Soo.. where do I begin? I really don’t want to wright anything about my World Championships race. I just want to forget about it and move on. Usually I’m a person who let’s go of bad experiences and moves on quite quickly. But after London I have been feeling really down and sad, and this is the first time I haven’t been able to exercise away my disappointment. The biggest reason for that is that I have been having problems with my ankle after my race, but even worse that that; I have been having a lack of training motivation for the first time in my life, I can’t even believe it! My motivation is one of my strongest features. So I decided to head to my summer cottage for a couple of days, and it actually helped. I have just been doing my training sessions and relaxing. And today is the first day that I really feel like myself again. And I can’t wait to get back out there. It’s time to get my shit together and move on, there will be more championships and my time will come when I’m ready for it.
Since I didn’t know if my foot would be in shape I decided to not head to Taipei as planned. This decision was really hard for me, usually I would just have gone and decided afterwards if it was smart or not. But I’m trying to make good long term decisions and that is why I’m putting focus on getting back on track and after that I still have a couple of competitions to look forwards to, because I know that I’m still in good shape.
So why am I this heartbroken after London? Of course I have every right to be disappointed, but the reason this hit me so hard is that last autumn I did a deal with myself; that I would give this year my everything. I started to sleep more, to do a lot more muscel care and to find a better routine in everything I did. I also put together a great support team with a nutritionist, a mental trainer, masseurs, physiotherapists and other coaches. I focused on my recovery and everything has been on my terms and what has been best for my training this year. And I saw the result very fast, I have never had such flow in my training as I have from October to May. Everything was set for a great summer, and it started out so good with a XC Finnish championships gold medal and I broke the entry standard for London in my first competition of the year. After that I just had to put my focus on being on top in august. And I succeeded with that, a week before World Champs I did my best track session ever. Everything was on point. So it felt like those 10 minutes ruined a whole year of dedication. And that broke me.
On the other hand, I’m still proud, proud that I tried, that I have been trying my very best for the past three years, I would not change a thing if I could go back in time. I have a long way to go but sometimes you also have to see how long you’ve come. Six years ago I was battling to make the entry standard for the Finnish Nationals and now I’m running at World Champs, I have never been given anything free, I was not a very talented kid and everything that I have achieved has come to me through hard work and dedication. I have had such a big support from home and that’s why I have been able to go after my dreams. And I’m so thankful for that. I’m not done yet and I will continue to work hard. My day will come.
Competition season has started for real now. After making the WC entry standard in Prague I competed in Paavo Nurmi Games, Eliittikisat in Kuortane and the European Team Championships in Vasa. All in all, I'm quite pleased with how the season started. Happy about doing a new PB on steeples, 3000m and 1500m. Unfortunately, Paavo Nurmi Games and ETCH was not my best races. I'm glad that I can do a sub 16min on 5000m even with a bad day, but I know I've got capacity to run much faster times. But the summer has just started and I still have time to improve!
The weekends European Team Championships was really fun for me. I got to run both days on my hone track. Even though I did not achieve any top times I'm pleased with my 4th and 5th place, because in the end it was all about collecting points for Finland. Proud about the fact that Finland made it to Super League!
After my run on Sunday I went back home to pack my bags, and headed up to Font-Romeu for a short altitude training camp. I will be staying here for two weeks, it's not a long time but it's what I need right now. I'm staying at 1850m altitude, but it's easy to find good running routes at 2100m, and at 1500m. I have been here a couple of days and I don’t feel the altitude as much as I thought I would. At the moment I'm just happy about my situation, I get to put 100% focus on my training, recovery and rest. That is really easy here since I'm served breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, and everything I need is close by. Feels good to take a short competition break and when I come back to Finland I hope to be faster and stronger 💪
Summer is finally here, that means track season is also here. I could not have wished for a better start this summer. After my running camp in Flagstaff it was time for XC Nationals in Vierumäki. My legs felt so good during the hole competition and I managed to grab my first senior XC gold medal. After that race I spent a short but fun camp in Pajulahti.
I opened my track season in Helsinki 25.5 where I ran a 3000m race. It was a really good competition where I did a new PB and I got to run with Karin Storbacka and Sara Kuivisto which helped me to push myself to better times. The race felt really good and easy so I was actually a bit surprised that my time was as good as 9.15. After the race it was time to pack my bags again and head down to Prague, it was time for my first 3000m steeple race.
First steeple race is always a bit tricky, you never know how it will go. I knew that my running form was good and I was confident in myself. But on the other hand I had not practised with real steeples since september last year. However as the race started I had many good steeple girls to run with and I just had to go with the flow for the first 5-6 laps. During the last two laps I felt really strong and pushed on. I did a new PB and my time 9.41,73 was 0,27 sec below the entry standard to world championships in London. I'm so happy and relieved that I managed to break the entry standard in my first race. And now I know that I'm capable of fast times, so next during next weeks race I will run for a sub 9.40 time.
