2015 schedule: cross training & GPP

Last night I was working on my 2015 training schedule until way beyond sleeping time. I usually find my creativity and work flow when everyone else are sleeping.

The schedule came out really well, and I can’t wait to start on the new year. Every year I plan smarter and better. I’ve learned what my body can tolerate, and I’ve learned what’s working before races. Even though it’s sometimes a mystery why you are in the shape of your life, I think I have a formula that’s working most of the times. You can’t peak for every competition, that’s impossible. It’s more important to have a decent baseline.

What I’ve done differently for the 2015 schedule compared to 2014, is to put more emphasis on General Physical Preparedness and cross training. I’m going to do more climbing, multi sport and basic training. I won’t ride as much as I did last winter (because I’m not in Spain). This gives room for more activities. I believe in specific variation, and there’s a lot of stuff you can do to become better at your sport, without actually practicing the sport specifically all the time.

The last couple of days I’ve been both climbing and cross country skiing. The conditions for skiing in Hardanger is perfect at the moment. It’s dumping above 500 meters, which is resulting in loads of snow. The idea behind going for a multisport approach to trials, is first and foremost to increase motivation. I have an idea that specificity and motivation have a relationship. The higher specificity you have, the less motivation you’ll get.

100% specificity for me is to ride sections with a 2,5 minutes time limit. If I had been doing this for two hours, two times a day, six days a week, I would for sure decrease my level of motivation. If you ride too much, you get tired, injured and in the end unmotivated. But, I love riding, and I want to ride a lot. I just need to find the right balance, where I progress and have fun at the same time. This is something I think I’ve succeeded with in my 2015 schedule. 2015 starts in 13 days, and I think it’s going to be a brilliant year.

First time on cross country skis in one year. Felt really good:

cross_country_skiing_eirik_ulltang

The Suunto Ambit3 Sport is just waiting for me to hit ‘Start':
suunto_ambit3_sport_eirik_ulltang

Mint conditions for cross country skiing:
sjusete_skisenter_eirik_ulltang_snow

sjusete_skisenter_eirik_ulltang

Driving in pictures, with a phenomenal car

When we left Oslo this morning, it looked more like early spring. But after driving for a few hours, the conditions got a lot worse. Some of the mountain passes was closed due to storms, and we chose the longest option. Normally when I drive from Oslo to Hardanger, I use around five hours. Today we used almost nine. The closer we were to Hardanger, the more in was snowing.

Close to Voss, it was a total mayhem. Cars and trailers were all over the place, forcing us to drive very slowly. Luckily my phenomenal Peugeot Expert performed excellent, and I’m so happy I got 4×4. Driving was no problem at all, even with 20-40 cm of snow on the road. So fun!

Not much more to say about this. Now I’m just looking forward to get some skiing at Eikedalen ski resort, the conditions are better than ever before.

eirik_ulltang_peugeot_expert

Tanking up:
tanking_up

Passed 36000 km today:
36000

Whiteout conditions over the mountain:
whiteout

The longest tunnel in the world, Lærdalstunnelen:
lerdals_tunnel

The worst conditions was after the mountain pass, when we approached Voss. Total mayhem:
snow

Best trials riding session in a long while

It’s been a while since my trials riding was really good. After the season, I’ve mostly been focusing on practicing a lot of different techniques and variations. But, today I finally felt my riding was back where it should be. Not all time best, but physically it was working (despite running up a loooong staircase 24 times last night). Also I managed to execute a lot of techniques I sometimes can struggle quite a bit with. I think it was something with my mental attitude, I really wanted to progress.

This week was first time I rode three times in one week after the season ended. I’ve been keeping the riding volume to a minimum due to a lot of weight lifting. Actually, I just got back from Atletisk Utvikling with Erik. We did a explosive lower body workout. Kind of felt a hard week of training in my legs, but we managed to smash out some good lifting nonetheless.

If you want to follow my training day to day, feel free to check out my Movescount profile. I strongly advise you to create a profile there, and maybe get a Suunto watch too!? A few friends have already purchased one, and I think none of them regret it at all. Best way to keep track of your training and get that motivation you’ve been trying to find for so long.

Normal people don’t ride trials:
eirik_ulltang_petter_wigstol_rippit_action_sport_center

Sidehopping:
eirik_ulltang_sidehop

Aleksander concentrating:
aleksander_odegaard

Chilling:
eirik_ulltang

Petter with the shirt open. Gangster:
petter_wigstol trials riding

No idea what Petter tries to explain:
eirik_ulltang_petter_wigstol trials riding

Yes, I jump so fast that modern photo equipment can’t get a sharp shot of me:
eirik_ulltang_gap_parallell trials riding

Riding my favorite spot in December

Originally me and Joachim had some hill running on the schedule for today. But, when I looked outside this morning, it didn’t look much like December. So we headed to Skullerud with a plan A and a plan B. Plan A was to ride some natural trials, but if it was totally hazardous due to ice and slippery rocks (it was 4°C), we would change to plan B; Which was running hill intervals 100 meters from the trials spot.

