Friday, 23 September 2016

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

On point with Eva Nyström

Eva Nyström knows how to win races. Although she holds Sweden’s fastest Ironman time she raced successfully on international and domestic level, claiming seven national Triathlon and Duathlon championships as well as setting amazing marks in Wintertriathlon. After runner-up in 2007, 2008 und 2011, Eva won the infamous Powerman Zofingen twice in 2012 and 2013 and was crowned Long Distance Duathlon World Champion when she burnt one of the toughest competitions the Multisport world has to offer.

On her first shot on the mighty Ötillö, herself and Sweden-based Aussi Adriel “Bacon” Young went on to rule the Mixed competition and win the competition in 08:49:58 - a new course record.

You think this is remarkable? Well, add a newborn baby girl to all of that and you get a truly amazing story.

Picture Credits: Nadja Odenhage
Runssel: Marika’s and Staffan’s performance at last year’s ÖtillÖ was something else. They burned the preceding course record and outstretched a lot of eyebrows with their overall Top10 finish in 2015. Bacon Young and yourself had no plans on setting a new record this year. Lastly you arrived at Utö Vardhus with a new course best and are the SwimRun World Champions in the mixed category. Now, one week after your race, could you tell the secret of your performance?
Eva Nyström: There is no secret really, just good teamwork, a great day and 20 years of solid training and racing. Many people have talked about it before - If you have trained properly for a long time you somehow have somewhat special left even if you have not trained too much recently. I never believed this until now. I haven’t been working out a lot from the time I found out that I was pregnant one year ago. But still I was training. Compared to my first child I did do less before and after I gave birth this time. I think all the years I have been training and racing paid off. I also know my body very well, and know what I’m capable off. In fact I raced myself back into shape. Before ÖtillÖ I have been competing in 7 races this summer. Just to get back into form. And it worked!

Picture Credits: Nadja Odenhage
Runssel: On the 12th of May this year you gave birth to your daughter Julia. Not even four months later you take on one of the roughest endurance competitions in the world. Evidently you have been very fit before you got pregnant but how did you train throughout the pregnancy and after you gave birth to Julia? When did you know you would be able to race ÖtillÖ?
Eva Nyström: I did not train much in the 2 months before I got Julia, but I still did some light training. I basically listened to my body. Before the birth I walked a lot with poles. Straight after Julia’s birth I started to walk again. Slowly I started to run. With swimming I had to wait 8 weeks after the birth. Then I started to race. It was very hard in the beginning but my body felt better and better. I haven´t told Adriel but I emailed Mats and Michel (the ÖtillÖ race directors) and asked if we could push our start till 2017 but we couldn’t. I also wrote a long email to Adriel just a couple of weeks before the competition and explained to him that I couldn’t race because my shape was too bad. Luckily my partner Martin stopped me and I did not send it. Instead he pulled my around a couple of more SwimRuns throughout the end of the summer. Suddenly some days before Ötillö I felt that I was back in shape.
Furthermore I told Adriel once we entered the race that I only would race when I was in shape. He has never asked me about my form. We have been training together a couple of times around the lake where we live. The first time I thought I was going to die. He was running so fast. Afterwards he looked at the watch and told me that we were faster than the group of guys he had trained with the week before. Small things like this encouraged me even more.

Picture Credits: Jakob Edholm
Runssel: Could you share any tips for sporty-women on how to get back to full fitness after giving birth? What lessons did you learn?
Eva Nyström: Listen to your body! Only yourself will know what is right for you. Just because someone can train shortly after giving birth doesn´t mean that someone else can. It depends on a lot of things. I have listened to my body and done whatever felt right. Now, two week after the race, I did not really move at all. My body and mind is tired and needs to rest. I think it is very dangerous to tell someone else what to do after giving birth. I think it is very, very specific and individual. Just bring your kids for training. It’s great to run with a baby stroller, just try! Don´t be afraid to bring your kids. If they don´t like it, go home and try tomorrow. Trying is much better than complaining.