So what happens now? I will be running Paavo Nurmi Games 13.6 and after that ETCH in Vasa. I'm also thinking about heading to St Moritz for a short camp. I will also run a couple of 1500m and 5000m races, since I don't have to chase the steeple entry standard. I still have almost two moths to go until WC in London (9.8) and that is when my form should be at it's best.
At the moment I'm really calm and I know that I'm so prepared for this season as I can be. And I promise there is so much more to come.
Back home again, can't believe how fast a month can go by! De past few weeks has given me so much, and I have been loving it in Flagstaff. This has been my best camp thus far and I'm now going home with a great feeling!
During the past month I have been logging a lot of miles, but I have also done many good hard sessions. Last week’s 2x5x90sec hill repeats might be my best hill session I have ever done. My last hard workout was a track session, we went down to Sedona to make it a little bit easier (only 1300m over the sea, compared to Flagstaffs 2100m) I found it a bit easier down there. My session was 6x800m and I cannot remember when I last felt that strong and light during a track session. But I have learnt a lot from last year, and now I know the deferens between training form and race form. I will start this summer easy and I now know that I do not have to do my best race in my first race. This year I will try to let the form come to me and not push it. After all the world championships is in august. But I know that I have to find my form before that since the entry standard has to be run in the end on July.
I'm also so thankful and happy about all the people who has been with me this past month. Oona Kettunen has made this camp so much fun and we have been able to do many sessions together. And a huge thanks to Jukka Keskisalo who has inspired me and taught me a lot of new things. Ha has done almost all my sessions with me and making my sessions easier by pacing for me. My best sessions have been the ones when he has paced for me.
I'm sure that this camp would not have been this successful if he had not been there. He has been keeping an eye on everything that we have been doing. This camp has felt so professional, and we also had our own masseuse with us, ha has kept my legs in great shape and I rarely have this good legs after this kind of training load.
Back home full of motivation and happiness. This camp was what I needed and now I feel ready, ready to start the last preparations for track season! First stop will be the National cross country championships on tomorrow.
The first two weeks here in Flagstaff has past by super-fast. I have gotten used to the thin air faster than I thought I would. A couple of years ago I did my first altitude camp in St Moritz (1800m) and I had some problems there the first week. With that in mind I was a bit worried about how I would manage the first week here on 2100m height. But I was positively surprised already after my first run here. Of course you can feel the altitude and the hills here, but this camp has really started out great, and I needed this. Something new and challenging.
Started the camp quite easy with a couple of hard sessions, first though session was 2x5x90sek hill repeats. It went really good and after that we did a steady 12km tempo run. The only session that was a bit of a disappointment was last week’s track session 2x8x150m, it was not all that bad but I have never struggled so hard with 150m repeats. But as the days go by I adapt to the altitude better and better. Last Saturday I did my best workout get, 5x600m + 6x200m hill repeats. And tomorrow it’s time for my longest tempo run this camp; 15km. After that I’m ready for a new attempt on a track workout.
All in all, this camp is going really well. I love being on camp, 100% focus on training and all the small, yet important things. I have been sharing a room with Oona Kettunen and that has worked out great. We get to do a lot of running together. And this week Karin Storbacka and Tuomo Salonen came to Flagstaff, so that means even more company. To make thing even better we now have a masseur on site to help us speed up our recovery and also Jukka Keskisalo arrived to keep an eye on our training.
At the moment I’m running about 150km / week, but and my weeks here in flagstaff are my last weeks with this kind of mileage. As the summer is just around the corner it’s soon time to bring down the mileage and bring up the speed. I’m in a really good place at the moment and looking forward to upcoming month! And now I’m ready to start a new though week here in Flagstaff!
Another hard period of three weeks is over. This means that an easy week is coming up. This time I need the easy week more that usually. I'm soon on my way home from a training camp in Portugal. This winter we decided to test out a new place (I spent over two months in Monte Gordo last year, so I was ready for something new) that is why we went to Portimao. When I say we I mean Ville Borgmästars, Jimmy Finnholm and Josefin Sjölind-Kohtamäki. For me this meant that I haven't had to do any training sessions on my own for three weeks, what a luxury!
I have done a lot of really good quality sessions during the past week. Portimao had a lot of hills roads and some good dirt roads, and I have had such a good time here! The place where we usually do our hard and fast session is a road that goes uphill for 4-5k, but the good thing about it is that when you turn around you go downhill for the same number of kilometers.
In the beginning of the camp we went for a road race to Faro, even though it was more of a good training session I managed to keep a good pace, and I placed first in the women's run. I have had such a good time during this past weeks, great company, great weather and I have enjoyed my running more that I usually do (which says a lot, since I almost always enjoy it very much). After this I'm looking forwards to doing some indoor competitions. I haven't decided witch competitions I will be doing, but I hope to represent Finland in the Nordic indoor championships, and I will also run the Finnish Nationals in the end of February. Some part of me is hoping to make the entry standards for the European Indoor Championships (9.15 on a 200m track). But that is a standard that I will not me chasing, but it would be a nice surprise if I make it. My indoor season is more a break from normal training and a way for me and my coach to check where I stand today.
