Training while pregnant

This post is about my personal training/exercising/working-out/moving during my twin pregnancy. All pregnancies are different and my experience cannot be used as a guide for how anyone else should act during their pregnancy, but perhaps my journey can act as motivation for others to keep adapting and moving even when the challenges mount up and it is impossible to move like before! I have been incredibly lucky to have had a healthy pregnancy so it has been safe and beneficial for me to keep moving the entire pregnancy! That said, I have dealt with many of the most common pregnancy symptoms in varying duration and intensity (exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, constipation, heartburn, joint inflammations, swollen hands, hip pain, back pain, pre-term contractions, gum inflammations, sleeplessness, the list goes on… what part of your body isn’t influenced by pregnancy???). It’s been all about adapting to the daily form and finding movements that work despite the limitations, or perhaps even finding ways to use movement to make the ailments better!

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Chart of my resting heart rate increase during the pregnancy

I had the advantage of being at a high volume and intensity of training when my pregnancy started. This means that there was a lot that could be done for me to slow down and cut back and still be very active. In addition, my references of how active you can remain while pregnant are likely quite different from the average western European and American population’s. As a child, I saw my mom run everyday while pregnant, and most of my current social circle and those I follow on social media have shown incredible levels of training and racing while pregnant. Going into my own pregnancy, I had high hopes of being able to achieve the same. One of the first things I did when I found out that I was pregnant was to get in contact with the talented Emma Belforth at Aktivitus to get help with a strength and training program focused on getting me strong enough to allow me to keep running throughout the entire pregnancy. A couple weeks after starting this training program, we had our first ultrasound and found out that I wasn’t carrying just one baby! It was a shock to find out that we were expecting twins! However, the shock quickly subsided and it seemed obvious and nothing but wonderful that we would have two! This news also forced me to take a step back and lower my expectations of how I could train during the pregnancy. I am very thankful that this is how I reacted. Knowing that I was carrying twins and that many carrying twins have very tough and limited pregnancies made me thankful for what I could keep doing instead of disappointed when my own training was nowhere near the level of my idols.

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Chart of my training volume through the pregnancy. It was all about adapting and adjusting to make it work for the current state my body was in!

Before I go in to how my training was during the different trimesters I will mention a little bit about my weight gain because I know this is an interesting topic for many! I was also a bit concerned about this topic going into the pregnancy and I have followed my weight gain closely thanks to our Garmin scale which uploads my weight online everyday. However, this part of the pregnancy became less and less of a concern for me as the pregnancy progressed even as the numbers on the scale increased above levels I never thought I would reach! If anything, I ended up finding it quite entertaining to reach the milestone 80 kg on my 164 cm frame and still feel strong and healthy! When it came to eating, I had periods of the pregnancy where ice cream and candy were appealing to me and then I ate those things and then there were other periods where I was only interested in eating clean and then that’s what I did during those periods. For those interested in the numbers, have a look at the chart below. In general, I gained weight more rapidly at the beginning of the pregnancy and more slowly towards the end, but ended up right in the healthy, recommended range for a twin pregnancy at the end. Most importantly, the babies both grew exactly as they should have throughout the pregnancy and now as they are about the make their entrance to the world the doctors predict that they weight about 3 kg each 🙂  

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Weight gain during my twin pregnancy

The first trimester was the toughest time of the pregnancy for me because of the problems that I had with nausea. It was exhausting to feel terrible all the time! I also quite quickly felt the effect of increased blood volume and resting heart rate. I ran my last race already in week 4 and after that I almost completely stopped “quality” runs such as intervals and tempo-work, however I was able to keep running 3-4 times per week at whatever pace and distance felt comfortable that day throughout the first trimester. The runs progressively got slower and shorter! I was instead able to substitute the running with weight training and indoor cycling. I continued to swim with Simcoachen in her Fastlane group throughout the first trimester and in the water I was able to sustain my speed much better than on land. The biggest difference was that I never pushed to max effort levels which is how Simcoachen was one of the first people to figure out that I was pregnant 😉

Swimming has felt great throughout the entire pregnancy

Second trimester the nausea went away and my energy levels returned a bit, however during this trimester I was quickly gaining weight, up to 1 kg per week (!!!) and my body really started to take a beating when I was running. I ended up with inflammations in my feet and my running stride completely collapsed! Already week 18 I ran my last steps of the pregnancy because it no longer felt right to push through the discomfort. This was definitely tough mentally, but I compensated by buying a spin bike and going for long, quick walks. However, it was just a few weeks of these walks until my hips and problems with pre-term contractions made me have to give these up as well. Luckily, I was still feeling generally very well and could continue to weight train, swim, and bike. In all of these categories, the training continually had to be adapted. I stopped doing handstand work in week 23 and continually cut down on the amount of weights during the running strength training classes that Elite Rehab hosts for our running club. The swims and bike sessions became slower and shorter.

