Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Mountain

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.
This was filmed between 4th and 11th April 2011. I had the pleasure of visiting El Teide.
Spain´s highest mountain @(3718m) is one of the best places in the world to photograph the stars and is also the location of Teide Observatories, considered to be one of the world´s best observatories.

The goal was to capture the beautiful Milky Way galaxy along with one of the most amazing mountains I know El Teide. I have to say this was one of the most exhausting trips I have done. There was a lot of hiking at high altitudes and probably less than 10 hours of sleep in total for the whole week. Having been here 10-11 times before I had a long list of must-see locations I wanted to capture for this movie, but I am still not 100% used to carrying around so much gear required for time-lapse movies.

A large sandstorm hit the Sahara Desert on the 9th April ( and at approx 3am in the night the sandstorm hit me, making it nearly impossible to see the sky with my own eyes.

Interestingly enough my camera was set for a 5 hour sequence of the milky way during this time and I was sure my whole scene was ruined. To my surprise, my camera had managed to capture the sandstorm which was backlit by Grand Canary Island making it look like golden clouds. The Milky Way was shining through the clouds, making the stars sparkle in an interesting way. So if you ever wondered how the Milky Way would look through a Sahara sandstorm, look at 00:32.

Available in Digital Cinema 4k.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pauli Kiuru elected to Finnish Parliament

Pauli Kiuru was elected to Finnish Parliament in April 2011. He has not been a triathlete for years, and didn't wear Polar HRM during the elections. In a recent interview he mentioned that he still trains 4-5 times a week to stay fit.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Natural running style

Barefoot running style by Dr. Mark Cucuzzella. Style is what matters and there is no absolute need to run around without shoes all the time. That's why many prefer the term natural running style. More info: Two Rivers Treads.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Way Down: Life and Death on K2

This is a well-researched/written book of the interesting 2008 K2 story told by a non-climber to a non-climber. Nobody reads books anymore - including me - but read this anyway. Good stuff.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The wild winner of Ironman 70.3 New Orleans 2011

Sebastian Kienle smashed the pro field at the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans triathlon 2011, which was actually only a bike-run duathlon as the swim was cancelled.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Boston Marathon 2011 slo-mo

The two best men both had an excellent style. Geoffrey Mutai in green won with the fastest time ever 3:03:02, and he does it the right way: light, easy and smooth. Also Moses Mosop is doing great at this point - half a mile from finish - but will lose four seconds.

Gebregziabher Gebremariam took third with 2:04:53 and does not look half bad either. Ryan Hall is overstriding a bit, no doubt compensation for extreme fatigue - he will finish in fourth place, five seconds behind.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Übers Ziel Hinaus - UTMB film

Übers Ziel Hinaus - TEIL 01 from Lukas G. on Vimeo.
Bachelorarbeit im WS 10/11 an der HS Ansbach

Übers Ziel Hinaus - TEIL 02 from Lukas G. on Vimeo.
Bachelorarbeit im WS 10/11 an der HS Ansbach

Übers Ziel Hinaus - TEIL 03 from Lukas G. on Vimeo.
Bachelorarbeit im WS 10/11 an der HS Ansbach

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2 types of freestyle high elbow pull

There are 2 types of high elbow pull to choose from.

The most common one is to sink your hand deep in the water, which generates more power, but also much more drag slowing you down. When you look around in the pool, you see 90% of swimmers using this style. I'm usually one of them.

Everyone might not be aware of the second option, or they may have tried it, and decided it's too difficult to do: it requires more flexibility - more than many older swimmers have anyway.

The other option advocated in the video below is the pro 'secret' which keeps the elbow close to the surface. Although that gives you less power, the smaller drag allows you to move faster forward in water with less wasted energy. This is the theory anyway.

You might feel pain in your shoulders when doing this. In that case I'd switch back to the easier style. Your swimming style is a result of several compromises, so it's never going to be perfect. The most important thing is to avoid injuries. We age group triathletes are fairly slow (55-59 minutes per 3800 meters) anyway, so a little added drag doesn't really matter that much to us. Better to save our precious energy for the bike and run, rather than swim a little faster and be wasted before the race really begins.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Way Back

Weir is back with 'The Way Back': an epic film about an escape and then a 4,000-mile walk from Siberia to India. A must-see for endurance aficionados.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ITU triathlon in slippery Sydney

Courtney Atkinson's handlebar cam in Sydney triathlon (1500 m swim, 40K bike, 10K run) that started ITU World Championship Series on Sunday April 10th 2011. Wet slippery roads, relatively short race distances combined with legal drafting creates dangerous situations on the bike leg.

Some competitors were falling even on the run, when trying to maneuver the tight curves while going as fast as possible.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

OMM Kamleika Race waterproof softshell jacket and pants review

I needed new better waterproof jacket and pants for next summer's alpine trail running. After some research I chose OMM Kamleika Race. It seems pretty good for a softshell, and it sure kept me dry and comfortable during a recent rainstorm.

