Training W37 – Week of record breaking

The week was amazing energy freak week. Such a great feeling and running was so easy. My goal has been to do one over 10 k run every week and week 37 I did three over 10 k runs! I have been insanely busy at work and also have had choir practices and a flash mob at the city center so have not had time to update my blog.

First 14 k run was a slow steady run intention do get more kilometers this week. It felt great and I managed to run a second best time on a similar distance. Then after a few days break I did an 11 kilometers run and broke my best time for 10 kilometers. Then the next day me and hubby went for a run and my ”best time runs” are his ”slow/stretching” runs. The flow was so good that I just kept going.

At 8 kilometers mark he asked if I wanted to try my again my best 10 k time as it seemed to be going pretty well and I said yes, so full on to the end and broke the record I had made the day before by 5 minutes 15 seconds. I have not done this many runs in a week for ages and I surely felt like a superwoman!

Hard to beat this week but it goes to show that progress does happen and going outside your comfort zone is the only way to get there so go ahead push yourself and seems like you may surprise even yourself.


  • Running 35,2 kilometers so three over 10 k runs!
  • Trail running 2,8 kilometers only, usually I do more trail running
  • No HIIT training, maybe next week…
  • No Gym, definitely next week!!
  • Hiking 3,7 kilometers ( with my 6 year old <3)


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Training W36 – Overseas ventures

I was trying to get back on track with training this week, but time simply has not been on my side lately. I have been struggling with trying to find time even for a short run and it seem like time is flying so fast I can’t keep up with it. Normally my amount should be around 20 kilometers of some sort of running, but now I am struggling to get there. This week my long run was at Frankfurt, Kronberg up Alt König, but as my HR monitor was being repaired and my mobile ran out of battery around 2’ks before the end I did not get the full training recorded. Calculating that missing 2 k’s I did reach pretty close to the 20 kilometers after all.

The run at the top of Alt König was really good training and I felt like had for once done something strenuous but not too strenuous to wear me completely out. I have a tendency to run too fast when I get too excited and then few hours after exercise my ”battery” runs out like from an old winding clock. When that does not happen after a long run I know the pace was not too bad and the exercise was good and this is what happened in Germany on the route up and down the peak.

I also cycled more than normal. Neighborhood trails are getting boring so cycled to another forest close by with lots of trails. It had very good hills up and down so need to remember that for future uphill training.

Week, by week I feel like I am finally progressing all the time. Mornings do not feel so tiring anymore and on the runs high hills are easier than before. Generally I feel like I have so much more energy and at the gym I feel like a super woman! So people (read women) check your iron storage values, you never know as iron deficiency seems to sneak up on you in time.

I am also planning on adding some meditation/mindfulness/yoga or similar to my training plan to help on those long nights in the tent and controlling breathing. Now I know I breathe too superficially, not deep enough and it would also help with singing (and running and climbing in high altitudes). The more hectic life is the more you tend to just take quick breaths and not breathe deep enough.

All this of course is just a waste of your lung capacity so I have decided to see if I can improve it. Got this app designed for meditation on my phone which I intend to use in the evenings so let’s see!


  • 3 times Trail running altogether 14 kilometers
  • 1 time Basic running 3.5 kilometers, this was my HIIT training for the week
  • 2 times Cycling altogether 14 kilometers
  • 1 gym session


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Finding high places – Alt König, Kronberg/Frankfurt, Germany

Traveled to Frankfurt for work this week and already when I knew I was going there I started looking around the trails and high places around the city thinking I will go for a run. Found this peak called Alt König where you can find remains of Celtic ring wall and it was reachable by public transport on the west side of the city around 832 meters above sea level.

A Finn who is practicing for Kilimanjaro must take every chance she gets to climb anything higher than 100 meters so I decided to go for it. I had a really early flight so headed straight towards Oberursel/Hohemark from hotel with tram and two different trains, underground U and commuter train line S. I did not have to wait for the next one for two long so public transport worked perfectly.