As I went in to the third trimester, I started cutting back on work and this made a huge difference in my well-being! I was able to spend more time resting, decrease my stress-level and focus on things that made me feel good. Many of my symptoms and pains became much better. At this point in the pregnancy I had also become very used to adapting and slowing down and it no longer bothered me when I had to stop doing something. Around week 30 I had to stop leg-work at the gym because my hips became too unstable, but I was happy to keep going to the gym and just work back and arms. Around week 34 my stomach became too big to reach the handlebars on the spin bike and I had to switch to using the exercise bikes at the gym instead. Around the same time, flip-turns and even kicking in the pool became painful and I had to switch to just swimming freestyle with a pull-buoy and paddles. At this point, I was starting to think that each workout might be my last, but to my surprise the pregnancy went well above average length for a twin pregnancy and I was able to keep swimming, biking, and lifting weights until the very last days. Biking to the pool and swimming 1500-2000 m arms was my daily activity to keep me sane and feeling good during these last weeks!

One of my last weight sessions

Another saving grace was that I was able to continue to transport myself short distances on my bike (granted it’s electric ;)) throughout the pregnancy. Towards the end, my walking was so slow and painful that it was easier for me to bike to the pool than to take the tram and have to walk the few hundreds of meters to and from the tram stop. Since this post is about working-out I haven’t mentioned much about yoga (which is an amazing tool for keeping the mental and emotional part of the pregnancy healthy), but looking at the physical aspect of yoga, I credit my flexibility and knowledge of how to open different body parts thanks to yoga as a vital part of keeping the pain in my body minimal during the pregnancy. I spent a lot of time on an exercise ball and with adjusted yoga poses to help me to open my hips and back, as well as to create space for the babies and take some of the pressure off my internal organs. During some periods of the pregnancy I would get up in the middle of the night each night because my hips or back were hurting and I would need to move/yoga until I was able to get back to restful sleep. 

Many hours spent with this ball throughout my pregnancy!

To sum it all, I am amazed at the shape my body has taken during the last 9 months and how it has adapted to all of the changes that come with growing two humans in the womb! It is incomprehensible that this is just the beginning of an even bigger journey! 🙂

ÖtillÖ Race Report 2017 (by Hanna)


The journey to this year’s ÖtillÖ was a little bit more tumultuous than last year’s, but all in all we were well prepared on the startline even this year. Last year our reflection after the race was that the journey had been less difficult than we had expected, but this year struggle exceeded the expectation. This was in large part due to the weather conditions which were on the extreme end of the spectrum this year.


Usually Johan thinks that he is sick or injured the day prior to the race and on race morning, but this time it was me. My throat hurt, my stomach hurt, I had cramps. Looking back, all but the cramps could probably be blamed on nerves. Until race morning, I had felt quite confident in my form which had been improving at a drastic pace the last month and I felt very sure that I could handle the event just as well as last year if not better. However, the morning of, the weather and the competition built up the level of nerves to an unusually high level. Before the start of the race both of us were so nervous that we could barely talk to each other nor focus on each other’s eye contact. Both just wanted the whole thing to start so we could deal with the challenge as it came.


The first swim was tough. We had been given advice the day prior that if the weather is very rough it’s better to not use a dragline, but since we always swim with the line we did the first swim with it. It felt like we were getting nowhere when I was pulling! It felt like every time you started to get momentum forward you would subsequently get pulled back. After a few hundred meters Johan came up ahead of me and pulled for a bit and I felt quite the disappointment not to have the power and flow in my swimming that I was looking for. After another few hundred meters I pulled up ahead and tried pulling again, but unfortunately it felt no better so after a while I turned to Johan and asked him to pull the last bit. I was disappointed, but decided to try my best to make up the time we had lost in the water on being braver in the cliff running than I typically am and to mine and Johan’s delight we were significantly more successful at passing people on these technical sections this year than last year.


