Etikettarkiv: c25k

Favourite track – in spring

It smells like ldaybugs outside right now. Today was a little warmer again but later it got back to the chilly spring that we are having. Some years we could go swimming (and enjoy it) in mid May but I am certain it won’t happen this year. But springtime is here and all the dreadful snow is melted away now. Not even the north facing hills on my track had any snow now (which they had last sunday).

The starting point


Toward the cottage "Slammertorp"
At the crossroads
Water from the snow that is now gone...

The old fields close to Slammertorp cottage
This is the best part of the woods, the one I always look forward to when struggling up the hills at the other end, this is where it pays of and you can just enjoy the woods
The open fields - but from the other direction actually. The track goes around this field.
The finish of the first part of the track. You can almost see the starting point way up ahead - but not quite. There is about 1/2 km to the finish from here if you cut it short... wich I did not tonight...
Starting on the second part of the track. It is very much uphill from here now just beyond the part you can see here is one of the toughest hills on the track now.
Also a nice part of the track but it is steeper than the picture shows...
The setting sun makes it all worth it. But now it also gets colder, good there is only about 1 km to go from here
Some playthings for strenthening your abdominals, back and arms

Runner formulas

Cadence is easy to check when running, and this is how: For 20 seconds count the number of times you put your right foot first. Then multiply by 3 and then by 2. This way you get the number of steps per minute and then add your left foot as well.

Example: 20 steps in 20 seconds gives you: 20 * 3 * 2 = 60 * 2 = 120

But it does not take the intensity into account just ”jogging” which is similar to about 7 km/h of running generally (tempo 8:30).

A better formula is might be this:  Weight (kg) * time (hours) * speed (km/h)


One of these days

Today was really one of these days, i had a rather stressful morning at work trying to get the VPN tunnel up and running that did not work properly for 3 weeks and finally it worked. I worked really late yesterday cause I had to take some hours off in the morning to take care of something and so I worked late to compensate for that.

And the morning was stressful, several phone calls from near and far about everything at the same time and then some problems with the systems I am responsible for but around noon I remembered that I was called to the blood donor bus, just around the corner from where I worked. I thought that ”twenty minutes of lie down is exactly what i need now” so I went there and  got hooked up to the vampires (actually they were all very nice ladies).

Then after a while, after being drained of a pint or so, I started feeling quite nauseaus and the lady attending to my blood letting came to the rescue. She asked if I had eaten and I had to confess that I had skipped brekkies and also postponed lunch until ”later”.

The stare I got was something similar that I only remember from my youth after breaking my moms favourite crystal vase with an indoor ball game I just invented. The look said it all ”seriously… and you have been doing this for how long?” well, ten years at least… I never skip brekkies on a day of leeches but this morning was awful.

Back at work I had a nice sushi lunch and then everything got back to normal again. Well home again I decided to go out and do a nice short jog. Usually I skip workouts on the same day that they have sucked me dry but I decided to take it easy. I noticed two things, one was that it wasn’t a problem, if anything I felt well rested and full of energy, which is interesting but that may be because I skipped last weeks long run in the weekend and instead went for a 2 hour camera walk taking some autumn pictures.

The second thing I noticed was that my pulse was about 10 bpm higher than normal for a given excertion rate. Normal I believe after being drained, just interesting to see that in reality, so I decided that a 2,5 km run was good enough for today and then went back home again.

It’s getting cold now, I could see some frost glittering on the street pavement and the air was crisp and chill. At first I was a little cold around the feet, my jogging shoes are definitely not winter shoes but after the first km the feet was just great, then my hands felt rather cold instead but the long sleeves of my running jacket solved that problem. Gotta get a pair of nice gloves because this winter I would like to keep running outdoors as long as possible really.


During the blood letting process I also had a nice conversation with one of the nurses, it was interesting to learn about the iron in the body and especially related to sports. It is said that runners often lower their blod iron content after running, especially longer workouts, some believe it is the result of crushing of red blod cells in the feet or compression of the capillaries or some sort. Noone seems to know for sure however just that if you measure the iron content before and after a marathon for example there is a definite difference.

Apart from to low on iron can lead to fatigue and problems with transporting oxygen around the body too much iron is dangerous, even lethal. In Europe there is also a few percent who suffers from hemachromatosis, a medical problem that makes the iron content in the blood too high, there has been examples of runners such as Aran Gordon who started having problem that gradually got worse to the point where he almost died  and after a blood letting  where suddenly fine again – for a while, it is a slow killing disease and a genetic problem.

The reason why it is more common in Europe than in other parts of the world is that the disease actually protected us from The Black Death. The plague infection is rather effectively hindered by the excess iron content in the blood but because about 1/3 of the population was killed off by the plague this gene is now rather prominent over here.  It was not until 1996 that the reason for hemachromatosis was known and still lots of people believe that more iron is always better.

