The dangers of over commitment and tunnel vision

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Most accidents happen with hikers. That’s right. Not climbers, not alpinists, not mountain bikers… The largest number of people that have serious accidents were simply walking. Of course this only happens to big city fools doing outrageously stupid things right? The truth is that if you go out often enough, you will sooner or later find yourself into some kind of trouble. Over commitment and tunnel vision then become a leading cause for more trouble.
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Trail running: Reykjadalur with beautiful strangers (Iceland)

This experience is the perfect example to illustrate how the best way to make friends to share experiences, is by going out and just doing what you love to do. Having just arrived in Iceland, I was asking around in some Facebook groups to see if anyone wanted to go trail running with me. Just when I was about to give up hope, Viggó, a local, messaged me that he was going to take a Canadian friend for a trail run to a secret hot pool and that I was welcome to join.


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Trail running: Drangshilðar (aka Mount Suribachi)

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I’m currently working out of Skógar in South Iceland, home of the world famous Skógafoss waterfall and trailhead of the magnificent Fimmvorðuhals trail. After you’ve gotten over the novelty of this wall of water thundering down, the next thing you notice is this imposing hill dominating the handful of houses. I’ve been itching to get up there to see if I could find a nice route to train my anti-gravity endurance and today was just the perfect day to do it.


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A Quick start guide to (trail) running

A Quick start guide to (trail) running

So what is this trail running?! Isn’t that freakishly skinny people with lives that aren’t even remotely bearable that don’t run anything shorter than a full marathon? Horrible! They even run uphill! There’s no way this is ever going to be anything I’ll enjoy, let alone do… wrong!

Trail running is a sport where you “run” at a speed of your own choice through a natural environment. Instead of paved roads, running club tracks, or – I can barely stand the thought – treadmills, you go out into the world, looking for tracks that are as diverse and stimulating as possible. Forest trails, fields, hills, sand dunes… and let’s add a little altitude difference to the mix! Read the full story!

My angle on the most brutal trail ultra in the low countries – Legends Trails 2016

My angle on the most brutal trail ultra in the low countries – Legends Trails 2016

While getting ready for work around 8 am on Monday morning, I took one final look at the live tracking page and saw that the last two contestants were less than 1km away from reaching the finish line of the first edition of Legends Trails. They had started their odyssey 250km, more than 7000m D+ and over 60 hours ago. Out of the 47 men and women that started on Friday night, 6pm, 15 completed the event. I’m quite sure you’re not fully getting what an achievement this is. Read on!

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Corridors of flow – In search of the perfect trail experience.

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While religiously sipping hot coffee, my morning started with browsing the new batch of outdoor sports media the night had spawned. Usually it’s the same generic clichés of a runner, biker or climber doing something way out of my reach, while a dreamy euphoric soundtrack helps to convince me of its total awesomeness. The bittersweet sting I get from these video’s helps me convince myself that if I just get through these next couple of days, weeks, months… of being diligent at work, I’ll get my share as well.

I was watching a video of mountain bikers flowing through some ridiculously beautiful trails when I heard the voice over say something that really struck a chord in me. He simply nailed what I’d been thinking but hadn’t been able to put into words:
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Nadri rock climbing performance test & graphs (Excell worksheet. English & Dutch versions)

Nadri rock climbing performance test & graphs (Excell worksheet. English & Dutch versions)

The Nadri test measures which “load” you can handle in the course of an hour. This helps you judge your level of training. It’s not necessarily about “how hard” you can climb, but more about “how much” climbing you can put out in a timeframe. Look at is as a combination of technical difficulty and volume (how much / how fast / per time); The weight you can give to a performance is described in the score table below. Those with analytical minds can use this spreadsheet to measure the volume and intensity of climbing training over longer periods of time in themselves and others. This can be used to adjust training to more efficiënt levels. Nadri stops at 6C+. I’ve extended his line of scoring using the same mathematical increments.

Example: to cross the Aiguille de la Vanoise you need to score 40 to 70 points; for the Pierre Alain-route on Grand Pic de la Meije South wall in the Encrins you need 200 to 240 points.

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