Through the rest of the race we didn’t use the line on the swims, but had no problems staying behind each other’s feet and taking turns pulling. It was not the best swim day for me, but luckily Johan very well during the swims when the conditions are worse so we were near even in the water and divided up the pulling almost 50/50. Despite my sluggish feeling in the water and the rough waters, it was during the swimming that we gained the most time compared to last year. Last year Johan used fins on the swims and pulled all of the swimming. Turns our that without the loss of time in the transitions and by dividing up the pulling we are even faster without the fins.


During the first part of the race this year Johan felt strong and on the two approximately 8 km runs during the beginning of the race he pulled the flat sections. We had no idea which place we were in the mix category until we caught up to our good friends Anna and Johan whom we have a tradition of catching sometime in the middle of races. To our surprise they let us know that we were teams 5 and 6 at that point. Based on the startlist we had expected that there were at least 6 teams that would beat us without problems.


The longer swim sections, the pig swim and the 1000 m sections shortly after it went well for us and we had much less problems with the cold than last year. After these it is on to the 20 km run on Onö. This is where we started to slow down compared to 2016. Johan stared struggling and I pulled most of the section. When you have finished this run, it seems mentally as if you are close to the end. Last year we caught up to two other mixed teams after Onö and the last hour of the race was truly a race for us. This year it was a slow struggle! The last swims are short, but were incredibly challenging due to strong currents and strong wind. They required coming up to max effort just to keep from washing out to sea. After 9 hours of racing, having to go up to max effort even just for a few minutes is a challenge to recover from. I had hoped that I would be able to pull all of these swims and Johan would be able to recover and come back and pull the last 3 kms of running as he did last year, but that was not the case. Both of us were exhausted and Johan cursed as he jogged behind me up the last hill up to Utö.


It was a tough day, but we are incredibly happy with finishing so high up in the rankings (4th mix and 21st total) and to come in under the 10-hour goal time (9:54:25). Now, just a few days later Johan only has positive memories of the events and wishes that he didn’t have to wait an entire year until next time 😉 I am making a strong effort to rest and keep training to a minimum for a month before making any plans for next year.


Tjolöholm Swimrun 2017 Race Report (by Hanna)

Just a little over a week until the big one! About a month ago I finally started seeing form on par with last year so as long as I avoid any illnesses for another week my body will be up for the 75 km challenge on Sept 4th. When the form is good, it is fun to race so since we DNS’d at Ten Island Swimrun last week in favor of a romantic weekend the Norwegian mountains, we were both keen on fitting in a last practice race.

There were three swimrun races within a one hour drive from our house this weekend, but we chose Tjolöholm Swimrun because it has a great reputation, was a good length (11 km), and proper terrain to prepare for ÖtillÖ. Johan wanted to do a race with his good friend Christian who introduced him to swimrun back in 2012 so I scrambled for a last minute partner and ended up finding the strong Peter Oom. We are both in simcoachen’s Fastlane group, but had never exchanged more than hello before meeting 45 minutes prior to race start.

Peter and I before start

We both knew he was a much stronger runner than I, but we were unsure of who would be the faster swimmer. We determined that we both swim approximately 1:30/100 m in OW so it would be the day’s form that would determine who was faster, but though that it was best that we start out with Peter pulling the swim so that I could be rested for the run. On the first 540 m swim drag lines were not allowed so we decided to just go out each on our own and meet up out of the water. Peter took off with quite the speed in the mass beach start and my first thought was that he was going to have to wait minutes for me on the other end of the swim. I fought the best I could through a chaotic swim with lots of sea weed and testosterone even losing my paddle and having to dive down to get it. To my surprise I caught sight of Peter next to me with a couple hundred meters of swimming left and felt a huge sigh of relief. We got out of the water at the same time, hooked our line up and off we went into the forest!

Peter flying during the start of the race!

Peter is a monster in the terrain, especially on the downhill. I had warned him ahead of time that I am timid on technical sections, but that he should just keep going unless I say otherwise. After the first run we just had Eva and Adriel ahead of us, but once we started wadding through the water we saw that Martin and Catariona were right behind us. Once we started swimming Martin pulled ahead of us with super speed and I got impatient as I often do and thought that maybe if I go up ahead of Peter and pull we can catch up to Martin. To Peter’s surprise (and frustration when he first thought it was another team tangled in our line) this is what I did, but even if it went slightly faster I had no shot at catching up to Martin.

