The girl with the flower: In the last years Emelie Forsberg, who always has a flower in her hair, established herself as one of the world’s top trail runners. So E.O.F.T. asked the Swedish runner to talk about her running, her passion for the outdoors and what a typical day looks like.
I´m waking up early, as I am a morning person. I can barely stay up in the evenings until 9 p.m.. Right now, it’s the middle of a big training period, just before the summer starts. And I have planned these weeks very accurately and carefully because I´m just coming off another Skimo (Ski mountaineering) season and really need to get some meters in my legs before the race season begins. But I´m also aware that I might need to change my plan due to the lack of running during the winter.
In the wintertime, from November to April, I do not run, I train for the Ski mountaineering season. That’s why I want to listen to my body carefully. My body is all I got, I want to take care of it. The mountains are a big part in my life and I really want enjoy the wild terrains, the long runs and the great outdoors for the rest of my life.
Anyway – this day I have planned a harder interval session in the morning, and a longer run in the afternoon. I need both! For the ultras I need the endurance and for the vk (vertical kilometre, only 1000 meters straight up in a distance between 2-5 km) and shorter races up to a half marathon races I need the speed.
Before my first training I only eat an organic clif bar – nuts and seeds, and drink a big cup of coffee. How much I love coffee in the mornings! I always plan to have some extra time so I can sit down and enjoy the coffee.
The interval session will be uphill 4,3,2,1,1,2,3,4 minutes, 1 minute in-between. I finish the session at Brévent (2,525 m), a mountain which lies in the Aiguille Rouges range of the French Alps, and run slowly downhill. In total 1,5 hours of training. It was a great session: I could really focus and get tired. Otherwise that is a problem for me as I´m not very good at pushing myself hard on the harder sessions. I´m more of an ultra runner, I can go on for long.
Breakfast time! This time I made some banana and oatmeal pancakes topped with walnuts and plum jam, and a blueberry and lingonberry smoothie on the side. After my first training I normally stretch or do some kind of mind focusing yoga. Afterwards it´s time for some computer work. To take a break from the computer I often work in the garden – love to have a bigger veggie garden this summer! Some of the veggies are already out and some need to be planted. I love to eat vegetables which grew in my own garden.
Today I’m also going to eat a huge salat which already grew in the garden and add some swiss chard, small carrots, cheese, tomato and avocado. On the side I eat 2 eggs and 3 big slices of home made rye bread with almond butter and apples as topping.
I try to eat as seasonal as possible, and my diet contains a lot of veggies. I have always loved cooking and trying new recipes. I can absolutely not call me a good chef, but I like simple dishes that taste good. And I don´t mind to take some extra time to cook a good meal. I guess it´s like everything, the things you like, you take more time to, and when you do something for long, it becomes better and better.
When I was 14 years old I became a vegetarian and when I was 17, I took the decision to eat meat and fish that I either fished myself, or a friend or family fished or hunted. I took the decision as I consider this the most environmentally sustainable life style. My main view about the human diet is that we can eat more or less whatever we want, as long as it is a lot of natural ingredients and not to much processed food. Humankind is so adaptable, otherwise we would not be where we are evolutionary wise, at least that´s what I believe.
After lunch I immediately go out for my second run. The rough plan was to run about 35 km and 2500 meters. I had been studying a map and found a loop that would be more or less what I planned. Sometimes when I run I think a lot and sometimes I don´t think at all. On this run I focused on being right here and now. It´s very relaxing for the mind. Both ways I would say.
It’s important to let the thoughts wander. While running you have no where to escape so the thoughts come wherever you want to or not. No distractions like TV, social media etc. And when you don´t think about nothing at all, it´s even better, your mind getting relaxed and you can feel so connected to nature. You get the feeling of being part of it.
It makes me feel like being a part of something that is just so much bigger than anything else. I feel so much respect and admiration for it. It´s like losing part of the density and becoming part of nature: feel the sun, the wind, the soil, smell the soil, the mountains and all the elements.
After 2 hours of running I start to feel a little tired. Sometimes it can be hard to motivate myself when I´m out there. When those thoughts flicker through my mind I always tell my self to shut up. I really should just appreciate everything!
So I do. And I keep going.
I´m a very lucky girl who can live from what I love the most. On the last ascent arriving on Pecleret, which is the closest summit from our house, the sun is going down. It´s so beautiful it takes my breath away. I just want to stay up there forever but I can´t wait to eat dinner either! This is a great motivation to run the downhill as fast as I can.
Entering home is a fantastic feeling. The day is done and now it´s time to relax and refill the energy. Can´t wait for the lentil and eggplant lasagne – the leftovers from yesterday. And the chocolate brownie for desert with home made ice cream! I have a huge sweet tooth and I think in one way it would be good to eat a little less sugar, but when I train a lot I can´t convince myself to change anything. And there are so many ways to bake without white refined sugar too! I use a lot of honey, dates and maple syrup instead, which can be a “healthier” alternative to sugar. And what about wheat you might wonder? I believe we can eat that too! But not too much, at least not me because I´m not used to eat too much of wheat!
Energized and sleepy I do a bit of stretching and reading and around nine,. I thank this day for what it became and say hello to a good night sleep!