Graeme Stewart – Norway Update

Graeme Stewart is one of Scotland’s top triathletes & is proudly sponsored by John Clark BMW. In his latest guest blog, he updates us on how his European training in Switzerland & Norway went as he continues his preparations for the NXTRI Extreme Norseman Triathlon in August:

Over the years I’ve learned many things, or in other words, made a lot of mistakes. Crucially I have realised you can be as fit as you like in January or February but no one will give you a prize for it unless you covet the digital cups of STRAVA .

Stay fit, healthy and injury free and the biggest gains are to be made in the last 4-8 weeks from an event . Norseman is now just 6 weeks away and I am with a little luck, fit, healthy and unlike last year injury free.

For the last 2 weeks I have been training in Europe, firstly in Switzerland with the elite coach Brett Sutton and then on to Norway to review some key elements of the Norseman course.

Training in St Moritz, Switzerland was a fascinating experience. The altitude equivalent to the NXTRI race finish on Gaustatoppen is enough to reduce the effective Oxygen concentration by ~4% enough to notice and make training hard work. Working with some of the best in the world was a chance to hone my training strategy the coming crucial weeks. That strategy will remain a closely guarded secret for now although I throw some sessions on STRAVA for those keen to gain an insight but beware the red herrings.

The following week I spent touring Norway and training on some key elements of the NXTRI course. It was reassuring to make personal bests on the final notorious Imingfjell bike climb and Zombie hill run section where I dropped 6min from last years pre race training run. Miraculous you might think but not when I remind you I am now injury free.

I finished the week with a short race in Hove, south east Norway. A scenic event with a great atmosphere, this was just the kick I needed to get back in to the racing mind set. Even if my performance was a little lack lustre thanks to the 15,000m of climbing and 50+ hours training done on my European tour.

I’d like to say that is the hard work done but its just beginning again although the end in now fixed in sight. Despite having already swam, biked and ran today, I still have a 1.5 hour time trial session to do on the bike so I better stop writing and start riding!

Graeme keeping his head above water…literally! Photo courtesy of Robby MacBeath
Graeme keeping his head above water…literally! Photo courtesy of Robby MacBeath