A recurrent question before TCS Lidingöloppet is how to find just the right level of effort during the race. How do you know that you are neither running too fast nor too slow on your journey over the trails, but keeping en effort which makes you perform optimally? Finding exactly the right effort level requires some training. We have therefore asked our elite panel how they find just the right intensity during TCS Lidingöloppet:
Napoleon Solomon: Positive thinking
To me, TCS Lidingöloppet is both a physical and a mental challenge. It is thus important to think positively even when the body and lungs ache. Try to relax and stay calm when approaching hill after hill, and slope after slope. I am helped by my friends and by the audience along the way when they are cheering me on.
Olle Walleräng: Self-knowledge
With good preparation, you often develop good knowledge of your own body, which means that you can trust your instincts. Good knowledge of your physical capabilities also helps you decide how to best use of your strengths. If you know that you are good in hills, you can run a little faster there and then take it easy in other parts of the race.
Malin Ewerlöf: Evenness
My first advice is that, if you want to be as comfortable in the race as possible without hitting the wall, it is important to have trained a lot in hilly terrain before. Otherwise it can be a tough experience since the course is hilly. My second advice is to try to run the race in a steady pace even if the second half of the race is tougher. Try to set up the race in 3 x 10K-sections, and have the same time on the first section as the last. Then, in my experience, you reach your maximum performance without hitting the wall.
Sofia Öberg: Mental preparation
For me, it's all a matter of mental preparation - if you know what the course looks like, you can make the best use of your energy during the race. For anyone who does not have the Lidingöloppet trails close by, I would recommend travelling to Lidingö to run the course a few times before starting, or study the course profile, alternatively watch one of the many video recordings of the distances which are available online.
Maria Larsson: Energy saving
Go out at a pace which you think you can keep throughout 30K of hilly terrain - and then slow down a bit! It always feels easy after start, and many runners overestimate their abilities and go out too hard! My second advice is that the time you "lose" on the first 10K by holding back is time that you can easily catch up during the second half of the race! If you instead go out too hard, the risk is that the second half will be significantly slower than the first half - and the total time far from the goal! Last but not least, the race starts during the last 10km. Save your energy to be prepared!