I got size M as usual, which seems to be a bit tighter for me than expected. It's ok with a thin underlayer, but there's not quite enough room for a proper midlayer. In cold weather the minute you stop moving, you are frozen. Of course you might try to wear warmer insulation over Kamleika, if that's possible.

The new Gelanots fabric is advertised as soft, stretchy, and breathable (15,000 gsm/24h) - and it is, and feels nice to touch. It's made of polyester/polyurethane - everything is plastic these days.

The pants might restrict my movements when climbing steep hills, especially so when they are designed to be such a tight fit. That's why I won't be using the pants at all, unless absolutely necessary.

Being 100% waterproof (20,000 mm hydrostaic head), Kamleikas can make you very sweaty in no time if you run hard in warm conditions. However the breathability is not that bad compared to other similar garments I've tried. There are plenty of non-waterproof running jackets that are way lighter and much more breathable, but they won't protect you much either during scary weather.

Last summer in Swiss Alps, while wearing Inov-8 Mistlite 210 Jacket, I learned the hard way that "windproof and water resistant" is not the same as waterproof. Long story short, I got hypothermic, and my race was over soon after that. So I thought it might pay to carry a few hundred extra grams next time.

+ a 100% waterproof softshell that protects effectively from rain and bad weather as promised,
+ lightweight (jacket 300 g, pants 190 g) and small enough to be carried in your backpack during a race,
+ water resist YKK zippers and pockets,
+ jacket has two large externally laminated torso pockets,
+ lots of reflectives for safety in the dark,
+ elasticated draw cord hem,
+ Velcro cuff closure.

- slightly expensive,
- way too tight "athletic cut" for any serious athletic endeavours (size M seems almost like S, so consider a larger size than normally, especially if you plan to wear any warm clothes under during the cold season),
- may not seem quite as breathable as advertised when running hard (but not too bad compared to other similar products).

I'd recommend OMM Kamleika race jacket and pants for ultra trail running races, but only during very bad weather. When the weather is nice this sort of garments are way too hot. So carry them in your backpack, and use them when you hit a storm up on the mountains.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wellington breaks her Ironman WR again in South Africa

Since she began in 2007, Chrissie Wellington has never lost a 140.6-mile triathlon that she has started - and she has started eleven of them. She also won Ironman South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Sunday with 8:33:56, setting a new Ironman World Record. Wellington finished 8th overall as usual - she has lately finished in top 8 overall consistently in Ironman-distance races. Her fellow Englishwoman Rachel Joyce arrived second, crossing the finish line 34 minutes after Chrissie.

Actually she went faster last summer in Challenge Roth (8:19:13), but that is known in triathlon circles as a somewhat shorter course than advertised. Her previous record was 8:36:13 from Ironman Arizona in November, after the disappointing DNS in Kona.

After a solid swim and bike, she ran an incredible 2:52:54 marathon. Nobody could beat that, not even the local hero Raynard Tissink, who took the men's title with a new course record 8:05:36. Marino Vanhoenacker posted the best bike split of the day (4:18), but Tissink was able to keep up with him on the bike and hang on there until Van's wheels come off completely on the run.

The live video feed made the race easier and more fun to follow online.

Monday, April 11, 2011

GoPro 3D highlight reel

I dare you to find a cooler 3D video on YouTube with a bit of swim, bike and run in it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Man

The Man's Search for Meaning is adapted from Matt Fitzgerald's book 'Iron War', which will be released in October 2011. The Man is Dave Scott, 6-time Ironman champion.

The night before 1988 Ironman, I went for a little jog along Alii Drive just for fun. Everybody laughed at me, because nobody trains hours before the gun goes off. I did encounter another runner, moving probably faster than my best race pace. It was Dave Scott looking fitter than ever, and at that moment there was absolutely no question in my mind who would win the next day.

Except that for some old knee issue, he decided not to start at all. Scott Molina couldn't believe his luck and took the title with a 3:02:42 marathon. I bet The Man couldn't have helped thinking afterwards he could have beaten that with his one good leg alone - after all, he had won in 1987 with a 2:49 marathon.

The moral of the story is that you shouldn't be too critical when judging yourself. Even the bitterest defeat is far better than not trying at all. I don't care if he crosses the finish line first or last, I just hope to see The Man compete in Kona and elsewhere for many years to come.

Here's some rare footage from 1987 Ironman.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Marathon Des Sables 2011 Stage 4 82 km

Stage 4 of Marathon Des Sables is over! The 82 km ultramarathon in the desert is the toughest day of an extremely tough event. The competitors have to carry most of what they need during the week. The results show two local runners in the lead, but the race is going to be very exciting until the end.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lifelong exercise and heart disease

A recently published study 'Diverse patterns of myocardial fibrosis in lifelong, veteran endurance athletes' suggests a link between lifelong exercise and myocardial fibrosis.

