til det neste fasen og holder ikke fart videre. Da er det trinnesving "step turning" som skulle læres.

Jeg tok den etter den første utfordring som var bedre vektoverføring i klassiske diagonal gang. Egentlig det var en dobbel nøkkel å ha vekslet fokus mellom dette og step-turning at jeg oppdaget.

Forbedringer i Teknikken Hented fra Begge Stilarter

Diagonalgang er for folkfleste den foretrukkete stilaren på snøen her. For den ene er det tradisjonelt her i Noreg, og for det andre er det jævla god trening. Man får en kontinuitet ved å holde diagonalgang på flatte og egentlig det er læringsrik for stilen til å kjøre på litt nedover bakken. Med ryggsekk eller litt dårlig glid er dobbeltak staving ikke så tiltrekende på flatte og slappe, sugende utforkjøring i det tidlige påskeföret vi nå har.

Der var nøkkelen med to sidet tenner! Diagonalgang er egentilg i sin riktig utførsel, en parallel skøyting. Hvis man som meg øver på både slikt rare utforkjøring og step turning da er det plutselig klart at det ikke er noe "schism" mer enn noen konservative FIS medlemmer og skiindustrien ville skape.

Utstyr er ikke så veldig dyrt for overgangs trening...

Dette har gått mye bedre i det siste ved bruk av mine 33,33kr loppemarkeds smørefrie "Trak" ski. Med myke spenn og lange møntre på sålen i den fiskeskinn utforming, er de tydeligvis veldig bra evnet ypperlig feste i disse myke, slorpete spor. Ved at de er bare 198 og ikke min vanleg 208 er de da kort nok for behagelig skøyting med forbehold om noen bannaner spor jeg tegner i snoen og forlater bak meg til under av den neste på egentlig skøyteski.

I tillegg må jeg peke til at det er blitt klisterføre for seks uker siden. Da er smørefrie bedre for pålitelig feste men også for et påletileg glid mens man skøyter uten klister eller rødt knagger i bakken.

I dag hadde det blitt så blaut i sporene at det lønte seg å skøyte i utforkjøringen og slappe motbakker. Deretter var det litt padling på brattere bakker med spisse kneer og vektet godt framover. Det siste var slitsomt i føret. Men litt greit å variere treningsform fra jogging opp de små sjappene.

Før Man Kjøper SkøyteskiPakke....

En annen faktor i tilfredstillende fremgang er støvler som støtter og binder inn anklen. Jeg skaffa meg et par Alpina RCR combi på tilbud men de er ellers svinedyre og langt fra perfekt utformet for mine poter. Dessuten  kan de ikkje festes på min nye gamle trettitre krone venner. Men mine urgamle alpina blå turstøvler er suveregne og dersom jeg giddet å impregnere de igjen, mye mer behagelig i slike forhold. De RCr combis var veldig alreit i nysnø men ble ubehagelige på hardt underlag og overalt vanskelig å få skolissene riktig slikt hælen ikke løftet seg. Men de har en dings for spisset hæl som funker og da i tillegg selvsagt har de borrelås festet anklestøttere. Mer tid før jeg misdommer dem da.

Så skaff deg kortere smørefrie ski på neste loppemarked du kommer på hvor som helst i Norge eller Fretex (som er blitt nokså dyrt for urgammel ski... pga Boho' beskjegget studenter i tweed luer kanskje ?) eller finn.no og da bruk litt tid på youtube (mads lære ...serie fra NRK og toppidrettshøyskolen er den aller best IMHO).

Staver ikke trenger å være super lange for første få øvelser...egentlig kort under skulder høyde staver er greit for å ta konsentrasjonen vekk fra hendene og da senkes CoG litt som hjelper før man skaffer 170cm karbon spidder.

Og så kom deg ut på en stille skogsveie med skøytebane og prøv litt sakte gang, får den nesen-skuldren-hoften-kneet-foten rytm og swing ting i gang og slapp av litt. Jogge litt opp motbakkene i sporene men unngå dem ved utforkjøring og prøv å opprettholde skøyting på stadig brattere bakker og lære å svinge ved skøyting eller smä trinn som en måke padler på plenen for å få opp meite markene.

Pust inn, pust ut, Enjoy! Du har ungått å bruke gjerne ellers 3000kr på en fin skøytepakke som kanskje du vil ikke bruke så ofte enn du trodde. Da blir det en glede å kjøpe slike ved super salg rundt eller etter påske hvis man har trivdes på loppe'ski.

