Today I took part in a cross country skiing race in Älvsbyn, north of Sweden. Andörjan is a 40 km race and I took part in it for the third or fourth time. This was my slowest race and that to no surprise. My preparation for this race was ten half hours on the ski ergo at my gym in Stockholm. There has not been much snow in Stockholm so the only time I was actually standing on a pair of skies was yesterday when I was out skiing just over 13 km.
The ski track was three laps and when I went out on my second lap I was actually cheating (but not consciously) by skipping the last curve. The first thought was that it was strange that the tracks went over some other tracks but at the same time I was happy that the time for the first lap was faster than I had anticipated. The second thought was that it was strange that they only had one sports drink station for 13 km.
During my second lap the elite passed me on their third lap. After that I kept to the right and some ski runners passed me on their way to the goal. When I finished the second lap I took the right turn and I got some well needed sport drinks for my last lap. Now the track was almost empty and I skied by myself for most part. The lack of training started to affect my body and first it began to hurt a little in my right elbow and after a while in my right shoulder.
Without too great effort I managed to reach the goal and because of my mistake the first lap, I skied that small lap in the stadium before I passed the goal. Here you can see a videoshot that Kay filmed (in Swedish). I wanted to get the correct time even if that meant that I was going to be disqualified.
You might wonder what skiing in winter time up north has to do with biking and walking in summertime? For me it’s about endurance; to set a goal that you might not accomplish and to plan to reach it with the skills and resources you have at your disposal. So a ski race up in the north might not increase my performance on bike or by foot. Rather it is the mental training and programming of the brain so it get used to taking on tasks it is not used to and to execute those tasks.