I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a huge fan of the Winter Olympics, other than NHL players in Ice Hockey.
Because I’m not a huge fan of
- Time Trials
- Judging Events
- Both Time Trials & Judging Events
But I do enjoy both Cross Country Skiing, Biathlon and Speed Skating. We’re seeing more head to head ‘mass starts’ in these 3 events compared to 30 years ago.
If you followed the 2022 Winter Olympics, you’ve heard Sweden’s Nils van der Poel won both the 5000m and 10000m speed skating event by now.
I did watch the 5000m early in the games, and I was rooting for the Dutch guy, watching agonisingly on the sidelines as the final pairs were finishing their races.
Did I mention I disliked Time Trials?
And to think, with 3 laps remaining in the 5000m, the Dutch guy was actually going to win.
Yes, it was tense.
The 10,000 was also exciting, but the way Nils van der Poel approached & attacked the race was impressive. or, at least the TV Commentators made us believe so. 25 laps at a metronomic 30 seconds per lap.
Now, you can’t compare that to Track and Field’s 5K and 10K, as the winning times are 12:35 & 26:11 minutes, compared to 6:08 & 12:30 for speed skating. Maybe it’s comparing it to a 2500m and 5000m track race?
The Best Free Coaching & Manifesto Book
After Nils van der Poel won his gold medals at the 2022 Olympics, he published his training manifesto and workout journal here:
There is an incredible amount of information in this 62 page manifesto or training diary, with so many hidden gems and takeaways.
If there’s one similarity, his approach was very similar to that of Arthur Lydaird. Check out his 3 hour talk on the Bud Winter website.
It is also interesting to note that Van der Poel retired from sport after the 2018 Olympics to join the Swedish army. The manual starts there.
He writes in his epilogue:
I hope that what I’ve written here will contribute to my records being broken. If you were to engage in elite sports please remember: it’s about winning, but it is not solely about winning. All but one is obliged to lose. Under such circumstances I consider success to be measured by means of playing, and not by margin of winning. It is the strive for excellence, the sharing of love and the ability to inspire others to do the same, that to me above all, defines an athlete’s success. The job is to lead the way by leading yourself.
Be courageous. Do not overtrain, but stick to the Limit.
It’s a free download, I highly recommend you have a read, at least the first 26 pages. His detailed training plan follows after that.
Congratulations, Nils van der Poel!