Picture by Linda Dahlhöjd

We fought on as best we could through the next 3500 m run and then it was time for 500 m of wadding through shallow water. Here we could see all of the teams ahead of us, but my short legs and high pulse from the run didn’t allow us to come any closer to them. I asked Peter to pull the next 300 m swim so that I could rest and get my pulse back down. Then it was time for the parts that I had dreaded the most, cliff-running! I think Peter took it a bit easy on me (even retying our line while running!), but it went much better for me than it typically does on these types of sections. We kept the drag line in place so I had no choice, but to keep moving at the pace he set. My pulse was back in control so I pulled the last two swims and fought the best I could to close the gap to the other teams, even though I knew that I certainly wasn’t pulling us faster than Adriel and Martin were pulling.

Coming out of the water on the last swim with one male team ahead and one behind

Last run was 2200 m and Peter took off with incredible speed and had many kilos of me hanging on the line! Especially on the downhills my legs were having to move faster than they have ever moved before!!

Picture by Linda Dahlhöjd

We went into the finish in a solid third place mix (full results here). We discussed a little about the ifs of how we could have saved the 1:30 needed to come in ahead of Martin and Catriona, but nonetheless we put in a strong effort under the given conditions. It was a great race from every angle and one that I would highly recommend for beginners to elit. Varied and beautiful terrain!

Picture by Linda Dahlhöjd

I love being a part of this west coast swimrun family! It is always such a treat to come to race starts and see so many familiar and happy faces. On Tuesday we all meet again for GBG Swimrun and then next weekend we even get to meet with our swimrun friends from the rest of the country and the world for ÖtillÖ weekend. Amazing people, amazing athletes, amazing experiences! This sport is an amazing lifestyle!

Öloppet 2017 Race Report (by Hanna)


Öloppet is for many the definition of swimrun, it was one of the first and it is one of the biggest in terms of participants. It contains approximately 34 km of running, lots of which is through technical cliff-terrain and 6 km of swimming in salty and sometimes rough water.


2015 we raced the sprint versions (23 km) which resulted in a win. 2016 we started the long course, but DNF’d about half way through due to illness. So this year we are very happy to have completed the full course and to finish on the podium! Our time of 4:35 was enough for the bronze against an extremely strong field (full results here)!

This year’s race was an eventful one! It included our drag-line snapping during the start, me almost crying in fear and frustration while running on the rocks, Johan’s legs cramping in the water, me pulling most of the running on the non-technical sections, plenty of yelling at each other, and a finale of Johan shitting in this wetsuit to save the team’s podium spot (more about that later!)!

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While I am very happy that my body felt physically strong throughout the race, I am less happy with how frustrated I was at times. I get competitive tunnel-vision while I race and my already lacking patience sometimes goes to zero. This race was a good example of that. I was frustrated from start to finish with our decision to use fins. And my frustration over my fear of the cliffs made me even slower on the cliffs as I got more and more angry with myself with each step! However, I am happy to have had this race to remind me of the importance of keeping things in perspective while racing going in to ÖtillÖ. Those 10 hours of racing will be a lot nicer if the tone between us remains happy and calm.


During the start someone dropped equipment and when they turned around to get it they ran right between Johan and I resulting in our drag-line snapping in half. So our complete focus during the first 500 m run was to try to repair the line. When we got to the water, we still hadn’t succeeded, but at this point during the race I was still calm so when we got to the water and Johan was putting on the finns I was able to place a knot that held the entire race. Johan did a monster job of pulling the first 1000 m swim. We flew by hundreds of people! Johan pushed so hard so that we wouldn’t have to cue behind too many teams on the first island as we have experienced during our previous times on this course. Unfortunately, this effort may also have been the reason that Johan struggled with the running throughout the race. Unfortunately, the fins only fit Johan so he is stuck pulling the swims, which means that I am well rested and ready to go for the runs, but he isn’t.


