Rullskidkurs med OK Nackhe, oktober 2017, Åkulla.

Jag har tänkt (tro det eller ej…). I min världsbild är Black Friday inte en hållbar pusselbit. ”En köpfri dag”, som inträffar samma dag världen över, låter mycket sundare. Men eftersom det ändå är julklappstider, och jag känner att jag faktiskt har något att bidra med i denna värld, vill jag ändå annonsera ett erbjudande.

Visste ni att jag erbjuder personlig träning, tekniklektioner, coaching, föreläsningar, resor och mycket annat genom mitt eget lilla företag? Mest kring löpning, äventyr och skidor/rullskidor. Men jag är öppen för förslag när vi skräddarsyr just dina eller ditt företags julklappar.

Från och med i morgon, lördagen den 25 november, och hela vägen fram till julafton 24 december skänker jag 25% av alla intäkter från denna verksamhet (inkl presentkort på framtida tjänster) till Naturskyddsföreningen och/eller Protect Our Winters. Eller annan valfri hållbarhetskämpe om så önskas. Prislistor och upplägg är helt individanpassat, så tveka inte att höra av Er till mig för vidare information. Eller läs mer under Tjänster.

Slow enough to win – Chapter 4: Spontanity

So I managed to be slow enough to win a handful of races so far in my life. I figured most of them had something quite interesting in common. The idea of participating appeared between 1 and 48 hours before the actual race took place, often with the approach ”I’m not ready for this kind of race yet, but let’s give it a shot!”. In other words, spontanity seems to be a key to success, at least for me. I struggled a little bit with the dilemma ”Planning or Being spontaneous?” Until I realized – what if they could go hand-in-hand? Maybe we just have to Prepare ourselves for Spontanity?

<- Back to Introduction ”Slow enough to win”
<- Back to Chapter 3 ”Motivation” | Forward to Chapter 5 ”Technique” ->

Spontanity = Focus ?

In the game called life and particularly when it comes to sports and performances, there’ll be small challenges in every step we take. Knowing a race track by heart is of course one of the greatest advantages you can get. But how could we combine those careful preparations with the playful game of spontanity? The answer sounds quite simple, now that I found it. But I will still struggle to perform it in reality. Over and over again. My answer is ”Focus on each playful step – keep your goals as guidelines”. This is suitable for long term preparations aswell as each training or race itself. If you keep your mind on a summer race already during winter training, you will forget to enjoy the present moment, and there’s a huge risk that life will disappoint you along the spring. If you’re thinking of crossing the finish line already at the start of a race, the road will seem endless and painful. If you keep your mind on each step, the surroundings and your own body signals, maybe the cute girl or boy in front of you, the probability of joy/success is much bigger. Compare it to work – if you focus on your salary and at which time you will get home today, the day will seem very long. Focus on your tasks instead and you won’t notice the hours passing.

So where does the spontanity occur? In each step. Even if you might have to plan your life meticulously, try to catch each opportunity to play. Run a different trail, leave the trail, try a race you never thought of, eat I dish you never tried, speak to strangers. Do like your children would do. Do tvärtom.

A healthy approach to big goals (guidelines)

We can’t stop ourselves from big dreams, and we shouldn’t. If your dream is to participate in a huge race on the other side of the world, having to enter a year before  – just do it! Enter, book the trip, prepare yourself. But remember to enjoy the preparations, and keep your road open for detours. Make the road an adventure, and the keep the actual goal as a guideline. I used the word guideline earlier in this post, without further explanation. Guideline has, since a long time, been my word for plans (and goals). They give me a direction and a motivation but they are not making my life completely dependent on their outcomes. Get it? Keep on dreaming, make your plans and set up your goals. But see them as guidelines. Another cliché: Don’t dream your life – Live your dream.

The timing of this article – an example from my reality

I write this post from the race center of this weekend’s Skimo Worldcup. Since I started to try some races in Ski Mountaineering two years ago, I always carried this idea of trying the highest level of races. It doesn’t really make sense for a guy who spent his first 20 years by the sea, 7 meters above sea level. But maybe it’s the impossibility that drives me?