There were so many paths going across the slope that it was actually hard to choose which one to take so I just chose random trails going up taking short cuts here and there. There were different kind of paths up either gravel, grass or clay/rocky path.

Once you get to the top it has soft and nice surface and birds which made quite a lot of noise. Saw one falcon flying so not sure if it was them or some other species as I am not that familiar with birds. Anyway the top seemed to have it’s own little world and the vegetation was a bit different.

Terrain was very soft bark and it smelled like it is about to catch fire any minute.

Throne ”Alt König”

Found the top easily as there was this ”throne” bench and chair and above it read on a plaque ”Alt König”. Assumed this was the highest point so sat for a while, had a drink of water and took a few pictures.

There was a lot of vegetation and trees on the slopes so I could not really find a spot to get a shot towards the city but managed to get a few pictures with nice view.

View with a little bit less trees

Because my HR monitor wrist band broke and it is being repaired, I have had to use my mobile and just HR belt to track my sports for a few days. It seemed that using tracking app, gps or something else drained my battery completely and had only 20% left at the top.

Celtic ring walls at the top

Decided not to take the same route, but ”shortest” so pretty much straight down. Managed to get really good speed here and there. Very good descent practice for Kilimanjaro! Then noticed my mobile battery had only about 5% left so quickly checked approximate location where I should be heading and then it died. I did not get the last 2 kilometers recorded, but kept my course and found my way back to the U train, S train and to the right tram and hotel. Who needs a mobile phone or a map anyway!

My stop at the mountain was very short up and down around 1 hour and 50 minutes and distance around 8,7 kilometers hence did not have time to enjoy the nature more. This was intended to be a clear mountain running exercise more than recreational visit anyway. From Hohemark U train station it was about 1 kilometer to the forest border where I put the tracking on so It would have been 10 kilometers altogether if you start from the station.

Altitude was around 383 meters where I started recording and top was 836 meters. Max speed was 5:08/km so I really sprinted down at and was afraid with all the rocks and fairly steep decline that I would trip on my own legs but managed to concentrate, core strong and concentrate even a bit more! Toes did hurt a bit as I should have tightened my laces so that my trail running shoes would not have slid down all the time…

Afterwards I could definitely feel the fast decline on my knees and hips, but the exercise itself was really good and I only felt it for the next day or so which is normal.

The paths up are really good in the beginning and you can choose one that is not so steep, but generally there is quite a lot of steady incline and at the end it is a bit rocky. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to challenge themselves a bit, but cannot do very steep inclines.

The forest is also filled with mountain bike tracks so if that is your thing this is your place!

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Training W35 – It certainly was more good news

After my ”injury” on Saturday I had to take it easier for a few days. Sunday I felt a bit like being hit with something and in this case it was quite accurate as I had been hit by a rock, literally.

My neck and right shoulder blade was hurting so gym was out of the question. Ended up having an easy day off sports and lick my wounds.

Monday was already better but still no sudden movements so a bike ride with kids was a good, easy option.

By the end of the week I was back at the gym and even increased the weights a bit. I feel like pumping iron in the form of pills and liquid is helping already. Mornings are not that fuzzy and I feel like I have more energy on my runs and don’t get exhausted so easily.

So all in all a good week although training was a bit on halt.


  • 1 gym training with increased weights
  • 1 biker ride 5 km
  • 1 trail run 5,5 km
  • 1 basic run 3,6 km with 2nd best time on the route!
  • + Pumping a lot of iron internally


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Finding trails – WWI trenches, Kivikko, Helsinki

For someone who loves forest and trail running the place where we live now is ideal as it’s only 20 meters from our door to the closest trail. The forest close to us is filled with WWI trails, trenches and caves (see feature image at the top of this post of a cave). These structures were built during WWI and they are a part of so called defense ring which follows roughly the current Kehä I ring road.