Throughout the race we fought over position with our friends Johan and Anna. They are much faster than us getting in and out of the water and on the technical sections, while we are faster in the water and on non-technical running. When Johan’s stomach started cramping during the 8 km run we knew that they were right behind us and if we stopped they would catch up. Generally, it is always better to stop in a bush if you are having stomach problems since you typically just lose a minute, but can then accelerate 10-30 sec/km in the running afterwards. In this case, Johan took alternative three, go while running! An experience that he does not hope to repeat! Please contact him if you want more details 😉


By the time that we got to the last 1000 m of swimming, Johan’s legs were so cramped that he couldn’t swim with the fins anymore so I ended up wearing them and pulled the swim with my upper body and kept my legs still. The combination of him emptying his stomach and resting on the last swims, allowed him to be able to run the last kilometers without too much problems. Anything for a podium-spot, right!?!


I love Johan and I love racing! Despite what probably was quite the sight to observe, we had a great time racing together and Öloppet is a wonderful race in every way 🙂 Now time to mentally and physically prepare for ÖtillÖ in just 4 weeks!

Uddevalla Swimrun Race Report 2017 (by Hanna)

Amanda Fischer and I at the top of the podium! And the great organizers on the left! Big thank you to them for an exceptionally well-organized race!

The week prior to the race had been busy with visits from family and the morning of the race I took my mother and sister to the train station and Johan was preparing to leave for a week long hiking trip with two young boys. I am not sure why I had gotten the idea to mix in a race to the logistics of this already chaotic morning, but I am glad I did 🙂 By the time I got in the car to the race I was feeling nothing but calm and ready to race, in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been so calm before a race!

Amanda Fischer and I had talked earlier in the season about racing Utö together, but for various good reasons we didn’t. At Kustjagaren we both raced mix against each other (finishing 2nd and 3rd) and afterwards decided that we should make an effort to do a race together. Amanda lives in Kalmar, but it just so happened that she had already planned to be on the westcoast the weekend of Uddevalla swimrun so this time the puzzle-pieces fell in our favor.

Uddevalla swimrun is short compared to many swimrun races, with just 10 km running and 2 km swimming, but of course that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Rather it means that you need to push harder and keep high pulse throughout! It is also unique in that it is an out-and-back course so you know exactly what to expect the second half of the race, but even more fun is that you get a chance to cheer on every single one of the racers while you are racing! You know exactly how many are ahead of you and how many are behind.

Despite being so short the course was varied both in terrain and elevation. We carpooled to the race with Maria Johansson, who was a veteran on the course, so luckily we had been warned that there were some hills! The first run contained both asphalt and a technical hill section in the woods, the second and third run were short, flat, and non-technical, the fourth run was across an island of slippery rocks, and the last run to the turn around included a 1 km steep hill! Then you turn around and do it all over again!

Elevation profile for Uddevalla swimrun

Amanda is a very fast and experienced swimmer so our strategy was the she would pull the swims and I would pull the run. We stuck to the strategy and it worked great! The race was like an interval session for me, during the runs I pushed to 1 km interval effort and then during the swims I focused on relaxing and getting my heart rate all the way down so I would be ready to go again for the next run.

When the race organizers announced a 1000 kr cash price for the first team out of the water after the second swim we discussed if we might have a shot at it and while we realized the chances were slim (especially with Eva Nyström and Martin Flinta registering last minute) we had it in the back of our minds to go out hard to see if we had a shot. Turns our we didn’t, but we only had 5 out of 97 teams ahead of us for most of the race and none of them female so we got to stand at the top of the podium 🙂 We finished in 1:27, 9 minutes ahead of the next female team (full results here).

The roughest part of the race was the jellyfish which had the skin on my underarms, face, and back of knees oozing fluids the rest of the day, but one day later that is all forgotten and my memory of the race will be the great organization and wonderful teammate! Everything around the race made it so easy to enjoy. There was easy close by parking, changing rooms with warm showers a minute’s walk from the start/finish, grocery store near the start to buy a pre-race snack, great food at the finish, and to top it all off hot tubs with alcohol-free drink service at the finish-line! All for 800 kr per team! Doesn’t get much better than that!

Amanda Fischer, Hanna Nilsson, Andrew McLean, and Michelle Nystöm enjoying the finishline luxuries at Uddevalla Swimrun 2017

Åstol Runt 2017 Race Report (by Hanna)

This was my third year in a row racing Åstol Runt. It was a beautiful day on the island with clear water and shinning sun! Today my form was good enough for a second place (full results here). I am very happy that my form is starting to come back and I am really enjoying keeping the racing season to mostly short local races.