My offseason lasted a couple of weeks and after that I was ready to start my training towards 2017. During the first three weeks we increased my km from 100-140, and now I'm back at my "-+20km" every day. And my legs are loving it. Last week I got a nice surprise when I got chosen to represent Finland in the Nordic XC Championships, that took place this weekend in Kristiansand, Norway.
I still think that it's a special feeling to put on the National team suit, but since I've been running a lot during the past two weeks I was afraid that my legs were going to feel heavy, but they did a great job throughout the 7,5km course, so good in fact that I got to bring home a silver medal. The gold medal went to Sweden and Charlotta Fougber and Annemari Kiekara took the bronze medal. I'm really proud that we took home two medals for Finland.
The course in Kristiansand was very challenging . I was genuinely concerned when we test ran it on Friday. The was a lot of snow, ice and tricky parts throughout the course. We ran 5 laps on a 1500m course and half of it was a snow covered field and the other half went through a snow cowered forest. But I got quite a good grip since I was wearing spikes. I got to run in a pack of four athletes and during the last lap me and Anne-Marie managed to get ahead of the two Swedish girls. And we had a really good sprint finish to take the silver and bronze medal.
I want to give a big hand to everyone in my team, I had a great weekend. And a special thanks to our masseur who always does a great work!
After this weekend I still have one week of hard training to go before I have an easy week. After that it's back to three hard weeks. And after Christmas I'm of to warmer latitudes.
This season is coming to its close. Even though it has not been the season I hopes for I have learnt a lot, I have learnt that good trainings and a perfect training season does not equal immediate success. I have improved crazy much on my training, but my competitions has been a little bit of a let down. But all the training I have been doing this year is something I will bring with me into next year.
I managed to make the entry standard to the European Championships and for that I am very happy. My best weekend this year however, was Nationals weekend in Oulu. on Friday I took a silver on 5000m, and on Sunday I took a gold medal and a silver medal. okey that Sunday was a crazy day that a lot of people told me not to do. At 14.00 the gun went off and I ran 10000m on a new PB, I gave my all on that race because I really wanted that gold medal. And I succeeded! After the race I jogged for a couple of km, eat a protein bar, went to the prizing ceremony. After that I went to call-in again, because at 15.55 I was back on the start line and ran a 3000m steeple race. I managed to take home a silver there. Okey I was tired for a week after that but it was totally worth it!
Since I did not get to go to the Olympics August was quite a long moth with just a few competitions. I did some good training sessions and decided to try to run some races and distances that I am not used to. I got a new PB on the 800m and kept my spirit high. I still enjoyed watching the olympics even if I rather would have been in Rio. But now I still have one competition to go, and it is not just any competition. It is Sverigekampen! A competition between Sweeden and Finland where both countries are divided into men and women, the competition consist of all track and field events, three men and three women from both countries compete and every performance is scored (if you win you get 7, if you are second you get 5 points, then it goes 4-3-2-1.) It is a really amazing weekend and the we really work as a team. So I hope to get a really good end to this season.
It has been 2 years and 9 months, 15100 km of running, 721 days of running (15 days without running) since I started my training towards the "real" championships entry standards. In 2014 my mind was set on making the European Championships entry standard on 3000m steeplechase (9.55,00) that summer I did a new PB with 25 seconds, but I was still disappointed after every single competition, because I did not make the entry standard. During three competitions that year I missed the standard with 1 second. When the summer ended I started training hard again because my new goal was set; World Championships in Beijing. But the summer of 2015 would not be that "perfect summer" that I hoped for. I had been training crazy good the hole year and I thought that 9.44 would be a realistic goal. But again I missed the standard with 2 sec, and I missed a U23 European Championships medal with 1 sec. And this year again I was so disappointed true out the summer. During that summer I was chasing the standard for Beijing and I did not make it. Although thanks to the new ranking system I still made it to Beijing. But since I had been competing like crazy to make the standard I was not in my best form in Beijing.
This year I have been training better that ever, I have improved my speed, endurance and strength. All test I have been doing has showed that I am a lot better that last year. I have been doing "the perfect training season" this year. The one that I have been dreaming about, the one when I actually felt that I was getter better run by run and week by week. Everything has gone better that planned and better that I ever could have dreamt. I have put in everything this year and I have been spending a lot of time on training camps. I had so high hopes and when I went to Huelva for my first steeple competition I thought that I had the olympic entry standard in the sack (9.45,00). I mean, my PB is 9.46, and my shape I so much better now. But no, I ran 9.51.. ?! What !? how was it possible? Well it was my first competition... Perhaps that was all? But my second and my third were even worse. And I am at a loss right now. How is this possible? I am doing training sessions I most certainly would not have been capable to doing last year. Still my competition results are the same (and even a bit slower) as last year. But this only comes to show that even though everything seems to go really good in training it does not matter, the only thing that matters is what I perform in my competitions. And I am so disappointed with my selfe right now. Yesterday knocked me hard but I will continue to fight, because I know how good I have been training, I know that I have what it takes to make the olympics standard and I want it so bad!
