Wednesday, July 8, 2015

SAU prep.

Three days left 'til the Swedish Alpine Ultra, a 107 km run through some of Sweden's highest mountains which I've been training for for quite some time and which I am pretty excited about. The course starts in Nikkaluokta at 8am on Saturday and ends in Abisko (hopefully sometime later that day), following the northern portion of the Kungsleden which is Sweden's most popular long distance hiking trail.

For the first time in about a decade I've continued with some running through the winter months, in an effort to maintain a bit of running specific fitness and tendon/ligament strength which I always lose with a 6+ month ski season. I wasn't running much, only about 30km/week, but it was enough for me to start running some more volume in late april and stay injury free.

One of the big challenges of the race is presented by just how early in the summer it occurs  (by arctic scandinavian standards atleast). There is still a lot of snow higher up in the mountains, and this record cold spring hasn't really helped matters. Infact I was able to ski as low as 650m. in the mountains around Narvik as late as last week. As a result of all the snow in the mountains most of my training up until a few weeks ago was happening down at sea level. This has been nice, and the flatter types of runs I've been forced to do are definitely more specific to the course which has a pretty mellow profile (only 2000ish metres of elevation gain over 107km)- but I'm really looking forward to plenty more alpine runs over the next couple months.

Below are a few photos from training the past few weeks.

The Rallarveien down to Rombaksbotn a week ago.

More Rallarveien- one of my favourite runs in the area

Summer has been late this year- but its arrival dramatic as always down below treeline

From an outing with Bjarte on the northern section of the SAU course a week ago, where winter hasn't entirely let go.

The photos below are from the first and only other time I've run the SAU course; over two days with Clément back in August 2012. All photos from Clément- cheers!

The race website (in Swedish):

Another report coming after the race.

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