This year the swim was about 2100 m of mostly calm water with a few sections of more aggressive waves. There were some jellyfish, but they stayed a bit below the surface so I avoided stings all together 🙂 Before the start Johan and I decided that we would try to work together during the swim and take turns pulling each other. However, the start was rough and we quickly lost each other. I was able to find some good feet and felt like I had a good swim. To my surprise Johan’s things were still in the transition area when I got there. He had had trouble with sea sickness and dizziness during the swim and came out of the water about 1:40 after me. My little sister Julia is here visiting from the US and helped me to keep track of the rest of the competition on the women’s side. As I came out of the transition she told me that I was 3 minutes behind the leading woman. I knew that it was Ulrika Eriksson and that she is just as strong, if not stronger, of a runner as I am, but I still gave it a push to see if my legs would respond. 3 minutes in 8 km of running is just over 20 seconds per km, so it didn’t feel impossible.

This year the run was slightly longer than the original course and went over some technical cliff sections. I saw Ulrika during the turn-arounds so I could see how far ahead she was. I pushed hard on the first lap to see if I could get closer to her, but unfortunately, I only gained 20 seconds and realized then that the likelyhood of catching her was slim. I had also realized that I had plenty of time back so there was little reason for me to push like crazy. I also saw Johan during the turn around and knew that he was a bit behind me, but also that he has no problems catching 30 seconds per km on me. And indeed, during the final lap Johan caught me and ended up finishing more than a minute ahead of me.

I am very happy with my race and right now I feel that there is plenty of potential for me to develop both my swimming and running a bit more in the next few weeks. Johan was disappointed over his swim, but felt quite a relief that he was able to catch me and to finish in 7th place of the men which is a big improvement over the last time when he did this race in 2014. Thank you Johan and the rest of Team Åstol for another great event!


Infinity Swimrun 2017 Race Report (by Hanna)


This is the third year for us racing Infinity Swimrun, a race where you chose a time category (1, 3, or 6 hours) and swimrun as many laps as you can around the 2.5 km course during that time. The past two years, the race has gone the Thursday evening before midsummer, but this year it was moved to the Saturday before midsummer which turned out to mean more people and more sun! It was a beautiful day with sun and perfect water temperatures.


Johan braved the new 6 hour version of the race and I stayed with the 3 hour version. Partly because I am not quite in shape for 6 hours yet, and partly because I have won the 3 hour version the other years so I wanted to try to defend my title. Check out official results here.


Though there were only 7 participants in the 6 hour category, Johan had some tough competition with Alexander Koller on the startline. They kept together for the first 2 hours, but then Johan had to drop him and hope for the best just running his own race. In the end Koller was able to hold out and complete 20.5 laps versus Johans 20. Nonetheless, very impressive 50 kms of swimrun completed in 6 hours! Johan is in great form!


As has been the case the last 6 months, I was unsure of how my body would feel and wasn’t sure what to expect from myself or the other competitors. The first lap felt very tough and I had 3 other women in front of me. I played a mental game of trying to convince myself that it was okay to let them go ahead and that I just had to be happy to be racing regardless of the outcome.


However, when we crossed the 1-lap line, the time was faster than what we had averaged during the past two years and I felt better about how tough the first lap had felt. During the 2nd lap I was able to pass one of women, during the 3rd lap another one, and after the 4th lap I was in first place.


The 6-hour racers started at 11:00 and raced on their own for 3 hours until the 3-hour racers started. Two hours after that, at 16:00 the hour racers started. Both of the last two years, I have finished the 7th lap right as the 1-hour racers are starting. This has meant that I catch up with them right as I get to the cliffs and get very stressed to get around them! I am typically not a very aggressive person, but when it comes to races, I can be a little pushy to get ahead so I apologize to anyone who may have heard me cursing as I passed!


I was able to increase the distance back throughout the rest of the race and felt stronger and stronger as the time went on. I was very happy to be able to keep a steady pace and to finish the same amount of laps as last year (10.5).


The course is a challenging one for me with lots of cliff-running, but I love practicing this weakness on this course where I get to race on my own and to repeat the same sections over and over again so that I get more and more confident on my footing and speed. The water was fairly tough on one of the two swims, but nothing extreme. The other swim on the other hand included some jellyfish which were much less pleasant than the waves!