Even though my past two summers (and the beginning of this one) has not been what I expected I would not have done anything different, I trust my coach and I trust my program. It will come I know that, I still have a lot to learn but I am getting wiser every year, and I still got many years ahead of me to prove to my selfe that I can do it. Athletics has given me my happiest and my saddest moments. It has given me amazing friends and I have learned that if I want to achieve something I have to work insanely hard for it. And even if you do everything perfect it is no guarantee for success. Running is not easy, not at all. But I love what I do and it is so rewarding when that day comes, so I will keep on fighting.
In 9 days I am doing my debut in the European Championships. I now that I am a good championship runner and I have done all my PBs and all my best races is big competitions. So do not count me out yet. My entire year, oktober - now, has been the best of my life. And I am ready to prove my selfe. I know that with three amazing training seasons behind me I can not fail. I have been training to good and hard for that. I know it will come, and if I get my shit together now a lot can happen in 9 days. And when Friday comes the only thing that matters is what you perform right there and then. I believe in my selfe and I am ready to fight in Amsterdam.!
Track season has started for real now. At the end of May I left for Oordegem to start my season with a 1500m race, it went really good an I felt amazing. I was really looking forward to showing what I could do on the steeples. I was convinced that nothing could go wrong, and I left for Huelva with high spirits. My first steeple race was ok, 9.51 is not a time that I was very happy with. But at least I made the European Championships entry standard and at that moment it was really important since deadline for making the standard is quite soon. I was still convinced that it was my summers all time low race and that my times would improve from that. I went back home for a week and then I was of to Luzern.
The hole trip was kaos from the beginning to the end. Since SAS did not fly that day I had to make a new reservation with Finnair. That ment waking up at 04.30 AM the day before competition and I had a long day of traveling. When I finally came to the hotel it was fully booked and I was moved with another girl to a really small and warm room. Since we did not stay at the competition hotel we did not have the benefit of the buffet or breakfast, we were ment to eat at a pizzeria / pasta place. And I was not very happy about that but the food options were very slim at the place we were staying. I was happy that I had brought oatmeals from Finland with me, so I saved breakfast. I was not feeling good after this day and I tried to convince myself that I could still do a good competition. The startlist looked really good and I expected som really good times. the start was scheduled at 21.45, but we were of way past 22.00, as we were of everyone wanted to get a good position and I ran on lane 2-3 for the hole first km. I have never run in a competition that was more kaos than yesterdays race. I never found a good running rhythm, my time was 10,01. Do I have to tell you that I was disappointed? even so it was a really good experience, I learned that it does not always go as planned but you just have to make the best of the situation. I tried but failed, but I have now tried to run in a really kaos race and I have learned a lot.
This year my training has gone perfect, it started already last autumn and I really do feel that I have become a better runner. I have done so good training sessions this year. That is why a result like yesterdays brings me down a lot more that it should. I know that it was just one bad competition and that it does not matter. But I want it so bad this year, I want to prove to my selfe that I can ran fast, I owe it to myself after all the hard work I have put down this year. I have capacity for so much more and I know that! Next steeple comp will be in Finland at Paavo Nurmi games.
This spring came and went and in one week it is already June?! I can not believe it. After my March camp in Portugal everything was going my way. The weather in Finland was really good and I was able to do all of my training sessions outdoors. I ran a lot of miles, long hard sessions and some gym training. At the end of April I went back to Mote Gordo, this time I had coach Guy Storbacka and Zenitha Eriksson with me, together we achieved the best camp I have ever done. Guys program had everything from 3k repetitions to 150m track sessions. I have never run as fast as I did on my sessions in Portugal and we worked really hard. When I came home I had a couple of easy days and then it was time for cross country Nationals. I actually do not like cross country at all, I am quite bad at hill running and I love running on pavement. But since the competition was in Vörå (where I went to high school for four years) I was still looking forwards to it. It was not my best day nor my best race. But I was still pleased with my second place in my first National as a senior.
So what happens now? At the moment I am in my last tough milage week before the summer starts. Spent yesterday at Oravais track with Guy, we did a good session (8x400m with hurdles) and I was really happy with the training. I am starting to feel competition ready! I have never been in this good shape and I do feel that I have stept it up this year. And my training sessions shows me that I am on the right track.
I have big expectations for this summer, with both European Championships and Olympics around the corner I am feeling exited to aim for the entry standards in my first competition. First comp will be in Oordegem 28.5 and after that I will travel to Huelva. Let's get this party started!
