Monday, 17 December 2012

Silvester run in Azores archipelago

This weekend my athletics team was invited to participate in the Ponta Delgada Silvester run. This town is situated in S.Miguel island, in the mid-Atlantic Azores archipelago.

I had been ill almost all week but I got better from thursday on (the damn pediatrics urgencies kill my body with the latest winter/spring 2013 virus) so my performance would be a total suprise.

The race was tactical due to the wind. The 1st km was slowly ran in 3'14 by the  leaders, followed by lots of attacks. The moldovan Roman Prodius won in 29'56. I suffered a lot with my breathing and I did my worst 10k time in the last years, 32'43. However, Conforlimpa, my club, was still able to win as a team, ahead of Sporting CP and CUAB.

Apart from the race, I had a really good time in the cultural part of the weekend. Azores vulcanic sceneries are worth to visit and with sportspeople (wether from orienteering or athletics), you always have fun!!

(cooking in vulcanic boiling water)

What's next? Many lonely training weekends... February and the top-portuguese O'weeks are coming soon.

Monday, 10 December 2012

First map sessions of the season.

This is what I really need to improve as an orienteer: challenging weekends like the last one in a national team weekend by Bruno Nazário. Since September I've touched a map only 3 times so my navigation routines really need some work on. Even if I shouldn't have ran this weekend (since I was sick, resulting in fever and chills today and unabillity to train) it was totally worth it!

The weekend started with a 5k test where I did 15'29, without suffering too much. The rest of the weekend was spent between the training sessions below (what a wonderful tool 2drerun is!):

Mass start HERE.
Contours HERE.
Multi-technique HERE.
Interval-O HERE.
Golf-O HERE.

The week before was really stressful since I had to choose what I'll do for the rest of my life. My interests are widespread so I had a rough time choosing. However now I know that the next 5 years will be spent in training to be a Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine doctor in the Central Lisbon Hospitals. The Sport Medicine post-grad will start soon.

What's next? My first Silvester race will be next weekend in Azores islands and then some technical trainings to regaign my navigation routines. I hope I'll be back on my shoes soon... Can't wait for it!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

My first long trail race (30k, 1900m+)

It was last Saturday and it was awesome. A race is real good when you're still thinking about it 4 days later, and this was/is the case. I'll definitely have to repeat it.

30km, 1900m+ in idyllic sceneries in the center of Portugal. I had never been there and its forests have a great orienteering potential. The course was really tough but I loved it from the beginning until the end.

The spirit of trail running is really different/healthier from the road races. I spent almost the whole course talking with the other 2 athletes that were with me. In the second big hill I just kept the pace and was alone until the end, managing the lead and winning the race in 2:59:04. FULL RESULTS HERE. I ended the day being sutured at my hometown hospital with 3 stitches in my left elbow because of a fall on a wet stone in the last slope.

I felt like a "Sissy" on the registration by "only" making the entry to the short race, since the main course had 82km, 5000m+. Maybe in a next time...

Here is a short video about the race and this growing community in Portugal:

Monday, 5 November 2012

Four days of "altitude" training.

Last 4days were spent in the highest portuguese mountains, sleeping at 1.500m and training between 1.500m and 2.000m. Of course that we didn't go there because of the altitude but for its great places to do long hilly sessions.

Afterall, Portugal also has some nice mountains and wonderful mountain sceneries. However its trails are not well kept and it's easy to get lost (as in the last take of the short movie where we got lost and made 45min and 500m uphill at a road by night). I had fun. I'll be back!


Monday, 22 October 2012

Second 10k of the season, 31'57

I wasn't convinced with the 10k of last weekend so this Sunday (after spending sixteen hours on Saturday in a crazy emergency room) I went for another try in an officially measured race (the good thing about Lisbon is that there are road races every weekend). It was a classic one, with 10.000 athletes in a course with some up and downhill.

Along the Tajo river I made my PB of 31'57 (I had previously done 31'40 in a mostly downhill course, so it doesn't count). Full results with splits HERE.
In 2008 I had done 33'24 in the same course so this was a good improvement. It was really nice to break the 32' barrier so the next goal is the 31' one. I really want to improve my physical performances this year.

A short movie of the 2010 edition that shows the great spirit of this race:

By the way, portuguese orienteering was on the international channels of the national tv. I was with Davide Machado (from MTB-O) at the studios for a short talk in a sports programme. It was an interesting experience that you may watch HERE.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

First 10k of 2013 season

Last season I didn't run as many road races as usual. This weekend I intended to go for a mountain race but some discomfort in my left knee made me choose a "softer" 10k road race; If there's something that I've learned with the years is to respect my body.