It was during intervals in this particular hill I discovered the spot we rode at today. About three years ago I was living nearby Skullerud, and used the area for its good training possibilities. When I one day was running up the hill, I looked into the woods, and discovered a lot of rocks. Quickly I lost interest of the running, and started exploring the rocks. It turned out it was more of a trials heaven, with hundreds of rocks in all different shapes. The spot is made up of two “stories”, so when you complete level one, you can move up to level two.

The best part about this spot, is that we were the first to ever ride there. That means we found every line and move by ourselves. They joy of constantly discovering new lines as you progress your riding is great. In my opinion, this is the best natural trials spot I’ve ever ridden. Maybe it’s just because I found it?

This December seems to be perfect in general. The forecast for the west coast says snow in the mountains and rain by the sea. That means I can go skiing in Eikedalen and riding trials in the same day, which is the perfect solution in my mind.

Joachim repairing his bike before riding:
joachim_skullerud_bleed_december

…and carrying his bike with the utmost care:
joachim_bike_skullerud_december

It looks like I’m on the phone, but actually just putting my hair behind the ear. Cute, hah:
eirik_ulltang_skullerud_portrait

Joachim finds the grip:
joachim_hook_skullerud_december

Landing a awkward static sidehop:
eirik_ulltang_section_skullerud_december

Frenchie gap to rear wheel:
eirik_ulltang_frenchie_skullerud_december

It’s only been made 10 of this frame, and I’m lucky enough to ride one. At the moment I’m waiting for the second version, which I probably will be riding from the beginning of 2015. Collecting the parts I need at the moment, going to build with brand new stuff only:
gt_bicycles_trials_prototype_eirik_ulltang_december

Joachim finally cracked his Rockman frame today. I guess it happened months ago, but he didn’t notice before today:
rockman_bikes_suck_hard_crack

My very first trials video

I figured it was time to publish my oldest trials video (because I had nothing else to post today!). This was captured in the summer of 2003 (I think) in my hometown, Øystese. The natural areas are called Botnane and Botnen. First place is just in the valley behind my house, but Botnen is only accessible by boat deep into a small arm of the Hardanger fjord. Such a picturesque place for a video.

Unique place to make a video

I really want to go back to Botnen, haven’t been there in years. The place is more or less unchanged the last decades. It used to be quite a lot of people living there (it’s all relative), but now I think no one are permanently residing there. They even had their own school and a couple of cars (transported by boat). Lots of rocks around in the village, and a river full of big boulders. Truly a unique spot for a video, but it deserves a bit better quality on both the riding and the video. I need to go back!

New personal best

Today I went climbing with Joachim. Felt really weak and tired, but managed to climb my hardest route ever (7-, Norwegian grade). I think I was more afraid of falling than actually tired, so I gotta keep the mind at the right place next time. Probably the last climbing session in 2014, only bouldering opportunities the next couple of weeks.

Rippit Action sport center in 3D

After the climbing me and Joachim were working on the 3D visualization of Rippit Action sports center. That place is just getting sicker and sicker. According to our plan, there will be three ramps, a skate park, a trials/parkour park, a gym, eight bouldering walls and much more. If we manage to realize that place, a true dream will come through.

Natural riding:
eirik_ulltang_video_1_1

Dropping the roof, this was crazy stuff 11 years ago:
eirik_ulltang_video_1

New video: The Trials Relay featuring Eirik & Erik

So here it is, my new video: The Trials Relay. Captured at Rippit Action Sport Center outside Kongsberg in about 45 minutes. Featuring me and Erik Solbakken, riding our version of the relay. Where one stops, the other must continue. So much potential in this concept, looking forward to do it outdoor in 2015 with more planning, better camera and perfect riding.

Next level of the trials relay must be to stop in front of the next obstacle, so you force your “opponent” to continue on the line you started (opposed to just stop after a line, as we did in the video). Then you force the opponent to try an obstacle he might be not so confident about.

Please tell me what you think!

The Trials Relay title graphics:
the_trials_relay_eirik_ulltang

Pre-ride grinding:
the_trials_relay_eirik_ulltang_grinding

Sidehopping my way to the hop:
the_trials_relay_eirik_ulltang_sidehop

On the rear wheel:
the_trials_relay_eirik_ulltang_rear_wheel