How do you find the optimal balance between training, recovery, sleep and day to day stress? This is a thing that I have tried to optimize this year. Novia (the school where I am styding) has been really supportive the past few years and I have always been able to move my exams and courses to fit my training program. I have decided that I will not take any courses this spring. I really want to give this summer my everything, especially with Olympics and European championships coming up.
So how do you find the perfect balance? How do you know if your recovery works as it should? Especially during hard training periods. Do you know when your body is ready for the next hard training session? To get all the answers to these questions I have got my own firstbeat. Firstbeat transforms heartbeat data into personalized insights on stress reaction, training load, recovery and the quality of your sleep. I have been using it in periods during my training camp in Portugal. It is really easy to use, lightweight and you can barely feel that you are wearing it.
(This are just a couple of things that the firstbeat shows)
I have already learnt a lot about my recovery and how my day to day life affects my recovery. With the help of firstbeat you can spot possible symptoms of overtraining before you get in bad shape. It also shows how your body reacts to hard training and how long it takes to recover. I learnt that a short nap during daytime speeds up my recovery, and now I have it black on white that sunbathing is not good for my recovery, but sitting in the sofa reading a book is very good. It is all these small things that can make a big difference in the end
Since I was working really hard in Portugal it was the best place for me to try out my firstbeat. I realized that it really does know how my body feels. The last Sunday of my camp I just had a 20km run in the morning and after that I had a lazy afternoon not doing much. My firstbeat then told me that my recovery index was really high. On Tuesday it was time for a very hard session and I felt a little bit tired beforehand and I was a bit nervous about my session. My firstbeat showed that I had recovered and that I should be good to go. And it was right! I did my camps best session that Tuesday!
I would highly recommend all athletes that are training on a high level to read more about how to get your own firstbeat on their homepage; www.firstbeat.com . As an athlete recovery is, after the actual training, the most important thing. So to get it monitored in such an easy way is gold worth for me!
It was a while since I posted here so I will try to make a short summary. After Christmas I went to Portugal to spend three weeks there. I did my best trainings weeks ever, I was smashing session after session and keeping my miles very high. My last training session (4x2km) was probably my best session I have ever done, I was ready to compete indoors, ready for new PR. But once back home everything went wrong. I got a small injury in my left foot and as a precaution I did alternative training for 4 days, the problem now was that I was in the middle on indoors, I am not use to alternative training, and I did way to much since I was not used to it. Once back on track my legs felt a far cry from good. But even so I decided to go to Växjö (to run the Nordic indoor championships) party because I really wanted to wear my Finland outfit and partly because a small part of me actually thought I would to a decent time. But I was wrong and the competition was a real disappointment. I decided to not compete any more indoors.
Instead I went to Portugal, and that is where I am now, I will be here for three weeks. My training program contains a lot of running, long hill sessions and a lot of long veton. At the moment my shape is quite good and it get better and better every day so I am looking forward to grinding through this camp.
Motivation is high and summer 2016, I am waiting for you!
2015 is soon over, and what a year it has been. I have learned a lot about myself and with that I have grown a lot as an athlete. All the things I got to experience last summer I will take with me to next year, and then I am ready for even greater challenges!
Pictures: Str / Lehtikuva
At the moment I am in a hard training period in Portugal. I usually do three hard weeks followed by one easy week. The past three hard periods have gone better that I could have dreamed, almost scary how good they have been. But I have learned that just because I can it doesn’t mean I have to run every session fast. This year I am trying to choose my battles and doing easy training easy and hard training hard. It sound quite simple, but it is a problem I often have; trying too hard when it feels good. I have not increased my mileage so much this year but I have increased speed on regular runs and interval training; we are aiming for quality in the miles I am running.
When I started training this autumn it felt like I started from a new level. I am aiming for low life stress so I can focus on training. I am also seeing every single session as a way for me to get better, a way to reach my goal. And run by run I am getting closer to my goals, but I also know that it is a long way to go. But this year I have learned to love the journey, not just seeing the goal. I believe I will reach it someday but it takes hard work, consistency and determination.
I also want to give a big thanks to Citec for continuing our cooperation towards 2016!
So lace em’ up, train smart and make 2016 your best year!
This autumn has been my best ever. After a long and eventful summer I was afraid that it would take a while before I would be back. I held five, long and boring, days of rest after the last competition. So my summery for last year was 10 rest days and about 5900km of running. I am quite happy with that, but for me to take it to the next level I do not necessarily need more km of running. For me running 20-25km a day is not difficult, but I do not want to increase my km so much because I also want quality in what I do. So for me to run faster next year I need to get more speed, this will happen through strength and jumps. I am very glad that David Söderberg has agreed to help me with this; I really think it will make a big difference to next year. I am also happy to announce that Kim Bergdal will be helping me with my steeplechase technique.
