Train as Vikings - The Runner's Bag
Iván Martínez and Darío Vázquez are two Barceloneses who share much more than profession. These two scientists moved to Denmark a few years ago to continue their career and settled there. Great sports fans thought they could continue their training habits without drastic changes, but they were deeply mistaken.
Today, they tell us their experience of how they manage to maintain a training routine despite the climatic conditions and the cycles of sunlight that happen in the Scandinavian country, especially during the winter months.
Today I don't go out to train that long ago cold
How many times have you used this excuse not to go out to train or stay in the gym? Following this rule in Denmark you could only train 3 months a year. “In a country where it rains 170 days a year, with a cold season that lasts up to 9 months and with an average wind of 20 km / h Due to the absence of mountains, we would spend our lives inside the house, ”says Ivan. “What cost me the most at the beginning was going for a run as if I were going to ski, is that or running on a tape. In addition, we must add the absence of light during winter, which complicates things more. By bike it is much worse, you are much more exposed. ”
With these data we could think that due to the climatic conditions the Nordics do little sport, but nothing is further from reality. Sweden, Finland and Denmark are the European countries where more sport is practiced. This is due, in part to working hours of 33 hours per week and a great commitment to work conciliation; the Nordics also have it clear: healthy mind in healthy corpore. “We have to assess the climate we have in Spain, but there are more things that make a difference. In the end, you take stock and realize that the hours you are devoting to training were unthinkable a few years ago, even if it is cold and rainy. ”
The key is to keep the motivation high
The country has certain characteristics that make it attractive to train and others that make it a real challenge. For this, Iván and Darío have not only learned to be flexible in their training, but they have also created their own concept of "Epic training" to stay motivated on the days you wouldn't want to go out to train even your worst rival. “We work in nearby buildings and we have a large window, as it is always raining and windy, there are two options: not training or making it a challenge. If I am able to do it now, when the good weather arrives nothing will stop me; this motivates us even more ”.
Running through dark forests with rain and fog, going to the icy running track to do series, always swimming with the wetsuit on deserted beaches or the long bike runs surrounded by snow are some examples of the training they have done.
In the words of these amateur athletes: “If we explained to people what we do, they would not understand. You have to live here to know what it is. When conditions are unfavorable, it is when you have to try to continue with your routine. The key is to put on challenges and keep motivation always high, team up. ”
Great fondness for triathlon
The bike in Denmark is from another planet. The government has invested more than 373 million euros in cycling-related projects since 2009 and this is reflected in the more than 400km of cycle paths in its capital, Copenhagen. According to official statistics, 9 out of 10 Danes have a bicycle and 45% of people living in Copenhagen use this means of transport to go to work.
With this culture so ingrained to the bike it is not surprising his great love of cycling and especially triathlon, whose number of practitioners grows year after year. Nor do they fall behind when we talk about swimming, where it is easy to find an Olympic pool in almost any medium-sized town in the Scandinavian region. “The hobby they have for this sport is huge, in addition there are many triathlon clubs. Unlike what is thought of the Danes, they have many triathlon clubs where people love to sign up to socialize in a cozy atmosphere. What is known as the “hygge”In Danish. When summer arrives the roads are filled with triathletes with their unmistakable bicycles and the IronMan of Copenhagen is an event in the capital. There are even triathlons for the little ones, from 3 years old. ”
Darío managed to complete his first half a few months ago and today recounts his experience. “When I arrived in Denmark I spent a very hard first few months of training due to the weather and the darkness. I got sick every two weeks. But after a period of adaptation I began to consider new challenges. Since childhood I always wanted to do triathlon, but in Spain I had never had the time or the budget to do so. Here I could fulfill that dream. Thanks to the work schedules that allow you to reconcile personal and work life, the Danes have a very high level of amateur triathlon. There are many facilities for training, many gyms, swimming pools, public athletics tracks and even an old World War II air base enabled as a velodrome to do bike series and everything relatively close. ”
Running in one of the flattest countries in the world
The love of running in Scandinavian countries does not go unnoticed either. Copenhagen is a relatively small capital with just over 600,000 inhabitants, so the large number of runners who hosted their last marathon (10,000 participants) and half marathon (25,000 participants). In addition, this year the half marathon record was achieved with a time of 58:01 achieved by Geoffery Kamworor, which translates into great pride for the Danes.
Ivan remembers his first marathon in the Danish capital. “I arrived in Denmark in March 2017, I went jogging at a lake near where I lived and my landlord immediately told me about the Copenhagen marathon, which was an event. After a few laps I decided to sign up and that was my first marathon, the one you always remember. I was very surprised at the amount of people on the street, I really didn't expect it. ”
In recent years the fondness for Trail-running has grown exponentially, and Denmark is no exception. In a country where 11% of its territory is covered by forests and with a national plan for its care and protection, there are countless roads marked where to get lost. However, the biggest problem of the Danish Trail-runners community is the complete absence of mountains. "It is a very flat country, you have to change the mentality, its highest peak is 170 meters. Even so, little by little I have been discovering hills that repeatedly allow me to maintain a good level. Despite this, the nature of this country is spectacular. I love getting lost in the woods, it seems like they have no end, and the sunsets in summer are magical. ” There are many Trail races throughout the year such as the "Trailman" league or the "Viking Trail", especially in cold times when people seek shelter from the forest to take refuge from bad weather.
And the thing is not here, the Danes have found very ingenious ways to combat the lack of mountains. In October of this year the call was inaugurated “Copenhill”, an 86-meter-high artificial ski slope located on a waste treatment plant in the city of Copenhagen. In it, you can practice activities such as skiing, hiking, climbing or running with unbeatable views of the city, and on clear days you can get to see the impressive Øresund bridge, which connects the Danish capital with Sweden.