The last few months gave me the worst conditions for preparing – I couldn’t afford to go to the mountains early enough, which left me stuck in the south of Sweden working my ass off trying to make it south before the first race. I tried to find the best hills for uphill roller skiing / running and collect as many vertical meters as possible when I had some time off. Just to arrive in the real mountains and realize I’ve been trying to create a mountain. At sea level. With my tallest peak at about 150 meters…

I did the first WC races in Andorra, which also happened to be my first speed trainings this year. DNF at the first Individual and 26% behind the winner at the Sunday’s Vertical. But the results aren’t as important as the question: Did I enjoy it? No.  Did I enjoy the preparations? Not really, except for a few moments. This week, I went back to my heart (and my wallet…) and asked: where do you want to go? I ended up running 4 hours on  tricky trails in Montserrat close to Barcelona, and spent 24 hours in the center of the city. Getting around on my longboard…

Meanwhile, most of my colleagues/concurrents spent an entire week exploring the area of the upcoming races. I’m sure they’ll have a huge advantage, physically and mentally, in terms of doing good results. I wish them good luck and I admire their ability to focus. But as much as that, I’m happy to be back on MY own path, ready to enjoy the World Cup and the mountains from MY perspective.

Slow enough to win – Chapter 3: Motivation

This chapter wasn’t part of my original plan for these articles, even if I touch the subject in many of the others. But it struck me lately, like a baseball bat in my face. The last few weeks, I felt like I’d lost my ”religion”. Training and racing wasn’t a pleasure anymore. My smile was gone and I had to force myself through that door out…

<- Back to Introduction ”Slow enough to win”
<- Back to Chapter 2 ”How to start” | Forward to Chapter 4 ”Spontanity” ->

So I had to restart. Return to the beginning. What made me smile before? Which parts of training and/or racing are important to me? What makes it worth it?

Happiness isn’t just a factor that should be the base of all choices we make in life. It’s also as important as (or more important than?) your physical capacity when it comes to performances. You can be in your best shape ever, and prepare perfectly for a race or an adventure. But if the task itself doesn’t make you happy, if you can’t make it with a smile on your face, the race is lost before it even started.

Unlike other parts of preparation, we can’t force ourselves to be motivated and stay happy. There are of course plenty of things we can do to be more happy, and some mental coaches even say that Happiness is a choice. Maybe it is, and one part of their message is the same as mine. Do things that makes you happy, in a way that makes you happy.

It might sound simple, but it changes. Like my year that passed:
Autumn 2015: Racing Falktouren, Interval training with runFBG and ”gubbdistans” with FBG Roadrunners, or just getting back to training made me happy.
– Early winter 2015/16: Nothing made me happy. Too much stress made me sick.
– Late winter 2016: Ski mountaineering and sunny adventures at high altitude made me happy.
– Spring/early summer 2016: Being in super shape for running after the skimo season, winning races (or just running them?), any training made me happy.
– Late summer 2016: Roller skiing up big mountain passes made me happy.
– Autumn 2016: Still trying to find out what makes me happy.

So, it changes. But are there any factors that stays along no matter what? I’m still trying to find them, but here’s some suggestions when it comes to me:

1. Collecting true stories my grandchildren will never believe
2. Sunny weather 
(But where’s the sun in Halland in november?!?!)
3. Exploring
(But what to explore in Halland in november?!?!)
4. Powder skiing (But where to ski powder in Halland in november?!!?)

… Are all factors that almost always makes me happy. Other things might be being in shape and winning races. But they are nearly impossible to plan / predict. And as I wrote earlier, happiness is a basic condition for winning rather than a product of winning.

This chapter tends to be a analyse of myself rather than advice for you, but my message is: Ask yourself these questions. Even if you might not need them right now, save your thoughts for the future. Pick them up whenever you may lack motivation. When you can’t find the smile of yesterday.

Don’t hesitate to make a comment here, send me an e-mail (info@andreaslundblad.se) or Instagram-post (@animaluminium / #slowenoughtowin) with your own ideas on the subject.

Slow enough to win – Chapter 2: How to start

A chapter dedicated to those who don’t like training or think they’re not capable of running etc. Basically, for the ones who struggle to start. We can all run. We’re born to run. Give me a chance to prove it!

<- Back to Introduction ”Slow enough to win”
<- Back to Chapter 1 ”Listen to your heart” | Forward to Chapter 3 ”Motivation” ->

100 metres of speed is more fun than 5 kilometres of pain

When you think about running, you might picture a long sequence of pain and a heavy body who doesn’t want at all. What if you turn it over? What if you picture a short moment of feeling like you’re the fastest in the world? Go out for a regular walk and try this:

1. Run fast (not full speed but fast). And stop before it hurts. How far did you get? 100 metres? 50? It doesn’t matter.

2. Walk until you feel ready for another short sequence of running.

3. Repeat step 1 and 2 until you finished your walk. Go home. Rest.

The running blocks will get longer and appear more often for each time you try this. Be patient, don’t push yourself too hard, and you’ll soon be able to run all the way. With a smile!

