I have a broken rib.
I should be recovering from a second training camp in Spain and preparing for departure for China in 4 days — as my last blog post described via a film…
… but instead, I’m recovering from injury.
Last fall I put together a nice training plan. It went well all winter, with consistent 12 to 15 hr training weeks. I was feeling good about the 2015 season. But the best laid plans …
I was riding downhill on a trail that looked like this (see below) and went over the handle bars. It was at the end of a 7 hr training ride with rain and cold wind. I didn’t have enough clothes, I was pushing at my limits, and my body took a big blow. The day after I was completely fatigued and could only lay down and rest.
High speed downhill crashes on these types of trails are usually bad news …
For those who have broken ribs before this might sound familiar: When I landed back home I started training again. I didn’t know my rib was broken until I saw a doctor 6 days later.
What am I doing with my free time?
I decided to see the positive in this. It’s forced me to slow down and do things I otherwise wouldn’t do. I just read a great book “The Cool Impossible” written by the running coach for Christopher McDougall (author of Born to Run). It’s inspired me to continue my focus on run technique. Last week I met up with Anders Nordström of Art of Running and worked on some “rib-friendly” running drills.
Anders’ sharp eye noticed that I was not getting a good hamstring kick, which meant that I was getting the full “diameter” out of my running circle (think: road runner carton where his legs go so fast they look like a wheel spinning). He got me to work on this repeatedly until I got it right — and then my speed increased as a direct result of having a bigger diameter. See the series of pics below
The right leg has a good hamstring contraction, with the leg kicking up high toward my butt…
… This allows the (same) right leg to reach even further forward on my running step (think bigger diameter all the way around) …
… but not so far forward that I fail to land “under my body” which I still manage to do according to this picture (thanks to keeping my hips pushed forward).
So I’m doing a lot of hamstring strengthening exercises while I’m recovering from my broken rib …
Environmental economics and my new solo multisport race
My injury time has also forced me to think about how to balance my “intellectual” career as an environmental economist and my “sports” career as an endurance athlete. Injuries have a way of showing you the problem with “putting all your eggs in one basket.”
I realize that I’ve become a “hybrid” worker that relies on various income sources — one of which depends highly on my physical fitness. Simple decisions about travel — in particular the exposure to airplanes, time zones, and sick people — now take on a new meaning. I really flinch when I see kids or others coughing too close to me.
And this is where the Scott Cole Invitational Multisport Race comes in …
My recent video promoting the race was inspired by this contemplation of how my two careers are linked. I talked about the natural connection between my job — where I value the environment — and my passion for endurance racing — where I’m dependent on a clean environment. I’ll be sharing more on that theme in the near future … (If you haven’t seen the video – click on the “SCI Race” link above).
I was excited to see the latest Outside Magazine in Sweden make mention of my race — here is the cover shot and the page discussing the race.
For those who are curious about my motivation for being a race director, here is what I wrote to Outside in a press release. (Sorry only in Swedish .. use google translate).
Orientering inom multisport är jättebra då det är den största anledningen till att Svenska lag har varit bland världens bästa inom Adventure Racing de senast åren (dvs lagtävlingar som pågår minst 3 dygn där navigation är en viktig moment). Men vi når ändå inte upp till att vara i nivå med Nya Zealand, som är det ledande landet i världen idag inom det jag kallar för pure multisport skills. Varför? För att orienteringen hindra oss från att kunna utvecklas som starka uthållighetsidrottare inom de tre viktigaste grenar — paddling, trailrunning och cykling. Tävlingar i NZ har ingen orientering, vilket kräver ett helt annat tempo och effektivitet i rörelserna för att kunna prestera bra. Jag menar att Sverige behöver mer såna tävlingar för att ytliggare kunna höja vår nivå på den internationella arenan. Åre Extreme Challenge, Race of Heroes och min Invitational kommer att hjälpa oss producera ännu fler multisportare på elitnivå. Vi kommer även locka in nya deltagare som blir inspirerade av sporten men som blir bortskrämda just på grund av orienteringen.
Utöver det så ser vi en stor efterfrågan på uthållighetstävlingar som är utmanande och kräver att folk tänjer på sina gränser, fjällmaraton och swimrun är bara några exempel på detta. Jag brinner för multisport och vill göra allt för att sprida den här typ av sport!
Today, 3.5 weeks after the crash I was out running and feeling good. I also had a functional training session with my neighbor Emil Eklöv, owner of Knåda Natur and a certified trainer for MovNet Natural Movement Fitness. We jogged through the forest behind my house with 12 kg sand bags on our neck and hopped over, crawled under, and balanced on trees…. barefoot whenever possible of course Great training!
Emil showing balance and strength …
I will slowly ramp up training and I plan to be ready for the national championship multisport race in Gothenburg — a 24 hour race together Team Thule (Martin Flinta, Caroline Holmqvist, and Petri Forsman).
PS Including a few of the more memorable pics from the Gran Canari training camp below. Thanks to Simon Nilsson, Mattias Nyström, Olof Häggström, Martin Feuk, and Henrik Persson for a great week!
PPS I found two locations that rent surf skis on Gran Canary, so email me if you want to know more.