THE TRIATHLETES | LINDA CHRISTINE HELGERUD & ANDERS PALMBERG
Now we are going to Konnerud in Drammen, close to the field, where Linda Christine Helgerud (42) and Anders Palmberg (53) live. They have been together for around 17 years and live here with their 2 children, aged 19 and 22, and their Brazilian terrier Zico.
Helgerud and Palmberg can be defined as a more than average fit couple. Linda has previously been an active handball player and has age group NM gold in both triathlon and aquathlon, while Anders has a background as a bandy player and has become Norwegian champion both as a player and coach.
With many opportunities for skiing, running and cycling where they live, they lay the foundations for their great passion: Triathlon. Many have obviously heard of the sport itself, which originated way back in the 1920s, but it is a sport that many do not dare to try out. It requires dedication and physical capacity. You might think that this form of competition is not for everyone, but if you have the will, the time and the passion to test it out, just go for it.
The sport has naturally flourished for over 100 years and has grown in popularity to become a major international sport. During training and competition, you can push your limits, test your endurance and challenge yourself to the limit physically and mentally. It is also fun to know that more Norwegians are wreaking havoc at the top of the world.
We took 10 quick shots with Linda and Anders below:
1. Each story has a beginning: When and why did you choose to start triathlon?
- We tested triathlon for the first time in 2015, Kon-Tri in Larvik, sprint distance, a very nice experience in a very pleasant environment. This was during a period where, since 2012, we had done a lot of strength training, partly started running a bit, tested some uphill and cross-country runs, mostly to test a bit what we enjoyed. At the same time, both enjoyed new challenges – thrive a little outside their comfort zone.
2. What is a typical training week like for you and how do you distribute the kilometers in the water, on the bike and in the running shoes?
- This has probably varied a lot in recent years, until the last two or three seasons we only trained what we were most comfortable with, have focused a lot on quantity, thrive on long trips both on skis, bikes and runs.
- Before this year's season, there has been a lot of focus on improving running form, so since November last year there have been 5 running sessions, 2-3 cycling sessions and 2-3 swimming sessions per week.
One of the running sessions as an interval, the rest calmly with varying duration, the same mix on the bike, while swimming is mostly about staying afloat a few days a week...
3. That's a lot of training in one week! Since triathlon has three branches in one and the same competition. What part of a triathlon are you best at and where do you feel it can be improved the most?
- This probably varies a little with the day's form, and changes a little from competition to competition, both have probably thrived best on the bike, and performed clearly best there, and both probably have the most to gain from the running.
4. How important is equipment to you and do you use different equipment in training/competition?
- Ha-ha.. All you need to do a triathlon is a bike, swimming shorts and a pair of trainers... and that's absolutely true, at the same time we've been lucky and had some contacts, built up a network and got some opportunities in this sport.
- After riding Kon-Tri on a mountain bike the first time, we bought our first used road bike the following year. In 2018, we met Marius at Argon 18 by chance and became part of the team that uses this brand in Norway, since then we have been riding on Argon18, super nice team and the world's best service.
- So this really just "balled" on with possibilities for shoes, clothes, nutrition, glasses etc. After testing a bit recently, it will be Tempohjelm with Specula's Olimpico Aurora at this year's competitions, a pair of glasses that fit perfectly under KASK's speed helmet, glasses instead of a visor give a little more air on hot days too.
5. Preparation is also an important key to success. What do you think is the most demanding; prepare mentally or physically for competition?
- It has to be balanced, the fact that we are both doing the same thing removes all the mental stress of leaving someone at home, while you yourself have to do something that you like best.
We enjoy the physical preparations together, while towards a competition we may change a little in different directions mentally. Anders blocks out most things, doesn't spend any energy on things you can't do anything about, while Linda can think a little more about a lot.
- During the actual competition, Linda is rock hard, while Anders has to dig deeper to torment himself more, especially at speed. We both cope well with length. The most important thing is to be able to start "in good shape, with high energy".
6. What is the plan for getting nutrition during competition and how do you prevent injuries?
- About 200 kcl per hour and 60-90g carbs, eat/drink every 15-20 minutes, do this during long training sessions as well, so that the body and stomach are used to the load as well. This year we are using Tailwind Nutrition's products, they are made so that you can cover your entire need via drink.
- I believe that the right nutritional intake is also important to prevent injuries, the same with 7-8 hours of sleep, an ice bath and a sauna a couple of times a week all year round. At the same time, we prevent at Åssiden Chiropractic Centre, try to adjust a bit before an injury occurs, those guys are good.
- In 2021 when Linda drove the Norseman, and in 2023 Anders will drive the Norseman, we have chosen to keep it 99.9% alcohol-free as well, instead of "a little" now and then, we have just as easily let the body release that strain, so just enjoy to an outdoor party in August.
7. You plan well! What has been your biggest challenge so far?
- Linda did Norseman in 2021, Anders will this year. In addition to that, we have completed the SwimRun to the End of the World 4 times, it is island hopping with a 52 km run and 9 km swim from Tønsberg to the End of the World, an absolutely magical but quite tough challenge.
8. What advice would you give to those who want to start triathlon?
- Find a local/low-threshold competition such as HOVE Tri, TønsbergDysten or Østfold Tri, join a club, experience the community and enjoy the experience.
Triathlon is actually for everyone, regardless of shape, train a little to feel comfortable in the water, it's what most people are afraid of, but at the same time it takes by far the shortest time of the total.
9. Great advice and tips! When you're not training or competing, what do you like to do most?
- Big city weekend, especially Berlin. Food, drink, culture, spa and then they have a fantastic Christmas market. Find a good place, just sit and look at all the different people, eat Curry Würst and drink glühwein, then we enjoy ourselves.
- Road trip through Europe, especially France, preferably with the bikes in the back of the car, sitting for hours with a podcast or audiobook without hardly exchanging a word, without it feeling strange, it is said that it is a sign of a good relationship.
10. How long do you want to do the sport and what is your biggest goal?
- Good question, we'll take it as it comes. We have talked a bit about the Age-Group WC full distance during the next 6-7 years, should both manage to qualify equally. Linda qualified in 2021, but declined, at the same time we are a little unsure whether the competition is tempting, especially since it has become so extremely expensive too.
Thanks for the talk!
Follow Linda and Anders here: