Preparing for a trail running adventure – part one

Time really flies! I have written about this summers adventures before, and now the biggest of them is on only 1,5 weeks away! Woah.. Where did this spring and summer go? We will be heading out on a trail running adventure in the Swedish mountains on July 11th. A lot of people have asked me where we are going and what we’re doing, so I thought I would do a mini series on the subject. I’ll share the preparations, my expectations and fears, the gear I’m bringing and then the actual adventure.

And since the preparations comes first, let’s start there!

 

What I am preparing for – the trail and the distance

We will start from Vakkotavara, about 2 hours west from Gällivare, running north on the Kings trail. Our plan is to run to Kebnekaise Mountain Station in four days. We will take the bus from Gällivare on Tuesday and get out on the trail around lunchtime. The first day we have 15 km to go and our first stop is Teusajaure. While out on the trail we will spend our nights in small mountain cabins hosted by The Swedish Tourist Association.

Day 2 will be the easiest day with 10 km to Kaitumjaure. Glad that the distances are varied so that the body can recover from any possible fatigue and damage. I’m thinking a sauna and some mountain yoga here in the afternoon will be suitable..

Day 3 is a little bit longer with 13 km to Singi. This is supposed to be relatively easy to run with not so much difficult terrain and only 700 meters in height difference between the two. Day four from Singi to Kebnekaise holds 15 km in a rather narrow valley called Laddjuvagge. When you reach the end of the valley and come out close to Kebnekaise, it’s by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen so far.

view from Kebnekaise
Mountains around Kebnekaise and Laddjuvagge

 

In Kebnekaise we’ve booked a room and a three course dinner at the mountain station. I have two possible scenarios that can come into action here.

  1. We arrive, have a sauna and a shower and the dinner is be the best we’ve ever had.
  2. We’re so tired when we arrive that we don’t even make it to dinner..

On day 5 we will continue from Kebnekaise to Nikkaluokta and complete our 78 km /48,5 miles trail running adventure by getting picked up by car from Nikkaluokta and head back home.

Kebnekaise mountain station summer
View from Kebnekaise Mountain Station

 

Running long distances before heading out – is it really necessary?  

When it comes to physical challenges I am not really a person who prepares. I like to just throw myself out there and try things, not really knowing what lies ahead of me. With okay physics to start with, most challenges are okay that way. But since this one includes mountains (and I have large respect for mountains) I’ve actually done some preparations. I started running longer distances already 8 months ago. But as if the universe knew I had done something right – I hurt my foot and couldn’t run for 8 weeks.

My foot got better and I started running again in early May. My plan was to run at least 15 km more than five times in mountain terrain before we head out.. I have this far made ONE 10 km run in the proper terrain.. Not at all what I planned. But on the other hand, I feel strong and light and since this is not a race, we have time. Even if we might need to walk longer distances.

Doing Strong by Zumba has been my savior

Those of you who have been following me for a while knows that I am a Strong by Zumba instructor. I have my Strong classes to thank for still being in shape even when there hasn’t been much running. Since I started doing Strong in August last year, I have become a much better runner, too. I do 1-2 classes a week on top other workouts and it has really improved my over all fitness. And I am not saying this because I’m an instructor, but if you’ve been searching for a fun and good cardio workout – stop looking. This is it.

 

Pictures from a previous hike around Kebnekaise – totally love this place ♡

bridge swedish lapland
There will hopefully not be so much snow left when we set out, but maybe a lot of water. Luckily most places where you need to cross have bridges.
Kebnekaise
Ending our trail running by coming through this valley feels like a dream.

If you have read my first blog post about this adventure (also on Instagram), you know I have never considered myself a runner. I have always done sports but always told myself “I am not a runner” as an excuse for not running. This whole adventure is my way of redefining my picture of myself with the goal of becoming a runner. 

Stay tuned for upcoming post about what I fear the most about this adventure, and why. 

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