Slow enough to win – Chapter 1: Listen to your heart

Getting enough training is way easier than getting enough recovery

When people ask me for coaching or training advices, I always start at the heart. Literally and figuratively. The most important questions are of course ”What makes you want to do this? Where is the love?”. But this chapter is all about the literal aspect. Your heart gives you exact and measurable information about the status of your body – so learn how to read it!

<- Back to Introduction ”Slow enough to win” | Forward to Chapter 2 ”How to start” ->

1. Checking the resting heart rate

No matter how you choose to live your life, each day will put you through different stresses, workloads, thoughts, conflicts and challenges. It’s impossible to measure every detail and it’s impact. But your heart will react on the total pressure. Checking your resting heart rate (HRrest) on a daily basis / routine is one of the simplest and most effective way to keep your training at a good level and gain a steady progress. I’ll give you some suggestions on how to get started, and then we’ll go on to using this information.

– Sleep with your HR monitor / sleeping test each night – The geekiest, but most precise method

– Keep your HR monitor by the bed, and put it on for a few minutes each morning. Note the lowest value – Still geeky, but a bit more precise than my last suggestion:

– Count your heartbeats for 20 seconds each morning and multiply by 3 to get your resting heart rate – Simplest, cheapest

2. How to use the information

As I already mentioned, the resting heart rate is a summary of all the impacts. You’ll notice variations due to work, private life, training, physical health, sleep quality, and so on. But it all comes down to: when your body tells you to take it easy – take it easy. Recovery doesn’t always mean ”Stay in bed and eat candy” (but sometimes it actually does!!). You might find out that a 1-hour walk or a bike ride, or even a short run, helps you to recover faster. This is all up to you to find out. I’ll give you the basic tools and I’m available for further questions.

Some basic rules:
Normal HRrest (+/- 1-2 bpm)

Go for it! Your body seems recovered and your ready to play!

High HRrest (3-4 bpm above normal)
Analyse: What did I do the last days? Why is it high? If you relate it to mental stress, you probably feel better after some training. But keep it short/easy!

Higher HRrest (>5 bpm above normal)
Rest! You might get sick!

3. Why?

Recovery is always more important for your progress than the training itself. In fact, training degrades your body while recovery rebuilds it. If you push yourself too hard, and don’t get enough recovery between your workouts, you’ll break your body down and get injured or sick. Your HRrest will tell you if this day is a day for training or recovery. the figures below is a try to a further explanation.

Recovery process - basic curve

Recovery process – basic curve

Comparing recovery progresses

Comparing recovery progresses

Slow enough to win

Falkenberg, Sweden, October 2nd 2016

Rulla ner för svensk version

EN When I started to find my way back to training about a year ago, my development and results were way beyond any expectations. After less than a month of training, I suprised myself by running slow enough to win ”Svart bana”, the shortest edition of Kullamannen 2016. People asked me questions. What do I eat? How much time do I spend on training? Which planet am I from? Simply: What’s the secret?

The idea of collecting my thoughts around, and finally answer those questions crossed my mind during the summer. What if I can inspire some of you, and give you a little push in a good direction? So far, I drafted seven simple chapters on different subjects within my philosophy of running / physical performances. They will be published here, one after the other, during the autumn of 2016, so keep your eyes open!

Chapter 1: Listen to your heart
Chapter 2: How to start
Chapter 3: Motivation
Chapter 4: Spontanity


SE När jag började hitta min väg tillbaka till träning för ungefär ett år sedan, var utvecklingen och resultaten långt över mina förväntningar. Efter mindre än en månads träning överraskade jag mig själv med att springa tillräckligt långsamt för att vinna ”Svart bana”, den kortaste banan på Kullamannen 2016. Folk i min omgivning började ställa frågor. Vad äter jag? Hur mycket tid lägger jag på träning? Vilken planet kommer jag från? Kort sagt: Vad är hemligheten?

Idén om att samla mina tankar kring, och slutligen svara på dessa frågor slog mig under sommaren. Kanske kan jag inspirera några av Er, och ge Er en liten knuff i rätt riktning? Än så länge har jag skissat ihop sju enkla kapitel om min filosofi när det kommer till löpning och fysiska prestationer. De kommer att publiceras här, en i taget, under hösten 2016, så håll ögonen öppna!

Kapitel 1 – Listen to your heart (Än så länge på engelska, kanske skriver en svensk version om ni ber snällt)