A "Cycling Holiday" in Italy

Training and racing in Little Tuscany

Few things compare with relaxing days next to Lake Garda, when the sun is shining and the crisp and clear spring air heightens the senses for the gorgeous natural surroundings. Sirmione, with its interesting history, is a real pearl for tourists and ought to be experienced by bike.

I'm living at the Hotel Pace in the castle at Sirmione, and I'm enjoying quiet and relaxing days on my own. Yesterday, I did a long distance ride together with a tour guide, Massimo, from here.  It really is an impressively beautiful area. I can well understand why the region is called "Little Tuscany" with its narrow roads - both gravel and asphalt - with very little traffic and winding in a criss-cross pattern across the hills.

Great day's racing

Last weekend, with Team Merida I took part in the Maremma Cup at Massa Maritime in the south of Tuscany. It was a great start to the season, with a good feeling in my legs and excellent technical practice, as the conditions were quite slippery and muddy. I ended up number four, right behind the current world champion Maja [Wloszczowska].

On Sunday evening, I rode together with our mechanic, Marco, up here to where I am at present. I'll receive assistance from the Italian Merida team this coming weekend. The race for us women takes place on Saturday evening, and I expect a good international turnout on that weekend, too.

The race course is in the park at the centre of the town in Sirmione and is very technical. It's good training, both for speed and explosive strength, as there must be 1000 twists and turns per lap and countless short and steep climbs that demand explosive strength to ascend. It's going to be exciting, and I'm looking forward to it.

Less illness with Oil4life

At home the sickness continues. Today, little Bjørnar had to be fetched home early from the nursery, as he had a loose stomach and was vomiting. Kenneth has got some busy days on his hands before the weekend, but the two fellows are managing just fine together, so I'm not worried.

Myself, I haven't been ill since the beginning of January, and part of the reason is probably the Oil4Life that I'm taking. I'm conducting blood tests every third month to check for immunity against illness, and on my last test, taken in the beginning of February, I scored 100 percent.
If you're interested, you can check my results at www.oil4life.net. First choose your language, then insert my code on the home page, g6p3w8, and you'll see my latest results. Otherwise, when one sends in these blood samples, they are of course registered anonymously.

My score is 100 percent, and you simply can't get better than that. This is a huge improvement for my body, both regarding performance and training. I can to keep going for more hours, have a more complete recovery with optimal acid balance and am less prone to sickness. I attribute this to my intake of Oil4Life, in addition to following the advice from the Oil4Life test on nutrition.

I don't play much football any longer, but I expect to start the activity again in a few years when Bjørnar starts football training with Ulf Sandnes. Even so, I would like to share with you what the football team Lillestrøm (LSK) has achieved through their cooperation with Oil4Life at Itogha. Maybe this is something our own dear team Viking should take a closer look at, as their previous season was beleaguered by sickness and injuries?

In October of 2009, the Lillestrøm Sports Club started a programme for preventive health in cooperation with Itogha AS. The goal was to gain control of both the quantity and quality of food the players were eating for energy production and maintenance, and for production of materials to build and maintain the body physically and psychologically.

The programme started with a test of all the players, an Oil4Life test that Itogha developed together with the St. Olav University Hospital and the University of Milan. They also conduct the measurements.

Through 2009-2010 they implemented obligatory use of Oil4Life and regular testing for all the players. In the period from November to April, their absence due to sickness fell by 85 percent, while their absence due to injuries was reduced by 57 percent. This has, in total, given the team 42 more days of training together per month. The team's protection against development of a lifestyle diseases rose from 26 percent to 74 percent during the same period. The test results guide a person as to what he or she should eat more or of.

Cyclist's greetings from Gunn-Rita,
Multivan Merida Biking Team

[Translation: Crispen T.P de Lange]

PS: My racing season plan has been posted on www.gunnrita.com.

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