How do you prepare for one of the toughest swimrun races out there? How do you train? Where and how often?
Read about how Team Suunto Swimrun do it, contenders for a podium finish at the upcoming ÖtillÖ.
/The WoS Team
After our first ÖTILLÖ race in 2013 we have now done the race three times and always improved placement and time and we hope to also do so this year. As the sport is still in developing phase and attracting more and more world-class athletes every year, goals for placement at ÖTILLÖ are very tricky to set. Last year we managed to place top 10 and we are of course aiming even higher this time. It is clearly easier to set targets against our earlier performances time wise, even though here the weather conditions on the race day play an important role.
So far our best finishing time was close to 9h 30 min from last year. If the weather conditions are somewhat reasonable we are expecting to finish in a time starting with 8h this year. Because of living in different countries, we haven’t had much chance for training together. However, this year has been a great improvement compared to earlier seasons. We got a great kick-start to the season in UTÖ Swimrun in May, and had the opportunity to stay in the Stockholm archipelago for some days after that race. During that time we covered most of the ÖTILLÖ course in our training sessions.
Generally our preparations have proceeded quite nicely. We’ve been able to increase the training hours considerably. The main focus has been in running and, unlike earlier, we have had much more structured approach to running trainings than before. With the swimming history that we both have there has not really been any special need to increase training hours in the water. Just to maintain the level to ensure that there should not be teams passing by us in the water. One important part of training is of course actual swimrun sessions. For Juha this is considerable easier as he’s living only some hundred meters from the sea-shore and also has a summer cottage next to a lake. For him the summertime actually means that almost 100 % of the swimming will be open water instead of the pool.
Juha also participated Porkkala Swimrun in Finland in July to get some more racing touch to the sport. Writing this, we are actually both at a summer cottage in Finland and able to train together. Also to get even better equipped for the coming races we are anxiously waiting to get the new Suunto Spartan devices, which are now available for pre-orders from Suunto.
Right now the most critical issues in our team preparations are in medical conditions. We’ve both had our issues with our feet, and being able to do the running training as planned. Unfortunately there are still open questions on this side. Still looking positively towards the future and the coming ÖTILLÖ which will again, be an amazing race.