It was a great day out on Hönö and I hope that I will get the opportunity to race the 6 hour version sometime in the future! Thank you to the race organizers and all of the supporters along the course!




May 2017 GBG Swimrun, etc (by Hanna)

The sun and endless opportunities for open water swimming certainly make life a bit more enjoyable this time of year 🙂 Not to mention all of the races! Since I wrote last, Johan and I have combined crossed 7 finish lines! First up was Göteborgsvarvet, the world’s largest half marathon. After Johan’s impressive new PB at Kungsbackaloppet a month earlier (1:20:31) he had hopes of a new PB at Göteborgsvarvet as well. I on the other hand, was unsure if I should even start because my body had been feeling so sluggish and unhappy with training. For the third year in a row Johan fought in around 1:24 and was not particularly happy. I decided to run, but took it easy, finishing in 1:40, a full 10 minutes slower than the previous year.


Next up was Blodomloppet for Johan where he improved his 10 km PB by 30 seconds and finished in 37:01! Two days later we both raced GBG Swimrun, one of our favorite parts of summer! I love to push hard at this race and after having raced the course so many times, I know exactly how hard I can push and still stay strong to the end. It has been tough for me to get used to racing this year knowing that I am so far behind last year, but I am doing my best to keep steady with my training and believe that the form will slowly improve. I was very happy that my body felt good during GBG Swimrun, that I was able to push and that my body responded in a healthy way. My final time was 2 minutes slower than my PB on the course, but I was still able to take home the win on the women’s side and I think that with a few more months of training I will be able to continue to improve the time. Johan is in amazing form and came in with another PB even at this race! Third place on the men’s side and a time of 40:17.

After a very positive experience at Skatås Ryggar last year, we looked forward to racing again this year. It is one of the most beautiful half marathon courses according to us. Not surprisingly, Johan shaved a few minutes off of his time even at this race. I expected to be about 10 minutes slower, as I had been at Göteborgsvarvet, but unlike that race, I pushed a little too hard for my form at and even through my time was only 4 minutes slower than last year, I really struggled the during the last part of the race and it was no where near as enjoyable as last year. Nonetheless, a very good training run!

Now we have two weeks without any races before Infinity Swimrun, which is another of our favorite races. This year they added a 6 hour category which would have been right up our alley last year, but this year I am certainly not in shape for it and Johan has been focusing on getting faster at 10 km and half marathon distance so 6 hours is a long time in comparison! Johan is still debating which he will do, but my guess is that we will both race the 3 hour and Johan will crush his distance from last year 🙂

Lysekil Swimrun Camp 2017 (by Hanna)

This weekend Katarina Åström, Eva Nyström, and I organized a swimrun camp in Lysekil, Sweden. We started the weekend Saturday morning with a meet and greet at the wonderful conference center where we stayed. The whole weekend we had access to a great meeting room with coffee and snacks. There was even a special room for drying wetsuits since they regularly host divers at their hotel! Perfect for a swimrun camp!

The whole gang minus Katarina outside of Strand in Lysekil ready for swimrun!

After getting to know each other in the morning we headed to the indoor swim center. We had rented the entire place to ourselves so we had plenty of space in the pool! The first workout was focused on swimrun equipment testing. It was an opportunity to try out feeling, effort level, and speed with many different types and sizes of paddles. Thanks to TriSpot Göteborg we even had lots of different swimrun wetsuits for all of the participants to try out and swim in.

After two hours of swimming we headed back to the hotel for a great lunch followed by a presentation from Eva about her impressive athletic career and the development of swimrun.

Eva Nyström presenting about her career and the development of the sport of swimrun.

Saturday afternoon treated us to a beautiful run on the cliffs of Lysekil followed by a great dinner at Havets Hus and presentation by me on my involvement in swimrun.

Sunday morning started with a short run and some running technique drills by Katarina who has lots of experience helping people to develop their running technique and prevent running injuries.

Participants flying forward thanks to great running drills by Katarina.

After a delicious breakfast buffe at the hotel we put on our warmest swimrun gear and prepared to face the 10 C degree water on a swimrun loop course marked out by Katarina. The loop contained about 50 m of calm swimming followed by 1.2 km running on mixed terrain. The participants were amazing in enthusiasm and worked hard round and round the course before being satisfied and heading to the sauna!

