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Musikhjalpen

Next week Swedens biggest Fundraiser campaign kicks off – Musikhjälpen.

We as an independent running collective from Stockholm are more than eager to support this noble cause by doing what we love – running.

On Monday, the 10th of December we will start running every single street in Stockholm in order to raise as much money as possible for this years Music Aid program.

We take on Stockholm and every single street this amazing city has to offer. At this stage, we do not really know how many kilometers we have to cover, but what we know is that you can join and support us as we try to find out.

Every day at 17:30 we will meet at a subway station in inner Stockholm to take on parts of the city. You are welcome to join our daily runs that will last from 15 to 35 kilometers. These runs are free but we kindly ask you to donate.

Tune of the day: Noisia and Phace – Deep Down X The Rob Watson Show

Now let me take a trip down memory lane – 1.2

Society inquired – Sometimes strangers (to my sheer surprise) and every now and then friends – Why is there no steady blog update any longer?

A well-meant request for information with a modest response: My MacBook broke. Our partnership finished abrupt and miserably. While being away the battery of my keying devise blow up and I never got around to get a new one. Whereas there are other (non-moveable) computers available in the household, I never got the enthusiasm to sit in front of a screen and type a report or any other training considerations. The simple peace of siting on the couch and philosophe about sports was gone and from this time my enthusiasm to transcribe and report. In the long run this means that I get to reflect on my season at once. A good thing for once as I think looking back creates a complete different view on what had happened.

A lot has happened and I will sum all the 2018 races up in two separate posts. Onto the first one it is…

Picture: Dennis Wernersson

01-2018: Premiärmilen, Stockholm
There were still snowflakes on the ground. Temperatures just snatched a little bit higher than zero but the first big 10k road race in the Swedish calendar was on the itinerary. The name pretty much says it all. Premiärmilen kick starts the outdoor racing season and a huge field lined up in my back garden, Djurgården. I felt in decent shape after regular indoor track workouts on the 200 meter oval in Bosön reimbursed little speed to the old legs. As I do most of my training runs around the park where the race took place I kinda knew the course. Not a fast one. Plenty of bends and hills make sure there is not much of a time trial going on. I felt good but the last steep hill at around 8k was too much for me on that day. I wanted to go under 38 minutes as training forecasted. I did not. At the end I was a mere of 40 seconds short.

Picture: Premiärmilen

02-2018: Utö Swimrun
It is weird. Swimrun season appears to come around so fast. Although perceiving the ice-covered Baltic sea a couple of weeks back, it seems so far away to swim in the open water. As soon as the first competitions are around the corner you wonder. So the Utö weekend came around fast. For me, this race is one of the best races around. During the last years I raced quite a bit across Europe but this one is always special to me. Historically the sport of Swimrun was born on this islet. You have heard the story somewhere around here. I will not bore you with more insights on Swimrun history. Plain simple, this course has everything that makes this sport so special to many. You have challenging and icy swims, you face technical and rolling trails, you climb, you need to have fast transitions and you have clean running. This course is fair. Perhaps the fairest course out there. The team that reaches at the finish line first is the best.

For this year’s competition I teamed up with my training buddy Karl. During the winter running was our main focus. We both prefer to swim in the open water. This meant that our swim performance was not at an all-time high. On the other hand the running form was decent and we had the goal to stick around the top 15 as long as possible. With this objective in mind we started offensively as this approach worked out at last year’s race (LINK). The first 2,5 hours went just as we expected it. We altered places between 10th to 14th place. We swam decent, we ran fast and transitions were good. But it wouldn’t be endurance sports if a certain portion of unpredictability and the resulting problem management would not be involved. The wheels started to fall off and we had to slow down. As a team is only as strong as its weakest link we pushed on and fought until the very end. Needless to say we didn’t make the top-15. We came in 29th place in 4:50:57, a mere of 47 minutes off the winners.

03-2018: 40th Stockholm Marathon
It is long ago that I ran a marathon. Moving to Stockholm, learning the (new and upgraded) route and finding out that this year’s version is the 40th, it was a no-brainer and the seed for plenty of inspiration and training motivation. I signed up for the competition with the clear goal to snatch under the magic 3 hours wall once more. There is something I really like about the Marathon Training circle. The simplicity of running is second to none. I’m not shy of repeating myself when it comes to this fact. So getting in the honest and lengthy miles, doing the rigid speed grind and staying healthy went well. Regular track sessions and long runs alone and with my cherished YO people created a running form that I did not had in a good while. The week before the marathon I set out on a last test run and it felt easy to jog 20k a good bit below my goal marathon pace. After I came back home with an 3:57 minutes per kilometer average on the clock I was convinced to reach my goal – Sub 3.

Picture: Kevin Tiu Hemphälä

Race-week was on and not only the tension was rising. Sudden heat stemmed an formed an wonderful but strangely hot and wind-less June day in Stockholm. I got changed at home and jogged the 500 meters to the startline nearby our apartment. Such a treat and something I have never experienced before. Being so close to the start of a major marathon is amazing. I grabbed a bottle of water and relaxed beside in the tiny bit of shadow that was available beside the start. The weather conditions should command the pace. I’m not too good in the heat. Particularly when running at Marathon pace. I tried to not tell me this too often and just think about pacing and nutrition. It all went well and I found my tempo fast.

Traveling around my new hometown was pure class. Swedes do value their sports. Stockholmers were out to applaud and it was a picture-perfect day for it. For cheering. I need to be precise. I hit the splits on target, adored the YO cheering zone (THANKS so much…) and was one happy jogger while running through our home district of Östermalm. Some neighbors and friends were out and it was great and uplifting to see everyone out on the streets partying.