As my situation is now I have got a really big and supportive team around me and I am all set for a really good training year. I have now been training with Guys program for five weeks and I can’t remember any autumn that I have done all my trainings as good as this one. I have never been this motivated to do the best training season this far. With all this in mind I probably should be running Nordic cross country championships in Gothenburg today. But I decided to skip cross country season this autumn because I was afraid that I was too tired after the summer season. I know it was the right decision but still it would have been a lot of fun, especially since I am in quite good shape now. But I have to focus on training now, the upcoming season is so important with both EC I Amsterdam and Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro.
Today I did my annual treadmill fitness test in Vasa with Mika Lehtonen. I improved a great deal from last year so I am quite pleased with the results. Just to do everything a little bit better October and November (at least this far) has been really warm, so I have stayed in Finland and my next training camp in planed after Christmas.
It has been an eventful and long summer. I had my first national team competition 23.5, I went to Denmark to run my debut on 10000m. After that the summer started for real, I went to Russia to run the European team championships and after that it was time for my most important competition this year, U23European Championships in Tallinn. I had been dreaming about a medal in that competition for almost two years and I got so close. But still that weekend was magical I did a new PB on steeples and on 5000m (and I run under 16 minutes for the first time). That weekend I knew that all hard work I am putting in is totally worth it!
After U23EC I had many tough weeks ahead, I did not want to compete as much as I did, but I did not want to give away any chance to break the world championship entry standard. But at the end I got to run in Beijing and that was the most amazing moment of my athletics career, the feeling I had when I ran in the birds nest is what will motivate me to do even better things next year. The last competition of the season was Finland vs Sweden “Sverigekampen”. I have never been as tired as I was when I competed on Sunday and Saturday and my results were not so good. But it was still one of the most fun competitions this year. And I think that the Finnish team has never had better team spirit then this year!
Now I have been spending some days on the sofa and this year I really needed it! And now I am keener that ever to start training! Even though I have done some really good things this summer I believe that I can do many things even better next year. This year there are so many people who deserve a big thank you! I will start with my personal trainer Guy Storbacka who makes it possible for me and to Tom Andtbacka who has been with me on almost every competition this summer. Erica Hjerpe (pole-vaulter) even said that it would almost be worth becoming a long distance runner just to have Tom as leader, that if something tells you how good he is! J As I am speaking of Erica I would like to give her extra big thanks she has been awesome this summer! The same can be said about a lot of other people, like all the middle and long-distance runners in Vasa that makes everything so much more fun. I would not be where I am today without everyone I have around me.
At the moment I am sitting on a flight on my way home from Beijing. For almost three weeks ago I started my WC trip with a pre-camp in Hong Kong. This way the first time I have done a camp before a competition and my coach had made a program with quite a lot of running, which suites me. Hong Kong was a really good place for training and we had everything we needed. The biggest issue was the humidity and the high temperature, it took almost a week for me to adapt to the conditions and even after that it did not feel like running at home. My legs felt tired all the time but the times on my track sessions were really good so I was not so worried. Then again it did not feel like we were on WC pre-camp, it felt more like an ordinary training camp. But this change fast once we came to Beijing.
I did not know what to expect from the competitions, I have been on many junior championships, but it was nothing compared to this. When we arrived at the hotel it hit me how big a competition it really was, top athletes everywhere preparing for a competition they have been training for many years. It was an experience just to walk around in the hotel, it was a big hotel and many teams lived there like; USA, Jamaica, Italy, France and Sweden. In Beijing we could hardly find any places to run, but we came to Beijing just a couple of days before our competition so luckily enough there was not so much need of running there. I got to live with Sandra Eriksson witch suited me good; we also had a lot of trainings tougher.
When Monday came I felt ready, even though the summer has been long and I knew my best form had been in Tallinn for almost two months ago, I felt as if my form was really good again and I had done some really good track trainings on m my pre-camp. I ran in the first heat and our start time was 9.45 AM this meant that we had to get up early, it also meant that I would run my first ever morning competition. But I had been doing all my hard workouts at this time in Hong Kong so I was prepared for that. At the start line it hit me that after all hard work and all the kilometers I have been running this year I achieved my highest goal; to participate in such a big competition was an honor for me. I had a quite slow opening but I managed to work myself up and at the end I came in at 8th in my heat (all in all 32nd). My time was my second fastest this year at 9.53 and since I was ranked at 42th I was quite pleased with my WC debut.
After my race I did a couple of good training sessions and went to the stadium to watch the competition. Then it was time to go home, it is hard to explain the atmosphere in Beijing, it was really wonderful and extraordinary! It was one of my best experiences ever and now I have more motivation than ever to do everything as good as possible this year so that next year will be even better. Because next year is Olympics year! A big thanks to the whole Finnish team, I had a great time!