Da har du også tre par ski plutselig. Hmm. Hva med kombiski? De ble kjempe utrendig etter en kort post Koch oppblomstring i utvalget. Kompromis ! Men da også kunne butikkene selge to par ski for begge stilarter.

Nå er det kanskje slikt at karbon - nomex-titan- you-name-it kunne brukes for å lage en rimmelig bra kombiski. Jeg for min del ser ikke noe store utfordringer bortsett for litt dårlig glid i sporene. Men man får trente begge stilarter i det samme økt med behag.

Atomic har kommet med en ny utforming som gir god spenn men et bedre feste / fraspark i at skiene gir seg under trykk i festesonen og blir kjempe myk plutselig. Det da sprettes ut . Som en terksel som brytes. Slikt kunne nytes i en kombiski.

"Fantaski " i telemark har noen lure skityper, enn jeg har sett i rbuk er et bred skøyteski med et rart borrelås aktig innlegg kun langs en kant av sålen. Det gir feste for en del fra spark og fiskebein. Mannen som eide dem likte skøyting men ikke på motbakker altså han hadde kommet på et perfekt ski for seg selv.

Jeg føler at det er ikke bare at man lære gjennom de to stil artene i en komplimentarisk måte, men man også får et behagelig variasjon i kroppsbevegelser. Ofte under klassiske tur får jeg vondt i ryggen ovenfor hoftene men det løsner seg etter en halv timer. Men ved overgang til "juksestilen" blir det løsnet opp på et par minutter max.

Ja vel en pondus, og hvis du har giddet å lese så lenge er det sikkert at du har det utholdbarhet som trengs for årets Birkebeinet .......på tv.

Lyktestolpe Teknikken i Trening

Kjære Dag Otto anbefaler noe i sin bok 'Kom i Form' som er veldig lett for vi gode voksene manfolk å glemme. Nemlig at det tok mer enn en dag å bygge Roma.

Han der Gtimstads sprekeste og mest utadvent 58 åringen viser til en kamerat som hadde vært helt ut av form og begynte med lyktestolpeteknikken- som innebære at man går ut av døren til den første lyktestolpen og så løper man til den neste og så går man til den videre etter det. Etter noen uker er det jogging og løping da, og selvsagt kan man tilsetter da flere lyktestolpene til turen og variere mellom en løpetur med bestandig rolig løping og intervaller , ved bruk av lyktestolpene igjen i stedet for treningsklokke.

Oss gubber vi glemmer hvordan det var å være tenåring og å ha det vondt med blodsmak i halsen og mange pauser etter vi går tomt for pust. Vi husker heller ikke at den toppformen vi kom på når vi var på tjueårene var basert på manger, mange timer med varierte trenings teknikker. Vi da ikke har helt fått med oss at det kullfibre, goretex, titan, kompressions eller landslaget- utstyr vi råder oss nå ikke erstatter innsats.

 Vi tror faktisk at vi har hatt en magiske vedlik av formen gjennom vår 30-årene mens vi jobbet for mye ved pulten og da byttet bleie og kjorte barna over byen. Med god uttsyr og voksen teknikk tror vi at vi kan finne snarveier  slikt vi kommer i form og går ned i boksestørrelse.

Sannheten er at for de fleste av oss som er kjort over gubbegrensen at vi må bygge et grunnlag ved kondisjonings trening. Noen få kan komme i veldig god form ved de der 45 minutters joggetur til jobben og et par hamsteraktig øving på studio. Men jeg tror at forskning skal vise oss at for mange er slikt treningsform lite effektiv for slanking og diverse fysiske faktorer på målestokken. For noen med små hjertefeil som meg er det kanskje rett og slett farlig å bare ha kortvarig treningsøkt og å bruke intervaller i det bildet.