NYT blogged about this new find with the title 'When Exercise Is Too Much of a Good Thing'. However they concluded with the following positive statement:
"But if you exercise regularly and currently have no symptoms, “I think it’s safe to say that you should keep it up,” Dr. Thompson said."
That's also what Chris Carmichael thinks according to his blog: 'Too Much of Good Thing? Hardly.', where he sums his personal views very encouragingly for us about 50 years old endurance athletes:
"But for me the health, performance, social, and psychological benefits of being a life-long athlete far outweigh the risk described in the NY Times blog. Case in point: When I hit “send” on this, I’m off for a 5+ hour training ride on the Queen K Highway!"
However, as Gordo Byrn points out in 'You Have a Choice', five hours per day is likely to cause illness if sustained long term. I'm sure Mr. Carmichael didn't plan to work out as long every day either. Anyway Mr. Byrn observes that two hours per day (12-15 hours per week) on the average is his personal sweet spot for optimal athletic performance and "life benefits".

Heart disease is everywhere these days, and endurance athletes are not immune to it. Alberto Salazar is often mentioned in this context. In 'Why Did Alberto Salazar Have a Heart Attack?' his cardiologist explained what went wrong and why.

Even lifelong aerobic exercise is not likely to be a major cause of heart disease, as long as it's taken easy rather than too hard. Too much of a good thing can kill you of course, but what is exactly 'too much' will vary a lot individually. Combined with a healthy lifestyle, I believe aerobic exercise in moderation can help prevent disease and increase happiness.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mountain King Trail Blaze ultralight poles

Mountain King Trail Blaze are my choice of poles for alpine trail running and hiking, because they are ultralight, foldable and durable. I plan to use them in Trail Verbier St-Bernard 110 km. Sticks do help a lot when you have to go up and down mountains. You can conveniently attach them to your backpack (I've used Raidlight Olmo 5) if you don't want/need them at some point. Rules usually say that you have to carry them all the way to the finish, if you decide to start an ultra trail race with them.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cows celebrating halfway of RAA

Kansas cows celebrate at the halfway point of Run Across America. They feel happy because they don't have to run all the way to New York like Dean Karnazes.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lance races in 2.4-mile open water swim

Lance Armstrong finished third in Red Licorice 2.4-mile Open Water Swim at Lake Travis in Austin (TX) on Sunday. It's a small race, but I think his time 49:12 is pretty amazing.

His swimming seems to be at the elite Ironman triathlete level already. It sure would be interesting to see him compete in an Ironman triathlon this year.

The winner James Bonney is one of Texas' top triathletes. The second swimmer coming in just before Lance is James Cotter, a Kiwi pro-triathlete living in Austin (won Steelhead 70.3 last year).

@jamesbonney and @lancearmstrong after their 2.4 mile swim at... on Twitpic

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ironman 70.3 California 2011

Andy Potts and Mirinda Carfrae earned their third Rohto Ironman 70.3 California titles (1.9 km swim, 90 km bike, 21.1 km run) on Saturday.

Potts was the fastest swimmer and runner, and 3rd on the bike.

Carfrae was 4th in the swim and 6th on the bike, resulting in 5-minute deficit, but she ran the half-marathon much faster (1:18:25) than other women - and many men, including Matt Lieto, who placed 10th with a slow 1:20:19 run.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blender trainer

Show this to anyone who claims we endurance athletes aren't ingenious.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

ISM Adamo Road saddle

My only regret with ISM Adamo saddles is that I didn't get one much sooner. I chose the model they call Road, and I'm happy with it, although I'm only a long-distance triathlete and not a real road cyclist.

Wow, what a huge difference it makes right away - from the first seconds of the first test ride I discovered without any doubt that this design will work for me. Of course some fine tuning regarding the saddle position might be necessary later on. I installed it about the same height and position where my old Selle Italia saddle would have been (if it's nose had been cut away), but the front tipping a little bit lower, so the saddle top is very very slightly angled forward.

Thinking back (pun intended) all those countless hours of suffering spent on my old saddle, I don't know whether I should laugh or cry. The pain was evident all along, but I just got a Quintana Roo neoprene saddle cover and told myself it's ok. It did help somewhat on shorter rides (especially with those wet shorts after swimming), but on longer rides it was far from ok.

Surely a top end classic road racing saddle with titanium rails can be lighter than ISM Adamo Road's 303 grams, but so what? When your race distance is a 180 km time trial, saddle comfort will play the leading role. On relatively flat triathlon courses, a 50-100 g increase in your saddle weight will not be even noticeable.

ISM Adamo's gave been available for years, and they are reasonably priced, so the only reason that must have kept me from doing this before is the weird-looking design. The design sure is different from other saddles, although now it actually looks cool on my Cervelo P3. So the problem seems to have been only my stubborn mind combined with an extremely high pain threshold developed through a quarter century of endurance sports.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Running with Eric: form and technique

Born To Run Coach, Eric Orton, discusses and demonstrates run form and technique.