Foundations still standing after 100 years

Most of them are under newer buildings or roads but quite a few of them remain in the forest between Kivikko and Jakomäki in East Helsinki. It is understandable why they were built here as this area is the highest natural point in Helsinki around 63 meters so it would have had a good view to all directions.

More about the history on Yle website and image of remainders of the constructions and trenches in the area this blog post refers to you can find here Those are also marked on maps so if you are heading this way for just to dig into history or to check a new interesting place for trail run and mountain biking it’s good to check approximately where they are.

Great views from a few points. Clearly Autumn is getting closer although the sun is coloring the landscape here a bit orange too

The forest is very popular place to take your dogs out, go for a picnic, children to play, schools to do orienteering and of course for trail running and mountain biking. So it’s filled with paths of gravel, small pebble and trails. Some built during WWI and some formed later on top of old trails and of course completely new trails.

Drop down. These usually lead to storage caves

I tend to run in the forest at least once a week at any weather and will certainly post something about trail running during the winter also. It has it’s own challenges, but right now the weather is still perfect and the forest is a great place for trail running and you hardly ever have to choose the same path twice!

Since the area is quite rugged and a rocky there are a lot of ups and downs, but you do need to know where you are going and it’s best to stay on the bigger trails unless you are familiar with the place as there are quite a few sudden drops to trenches about 1,5 meters down up to 20 meter drop to a trench leading to caves. Some are fenced and some are not.

Trails have formed over these trenches too, but generally there is a lot of loose rocks and sharp edges, not to mention suddenly a metal pole poking out. So first timers be aware of these and slow pace is better than full speed running or pedaling on a mountain bike.

Outdoor gym spot

After my trail run I often stop at this outdoor gym place and do a few exercises.

These exercise areas are really handy and can be used almost full year round (apart from when there is really, really a lot of snow).

With a little imagination you could do a pretty good training just with these tools.

Awesome landfill hill for HIIT training!

When in need of HIIT training there is a landfill hill along the way home also where you can do full speed up and down training.

When I started running this up I got really exhausted by the time I was at the top, but lately the hill has not felt as long as before which is good.

Progress that is!

Sunset atop the landfill hill

And if you time your runs towards the time when the sun sets you will always get a view of a different sunset from up the hill <3

I can definitely recommend these trails to anyone and you can easily plan the distance as there are so many trails to choose from, but with children you need an adult along due to the drops. It is quite rocky too, but still manageable for anyone with good shoes unless you want to go wandering to the caves or trenches which will require a bit more adventure state of mind.

This area is also popular picnic place and there are plenty of nice spots with a view to eat so you could take the kids for a historic adventure picnic! Remember to take something warm to sit on (newspaper or foldable seat pad) with you as the rock get pretty cold even during the summer.

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Training W34 – Bad news and good news

Week 34 started off good with really intense gym session after which I felt like I can do anything! Managed to do chin-ups easily. Still only one at time but multiple times with short 20 second breaks.

On my lunch break I did my usual running route and managed to improve my 12 min ”coopers test” distance by 100 meters to 1700 which is average but still good enough for me and improvement. In real test environment and flat surface I am sure I could squeeze a bit more, but have used this route close to our house to measure since we moved here. This was my HIIT session at the same time.

So feeling has been good, I mean a bit tired but good and that is the good news.

So to bad news. As we will be going to high altitudes doctors approval is needed and basic checkup that all is ok and I had mine this week. Doctor did the basic checkup and lab took the usual blood tests. Results though were surprising and even a bit worrying. My hemoglobin was only 106. Other values were ok though.

Obviously this is not good going to high altitudes (or even on flat ground) so I will need to take some iron supplements for a while. Luckily our three peak challenge in North England early October only has max 900+ meters peaks so this does not affect that and I did get the approval from the doctor to go there, but for Kili we need to get it back to where it was at least a few years ago which was 135.

And again to good news, we caught this on time so I will be pumping iron in a little bit different form for the next few months!

After soaking it in that there is actually a reason behind me being so tired and sometimes a bit dizzy without me knowing why, it was time to get back to business. Decided to go orienteering after all again promising my husband I will take it easy and not faint on the way.

