Olle Wallleräng (314) after the start in TCS Lidingöloppet. Photo: Peter Holgersson/Bildbyrån
The fact that the forest trails are covered by ice and snow does not have to affect the preparations for next year's running goals. In an interview, Olle Walleräng - Swedish elite runner and the 2021 silver medalist in the TCS Lidingöloppet 15K - shares advice on how to keep running while enjoying the seasonal changes.
How much of your training takes place out on the trails during winter?
- I run on bike lanes, treadmills, or the indoor track when the trails are snow-covered. If the ground is snow-free, I train daily on the Lidingö trails. I think that the hills there help to build great strength.
In your experience, do feet and joints need special training now to maintain their strength during, as they are not exposed to roots and rocks to the same extent as they are during summer and fall?
- In general, the TCS Lidingöloppet trails are runner-friendly, but I believe that foot strength is always important. If you would choose to exchange running for for example cross country skiing in the winter, my advice would be to strengthen the feet's reflexes thorugh for example rope jumping.
What does a typical training week look like for you in December?
- My training program varies and always takes into account the body's signals. I am for example careful to recover properly after quality sessions and after long runs.
In general, my week consists of two quality sessions and one long run. In addition, I try to take care of my body through yoga and exercises at the gym. Sauna is also included in my schedule on two occasions per week. I think it is good for both the body and the soul.
Do you have any advice for the running community on how to make training on asphalt or treadmill more fun during the winter?
- The winter can be challenging when it comes to finding the inspiration to run, but I have learnt to appreciate the different seasons. After a long, dark winter, you really enjoy when spring and the sun come.
I sometimes run fartleks to music on the treadmill, where I change speed for each song. I run to one song at a decent pace and then shift up about 10-15 seconds/K when the next song starts, and then return to the normal when the next song begins.
What part of TCS Lidingöloppet is your personal challenge? Along what section will you be seen training during the spring and summer?
I have always had issues with the hills at Bosön (Bosöbackarna). It is a very tricky section which goes up and down, and where it is very hard to find a good rhythm. Since I am a track runner - where your stride is the same thoughout the races - the hills at Bosön are very challenging for me.
TCS Lidingöloppet thanks Olle for the interview and wishes him, and the rest of the TCS Lidingöloppet community, the best of luck on trails, bike roads, indoor tracks and treadmills this winter!
For more advice and inspiration, Olle Walleräng will host the lecture series "Vinnande Löpning" in February/March 2022 - an inspirational story on how to keep developing as a runner!