What do you call a 55-kilometer multi-terrain road race through sand, gravel, grass, snow, ice, rivers and streams—one that runs straight up a mountain for the first 6 miles—in Iceland? You call it the Laugavegur Ultra Marathon, and we’re thrilled to support Gym Source’s own Jan Schole, manager of our Westport, CT, showroom, as he trains to compete in this year’s Laugavegur event on 7/18/15.
An area of stunning natural beauty, Laugavegur is located in the southern highlands of Iceland, which connect the Landmannalaugar and Thorsmork nature reserves. But make no mistake: The distractions of natural beauty aside, preparing for a competition like the Laugavegur requires serious dedication and focus. With 6 months of training already behind him—and the experience of the New York marathon and others under his belt—that level of commitment is nothing Jan can’t handle.
“I’ve been doing road races since 2002,” says Jan. “My brother-in-law is a big runner, too. He’s been talking about the Laugavegur for a few years, so 6 months ago we signed up together.”
Having grown up in the Netherlands, Jan spent an active childhood playing soccer, swimming and biking to school every day. When he moved to New York City in 2000, it seemed to him that everyone was running. “I enjoy triathlons,” he says, “but the variety of terrain in the Laugavegur suits my overall passion for fitness.”
So how is Jan training for Iceland? Very carefully. “I haven’t been able to run as much outside, because I developed planter fasciitis,” he explains. “So I’ve been using more and more machines to train. There are excellent machines at Gym Source I can use, so it was easy to stay on my training schedule, despite my injury.”
Jan’s favorite way to train in spite of his injury has been on the Octane Zero Runner. “My podiatrist said to start slow running on a treadmill, but the Octane Zero Runner is very natural,” he says. “I usually prefer running outside, but this machine really mimics your running gate. Training with the Zero Runner has made a good base for when my foot is ready to run outside.”
Jan also mixes in a lot of swimming, indoor cycling and strength training. To stay on track with his training schedule, Jan hopes to start running outside soon and compete in some half-marathons within the next few weeks. Jan’s Icelandic Adventure part 2.