This time the start was pretty close to my house in Vuosaari and the route itself in Mustavuori Nature reserve area so cycled there (around 7k’s one way) and back because the parking spots are limited. Did half an hour better time than last time and 3 k’s less on 5 k route finding all the check points so very happy about my achievement. I am clearly getting the hang of this sport and starting to understand what the maps are all about.

And back to bad news. It’s been raining here in Finland for a few days really heavy (even our central metro station is closed due to flooding) so the forest is also very wet. You know the saying slippery when wet? Well check point 14 was down this cliff with moss on top and even though I got pretty good trail running shoes my heel just slid down and I hit my bum, head, right elbow and left little finger pretty hard on the rock.

I was aching everywhere and there was just a tiny bit of bleeding from the finger so I was able to continue to the end and cycle back home. Next day though I noticed that the aching was worse and my neck was really sore so I will need to monitor it and no exercise the next day anyway.

Good news about me getting hurt is that I am alive and did not hit my head badly.

Good news about the hemoglobin being down is that if I have been able to improve my performance and do all the hikes in Norway even with so low hemoglobin, imagine how awesome I will be after I get some more iron into me! 🙂

I think the good outweighs the bad this week and am looking forward to next week and training again as soon as I can.


  • Cycling 14, 3 kilometers
  • Gym training 1
  • Running 3,7 kilometers HIIT
  • Trail running 2,5 kilometers
  • Orienteering 7,0 kilometers
  • 1 fall in the forest around check point 14


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Training W33 – More progress and busy hobby week

I went for a long trail run (11,63 kilometers) on Sunday to Sipoonkorpi and was pretty tired and exhausted this week still too. Although I was tired the run was great and it felt pretty easy so I can see some progress there too as earlier closer to 10 k’s and usually I have been already a bit more tired. Now I was able to run to the end and could have done a few more k’s too.

Other than that week was pretty easy, but still accumulated a lot of k’s because my monitor calculates from Sunday to Sunday and next weeks long run happened to be on Saturday already (orienteering).

I haven’t done orienteering for a while because I got so badly lost last time in May that I thought I’d better read a book about the subject before next time. I did just that and now had much better understanding of the maps and the dots and colors. This time it was so much easier and only got lost once so I can see some progress there too. Looking forward to next time next Saturday again!

Hopefully next week I will be able to get a bit more routine and even go the gym as missed that completely this week. I have had also two concerts with my choir in the past two weeks which means more practice and booked evenings = no time to do training.

But there is a week next week too so not beating myself up too much.


  • Trail running 15.72 kilometers
  • Orienteering 10.1 kilometers
  • Cycling 5.42 kilometers with daughter so easy!


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Finding trails – Sipoonkorpi National Park, 10 k

Sipoonkorpi 10k route

As you probably have noticed I quite often go to the closest National Park Sipoonkorpi for trail runs, especially the long ones. It’s easier when there is more space to choose from.

In Finland I always use this app called ”Maastokartat” topograhic map. There are several different available in Play and App Store but this I have found simple, loads everywhere and has majority of trails.

Usually I go to the parking lot (start point) look at the map, decide how long route I will choose and go for it. I have learned the average distance in the forest already because I have been running here for so long.

Path after the fire and fishing place at Storträsk

Start of the path is very good gravel path that goes through Flatberget natural reserve ”luonnonsuojelualue” to Storträsk marsh and a small pond where you can find this newly renovated fire place, toilets and all (see feature image). The place is really great for a short hike with kids. The pond is also very popular fishing place, but you do need a permit to fish.

Take a turn towards Gumböle träsk there are signs if you follow the yellow route. The path changes to normal trail (no gravel and roots…). Here the yellow signs though end and there are just some blue marks on the woods, but just look for the most worn trail.

Forest road ”trail” after the road section

There is this small section where many paths cross where you need to go left and you feel like going backwards after which the path goes through a tree felling ares (due to which I got totally disoriented in the winter) but the path is back now, not too worn but you will see it.