Fertile females have rarely too much iron in their bodies, the monthly bleeding is seeing to that, together with other hormones that also seems involved in regulating this but as much as 22% of the males in a study in Iceland was found to have excess iron in their bodies. This has also been linked to a number of problems such as Alzheimers disease since iron flows into the brain straight through the blood-brain barrier.

Iron overload seems to be increasing with age in males and females also after the menopause and all in all this is just as a good reason as any to give blood regularly. In fact it is just as likely that men over 40 and women over 70 to suffer from too high iron levels than suffering from shortage of iron in their blood. Something to think about because until just recently the medical corps seems to have only considered a too low iron level as a problem.

I don’t think that even after a good blood letting as such today I actually get anemic, I seem to recover very quickly, already the day after I notice no difference to normal really. The hours after the actual draining I can be a little bit more thirsty than normal, the body is compensating for the loss of fluid of course.

My Hb was 153, well in the upper range of what is normal (about 130-155) so it was about time to give blood.

Training Wk 39

This is the training for Wk 39:

Tuesday Running 3,5 km
Thursday Running 3,5 km
Saturday Running long 10 km

My foot still hurts a bit when walking. It is not a sharp pain, it’s a dull something inside that is linear to the amount of pressure I put on the forefront part of the right foot.

The first two runs this week was both the same track around the most hilly part of the Slammertorp track. Great and the second run I did it all without any walking at all, considering the inclines in this track that’s a record for me.

Did a 10 k run on Saturday and it started out pretty well but then I started feeling tired and cranky after about 3 km and the rest was increasingly painful. The last 3 km was interrupted by short walks now and then and uphills. I ended up with a pain in my right hip and another one in my left sole but they are both dissipating rather quickly. But it was painful and tiresome and on the whole not a very good experience at all.

Next week will be better!

Total distance 17,3 km Total time 2:37:00 HMS
Avg tempo 9:04 min/km Avg. speed 6,6 km/h
Max. HR 171 bpm Avg. HR 150 bpm
Training Effect 4,4 TE Energy spent 2020 kcal
VO2(max) 30 ml/kg/min Peak EPOC 127 ml/kg
Max. ventilation 82 l/min Max breathing 40 bpm

Training Wk38

This is the training for week 38:

Monday: Resting (Yasuragi was sooo nice)
Tuesday: 3 km on treadmill and then gym (shoulders) 20 min.
Wednesday: Resting
Thursday: Resting
Friday: Resting
Saturday: Resting
Sunday: Resting

What is not so nice is that i gained another 2 kg during my absence. That’s something to deal with now, less carbs in the food, more protein and overall less calories and more physical exercise.

After my tuesday run I started having problems with my right foot. A pain inside that does not want to go away and gets worse after walking around for a day. It does not seem to get too much affected by running short distances  but this week was mainly resting the foot and getting some anti-inflammatory NSAID medication I hope it will be better next week.

I know it will!

Training Wk 37

Four weeks of renovation at home has effectively put an end to all workouts. There has just not been enough time and energy to do any serious running or anything else for that matter. Working full time and then coming home trying to squeeze in an hour or two before it is too late for the neighbours listening to drilling, sawing, nailing… and then the weekends trying to get everything together but still do something fun now and then.

It’s done. Well the main tough work is there, we now have a completely renovated bedroom with a really smart storage solution under the bed, we have a new hallway and we have redecorated the ceilings, walls and floor. We stripped everything down to the bare concrete and then built it up again. Finally everything is in place except some small details that we can do later on.

Monday: 7,95 km – gravel roads at Järvafältet
Tuesday: Resting
Wednesday: 7,95 km – gravel roads at Järvafältet
Thursday: Resting
Friday: Resting
Saturday: 5 km – asphalt in Täby
Sunday: Resting

So the workouts have resumed again. Monday I went to my 8k track at the Järva fields, it was great the first 3 km, then my hip started telling me it wasn’t really happy and the last 3 km I alternated between slow jogging and fast-paced walking. It was pretty tough and I had to walk a lot on the last 4 km. I believe in total I probably walked 2,5 km and jogged the rest.

On wednesday I did the same route again and this time I managed to jog the full 8 km with only a very quick stop for some stretching and then moving on. It felt really good that night in the forest, I could barely make out the road ahead of me in the starlight but I had my Clas-Ohlson cap with built-in lights to guide me when it got really dark.

Saturday we had the movie night with our friends in Täby and I managed to squeeze in a 5 k run together with my friend Jenny around Näsby Park which was wonderful, despite the light drizzle and rather cold weather, it was definitely pleasant anyway. Must be the company.