It was my first race for "Conforlimpa", my 2013 athletics club. I'm excited with the club plans for next season since one of my main goals for next season is to improve my physical performances.

The race was won by Rui Silva, 2004 olympic 1.500m bronze medal and Luis Feiteira, 2012 olympic marathoner, was 2nd. I was 9th with a performance that could have been better. TOP10 results may be found HERE.

I started fast but I was alone at the 2nd km, with no one behind and the 2nd pack a few meters before me. I was afraid to push harder and did the rest 8km alone, passing some athletes that quited the pack ahead. I don't like this way of racing, but next time I have to push harder in the beginning to go with them.

The chip time was 32'23 and most of the GPSs gave average distances of 10.200m in a straigth race (mine gave 3'10/km average). If it's true, it was one of my best 10k performances, just in the beginning of the season.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Iberian Championships

Last weekend was the 2nd stage of the Iberian Championships in Figueira da Foz.
I was sick since thursday with a mix of sore throat/lack of recovery from jet lag so I felt physically bad. (right click on the map --> open in new window to higher map resolution).

Sprint, 2.5k, 21c - An interesting map with a nice castle area. I wasn't able to antecipate the narrow streets area. 

Middle distance, 6.5k, 29c - My goal was to run an error-free race, since I was physically impaired. I did a big mistake to 11th. Caught a runner on the 19th and got completely distracted: lesson to learn.

Long distance, 14.1k, 27c - I didn't make major mistakes. I didn't give it all physically and I wasn't that tired at the end of the race.

CONCLUSION: It's a good bet to avoid mistakes through a careful map reading.

PS- This new Iberian championships format wasn't a success. I know that the older "national team" format isn't doable in nowadays situation but I just leave the question... do the national teams really need to stay in hotels supported by the federations? Why can't they stay with the other athletes and still compete by the national team?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Park World Tour 2012

Before PWT I spent a great week in Madeira island (a small portuguese island with great training conditions) where I did memorable training sessions as follows: ...and where I won a regional athletic's race:

Great company, great food, great people, great traning sessions = perfect week!

The next 10 days were spent at PWT - China. I've heard about PWT for a long time but I never imagined what I'd been missing. PWT is the only orienteering race where athletes from all over the world live and travel together... and where everyone is really able to know each other, apart from the usual pre-race warm up short talk. And it was an event that I won't forget soon.

 PWT was also great in the technical level. The terrains in Changchun seemed like European. The terrains in Chongqing remembered me Cambodjan and Vietnamese scenes, with the rice fields included. For us that love orienteering, it's always nice to do what we like in unusual environments. I also did the most demanding sprint of my life in Wansheng. The terrain was so nice that me and Andreu spent an hour running throught the narrow streets after the race:

 A few group photos:

All the maps, splits and results may be found here.

What's next? I don't have any more orienteering goals for this season. I'll mainly focus on mountain races, road races and most of all... having fun!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Trails near my hometown

This weekend I wanted to run at a faster pace. I wanted to participate in the National Mountain Running Championships by the FPME (in Portugal there are 2 mountain running federations, the FPME and the FPA-athletics federation) but they didn't accept my entry. I decided to participate on this race on the 12th August but between Federation holidays and not receiving answers to email, tel and fax, I received a call after the entries finished saying that I should have thought about it earlier. Anyway, life goes on and I participated in a nice mountain race near my hometown.

 It was a 15km race and I had a good time with Hélder, a tough ultramarathon runner. I won in 1h04m02s. More info here.
What's next? Some days of holidays and then, Park World Tour-China.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

This is why I love August...

... some days I don't train at all, other days (as today) I run 2h00 in a single session... other days (as next weekend) I run 23km in a mountain running race. I just do whatever I want and that frees my mind for the rest of the year, even if I'm concomitantly working. Last weekend was as follows...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Holidays, time to rest?

After a whole season training/competing every single weekend, last week was spent with my family in the Andorran mountains.

I was supposed to physically rest but I was too excited with the mountains around and during the family daily "siesta" in the forest, I fell ran for an hour with averages of 800m climb in amazing places.

 I also remembered my old swimming days and swam around 2km a day at the pool (in the photo at a 2400m lake).

In the last day I even participated in a mountain running race from the Andorran cup. It was supposed to be like this...