This will lead you through to Nybyggetintie, take right and after that left to Mäntykorvenkuja. Run to the end of it and you will see the path on the left after the road end. Here the trail is really more of a forest road than a trail.

Dead end path to a marsh

Which is the reason why I began to be a bit bored. You always you have to go off path a bit (getting a bit lost is part of the excitement), I saw this little path I and thought I could use some extra k’s so thought it’s more interesting, but that turned out to be just extra k’s and a dead end to a marsh.

This would be the little off path peak on the right hand corner of the trail which though gave me that extra k’s I wanted over 10 k

The road trail leads you to the gravel path going to Kalkkiruukki laavu of which I have written earlier. From there on the path is gravel. The path has the best ascent and incline around the area and I was able to sprint down at the speed of 2:02/km. Long legs help!

Managed to accumulate 534 meters of ascent and 519 meters of descent. Sports watch claims it was my fastest time on similar route and I have to admit that it felt easy and I could have done a few k’s more easily.

It was raining at times and quite windy. There is a sense of Autumn in the air and you can see it from vegetation. Lingonberries are almost ripe. Bilberry, raspberry and wild strawberry leaves are getting color. The good part about trail running in the forest in Finland at this time of the year you will never get hungry even on longer runs!

This trail is very close to 10 k’s and not completely in the middle of the forest, but clear paths (a part from that little adventure I had). I tend to do this when I don’t want to run the Kalkinpolttajan polku trail (which is marked all the way) and there is more people usually also.

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Training W32 – Finding motivation and finally progress

In the beginning of the week I was a bit down and could not seem to find motivation at all. Legs were sore from gym and running again on flat surfaces and I felt like there is no progress at all and I’m just torturing myself for nothing.

Even made this video about my lost motivation but ended up not posting it as it was so depressing to watch. Then on the way back I thought I’d try as a joke if I could finally do a chin-up at the local outdoor gym. To my surprise I could and it was actually quite easy so good on me *a pat on the back*!

Motivation found!

This achievement gave me whole new energy to continue and faith that I am just maybe doing the right things. It took it’s time but yes, I did it and of course tried a few times after it during the week and was able to do it so now my aim is to do 5 in a row. Haven’t put a deadline to it yet though…

Finally one chin-up


  • One gym – My normal plan in quite a quick pace
  • Cycling – With my daughter 3 kilometers
  • Running – 22,9 kilometers, I know 10,5 was basic running, rest probably trail running and HIIT run also, but seems that my HR monitor cannot separate them when you use Multisport function (Software Development hint, hint).

Generally the week was not that good and getting back to work clearly had an affect on my energy level. Still I am happy as there was progress in the form of the chin-up. Never thought I could do one. Hopefully next week I could get back to more clear training schedule. Now it seems like there is not enough hours in the day.

Weekly training plan

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Training W31 – Easy rest week

After all that hiking and work starting it was obvious I could not do the amount of training I did earlier two weeks. Decided that I will do what I can, but no pressure and no tight schedules. Last thing you need when starting work again after holiday and kids going back to school is anything extra to stress about like training.

The week was a well deserved rest week with a bit of activity anyway. Did quite a lot of stretching too since my legs were pretty stiff and sore from strange places after moving from hiking boots to high heels again. There was still a bit of running after the bike (my daughter is learning to ride the bike without training wheels), but I reckon next week I will need to start cycling alongside since I simply cannot run much faster anymore and she is so good already!

I have lately also begun to stop at the local outdoor gym areas. It is really great that they build these kind of places. They are an easy way to get a bit of weight training while passing by. Next time I will grab a photo.

Let’s see how next week goes. This week definitely was a battery recharge and stretching week!


17 kilometers, 5 activities and 4 hours. These 5 activities consisted of one gym session and rest are short basic runs and trail runs. Ascent whopping 265 meters 😀 (only 1386 meters less than last week!)

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