Runssel: Bacon and yourself competed together for the first time. It seems to work pretty well. How did you guys meet up and did you train a lot together prior to the race?
Eva Nyström: Adriel lives just a couple of kilometers from our house. Initially he asked my partner Martin Flinta to do Ötillö with him. Martin couldn´t join in because he had already planned to go to China for the Stage Adventure Racing World Championship (…he also won this race!) Martin told Adriel to ask me. This was when I was in the middle of my pregnancy. Nonetheless I was keen to race. Still I cannot understand how Adriel wanted to race with me.

Picture Credits: Private
Runssel: You raced a lot of big races throughout the years. It was your first attempt on the ÖtillÖ course. How did you prepare for the course and how do you rate it now that you have done it?
Eva Nyström: To be honest, I did not prepare for the course at all. The plan was simply to have fun and do the race and then maybe come back next year for the victory. But both Adriel and me have been racing Ironmans before so we are in some way adjusted to the length of such a competition. I have also done some multisport, adventure racing and I won Powerman Zofingen, the long-distance Duathlon World Championship two times in 2012 and 2013. Going into the Ötillö we only had a plan of how we should eat and drink.

Runssel: How do you train in general? Do you incorporate your kids in your training regime?
Eva Nyström: Julia is our second child. She has an older brother who is now 5 years old. I have been running a lot with both of my kids. You can say that I build up my running legs for ÖtillÖ with Julia in a Thule Glide. As a replacement for walking with the baby stroller I am running! And I believe in that you should bring your kids whenever it is possibly. Undoubtedly I have been running hundreds of miles with my baby stroller. Furthermore we take our kids with us for strength training. Also on races when it’s possible. We also love to have them with us when we kayak or on the SUP.

Picture Credits: Thule
Runssel: Living in Sweden you are no stranger to SwimRun. On your home-turf the sport is booming tremendously. Races are popping up everywhere and the teams are getting faster and faster. What is so special about the sport and how do you see the development of it?
Eva Nyström: I love being out in the nature and I do love open water swimming. Training outside is the best way to see the world! And a SwimRun can be so diverse. You can run on footpaths, in the forest, on rocks, swim in the ocean, lakes, waves etc. There are no borders. You never know with SwimRun racing. If it rains and it is windy it is a different race. Then, on the other hand, if the sun is shining the same course can be totally different, too. I just love the variations.
I think this sport just really started. SwimRun will be big! Just look at the equipment that is out there. A lot of homemade gear and special kits. I have a cheap wetsuit that I have cut and put an extra zipper on the front. And it is working very well. For example Marika and Staffan had make their own pullbouys. There will be a lot of development when it comes to this kind of things. This is just the start!

Picture Credits: Jakob Edholm
Runssel: You stated that you would not race ÖtillÖ again. Is that a fact?
Eva Nyström: With our victory we do have a spot for next season. However I am not sure if I will race. But during this past week something has grown inside me. If we could win this year and also take the course record we could go be much stronger next year with some more training and the fact that we now have done the race and know the course. But let me talk to Adriel first!

Runssel: What is the plan for the rest of the season?
Eva Nyström: Now after Ötillö I was resting for a full week. The race was very hard on my body. This week I will slowly get back into training again. The plan is to race Koster Swimrun on the 1st of October with my partner Martin. After that I think I will do some trail races and orienteering because I need to practice my running on technical environment.

Eva is suppourted by Thule, Cresent, TEC, Skechers, SRAM, Garmin, Isostar, Scandic Hotels, Nordic Wellness, Aktivitus and Benders

