Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Riddle of Steel

Saw this up on Vsalon that had been ripped from Good stuff as we all sit huddled on our couches waiting for a winter storm to blow over. Lots of talk about plans, training, long miles but what does it take to get to that "next" level. Hard work. Basically its just the old Merckx quote "ride lots"

"Tor Arne Hetland is real. I saw him. Actually, I closed out the bar with him last night. The guy lives in a different world than you and I do. And, he’s a hell of a lot faster than we will ever be.

I wanted to suck some training talk out of him, so I made up some BS about having a bad race and threw in a cheap shot about Americans being slow (USST, I didn’t mean it at all).

Through the noise, norwegian, and waking up at 11am, here’s the best that I can remember from a conversation/rant/binge between 1:30 and 2am:

He said, “All that matters is you have a good miljø (which means culture and environment) and that you have the…(tried to explain ‘the fire within you’, but couldn’t).” He was very animated. “Where did you finish today?”

“50,” I lied.

“Ja. You are here now with (unnamed coach),”

(places a beer in the lonely corner of the bar)

“This is winning your Nationals.”

(places a beer in front of him)

“This is winning a World Cup.”

(practically tosses a beer out of reach and off the bar)

“If you want to win you need to train 1200 hours like Justyna (Kawuckchuck). You are not even close.” he said.

“That’s rediculous! Not to mention totally ‘questionable’,” I said.

“But have you tried? No. That’s why you won’t win. If you train 1200 hours THEN you will know how to train. You are not even close.”

The thing that blew me away is that it was immediately apparent that he comes from a COMPLETELY different world than we do. He’s right, we aren’t even close. Nowhere near it.

When guys like him talk about training it’s not about getting faster or making some team, it’s about *winning world cups*. Even when he’s talking to someone he doesn’t know.

He’s right, he has the miljø, so he doesn’t have to consider second best. It’s tip-top or nothing. Train more, *lots* more. Don’t expect help, because you are the one that has to race. Don’t come to a workout and say “what are we doing today?” - just show up with a plan.

This energy I got from that beer soaked nordmann is something I can’t describe in writing."


  1. From the same source, here's the counterpoint...

  2. go read solo's post from today it is good and says more about how to get fast and win than anything else out there.