... but it was shortened because of the weather conditions on the top. I won the race in 1h24min33sec. I must say that this was my first "real" mountain running race with crazy descents... and I loved it! The Andorran national team was there and we had a good time together.

(Andorran newspaper here)

Afterall I didn't rest my body, but I had a good time... Can't live without the thrill of running! Andorra is a really beautiful place... I'll be back!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

WOC 2012 resume

Sprint qualification - The biggest disillusion. I was out of the final for 3seconds (16th place), 35seconds after the heat winner. Once again I started too slow (as last year in France, as this year in Sweden) and warmed up the engine from the 5th control. I believe that if I'm able to correct this habit, I'll be able to be a top-20 sprint orienteerer; Time will tell...
(rightclick on the map--> open in new window = higher resolution)

Long qualification - I was not supposed to run the long distance, but due to this year's special characteristics I jumped into action. I was afraid of the dense vegetation from the model events and I ran too much on the paths in the first controls, loosing some time by going around. I was 19th, 2'20 from the final.

Middle qualification - The forest was nice but the runnability wasn't that good. I was 21st, 2'00 from the final. If I avoided the 2 big mistakes to 6th (literally swallowed a stick and ran in the opposite direction) and 21st I was in, but that's just the "ifs story".

Relay - GPS REPLAY HERE. I had so much fun! Even if I did some mistakes that made me loose the front of the group, I liked my performance. It was my first WOC relay and next year I'll be back with some added know how. I delivered in 17th, 2'58 behind Fabian Hertner.

- I'm now able to control my emotions during important races; not a problem anymore.
- I know where I have to improve in Sprint races; can't wait for next season.
- I'm able to run better in true forest (with sticks, stones, etc on the ground); I'm becoming a non-Sissy and that's good!
- Now I believe that Finals A aren't far away and, in a second step, top-results.

 Next week, I'll be chilling in my favourite habitat, the mountains, this time in Andorra.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Power Powder!

 Once upon a time, around 1923, there was a poor country with a high infant mortality rate.

Then there was Prof. Egas Moniz, a famous neurologist and medicine nobel prize (from my ex-faculty), who developed a powder that could fulfill malnourished children needs. Then Cerelac born!... and became famous.

Why am I talking about this? Because I'm known as the guy that eats Cerelac before going to bed. I've learnt it with some portuguese triathlon national team athletes and the habit persisted (it tastes good!).

Just as a curiosity, as the time goes by, the powder was forgotten and nowadays it's only sold in Belgium, Portugal, India, South Africa, Philippines and the Middle East (what is Belgium doing here?)... and is still famous in Portugal with 4 or 5 "white brands" of the same product.

Anyway, there's nothing better than a shot with (per 100g) 419kcal, 15g Proteins, 67g CH, 9g Lipids and 30-140% of the majority of the "important" vitamins before going to bed.

PS - No conflict of interests with Nestlé.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Last physical test before WOC

The only race that I found this weekend around Lisbon: 4.100 hilly meters around one of the biggest's capital ghettos (that was much more pleasant than I thought, my prejudice!).

Pack started slow, 2 attacked in the first climb and I kept the distance until the end, ending in 3rd. Nothing to say about loosing to João Vieira ou Bruno Fraga, 2 great athletes. I was really missing this athletics runner's high.

The result was nothing special but my track times are becoming good in the last days. Now I just have to read the map!

And nothing better than a good relaxing afternoon at the beach in good company!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Orienteering under 38ºC = HELL!

This weekend's national event in Arraiolos was a real challenge! (maps with higher resolution: right click on the photo--> open in new window).

Middle distance - I oversimplified the terrain. The controls were really hidden between the rocks and lost many seconds in the control circles. Big mistakes at 1st (20''), 5th (1min15), 9th (30''), 10th (1min15) and 13th (50'').

Sprint - Had some trouble jumping the fence to the 5th and lost lots of time there. Really good feelings when I entered the city part. The sense of weakness from the last weeks has disappeared with some easy training days.

Long distance - This was the real challenge, 14.4k (455m), 1h38 under 38ºC! I felt physically well (better than expected) but wasn't motivated enought to battle the heat. Lost to the 6th (1min), 9th (30'' - ran to 18th direction), 11th (50''), 20th (40''), 23th (1min30). I drank 2.5L of water in the 5min after the race!!

WOC is near and the final preparations are being made. Since running is fashion this season among the portuguese population, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a place in next weekend's road race. For the SECOND time this season, I get sold out entries 2 weeks before the race!. Anyway, I'll find a way to physically test my body next weekend.