5th place in Cozumel WC

October 5th, 2015 by

It was a good start, a really good start, to the pretty hefty block of racing I just started. 

Three World Cups in the month of October, three attempts to improve my ranking into a reasonable number again.

Yesterdays 5th place was first and foremost a really nice concrete sign of that things are moving in the right direction. The swim was good, the biking where it should be (and has been for quite a few years) – and the run steadily improving.

This is the first race in a while where I have been able to train without having to cut run sessions or worrying about any potential injury. That to me – is a win in itself. The phase between now and end of august has been good to me. Training in Stockholm was great (much thanks to Amanda and Micke and visiting kiwi Sam Osborne) and physio support spotless. Finally we have started to learn how to deal with this body of mine, what the real issues are and how to get it back up and running. I sometimes think of myself as an old car, one you have to learn all the tricks to keep it running. And actually, I think we are slowly getting there. I didn’t have any real idea of what to expect from the run, I have to start a bit slow as my back is still a bit stiff coming off the bike. Once I got going I started to move up through the field. I passed girls like Oliviera, Densham, and training partners Julia and Lindsey. “Jeeze this is actually not to shabby for someone who avg ca 30-40k’s this last 6 weeks” (and THAT being a big improvement from the previous months…). I was quite well heat acclimatised so that didn’t bother me too much. On the last lap some girls went backwards while others came through and the positions changed a bit. I found myself in 5th place coming into the shute which was well beyond expectations. Box ticked!

All three of us D-Squaders finished in the top 8 so smiles were big in the icewaterfilled kids pool behind the athletes lounge afterwards. High 5 Coach Daz!

PHOTO: Origin Performance

Now to the exciting part. 

So the real reason travelling across the world racing these World Cups was point right. No matter how much I enjoy racing and travelling – without the prospect of these this race stint wouldn’t have happened.

But with the 5th place yesterday I catapulted up 31 places on the ITU Poinstlist. 

From a under par 103rd world ranking to 70th place.

Still not where I want to be, but with two more races to go and potentially more points to earn I could be in a somewhat good position starting next year. Remember my real target is to earn olympic points  –  guarantee my start in the first four WTS races – and there do a top 8 and Olympic Qualifier. It’s a long way to go, but if I can keep chipping away bit by bit it’s not impossible.

Lisa norden cozumel

I’ll say thank you to Cozumel for having hosted me these past 12 days and looking forward seeing you next year. Cozumel will then be hosting the 2016 Grand Final so exciting times to come back here for that.

Now I’ll enjoy my time at home, set the physio team to work and get some nice sessions in the bank before the next World Cup in Alanya in 2wks time.

Points and a nice win in Istanbul

June 29th, 2015 by

Lisa Norden ETU Istanbul

I needed points so I went to Istanbul to find some. 

I haven’t raced a European Cup for a long time and really enjoyed it.

A quick no fuss kind of trip with a well executed race and a body showing signs of adapting to training.

Exactly what I wanted and needed – and what coach darren asked me to try to achieve.

He wished me a really boring race, the kind without drama, concussions or strained achilles.

The swim was controlled and I swam in – or near the front for the full lap. A group of seven formed on the bike and with no major technical challenges or hills not much was going to happen during the 20k’s or riding. So I found myself having to do something on the run. A quite rare moment for me those days. I had a very average transition and had to chase for a little out on the first lap. Legs didn’t feel to bad and I got to the front just before the first turn around. Out on the 2nd lap I had some 15 seconds which then stayed for the reminder of the race.

Job done.

A nice hit out and test – and some much needed points.

Photo: Calle Friberg

Photo: Calle Friberg

Lisa Norden Istanbul European Cup

Photo: Calle Friberg


Bronze at European Games

June 17th, 2015 by

Photo: Sveriges Radio

It’s been an unexpected but terrific weekend in Baku. 

I went over to do the games mainly as general practice for me and my team, to be conformable with the format and make sure we work well together even when the pressure is on.

Training had been going better and better and the past three weeks with Darren and the D-Squad in Morzine showed that things were moving in the right direction. But with having dealt with all the interruptions and injuries in the past two years it was always going to take time before my run was back strong and fluent again.