For litt over en uke siden jeg kome meg ut på ski og da på skarp påskeføre med myk underlag. Jeg har satset på lengre treningsøkt i året siden jeg er 'mellom ansettelse' og har tid å trene i dagslys, selv om det har vært litt trist og grått. Plutselig er jeg opp i tre timers økter uten at det virker så lenge. Men så kom jeg mot den første fiskebeinbakke og kroppenog viljen sa stans opp! til meg. Skuffet mi. Jeg hadde over 30 timer på ski i beinet denne sesongen. Men da husket jeg lyktestolpenenDag Otto skrev om og tenkte det var jammen bra at kroppen ville ta en tidlig pustepause. To timer senere ut på løypet så jeg på klokken og det som skulle værenhalv anjen to timers tur hadde blitt nesten tre. Se lyset kompis

mandag 3. mars 2014

End of Ski Season...for now at least...Sleet and Sludd and Suck and Sug

Here then is some Norglish about the demise of snow under 400 m above sea level *MOH}

Today the conditions were easter *paaske* and like slush puppy , blaut-som-pokker.  The weather forecast said a whole morning and most of the p of m without shit coming out the sky, nedboer, and Storm.no promised a touch of sun. Solen viste seg p[ 10 minutter.

So the easter conditions under ski were not accompanied by sun, orange segments and the slightly superior kit-kat bar they have here, the norglishly Kvikk Lunsj. It was foggy and dank and really just putting miles into the legs at about 75% max heart rate for three hours.

I did it on jumble sale *loppemarked* skis which as I say were about 33kr since we got the bin ends of our choice offered free but felt the church roof should have a hundred lapp pasted onto it. They did a great job, bad glide but not a frustratingly bad glide. In these conditions clister *Klister* a thick UHU for sticking to the snow , iis unpredictable in adhesion, adsorption and durability. Put on just a little too tick or long in the *FesteSone* it grabs at the snow when you really want to glide, and carries a clump of wet crystals up hill with you. Far better with a pair of *smoerefrie" butterless, margarine skis no less!

The skis have softer *spenn* meaning less prebent spring which also makes them better for soft conditions for kicking as you get into the slush a bit quicker. Also they are a tad shorter, being maybe 198s over my usual 208s so they are better for skating which i first did to practice step turning, now feeling I am out of ploughing nappies so to speak. It went quicker than in the *spor* those endless tramlines in the white stuff to be found all over Norwegian forrest roads. Not a single tree is felled and sled rode out in winter such that the norwegian idyll is unbroken for the city executiive and the village NAV assistent as they glide and kick their ways through the woords.

Skating on this soggy slush puppy,  showed a thing I just learned about waxing for both skating and classic skis> you can get very technical indeed when it gets wet. In the tracks I was for the only time I can remember, going slower than on the soft, rilled skating plane in the middle *skoytebanen* . This was due to the higher free water content of the tracks which make them suck my skis*det suger*

A skier here who does not race but trains and maybe does some organised runs or time trials or the likes once a year, is a *mosjonist*. However the title is really reserved for someone who more or less lives on skis outside office or workshhop hours. God knows what that makes me with my paltry *fattig*  five to seven hours a week on planks propelled with kicks and sticks.  Even the pensioners here seem to go with rather tasty looking narrow training or outrigh fischer racing skis. I am missing a trick in speed by not having these, while also a handicap of having a british beer supposirty around my middle.

Anyway now you know that *mosjonist* , someone who motions, is a very *belasted* word here and is like a kind of badge of honour. A bit like being a reserve soldier ready to kill the enemy if it ever arose such things/ So an average mosjonist spends a small fortune all in on their annual skis and skiing hols etc and not in the least flourocarbon ski products. These repell water you see, and less suck is good on skis if not in the bedroom.

Actually in mulling around in th foothills of sub motionist, I do indulge to the VR racing waxes for kick zone because they last a lot longer on the ski and they cover a broader temperature range if you compare them closely to their plain hydrocarbon bretherin.  So you wax a lot less in ordinary sub clister conditions and you get a betterr grip to boot if it is at all wet or a run over 10km.

Oh well, one day I may graduate or go though the crystal gates to being a motionist,
*mosjionist* is that how it is spelt?

Anyhows today I enjoyed plugging away in the soft stuff so much that I did my own Ole Einar and went in tracks which were filled with sleet. The days pensioners before me chose to break the law flagrantly on their return journeys from the A and back to A forrest route we are actually rather blessed to have within 10 minutes drive from the coast. Bles-ssed are we too in having mostly 50-75cm left on it, bar some spots which wont last the week. The gods have then shone upon us with their celestial light of soft conditions rather than bone hard tram rails with a dusting of cold new snow on top which renders the best of waxing inoperable often over the preceeding four winters here in South Norway.