All went pretty well for me until about the “fairy-tale”-like 30 Kilometer mark. This is where I fell apart and got broiled in the heat and sun on Södermalm. For a good couple of kilometers I was able to hold it together but I could not hold my nutrition and ultimately had to dispense all the stuff I had eaten for the last couple of hours. The rest was a dead-march back to the Olympic stadium where I tried to enjoy the magnificent finish line in this antique place. I do not really recall my time and my motivation to look it up again is not that high. It was well over 3 hours. My friend Sana, who took care of the elite athletes, promised me a picture opportunity with my blue-collar hero Yuki Kawauchi. I’m not sure what hurt most. This fact or the one that I did not break the 3 hours mark.
Nobody wants to read about stupid excuses. That is why I will never go into that. The heat, the nutrition? Whatever. No balls to tackle the heat. That’s how I see it. Onto the next one.

04-2018: Stockhom SwimRun Sprint
I guess it is OK to call it a tradition by now. One competition a year has to be done with brother Henrik Kindgren. This time the local retreat around Djurgarden was the target. Goal-wise we tried to keep it simple. We aimed for the win.

“We won this solely by experience!” was Henrik’s swift race recap when we crossed the finish line first. We ran hard from the start. Entered the water first. Swam hard but got overtaken. Got the lead back on the run and then lost it again in the water. This went on and on until the very last swim. After that we decided to excel. Still worn-out from the Marathon my legs hurt a lot but we made it. Even before the finish line was set up.

Super fun to do this with Henrik and a great mental boost after the disappointment at the Stockholm Marathon. Let’s ride this tradition!

Picture: Henrik Kindgren

05-2018: Långholmen SwimRun Sprint
I love when people get hooked with SwimRun. My colleague Firas was stunned and motivated as he watched last year’s ÖtillÖ with my colleagues. Consequently he wanted to try the sport himself. I insisted him to sign us up for the best race Inner-Stockholm has to offer, the Långholmen SwimRun. After several early morning swims and lunch-break gear checks we were ready to go. And what fun it was to scramble and run around the beautiful island of Långholmen. I’m confident SwimRun has a new fan.

Halftime!

Tune of the day: Statik Selektah and Termanology – Still (feat. Kendra Foster) X Dj Icey – Make me feel good

VIDEO: From Flemingsberg to Handen

It has been a while. And it did not take me long to rekindle my love for proper trail running.

A great day out on the Sörmlandsleden. A 1.000 kilometer hiking trail that hits the south of greater Stockholm. Saturday saw some remarkable Trail Jogging with the lads (Strava evidence)

We went all the way from Flemingsberg till Handen. Fellow jogger and talented videographer Otto Norin visually summed it up.

You gotta love some off-road jogging.

Tune of the day: The Deli – Sunflowers

shoeporn: Nike – VaporFly 4% Flyknit

shoeporn: Skechers – GOmeb Razor 2

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

Steadily Skechers is climbing up the performance oriented side of the shoe business. While general sales seem to come easy for the US giant, the “serious” running segment seemed to be just a nice side business. A couple of years ago i had the chance to test one of their first Meb Keflezighi inspired products. A lot has happened since then.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

While Skechers maintain their trademark look, the real beauty lies in the detail of the latest GO MEB Razor 2.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

The knitted upper does not only look good. While it allows a nice air circulation it guarantees a nice and firm fit.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

The 2nd version of the Razor comes with a great the 4mm drop and a 18mm heel and a 14mm forefoot height. A welcoming feature that makes this shoe not only a fast training shoe but also an option for longer races.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

A no-thrills road running sole. I used this shoe on plenty of occasions. As the material is pretty soft it does handle dry trails well but feels home on the road.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

Some sole details.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

I liked the aggresive red color way of the Razor 2.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

The heart of the Razor 2 is an ultra-lightweight, and pretty responsive cushioning midsole. It provides enough comfort without loosing that direct feeling. I found it to be pretty helpful during long runs.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

Sharp and fast – Style points are earned with the GOmeb Razor 2 and the flashy white midsole that works with M-Strike technology to provide a smooth and springy underfoot ride.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

A nicely molded heel counter secures a stable and proper fit.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher were amongst the first athletes Skechers signed a couple of years ago. This created a big uproar in the running scene. Looking back it was a wise move to secure the knowledge and dedication of a guy like Meb Keflezighi.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

Frontend – a proper toe-box. At least room enough for my wide feet.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

If you are on a budget and still want a proper running shoe, the Razor 2 is for you. Super quality and a shoe that is worth it money. Currently you can snatch a mop dell for less than a 100 EUR. Well invested cash.

Skechers - GO MEB RAZOR 2 run running race review test marathon road running

Responsive cushioning in a lightweight package – All in all, the second version of the Razor is a proper racing and tempo shoe. It’s comfortable, rides really smoothly and goes quick without being too punishing.

Tune of the day: Joey Purp – Girls @ feat. Chance the Rapper

X P3 Soul: Nas

From Island to Island. Again.

Last Monday i raced my fifth Ötillö. One might think it’ll get boring. It does not.

To put everything in words what happened will take a bit. Pictures do tell the story. At least a bit.

Henrik Kindgren followed YO, Daniel and myself along the course and took some amazing snaps. Enjoy.

Tune of the day: Uncle Murda, 50 Cent, 6ix9ine, Casanova – Get The Strap

shoeporn: Nike – Jordan Zoom Tenacity 88

In Pictures: Långlöparnas Kväll

Tune of the day: Larroux – Sway

shoeporn:Nike – Pegasus 35

In Pictures: Långholmen SwimRun

SwimRun racing across Inner-Stockholm? Do not look further than Långholmen SwimRun!

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