I took the Payak 2017 more seriously than the Payak 2016. Ate more and better, hydrated more, got better skis (right after Payak 2016, I bought my first pair of classic skis in 20 years, lighter, shorter "skin" skis) and had the skis hot waxed at Sigge's. I also paid more attention to my technique; shorter strides on the up hill, better double poling on the flats.
It paid off in 2017. My time in 2017 was 1:25 instead of 1:49.
But maybe it wasn't me?
- The snow was better, more of it!
- It was actually -2 to +2 instead of +10 so the snow wasn't lumpy molasses.
- The classic track was fantastically groomed; my top speed was 47km/h instead of last year's 40km/h. The skate lane was great too from what I could tell.
- The only danger zone was porter's glide; it was a sharp right turn at top speed; I figured that was my 47km/h. Last Monday during training, I didn't tuck and was going half the speed; today I got into my downhill tuck for over 500 metres I figure and didn't realize my speed and that the turn would be so treacherous.
- Things I did right: drinking water before the race (should have drank 0.5 liter more), eating before the race (didn't eat too little or too much), right clothing (no hat, short sleeve thermal underneath a long sleep zip neck thermal; I would say at least 50% of all the 15km racers were wearing too many layers and carrying too much weight.
- Things I didn't do right: well as usual I didn't train enough; I don't have enough upper body i.e. arm strength and I really should polish my uphill technique and improve my uphill stamina.
- Next year: 15km on skate skis!