Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Kilometer Zero

We know, in your mind, you have already decided we are crazy. The distances, the overwhelming number of people, the struggle Jackson faces to stay vegetarian when Finland’s silakat, pickled fried herring, stares up at him from the table. But that is why we’ve been training all fall. Compared to collegiate races, which tend to be 10 to 20 kilometers, marathons require a longer, albeit easier, sustained effort. Thus, we’ve focused volume, as opposed to intensity, in our training. Through roller skiing, running, and the occasional bike ride, we’ve put in about 15 to 20 hours of low intensity training per week. As part of this, we’ve emphasized double poling strength and endurance to address the long, flat sections we’ll find in a lot of the marathons. This can be a monotonous part of training, but we managed to meet up almost every week for a 2 hour double-pole-only rollerski. We hope that low intensity and heavy volume compared to our college training will allow us to maintain a reasonably hard effort for a really long period of time during the marathons. We want to be endurance fiends, and we’ll have to rely on adrenaline for the sprint finish. We also capitalized on free time this fall to explore Maine and jump into some races we had never done before. Highlights included a rollerski in Acadia National Park on their no cars day, a traverse of the Bigelow Mountain range with the Bowdoin ski team, and a strong showing at the Black & White 2 Peak Challenge trail running race.

GoPro pictures of our sunrise ski around Acadia National Park with some alumni and the current Bowdoin ski team.

On top of the Bigelow Mountain range.

Our short legs carrying us to the finish of the Black & White 2 Peak Challenge. (Jackson forgot to mention I beat him)

We fly to Europe on December 31st, enjoying New Years in the air. After a layover in London we'll head to Prague to meet up with a friend we skied against in college who is home for the holidays in Czech Republic. 

Our first race is the Jizersk√° 50, a 50 kilometer classic race in Liberec, Czech Republic. It was established as a fitness test for mountain climbers from the TJ Lokomotiva Liberec club, and the first race, held in 1968, had 52 skiers. Now there will likely be over 7,000. We’ve gotten excited for it countless times by watching a trailer the race published for last year’s rendition. You can do the same here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwLEOwa77AA


  1. Fabulous undertaking guys! I look forward to seeing future updates.

  2. Not crazy at all!! Totally cool!!

  3. Love the trailer!!!

  4. Good luck Jackson! Just saw your parents & sister. They shared your adventure which is probably getting ready to wake up for! Fly Jackson Fly! And as James would say:"Put that pain in box and deal with it later!" Have fun!!! Leanne