Eventually a pensioner on really skinny Fischers caught me up and was undertaking me on the wrong side of the Norwegian road (the scoundrel I hear you say!) when he slowed down to talk and in so doing gave me a little kudos for driving the tracks down for the next comers. I then recognised him as the same pensionerr who drives the bloody pisting maching. He prefers to do that in the evening and the temperature here and snow prefer to fall over night, so my day time ventures out have been marred by new snow or worn, hard tracks the whole season.

That little 3km trudge in virgin sleety snow (minus a bit of centre lane skating to ease the legs and the boredom) which made the whole 18km tour feel like 30km,   was a bit like my whole season then> a bloody struggle to try and get better at basic techniques while being served up the exact opposite of @silkyconditions!

lørdag 1. mars 2014

Cross Country Skiing Technique Tips from my 2014 Season

My season of training is pretty much over, now there will be some tours to the high country and altertnative training.

This year i really wanted to crack a few different components of efficient diagonal stride and technical points on down hill cornering. Conditions were too variable and down right poor to be able to get real continuity but i was able to progress and make some summaries.

Here are a kind of pot boiler on best tips in lijght of trying to deconstruct my stride, do better cornering and coping with poor soft or icey condtions so typical of a fluctuating weather pattern. These are with the proviso that these are maybe best for new beginners and intermediate idiots like myself who do want to train a good deal though and tackle 40km tours.

1) look up youtube. Keith Nichol has the best, simple exercises for various key things in the classic technique. Look up langrennsteknikk if you can understand spoken norsk.

The next step is to get your self videod at different points through your season

2) get your first sessions done in good conditions. Do a couple of hours v. light skiing with a focus on kick and weight transfer at a slow pace. Use diagonal a lot, even on slight down hills. Warm up without poles and try the same at different points in your session eg on varied terrain types or when you re-w

3) avoid any rucksack even a small one for your first ten hours of season.  A light bum-bag ( fanny pack, hear us brits snigger) is ok. Take a ruck sack by all means with clothes, warm drink, food, kitchen sink etc but leave it at the side of the trail and plan circuits to pass your provisions at sensible intervals.

4) if conditions are forecast variable weather around freezing point,  or the tracks are very hard, get filled in with new snow etc then dig out  your waxless skis. If you dont have any try a qaulity pair of waxless light touring from a friend or hire shop, or if you are more serious look at Atomic Skintec as an investment. Klister weather on average amateur prepared tracks or following just other skiers tracks mean poor, variable conditions where even a good prep' on the kick zone will be unreliable enough in adhesion to be annoying and will be prone to wearing off. This aint Sochi with teams of salters and groomers. Get out your noisy old waxless.

5) consider using shorter poles: if you have been fitted for shoulder high poles, then consider buying a second set which are armpit high. I find that shoulder high give an unwanted shift in mental focus and there-with balance with the modern diagonal technique of bent arms and a higher cadence this is a distraction from redeveloping your kick and glide. I got poles 15cm shorter actually and these help a lot, by helping me forget them !

You should go back to full length poles for serious training towards racing or fast touring because they are more powerful and efficient. But In any case a short pair are good for tours with dog and family especially if they come only with a strap, easier to move around on without hitting other folk and getting on and off. Also better for tours with a bigger pack later in the season, especially if you can swap to a mountain style bail.

For poling (staking) they seem to also help by making it easier to committ moving body weight onto perpendicular planted poles. Also for skating style they helped me lower my centre of gravity and focus on pointing my knees and getting power from the leg thrust over the poles contribution.

6) practice both classic and skating style from day one. In conditions with a soft top inch or two on a firm base you can skate pretty well on classic skis: the prebend is eaten up by the soft snow and you get resistance from the base. If you have both types of ski, buy combi boots and swap skis while out on tour. Skating is a better warm up imho than classic because it loosens you off and concentrates you on an even, sustainable rythm.

This year one of my goals was to learn step turning and this is really a skating technique so practicing on the flat and gentle downhills has been pefect on days where it hs been softer.

7) on kick zone adhesion: i conclude that for developing better weight transfer and a more powerful propulsion kick that you are better sacrificing glide and "over waxing" or using waxless for this part of your early season training and redevelopment. You can avoid bad glide, cladding and gripping by holding onto wax like red rather than using clister. Also you can use softer wax only on the section from before the toe to the heel in the pyramid build ontop of green and blue. This will help you force the ski down to get best adhesion while giving a better glide. If traction is poor though you have to extend the soft wax area.

