Challenge Bahrain 2014

December 4th, 2014 by

Cycling in bahrain

Photo: Jodie Stimpson

For the first time in months its race time. 

After 3,5 weeks of solid training in Kenya me and Jodie are off the turbos and back in the race suits.

Challenge Bahrain is one amazing event, even if we still are a few days off the actual race the hospitality so far has proved to be something quite special.

Shaikh Nasser is not only racing himself but also dedicated to do this race absolutely world class.

Together with the Challenge Family they created a spectacular course, -and made sure to fill it with creme de la creme of triathlon. 

Think pretty much any title there is to win in the sport of triathlon is represented in the field this weekend.

Kona Champions, 70,3 World Champions, ITU World Champions, Commonwealth gold winners and yeah Olympic medalists…

Short course meets long course and bets are hard to place. 

The timing of the race is tricky, either your season will be VERY long – or you build up VERY short.

Some athletes are tired, some underdone and then there is the handful with lots of hunger in their eyes…

Think this hunger will play the biggest factor come saturday.

I have really no idea where my fitness is at but I guess I’ll find our the hard way this weekend.

My swimming and biking and been going well this past couple of months, but my running is still very much untested. Utrained.

After the stress response in august I was forced to slow down, rest and then build up again slowly.

I had a good phase in kenya but Rome wasn’t build in a day and I know it will take a bit longer before I start feeling good.

Challenge Bahrain is a great stepping stone in the right direction!

You can watch the race live on the Challenge Bahrain homepage (or live in tv from 7am to 4pm if you happen to be in Bahrain…)



Last sessions in Kenya

November 30th, 2014 by

Training hard with Jodie Stimpson

So training is now almost finished up here.

As you see above the synchronized bombing is perfected and me and Jodes are now looking forward to some lower altitude and well needed rest.

It’s been a very solid block up here.

I arrived in a rehab phase just having left my stress respons behind me. I had set Challenge Bahrain as a goal at the end of the camp, but the gutt feeling was still worried about getting through the 21k’s. It’s a very long way when the longest you run is an hour at the Alter G. At 80% of my body weight.

The last three weeks might not have brought back the Olympic running shape. But it had me running again. Properly running.

100% bodyweight – 75% oxygen…

After todays last hard run I’m convinced I can complete the distance without putting my foot in danger.

How quick I’ll complete the run is a very different question. But you have to pick your battles.

Not having raced properly since july this year I’m now very much looking forward to the race and everything about it.

The travel, the taper, the nice hotel, the nerves and the fresher legs.

An interrupted training phase like this is what I have dreamt of for a long time.

Going head with head with Jodie battling through never ending trainer sessions followed by tired runs has been great.

To start trusting my body again – priceless.

Inbetween the sessions I also squeezed in a birthday and a smaller celebration. The birthday was definitely bigger than the celebration and the 3-0 does require further celebrations once back home. The plan is to have some kind of festivity for each decade so far.

The kenyan part consisted av a solid training day, flowers from the man and a nice meal followed by the obligatory cake.

The second decade will be celebrated in Bahrain post race (and I hope my competitors will come and join me making it an unforgettable evening… )

The third and last part I save to when I get back to Stockholm.

But first things first.

One more day in Iten. Airport shopping in Dubai. Race. Home.

Bring it on


D-squad girls


Half way mark at camp kenya

November 22nd, 2014 by

Lisa Norden taking the shiv to the shop

The first two weeks are behind us and the Kenyan air is starting to feel easier to negotiate.

Many have been asking about the fair amount of trainer sessions we have ticked off. And fair enough, which sane human being would spend the better of a three week camp in Kenya riding a trainer? Probably not many. But then I never claimed to be sane, and I never had any real problems with trainers.

Going directly from here to Bahrain there was really no other way of doing things than bringing a TT bike along.

A Shiv in Iten fits in just as well as a UFO would back in my hometown Kristianstad… The roads far from suited and the traffic close to suicidal to mix with.

So riding the trainer allowing oneself to be grossed down in Watts and HR’s and minutes isn’t so bad after all.

But of course we don’t only ride trainers up here. We swim and run as well true to the nature of the sport. D-Squad triathletes mixing it  up with British middle distance runners at the HATC camp. Makes for interesting exchanges.

Like a conversation overheard at the pool:

“Why do they train so much? Is that because they never go really fast…?”

Fair enough when you compare our training to olympic 800m finalists… No we aren’t very fast, but yes we do train quite a bit.

At least give us that.

Every once and a while we do get a half day break from the coach. The other day we all squeezed into a mattatu (Kenyan word for a overcrowded very run down minivan) and went down to Eldoret. Civilisation in terms of a big supermarket fulfilled everyones wish lists. Pegs for the washing line, instant coffee, diet coke,  and a various selection of different snack foods. Maybe the occasional chocolate.

Smiling faces and sugar filled bloodstreams. Bliss.


Now lets finish this next phase, smash the legs just enough for them to take me through that half IM race in the end of the tunnel.

The end of a tunnel which is associated with a five star hotel, big shopping malls, spa treatment and a massive belated birthday celebration…

And yes, a four hours and a bit of hard work…

I think I will need every bit of the remaining 8 days to survive them hours…


D-Squad on a fieldtrip

Lisa Norden and Jodie Stimpson chilling at the pool

Lisa Norden and Jodie Stimpson