It has been a while since I wrote anything here. The reason is that a lot has been going on since Tallinn. About a week after the U23 EC I went to Joensuu, it was time to try to break the WC entry standard again, unfortunately I did not succeed. About a week after that it was time for the Finnish Nationals, I had been looking forward to run 5000m and steeples but I had to put all my focus on the steeples. Even though I did not do the entry standard it was still a fun competition and I am pleased over my silver medal. Minttu Hukka took the bronze medal and Sandra Eriksson won her ninth gold medal and without problem ran under the entry standard for Beijing.
I had one more chance to break the entry standard so I went to Kuortane eliittikisat but without any pacers I had a hard time to run all by myself, so I did not manage it. But I have to give a big hand for the audience; it was really fun to run in Kuortane! I was very disappointed after my race and I was afraid this year would end like last year (I was about 1sek from the entry standard to the European Championships). But I still had a small chance, since IAAF took away the B entry standard this year everything was depending on the word ranking list. 45 women are supposed to run steeples and I was 44th on Saturday. So I prepared for the worst, but on Monday evening Jorma Kemppainen gave me a call. I think it was the best phone call I have ever received and his message was; pack your bag, you are going to China tomorrow! I can tell you that it was a bit of last minute packing, training and travelling to Helsinki on Tuesday. But I did not care; I was selected to represent Finland in the World Championships! It feels amazing; I have been working so hard for this moment!
So now I am on a pre competition camp in Hong Kong, here we will do all preparations before departing to Beijing. My legs have adapted quickly to the weather and it feels really good to run here even though it is warm, because it is insanely hot and humid here compared to Finland. But we have a good hotel, good facilities and soon the whole team Finland will be here. I think that this will be great!
Two years ago I ran my first junior EC final; it was at the U23 European Championships in Tampere. I crossed the finish line in seventh place and I felt that I have a long way to go before I reach the top. But I set a goal then; to take a medal at the U23 EC in Tallinn2015.
A week ago we started our trip towards Tallinn and the championship I have been dreaming about for two years. On Thursday evening I run the qualification round, after a steady and tactically well managedrace I came in at a fifth place in my heat and that secured a place for me in the finals. Everything was perfect, I did a SB even though it was raining heavily, and it felt easy. I was really looking forward to the finals and even though there were many really good girls at the starting line a little part of me still refused to let go of my dream, I wanted to take a medal. When the race started I felt good, but the pack went off in a high pace and I knew that the girls would not keep up the pace, I advanced throughout the whole race and with 300m to go I really thought that I would be able to take the bronze medal. The French girl was unfortunately too far ahead and I missed my goal with about 1 sec. I also missed the World Championships entry standard with 2 sec.
It is with mixed feelings I am traveling home now. Off course I am sad for missing out on that medal and the entry standard, but at the same time I am incredibly proud that I actually fought for a medal. During the last two years there have been few days when this competition has not been on my mind. Even though I did not make it all the way my dream has kept me going, it has motivated me to train hard. Especially those days when I would rather just sleep in I have lased up my shoes because my goal has been so clear. I do not see it as a failure; I just see it as another mile stone in my career. On Saturday I felt like that was the place where I should be and I have taken such big steps this weekend. I love what I am doing and I will continue to chase my dream and maybe one day I will stand on that podium in a senior championship. I have proved to myself this weekend that hard work never goes unnoticed and man, have I been working hard this year!
On Sunday morning I woke up feeling quite good, but even so I was a bit worried about how I would be able to perform on the 5000m. In spite of this I went to the stadium all filled with positive energy, I got to do what I love and without any pressure. I did a new PB with almost 20 sec and I also ran my first sub 16.
Now I want to give a big thanks to all my team mates, all support staff and all the coaches who helped us this weekend. I want to give a big hand to our three masseurs that work long days to ensure all the athletes would be in there best shape on their competitions ( a little extra hand to Aki Rissanen who did a great job in keeping my legs in great shape before and after all my races!). At last I want to give a huge thank you to Tom Antbacka, because you are always there no matter what. You are gold worth, not just for us long distance runners! And also to my personal coach Guy Storbacka who was in the stands during Saturdays final. We have had a really good cooperation and under his watchful eyes I did my best two training weeks prior to the European championships. You are an incredible coach and I think that together we can achieve something really good!
I will end my text with uploading a picture of team VIS! I am so incredibly proud over Erica Hjerpe whom also qualified for the pole vault finals. And one day will be your day, I know it! She was one of my biggest supporters during this week and I am so glad she stayed the whole weekend. This kind of friendship makes training, competing and travelling so much more fun!
.. now the season continues. My big goal is to make the entry standard for World Championships, let’s make it all the way to Beijing!
The Finnish national team has been spending the last week in Russia, Cheboksary, where the European Team Championship was held. Last year Finland advanced from first league to super league which was a great achievement. But we notices that we were competing against Europeans best athletes, the standard on the competition was very high and even though everyone fought really good we dropped back to first league.