8) if you must use clister then do it right: take off the old kick wax and use a good base binder wax or clister first and then use wamed clister or an iron to get two or three full lenght thin layers, cooling them off. Build a pyramid of clister  for the hardest or wetter days under the sole to another two to three short layers. Try spray clister as a top up for longer tours or really abbrasive conditions. Let the solvent evaporate and the clister go tacky and then lay the skis on the snow to let it cool and set otherwise it will come off.

For really abbrasive conditions where you eventually just want to get home with good adhesion, make a herring bone pattern under the legnth of the binding with thick clister and let these cool on the snow before skiing home. This then gives both clister and a bit of waxless texturing.

Focusing on propulsion:

A) diagonal: the kick is really a downwards adhesion of one leg allowing the other leg to be thrust forward. The point at which to do this is when the kickin foot is right under your body line. Dont focus on raising your leg in the donkey kick .
B) further on from A, the glide foot does not have weight committed to it until it is well forward of the body line , with the knee bent and the shoe meeting a touch down for weight transfer when it is virtuall parrallel to the ground. The ski then is propelled forward in a decreasing angle with the knee bent, the ankle taking the swing through and the hip following
C) "clapping" of the ski is a symptom that you are not swinging the new glide foot forwrd enough before you put weight on it. You are cutting the swing short and the clap is caused by the higher angle the ski has to the ground when you commit to changing legs by bringing your foot and ski down. This is more like a double poling kick and not the stride of diagonal
D) on this point c , you should at first continue diagonal stride on the flat and slight downhills such that you get used to the committment of weight to one ski with the other first trailing and then being swung through swiftly and low before the weigh transfer happens as in b
E) your hip is important in making a stable transfer and efficient glide: it swings in a little to the new side as the kick finishes on the other side. Shoulder should remain square so the hip is being protruded outforward and in the kick, it is going backwards a bit less prominently so you dont oscillate or pivot too much.
F) in warmijng up take shorter strides. In difficult conditions take also shorter diagonal strides. When it gets icey do this and go over to poling earlier than usual to prevent annoyance with poor kick adhesion and also small injuries.
G) in fast conditions with good kick adhesion and good glide, practice diagonal stride with a very long glide on flat or down hills where you practice balance on one ski and control of the trailing ski in an exagerrated way. Do this with and without poles. Get used to swinging the trailing ski through such is doesnt clap down but meets the ground at a shallow angle as in b and c above. Dont dwell too much on this exercise because:
H) in predictable snow conditions learn the feel of the tranfer points on the terrain between diagonal, poling, double pole with kick, back to diagonal over to a jogging diagonal and into fish bone. Training with other people will help this. Try to then speed up some transfers and then learn to use more effort to keep speed on when entering a small up hill from a downhill.

Cross Country Ski Technique : taught too seriously?

In a rough translation and update to the last blogg in Norsk.

This year I went out with good inentions of cracking some fine points of technique yet ended up with a theory that there is a lower level set of goals in technique which are more relevant, achievable and sustainable for the fun & fitness xc skier and the touring skier.

The final evidence for the plaintiff side of moderation from an elite, perfectionist and athletically correct style of diagonal and poling, was that my best day of fitness and kicking was on a pair of 50kr jumble sale waxless skis and my now ancient touring boots. I did a good three hours on them on corned snow which was melting.

It is easy to say then well sod glide you need good kick traction. Also that buying new, narrower training skis would be a  distraction for me. However i conclude that the case is adjourned pending better snow.

Simply concluded for the time being it has not been a good season to deconstruct finer points of my technique or learn new ones. Running before i can walk in terms then of having to cope with the variables of poor track conditions while trying to go back to square one and reconstruct my skiing.

We had almost two meters of snow all of it powder before it then progressively melted and it all became an early Easter. Then it thawed and froze and then some more new  snow came and made it all jolly dee again. So we had actually no firm base, which is quite unusual, and we had an insulated ground which did not freeze much before the onslaught of two weeks of snow fall.

Even on my last run i was losing my staves into the white void if they were not really close to the side of skis.

So let me put a full stop here shortly on my analysis before there is reader paralysis.

In the next blogg then i will pick out some tips for such an approach to deconstructing technique and facing variable conditions.