Eva's Homepage, Facebook and Instagram

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Sunday, 18 September 2016

shoeporn: Mizuno - Wave Daichi

At least here in Europe, summer seems to have ended. While the days get shorter, our homegrown trails gets soggier and the underground forms new challenges. With the Wave Daichi Mizuno just comes up with a novel model in their trail running series that might be of any assistance for the thrilling road and off-road terrain.
270 grams of supreme Japanese trail running swag made for off-road fun.
The centre of attention – the bright yellow Michelin-G-Adaptive-outsole is inspired by Michelin’s efficacious cyclocross tires.
I liked the agile and bendy Dynamotion-Fit-Upper. It offers plenty ventilation although it effectively snugs in the feet on busy and technical trails.
Occasionally trail shoes make the shuttle to the authentic off-road underground challenging. As I need to voyage 2-3 kilometres to the local trail and sometimes like to mix in road units during my training runs, the Wave Daichi performed to be just the perfect partner for that.
Strong mesh for enhanced upper support without losing dynamic feel.
However a household name when it comes to tires and maps, the French brand Michelin (Manufacture Française des Pneumatiques Michelin) uses its wide-ranging knowledge to provide grip and traction.
Mizuno calls the midpoint of the shoe “Midfoot X groove” – It allows the foot to flex and grip terrain while absorbing forces from uneven ground.
When you talk Michelin, you talk Bib – the brands world famous mascot! It is featured on the back part of the sole.
However deep mud and highly technical terrain is not the strongest environment for this outsole, I treasured the utter mix of undergrounds this sole is able to tackle.
Amusing enough for a Japanese brand the colour combination is called Chinese Red / Silver / Safety Yellow.
Please note: You cannot run on water with the Wave Daichi. Although it is a great partner for trail outings.
Summer might have been gone but with the bright and fast Wave Daichi you are able to light up some autumn trails.

Monday, 12 September 2016 ÖTILLÖ SwimRun WM 2016 - Rekordjagd durch die Ostsee

I wrote a piece about last Mondays ÖtillÖ race for german outlet. Click HERE and get some proper german lessons.

INSTAssel: Klassenfahrt

Wicked ÖtillÖ feature in the latest Focus Magazine. Some added GSP wisdom included.

INSTAssel: Recovering

Ein von runssel (@runssel) gepostetes Foto am

Tune of the day: Teebee - Spaceage

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

In Pictures: ÖtillÖ

Henrik Kindgren and his brother Stephan followed last Mondays ÖtillÖ race from the sideline. They were kind enough to cheer us on and snap some great pics along the way.

Tack så mycket Kindgren bröder!

Tune of the day: Wretch 32 - 6 Words

Friday, 2 September 2016

On Point with Maja Tesch

Chances are high that this years Ötillö competition will see one of speediest races in the women’s class ever. As lineups get more specialized each year eventually the competition gets quicker. After last year’s victory with Partner Annika Eriksson, Utö local Maja Tesch is looking for another extra fast and successful daytrip.

She paired up with 50% of the 2014 winning team – Bibben Nordblom. A few weeks ago Bibben took the 2nd place in her Age Group (W 25-29) in a time of 10:38:34 at Ironman Kalmar. Maja and Bibben are now looking for the win at the iconic SwimRun championships across the Stockholm archipelago.

OtillO15-JakobEdholm-_0D30865-LR.jpgRunssel: You paired up with Annika Eriksson some days prior to last year’s ÖtillÖ. Successively you won the whole thing. I guess going into this year means added pressure. How do you cope with it?
Maja Tesch: It sure does! But the thing is I’m the one putting a lot of pressure on myself and I’m only doing that because I’m afraid I will be disappointed if I don’t win again - and this I can do anything about! There are a lot of strong teams and in the end everyone will do their best. No matter how it ends you can’t be anything else but proud after finishing such a competition. I remind myself that last year I went into this hoping to survive, this year I’m afraid I will be disappointed if I don’t make it to the podium. The brain is pretty crazy?! I think I’ve been nervous enough, now both Bibben and me are super stoked to race and we will have so much fun chasing our own PB on the course!

Runssel: This year you will be competing with Bibben Nordblom. She won Ötillö in 2014. How did the two of you meet up?
Maja Tesch: Bibben send me an email a few weeks after last years ÖtillÖ and asked if I had a partner for next year. And since I didn’t had my own spot (it was Annikas and Marias) I said yes!

OtillO15-JakobEdholm-_8101007-LR.jpgRunssel: You are living on the isle where the race traditionally finishes – Utö. As you know the area very well, what is the most stunning share of the course and what part do you dislike the most?
Maja Tesch: To be honest I don’t remember much from the course because I was focused on keeping my legs in motion! I remember that the run across Ornö island never ended and the only thing that kept me going was the car in front of us broadcasting the live stream because we were in the lead. It would be nice to have that pressure this year again. We’ll have to go fast for that though! My most beautiful memory from the race last year was when we arrived on the top of the island just before the last swim to Utö and you could hear people scream and cheer us on; it gave me enough energy to run all the way to the finish line!

