I left the USA on June 26th for Norway to spend a little more than three
weeks with my family in my hometown of Langesund which is on the coast
My report will give you a little description of this part of the country,
since it represents some of the best Norway has to offer in the summer.
I’m planning of sending some "training reports" to be
posted starting in early July if things work out.
Both Gordon and I added a few training thoughts at the end of this article.
Check them out!
Choose a time between June and August if you ever decide to go to this
part of the Norway. The state of Telemark itself is a miniature Norway
with everything from coast to fjords, deep forests and tall mountains.
The attraction to the area around my hometown is a very nice coastline
with lots of islands, small towns, summer cabins, great swimming, kayaking,
boating, fishing and a busy nightlife for those who want to see "Norway
The bike and rollerski possibilities range from OK to superb. The running
options are often great. Almost every little town has numerous nearby
running trails and a XC trail system with lighted trails.
I have taken the liberty to use quotes and some photos from a book called
Telemarkskysten (The coast of Telemark). It’s available from Flora
Forlag A/S -3960 Stathelle, Norway. It has hundreds of nice photos and
is translated to English.
The town by the sea. The town with a lighthouse.
Population about 2500
In 1580 it was Norway’s most important harbor for timber trade.
War ships were built here from 1700 and ship building has continued to
be an important occupation right up to modern times. Situated as it is
between the sea and the fjords, it was only natural for Langesund to become
an important fishing town.
The town has numerous narrow streets that are great sightseeing. Almost
all the houses in the old part of town are white. In fact I think that
they must have had a great sale on white paint at some point and the inventory
lasted for a couple centuries.
You’ll find a few very small hotels and one very nice, modern one
with a great location only 50 yards from the ocean/fjord.
Our younger readers would enjoy the 4-5 weekly indoor/outdoor rock/pop
An old friend of mine claims that the town has Norway’s largest
touring kayak club.
The town’s main sport (and about the only one) is soccer.
The largest things that have happened in town in the last decade were
first a visit by B.B King a few years ago and last year a concert by Bob
Dylan. More than 10,000 spectators in this small town was very impressive.
A stage on a soccer field 30 yards from the ocean and next to where the
Germans had a few bunkers in the Second World War made for a unique and
different concert experience.
The temperature is very pleasant in the summer and the kids go swimming
and crab fishing daily. It never gets completely dark at night in the
summer and my wife describes the forests and gardens as very green. Sprinkler
systems are not necessary since it rains often enough. Most
people care about their gardens and it’s hard to find a nicer looking
public grave yard. I mention that because we always visit it and we are
stricken by the fact that people go there to plant and water the flowers
and to make it nice. I never thought about it when I lived there as a
kid but now it seems important.
Well, more from town later……
Some Training Thoughts from Gordon Lange.
As we are approaching the end of June I feel as I am just starting to
be able to handle regular and continuous training. Last year I, and the
"kids" I coach, may have been a little over ambitious as to
the intensity and duration of some of the early season workouts. I think
this lead to a premature mini peak in October. There is nothing really
wrong with a mini peak in October except that it is hard to maintain into
December and through the time adjusting from dry land to on snow. Consequently
this year we are focusing more on aerobic endurance with a lot of long
runs, rollerskis, and mountain bike rides. I have planned it so this period
will last half way through July when we will begin our transition period
which will include more intensity.
Personally I have done one fartlek workout at level three, two pace workouts,
or you might say easy time trials, and the rest has been LSD on the feet
or bike. Last week Torbjorn and I did the Stein’s road bike time
trial and without going nuts I got up it in 16:10. (My PR IS 14.38). In
May I did it in 17 minutes so it shows that I’m on track.
Upcoming workouts will include more roller skiing, some intervals, some
uphill mountain running races, and a massive week of LSD with huge vertical
in the Tetons. I am talking about 5000 vertical feet per session. I also
will hit the weights when possible.
Torbjorn July Training Suggestions
The goal for July is pretty much the same as for June:
– Continue to build a training base.
– Controlled build-up type intervals (hard sessions) with little total
time spent within 10-15 beats of max (but we don’t avoid doing some
training with a heart rate 15 beats from max and up to max).
– Slight increase in rollerskiing and distance workouts.
– 1-2 weekly weight room or circuit sessions.
I’m suggesting 6-8 interval/time trial sessions for July.
The breakdown can be 2 pace/time trial (one on foot and one on rollerskis)
and 4-6 interval sessions.
Not more than two of the interval sessions need to be with a very high
heart rate. And that should be at the second part of the session. I also
suggest that you hold back a lot in the first part of the time trial and
push harder from the half way point.
Examples of hard sessions:
– 4 x 4 minutes in rolling terrain
– 4-6-4 minutes uphill or rolling terrain
– 30-60-90 seconds fast double poling x 2 on flats
– 6-7 k roll time trial
– 5 K run time trial
Read the May and June articles for suggestions regarding strength and
You can now register for the FasterSkier September Training Camp. Our
June camp was a great success and we are already looking forward to the
next one. Don’t miss out this time!