Friday, 18 August 2017

Training on Mountains

Austrian mountains are just the job when it comes to building condition.

My first 'rule' is: choose a mountain a short distance away and run gently to its foot.

Today my final destination is a point in the above phootograph - the 'v' shaped ridge between the central summits. The nearest point at the base of the mountain range is 1.5 kms away and my 'finish line' is 6 kms away.

My second 'rule' is: in hot weather always carry water - either to drink or pour over the head. I know a convenient tap on a wall at the foot of the mountain - a great place to top-up my 500 ml bottle.

The third 'rule' is: avoid the temptation to start too fast, taking into account the temperature and the steepness of the slope.

I'm starting at 500 meters (1,800 ft) and aiming to  be at an altitude of 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) in an hour and a half; a place where the air will be much thiner and the sun's rays  much stronger.

I'll be wearing my running cap backwards, to protect the nape of my neck from sunburn.

An important fourth 'rule' is: know the way back. Today I'll be taking a cable car for the return journey. One of life's little luxuries.

'Rule' five: take the opportunity to look at the scenery and note the changing climatic and vegetation zones.

Sixth and final 'rule': having earned it the hard way - enjoy the view! Have a beer if you fancy one!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Krumau-Idolsberg Trails

Visit any tourist information office in Austria, even in the smallest town,  and it would be surprising if you were not able to obtain some useful information about local footpaths and/or forest trails.

Here is a map showing 7 signposted walks around Kampsee Thurnberg, a lake 100 kms to the north of Vienna.

Sections of routes 5 and 7 and the whole of route 2 were chosen by a marathon runner, M,  who invited me to join him on a recent 20 km training run.

A friendly frog on a wooden signpost showed us the way!

Our run took us through a forest above some cliffs from where we had occasional glimpses of the lake from an up-and-down forest path and later in the run from a technical section of single trail.

On our way we stopped and tasted blackberries. We were bitten by horseflies. It rained for 2 hours.
Some of the hills were long and steep. I found it all mentally cool.

From my perspective M's route choice was brilliant.