Runssel: Coming into this year’s competition, how often did you guys train together on the course? Did you do any major key workouts in preparation for the race?
Maja Tesch: We have not been training on the course, but Bibben came out to Utö this summer and we trained together for three days. Trying out the length of the cord between us and also ran some technical trail and a lot on rocks.

OtillO15-JakobEdholm-_0D30752-LR.jpgRunssel: What will your race-plan look like for Mondays contest?
Maja Tesch: We will try to set a good pace from the beginning, pushing our limits but still have in mind that it’s a long day. There are a lot of really strong teams and I’m sure the course record will be sub 10 hours in the women’s class. By whom? Lets wait until this coming Monday.

Runssel: Which advice would you give to every racer?
Maja Tesch: Give it all you have, enjoy it when you can and remember that the faster you run the faster you get rid of the pain. Try to do your own race and to have a great day on the course together with your teammate. But most important ALWAYS cheer on teams you pass or get passed by - unless you see them throw trash on the course - then you can release your inner acid-monster and scream at them for being such dickheads.

Maja is suppourted by Wolff Wear, Head Swimming, Suunto and Merrell 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

shoeporn: Hoka One One - Clifton 3
I have been running in my previous Cliftons (Click HERE for my review) for quite a while. Immediately when I heard Hoka One One is due to modernize this steadfast, light and cosy shoe I was more then keen to give it a proper jog. Let see how Hoka incorporates even more ease and better fit in the 3rd version of the Clifton.
When you think of Hoka One One you think of chubby and immense soles. There is no difference with the new Clayton. The sole comes in with an elusive stack height of 29mm in the heel and proper 24mm in the forefoot zone. Typically that means that you are dealing with a sluggish training shoe. Not so with the new-fangled Clayton. Hoka kept the bouncy and forward-thinking sense with the new model.
They call the full length midsole “HIP CMEVA”. It is the base for the brand-characteristic soft cushioned ride, the base for sufficient and high mileage training. However this shoe is light enough for decent up-tempo amusement.  Along with an Early Stage Meta-Rocker design, the Clifton 3 maintains a smooth and efficient ride from foot strike to toe off.
So what is the major change towards the Clifton 2? For me it undoubtedly is the fitting. Not too much has changed from the overall geometry and style. But the 2mm that have been added in the toe box are noteworthy and make a comfy shoe even snugger. Whilst this benefits the comfort it also added essential stability.
Similar to the Clifton 2, air mesh material on the upper is used and permits for great airflow and breathability. Structural Overlays provide necessary structure around the midfoot. No Sew Construction provides a seamless interior environment for reduced irritation and blistering.
I appreciated the diversity of undergrounds this shoe is able to tackle without any major problematic. With the soft sole running on dry trails is not a major issue. While the shoe has its natural home on the road, I loved to run off-road sections as well.
The Clifton vastly turned out to be my „go-to“ training shoe. It’s a fun shoe that safes the legs.
Although I appreciate the sole style and the soft and receptive feel, I had problems with the durability of the sole. This shoe is made for high mileage but the outside of the sole displays your training kilometres pretty fast.
A close-up of the Hi-Abrasion lightweight rubber that has been used in the outsole.
The Hoka One One Clifton 3 sole is comparable to the preceding Hoka One One Clifton shoe but does allow more space in the front part. Hoka followed to complaints by runners. All pictures show the shoe in the Blue/Red Orange colour style.
With a sheer 244 grams this shoe feels strange - Strange in a positive way. You expect a clumsy and sluggish shoe? You wont get it. The enormous cushioning combined with the weightiness is something else and makes this shoe so distinct and a lot of fun.
You decide - Training or racing? This shoe could is a smooth but also a fast partner – Hoka One One Clayton 3!
All pictures (C) Runssel

More Hoka One One Reviews on this site:

Hoka One One - Tracer
Hoka One One - Clayton
Hoka One One - Challenger ATR 2
Hoka One One - Speedgoat
Hoka One One - Huaka
Hoka One One - Clifton 2