After a great and much needed lunch we wrapped up the weekend with a discussion about tips and tricks for training and racing swimrun! Big thank you to all of the participants and sponsors Trispot, Umara, and Gococo.

Bin Swimrun Morocco Race Report (by Hanna)

The location of the race was in a lake, Bin el ouidane, at the base of the Atlas Mountains about a 4 hour drive from Casablanca. The course was varying and challenging, but not too technical. The view was constantly breathtaking and the water was clear, warm, and calm. The distances were approximately 23 km running and 7 km swimming. There were 23 transitions with most of the running near the end of the race with one 8,5 km section and one 10 km section. The rest was mostly 500-1000m swims alternated with short runs to get around an island and then on to the next swim.

I raced with Eva Nyström as Team Thule Adventure. She received the invitation from the race organizers already in the fall and I was very excited when she asked me to race with her. As I have written before, my training during the winter was minimal and as the weeks went on I became more and more nervous that I wouldn’t be ready to start the season with a race like this already at the end of April so I am incredibly happy and a bit relieved that my body has recovered and was able to handle the race without problems.

Eva and I running along the water

This was my first time racing swimrun with a partner other than Johan (although for most of the race he was less than a hundred meters away from me ;)). The days and even hours before the race it was a bit unclear to us how many teams and the level of competitions that would be racing with us. Thankfully Eva is an experienced racer and helped me to keep my nerves and expectations in check. She reminded me that we had nothing to prove and just needed to run our own race regardless of what the others were doing. We ended up being three teams fighting for the top three spots the entire race. It was Johan racing with a new Moroccan friend, Said Moujed, as Happy Swimrun, a French mixed team, Be Love, and us. All three teams knew early on that we had the win in our respective categories, but that didn’t stop us from racing for the overall win. The French team was very strong in the water and quickly took the lead. The expectation was that Eva and I would be faster swimmers than Johan and Said and they would be faster runners, but Johan was able to pull his partner to stay at our feet through most of the first swims. A few times they ran faster and entered the water before us, but we ended up catching up with them in the water and they followed at our feet. A lot of the runs followed the coastline and the terrain was very rocky and muddy so it was much of an advantage for Johan and Said that they run 10 km on asphalt faster than Eva and I. For the 8,5 km run we had the other two teams ahead of us at the beginning, but to our surprise we ended up first at the aid station because the other two teams had made a wrong turn and ended up running some extra meters both in distance and height.

The three teams fighting for the overall win. Here we are going in to the last timing mat with Team BeLove in the lead

From that point we held the lead until the last run where all three teams ended up collaborating and checking the map together to make sure that we were going the right way. We all arrived at the last time-mat at the same time. The others hurried through while Eva and I took our time refueling and getting our wet-suits down. Knowing how limited my running has been the last few months, I had expected that this would be where the others would take off and we wouldn’t have a chance, but to my surprise we first caught up to Johan and Said as they were having a tough time and then we were able to slowly catch up to the French team and passed without too much effort. We were both feeling strong and it seemed that we could keep the pace the last 3 km of the race. Then we made the mistake that we had avoided earlier in the race, ran the wrong way! I saw a mark off to the left and we followed, but soon realized that there were no more and that this must have been a marking from the first part of the course. By the time we found our way back on the right course the other teams were a few hundred meters ahead of us and the mental energy that we had 5 minutes earlier had faded with the frustration of the mistake. We kept a decent pace the last couple kilometers and happily ran to the finish as the third team overall in 4:14. It would have been a great win to finish such a duel first, but more than anything I am happy to feel strong again and to have confidence back in my form. It was a good feeling to know that if there would’ve been another hour of racing left we would’ve been able to fight back to the front again.

Accepting the award for 1st womens team. Great organizer HB Baraka in the right of the image.

Overall, the trip was a great experience. Traveling through Casablanca and the Moroccan countryside is not something that I may ever have done if it were not for this race (link to race fb page). It was also a great experience to race with such a strong female partner. It gets a little tiresome racing mix sometimes because the assumption is usually that the man drags the woman around the course. Not only is Eva stronger and faster than most men out there, she is a great racer with a calm and strategic focus. I am of course looking forward to my next race with Johan, but I would love to race with Eva and other women again.

Hugging a very happy Johan at the finish line.