I ran 3000m steeplechase on Saturday and the lineup was really good. There were eight women whom had run under 9.50 this year, so I was expecting a good time but I thought I would be quite far down in the results list. But I was surprised and pleased that I was able to run in on a fifth place (after a really good last 800m), but I was not pleased at all with my time. So I am a bit torn whether I should me happy or not with my performance. Almost everyone did quite bad times and I think that the weather was a big reason for that; it was a bit over 30ºC when we ran and the wind did not improve the conditions. I was not used to the heat and already after my warm up I felt tired and hot.
So the season has not begun quite as good as I expected it to, my next competition will be on Thursday at Paavo Nurmi Games, there I will try to improve my steeples time, because I know I have it in me. I just have to find the competition speed and the confidence to go out hard. But I am not worried at all and I know that I will do good results this summer.
The last three days I have been spending in Lappeenranta, and there I ran this years first steeple competition. Since all my training has been really good my expectation on my time was very high. But as I came to the track it was really strong winds, at this point I realized that the top time I wanted to get would have to wait. But at least I thought I would run under 10 minutes. But this was not the case and I ended up with the same time as I had on my first competition last year; 10.03. This is a time that I am very disappointed with.
The only thing that was good with the trip was that I ran under the EC-U23 entry standard. But due to a mistake by the organizers our time is not official; they forgot to put out the first steeple. So now I have been spending 12h in a train and two nights in a hotel without even getting an official time. Do I have to tell you that this trip felt as a waste of time? I still want to give a big thanks to the organizer of the competition, she handled the situation really well afterwards.
However the seasons just begun and I have a lot of time to improve. On Sunday I will run 5000m in Karis and at Paavo Nurmi Games I will try to run a better time on steeples.
This weekend I have been running this year’s first outdoors competition. It was the senior Nordic championships in Denmark. I will not deny that I had a slight sense of panic before the start went, it was my debut on 10000m. We ran in a steady pace and the first 50000m pasted on a time of 17.05. At this moment I was something around 7th, after that I steadily improved and with 2km to go it was just three left in front. I felt really good and with 500m to go I went up in the lead and I won my first 10000m on a really good time, 33.53. It was overall a really fun trip we were just 5 runners from Finland, me, Janica Mäkelä, Meri Rantanen, Andreas Lindahl and Jaakko Nieminen. The guys ran really good and came in at 8th and 9th, Janica also ran really well and was 7th with a time around 34.30. Meri and I both ran under the U23-EC entry standard.
Pictures By: Jaakko Nieminen
I am really surprised about how good my legs feels after a 10km on a track with spikes I thought they would be really dead today, but they are not. But I will still take a few days of easy training because I still think that I will be a bit tired. After this race many people have asked me if I will change from steeples to 10000m, but that will have to wait a few years. At the moment I want to focus on the 3000m steeplechase world championship entry standard and I want to focus on steeples at the U23 European championships in Tallinn this year.
Picture by: Jaakko Nieminen Picture By: Kim Gudmand DECA
This weekend I ran the Finnish national cross-country championships. It took place in Imatra so I just had a 1000km drive back and forth.. But it was still worth it. I have been feeling a little bit tired since my return from Portugal. But I definitely did not feel tired yesterday, even though the course was far from an easy one I managed to push myself to run it quite fast. It was a close race between me, Oona Kettunen and Meri Rantanen. But at the end I took the gold medal and I am very happy about my race.
Photo: Imatran Urheilijat
Now I will have a couple of training weeks and after that it is time to start competing for real. I will run my first 10000m track race in two weeks and after that I want to to my first steeplechase competition but I have not decided where it will be. I really hope to break the WC entry standard at the beginning of the summer.
Now I actually feel really good about starting competing again, and I believe that this summer will be a great one!
Can’t believe that April has past! At the moment I am at Faro airport waiting to get back home from a training camp in Portugal. It has been a successful camp and I am ready to get back home and start preparing for the outdoors season.
When I left Finland a couple of weeks ago it was actually snow on the ground, it made me even happier to fly away to Portugal. I have been living with Zenitha Eriksson for the last few weeks which means that we have been able to do quite a few sessions together. To our benefit our coach has been watching over our trainings here, and we have done some really good training sessions.
I have been running a lot of miles but even so my last track session went better that I expected. And now I will have e couple of easy days and on Saturday I will run a cross country competition. My first track competition will most probably be on the 23 of May, then I will try to run 10000 m for the first time.
At the moment I am just happy over my training camp and the fact that my training sessions shows me that I am on the right track!
Yesterday I ran my first competition outdoors for this season. It was a 10k road run; I have been running the same competition for 3 years. This means that it is very easy to compere my times from year to year. The firs 5k went by easily, and the second 5k was a lot much harder. But still I managed to do a new PB with 35 sec from last year. I am pleased that my time was less than 35min, but still I would have wanted a better time.
I have had a couple of hard weeks behind me and I have been running a lot (about 300km in two weeks) so my legs were not in great shape. Now I will have a couple of easy days and on Tuesday I will be traveling to Portugal for a training camp.
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