Monday, October 27, 2014

Lavaredo Ultra Trail 2015 - I'm in!

Lake Misurina welcomed me with a sunrise like this in LUT 2014.

Yes! I received good news: my name was chosen at random from the 19078 pre-registered athletes to participate in The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail on June 26-28, 2015. The course will be the same I finished this summer: 119km with 5,850m elevation gain.

Good news via email. I'm in!

Next time I plan to do it without
  • twisting my ankle in the beginning of the race
  • stopping to take photos every five minutes
  • taking little sightseeing tours in the beautiful canyons and gorges. 
In other words, I'd like to finish a lot faster than 26 hours and change. Absolutely no fooling around anymore!

Tre Cime di Lavaredo. There's usually snow around here in June.

Last year's winner Anton Krupicka says it's the most beautiful race he has ever done. And I'm not going to argue with him! Dolomites are stunning, gorgeous and beautiful in every way. What's more, running there is a totally different experience from anything else.

My favorite section of the course is the part from 80 to 100 km.

See you in Cortina d'Ampezzo!

The course profile.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mount Tibidabo Expedition

While in Barcelona we decided to explore Mount Tibidabo. Metro L7 took us in no time from Placa Catalunya to Avenida Tibidabo. You can take the famous blue tram to Tibidabo funicular. You can also take the bus (your metro ticket is valid in the bus, but not in the tram). You can also run there if you like. 

We Beat The Blue Tram! from J8N Productions on Vimeo.

The old tram seemed slow and crowded, so we didn't use it. On our way down we raced the tram - and beat it too!

From the funicular station we hiked up past a dog shelter to the best trail in Barcelona. Carretera de les Aigües (Road of Waters) is named after the water pipes that once ran there. Nowadays it is a very popular trail for local runners, MTB-riders and hikers. 

This about 5km long balcony is suitable for anyone with comfortable running gear. There are markings and water fountains, but take a map and bottles just in case. Don't forget your camera, as the views over Barcelona are fantastic.

Collserola Park covers about 10,000 hectares. The flora and fauna are interesting. You can easily spot the 288-meter high Torre de Collserola designed by Norman Foster for the 1992 Olympic Games. You may also notice an observatory on a nearby hill.

Tibidabo Funicular is the easiest way up to Mt. Tibidabo (517m). There you will find the old Tibidabo Amusement Park and Sagrat Cor Cathedral side by side. We took the elevator up to the observation deck and then climbed the stairs all the way up. Just keep on climbing until you reach the big statue of the golden Christ on the top. 

This (about 565m) is the highest elevation in Barcelona. The 360-degree scenery is spectacular. You may even see Montserrat and the snow-peaked Pyrenees. Here are a few panoramas from the top of BCN.

Overall I'd say you can't beat Barcelona weather in October. During our Thursday-Sunday long weekend visit it was sunny every day. Both air and water temperatures were pleasant 20-25°C. We spent the hot afternoons swimming and barefoot running at the excellent La Barceloneta beach. 

We also took a great 4-hour Fat Tire Bike Tour of the city. 

Barceloneta Beach Cruising from J8N Productions on Vimeo.

Here is a 1-minute trailer from our Mount Tibidabo Expedition.

Tibidabo from J8N Productions on Vimeo.

Want to race? Try 80 km +2700m Ultra Trail Collserola on November 22 (sold out for 2014, so plan for 2015).

There is also Ultra Trail Barcelona (UTBCN) 100km +4500m on 26 April 2015. It's in Begues, about 20km to the south from BCN airport.

If you are into triathlons, I recommend Ironman Barcelona. The full distance race is in October. I did it in 2012, when it was called Challenge Barcelona. It's in Calella about 50km to the north. There is also an Ironman 70.3 (half) in May.

Here are some of our best Tibidabo pics. Mercès BCN!

Barcelona from J8N Productions on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

8 Best UTMB 2014 Videos

My Top 8 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) 2014 videos are:

8. Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc - UTMB by niilosmc


 7. 2014 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc by DuctTape.TV

2014 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc from DuctTape.TV on Vimeo.

6. WAA Team - Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc 2014 by WAA UltraEquipment


5. UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc 2014) by Fabrice Lefeuvre


 4. Anton (Tony) Krupicka UTMB® 2014 - BUFF® PRO TEAM by Sportify


3. Jason Schlarb - Trail Minded #4: UTMB® race report by Julbo


 2. The North Face: Curiosity by The North Face


1. The Ingenuous Choice - Mountain Running with Anton Krupicka by Outdoor Live

The Ingenuous Choice - Mountain Running with Anton Krupicka from Outdoor Live on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Split Training for Ultra Trail Running

I read recently an interesting article The Split Long Run by Mario Fraioli. The benefits of splitting up your longest run into shorter segments could be for instance:
  • reduced injury and overtraining risk
  • higher intensity and energy levels during exercise
  • more convenient to schedule around your busy daily life
  • easier to manage gear, nutrition and logistics 
  • possibly better motivation and more fun.

The idea of an self-supported solo 50-hour/50-kilometer event occurred to me. Without further ado, I decided to try it this week in Helsinki Central Park. The weather was sunny and extremely nice.

I started my first run on Monday 2pm. It was an easy slow 13km trail run.

That was followed by a brisk 15km fartlek early Tuesday morning.

In the afternoon I added a 7K tempo run. And another one around midnight under starry skies.

I used La Sportiva Bushidos for these two runs. Then on Wednesday I changed back to my trusty Hoka One One Stinsons.

I ran a 7K in the morning with a heavy-ish backpack. Finally I ran a rocky and hilly 6K in the afternoon, finishing at 4pm - exactly 50 hours after the start.

My total distance was 53.6km according to Movescount. Strava generously gave me one km more.

50h/50K felt like a fun concept. I'll probably do it again. Or maybe 100h/100K? Or 100 miles in 100 hours. The possibilities are endless. :)