Knowing the field – and my shape something special was going to have to happen to medal.

As things panned out my strong swim and early bike legs gave me the opportunity of the day. 

It was windy in Baku and the swim course had already gone through a number of changes before we finally got to the pontoon. Two laps with a beach start and a long semi shallow section before the actual swim started. I had a good start and got clear water early on. I could see the girls on my left, which with their better ranking also benefited slightly from shallower water and longer section using the sandbank. Close to the buoys I caught up, happy to find my training partner Aileen Reid sitting in third I slotted in next to her taking the wide line around the buoy. Once we got around and started to swim back towards the beach I realised there had been a gap opening up to the leading two girls – and I put my head down working hard trying to close it.

Maybe if I had been more aggressive around the buoys not being happy sitting next to Aileen I could have made it – but it was just a little too late and I couldn’t close it. I kept chasing and was swimming in third for the rest of the swim portion. A complete opposite situation compared to my last race in Yokohama… I enjoyed it. I felt really good in the water and could work hard but still be in control. Thats a nice feeling.

Lisa Norden exiting the water in 3rd

Up the beach I knew I had to push it, limiting the damage up to the leading girls – and trying to string out the line of girls behind me.

It’s a crucial moment, you either move forward or backwards.

And groups building at that time can be hard to dissolve. I caught up to Rachel Klamer and the Russian girl quickly without having dragged anyone with me. Check. We lost the russian pretty much straight away but Rachel kept working and we did have a little gap back to the chase pack.

A two girl breakaway could potentially work, but having Nicola Spirig and Aileen chasing behind us it was going to be difficult. The real chance came when Nicola went solo and joined us. Three girls – and the strongest three bikers in the field working together against an unorganised chase pack. Brilliant.

There wasn’t any need to talk – everyone just worked.

And the time splits reported back to us along the course was encouraging. 

I started doing the maths in my head. My run shape vs the girls in the chase pack. How much buffer was I going to need? I had been running more – but I was far from run fit. And some of the girls behind had proven themselves to be on pretty good form lately.

We ended up with 2,5mins in T2 – and I still wasn’t sure. I knew it was going to be Nicola for the gold – and me fighting the clock and the chasing girls from behind… My back was stiff as I came off the bike and it was a real uncomfortable first 400 meters of running. Eventually I managed to get my body to loosen up and get my legs underneath me instead of infront of me. By that time Rachel had caught up and I tucked in behind her to get some protection from the headwind. I figured out that if I could hang on through the less windy and flatter section (2nd half of the lap) I could benefit once more from her wind shield and that would save me a lot of effort. But I didn’t think I was going to be able to hang on for much longer. Rachel was in good shape with consistent high places in the WTS races. I needed to pace things well and make sure I didn’t blow or fall to pieces… But out on the second lap I started to feel better and I realised I just might to be able to hang on. Nicola had (as expected) put the gas on from the start and was not in sight anymore. The time reports to the chasers behind us were still encouraging and no one was really flying through the field. So maybe there really was a chance on that medal..?! Running did feel better and better and I could probably have run for a bit longer – but unfortunately no faster. When Rachel turned up the pace slightly I was hanging on a thin thread. The rubber band stretched and onto the blue carpet I was running in a distinct third. I tried to up the cadence and maybe find something special buried deep down. But there was nothing there that could help me across the line ahead of Rachel.

Rachel Klamer, Nicola Spirig and Lisa Norden
But still – a BRONZE – and a very unexpected such won in a way I love to race. 

It was a great race and it was won on courage and willingness to try. Nicola and Rachel are great athletes and it was fun to be out there working hard together creating something special.

baku lisa norden
I still have a lot of work ahead of me in terms of running. I need to build on both the actual mechanics and form – together with strength and endurance. The injuries has created a lot of holes in the foundation which needs to be looked into and eliminated. But I’m in good hands with Darren and physio Sam – with Björn Sverre HjellödegĂĄrd (back home for advice) all working together to put me back in shape. And I have a long phase ahead of me on altitude in Avoriaz.

Lets keep working away.


Baku 2015 Bronze medal