Summary of this week


The week then ended with a 2 day session at Yasuragi japanese spa outside Stockholm. It was wonderful.

Back on the wagon

Back in my running shoes today. Four weeks of no workouts what so ever, except for the carrying of heavy things when renovating the apartment.

I went to Järvafältet and did my 8 km favourite track there. First 4 km went pretty ok, slow but nice, keeping heart rate down going for distance and time rather than intensity, but then I had to stop and stretch my hip that became a bit painful. Had I been smart I would have choosen to start out with a 3-4 km run, not a 8 km, but I managed to get back by alternating jogging and walking.

I do feel that my condition is not that bad but my legs are quite uncustomed to the business of running again. But if I remember correctly from my last pause it takes a couple of weeks to get back well and proper and then everything will be fine again.

It was dark so I ran with a flash light in my hand, I had forgotten my cool cap.

And Lauren – I am sorry, I have forgotten to send your cap to you. Will do when we have unpacked everything that was stowed away for the renovation.

8 km gravel roads on the Järva fields

Last night I took the car to a nearby parking just outside Järvafältet. I hade in mind to run with my GPS logger and as it has a map to be able to decide on the fly to go a longer or shorter route, take a short-cut or extend the running depending on the feeling.

Turns out the batteries however was depleted in it, although it looked like they where half-charged when I checked them at home so I left it in the car and started on a path I sometimes go by bike and I know fairly well.


It was a magical night, a bit of fog over the open fields, the road was a little soft after the rain but that was great for the legs after doing a tougher round on asphalt the other day and I ran through the wonderful farm at Rocksta where I could hear the horses in the stable and there where cows in the fields. The air was cool, around 16°C and it was just lovely being out in this wonderful weather.

During the whole run I met two people. One lady on a bike fairly close to the starting point, maybe 1.5 km in to the run and then on my way back around 5.5 km I met this guy who was lost on his bike trying to get back to Jakobsberg. I gave him a road description since I know this area pretty well by now and he thanked me.

During the whole run I stopped the clock twice, once to check my bearings when I tought I had gone the wrong way (I didn’t but I ran back and forth a few hundred meters off clock to check) and then when I gave the lost guy some directions.

The path is a little bit hilly, one bigger hill close to the beginning and then some smaller ones and longer stretches of uphill/downhill. I kept a great pace based on my heartbeat trying to never exceed 150 bpm instead work on my endurance today and it worked great I felt so good the entire time it was a shame to stop.

The sun was setting in the long slow way it does up in the north in the summer time, we have sunsets from about 19-21 with the light slowly fading away and although it was pretty dark when I got back to the car it was just lovely from start to end.

This path can easily be extended to 10 km or even 12 km just by slighly changing the route. I think I might go for the 12 km next time. I hope my friend Jenny joins me then.


Training Wk 30

A nice week but a little slow on the training side because we went to our summerhouse for a bit of holiday and I did one 5k run there around the lake. They have built a new gravel road there in order to be able to run timber from the woods out of the area but this road is hardly worth the name, it was soft and difficult to run, lots of potholes and fist-sized rocks strewn about and it was also quite hilly, not surprising actually. After that we came back home to Stockholm again and I had a really nice run together with my friend Jenny.

Jenny who started running in 2006 and then had a couple of stops since she’s had two children since that time, runs at a tempo that is a bit higher than mine usually but this was really good, she could slow down and I could work on getting a little better tempo in to my run. Not to mention she’s just such a great person and nice to talk to so we had a really good run although we took a couple of wrong turns so the 6,7 km yellow track at Altorp became about 7,7 km instead, no problem there.

Tonight I am going for a run where I live so that will make it 3 runs this week.

Then I have less than two weeks before Midnattsloppet to train for it, I am not worried but I need to get a quality week of running in and then a long distance run and some rest the days before the actual race, I think that will be good.

And of course more runs with Jenny!

Running in the dark

Now when the Swedish wonderful summer is drawing closer to the autumn I need to share a real runner tip with everyone that wants to keep running in the woods even if there is a slight drizzle of rain or the darkness is hitting earlier than before. In not too long the darkness will descend upon us earlier and earlier and it is actually already starting to get really dark in the night.

So a light on the forehad and a cap to keep the light rain out of your face would not be a bad idea?

Well here it is.

49:- SEK at Clas Ohlson store

This is a proper cap in nice material with their logo on the side and which got 5 LED lights built into the cap rim that will show you the road in the darkness. It is powered by 2xCR2032 (wristwatch style) batteries and will light for many hours on the roads and in the woods while keeping your face dry (from rain).

And for the price, buy two!

The light switch is in the cap, easy to reach and hitten under the fabric. Turn it on and off as you please while never missing a stride!