Staying Motivated - Norseman

Staying Motivated

These days when a lot of competitions have been postponed or canceled, I think it’s really important to remind yourself, “Why did I begin with this?”

Published: 11.May.2020

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Lars Christian Drivdal Vold is the reigning course record holder of Norseman. In 2017 he had a truly epic race and raced into first place at the top of Mount Gaustatoppen, smashing the course record with a crazy fast time of 9 hours 52 minutes and 3 seconds. Now retired from triathlon, Lars is a family man with two children and a full-time clinical psychologist, working for the Norwegian Child Welfare System.

This episode is an insightful and entertaining guide to staying motivated, consistently performing at your best in training and racing, and finding and keeping the joy in your chosen sport(s).


In this short episode you’ll learn four key things:

  • What it takes to break the Norseman course record
  • Key strategies Lars used during his years of racing to consistently perform at his best – no matter what
  • How to master your motivation
  • The best exercise for mindfulness and positively changing your thoughts


Adelaide:

It gives me great pleasure to welcome Lars Christian Vold to Norseman Radio. Welcome Lars! How are you today?

Lars: Thank you Adelaide. I’m good and really excited to be here. I’ve been a bit nervous about this because this is all in English and I’m more used to speaking Norwegian the last couple of years. I’ve only spoken English with my wife, so our kids don’t understand what we’re saying!

Adelaide: That’s excellent to hear you’re all safe and well, and your English is really great, so don’t worry.

Could you tell our listeners, who you are and what it is you do in the world today?

Lars: Well, today I’m a clinical psychologist and I work for the Norwegian Child Welfare System by supervising institutions where youths live. That’s my main work today. I also have two kids which take up all my time other than work.

I try to do some training every evening, but I’m normally so exhausted. It’s quite different from who I was some years ago, like two years ago when I was almost a full-time triathlete or I worked full-time, but I also did as much full-time triathlon training as I could.

Now I can’t say I’m a triathlete anymore, but I have a long history from triathlon.

Adelaide: Yes, you definitely do. One of the things you left out was that you have competed in Norseman and you still hold, from 2017, the course record?

Lars: I do, yeah. I’m really happy. Now it feels really good to think about that, because I don’t feel so fit anymore. I really like to think that I still have the record. I wouldn’t be able to be even close to that record now. I’m happy it still stands. It’s such a long time ago. A few years ago, I talked about triathlon all the time. Now, I almost never talk about it. I talk about work, I talk about my kids. Yeah, it’s good to find those thoughts again.

Adelaide: Well, we’re going to be diving back into those thoughts and also just so our listeners know, say splitting it between triathlon and how your lessons in triathlon have helped you in family and at work, and vice versa, which I’m really excited about!

Your course record was 9 hours, 52 minutes, which is crazy fast.

Lars: Yeah, I was really happy about that!

Adelaide: I can imagine.

Lars: That was one of the best moments of my life, that moment when I just crossed the finish line and I won, and took the record. That was amazing.

Adelaide: Did you know when you were racing in 2017 that you were going to take the record? Was that a goal of yours?

Lars: Yeah, it actually was. I knew I was fit for it. I knew I was prepared for it and that I could do it if the weather conditions were right. I knew it was possible. But in a race like that, it’s not only about being fit and prepared, it’s also about luck.

I’ve participated so many times in Norseman and you need everything to go your way. The technical parts, nutrition, maybe it just isn’t the day. I mean, you can try to control that, but we can’t control it fully.

I knew it was possible, but obviously, I didn’t know I was going to do it, I could do it. But yeah, so I was obviously very, very, very happy when I crossed that finish line. And I mean, almost everything went as planned that day. That was the best race day of my life.

Adelaide: Incredible. You just spoke about luck being a factor when it comes to having the best race of your life and when we spoke earlier, I asked you what you’d like to talk about on Norseman Radio and one thing you mentioned was the three ingredients to success, which you’ve just touched upon, which is talent, training and luck. Could you tell us more this? Is it a theory of yours? How did you come up with these three ingredients?

Lars: I mean that’s like after an education in psychological science, I know that everything is normal distribution.

I know everything will be on this normal distribution, when most of what you do will be average, something will be a little bit better, something will be worse.

And you can train and prepare as much as you want, but in the end, you’re always depending on luck, and that’s a fact in sports, it is a fact in everything else in life, that’s why we have statistics. I mean, that’s just how the world works.

You can never be prepared so much that you know… If you could, it wouldn’t be interesting to watch sports because then you would know the results beforehand.

Obviously, some people do it better and more often and that’s probably because they have better training and talent is always also an important factor here.

But sometimes even the best people don’t do well and that’s very often luck, and sometimes it’s bad preparation, or it can be a lot of other stuff as well, but you can’t control everything.

That’s just something you have to accept and that’s the way with everything else in life as well. I think some people are great people and really good at what they do, they prepare for everything, but still they go broke and lose everything. I mean you have these stories and that’s how the world is.

The scientific term or the statistical term, I guess is normal distribution, how everything is just distributed, especially in like long races like Norseman. There are so many variables that you can’t control and you can prepare for. I look back on all of my races in Norseman, I guess it’s a bit luck, a bit of good preparation, because I’ve been on the course a lot of times and I really know that course very well, six out of eight times I’m really, really happy about what I did, two times I’m really, really disappointed.

I mean that’s, that’s a good statistic. But all in all, in all my Ironman races and all I’ve done, I think it’s only 50% that I’m really happy, 50% not happy or just medium happy. I mean, it’s so, so long races, it’s so hard to get everything right.

[Note on ‘normal distribution’ from Lars: A better example on normal distribution is from research on good athletes, that after an extraordinary performance the next one will statistically (when you have a lot of data, that’s the clear tendency) be worse, after a bad performance the next one will probably be better.

This is known as a statistical fact and is really important in scientific research. It counts for most of things that happen in life and is called regression to the mean.

Luck/bad luck, incidence or destiny or whatever you want to call it, is the explanation to the variation from the mean (or lack of explanation).

Hard work can move your average performance, but the potential for bad and good deviance from the average will always be there, and will be left to coincidence.

I think that’s important to know as an athlete, because accepting coincidence is important to avoid anxiety and stress about performance.

In general I think there is too much trying to explain things in sports, when the real answer very often is regression to the mean, coincidence, luck or bad luck.]

Adelaide: Dialling back a bit more. In 2017, you smashed the Norseman record, which is incredible and you’ve done it, as you said, eight times. When did you start your journey into triathlon?

Lars: Well, it started after I’d been in the military for one year. I just met this guy, who is now actually married to my wife’s sister, and he challenged me, he said, “Yeah, you know Norseman, that’s the hardest triathlon in the world, you should do it.”

And my wife, who wasn’t my wife at that point, but she still knew that he shouldn’t do that, he shouldn’t challenge me like that, as the year after, I was on the start list. Again, that was luck, only luck that I got to the start!

Then I did my first Norseman and I finished in about 15 hours and 20 minutes, so really far away from the 9 hours and 52 minutes. I thought that was the first and last time.

Thereafter, I didn’t do it, I just trained a little bit. I have always liked training. I was training, but I didn’t think I was going to do a triathlon anymore. And then I don’t know why, but I just signed up again and I got really lucky one more time. I got a place in Norseman and that year I came right from a vacation in Italy where I was a cycling guide in the Italian Alps. And I just caught the plane back to Norway the evening before Norseman would start.

I thought I would just make it, but then the plane was delayed, so I just thought, “Okay, this isn’t going to work.” But my father waited for me at the airport and he drove really, really fast, too fast to say how fast he drove here, and we just made it in time.

We had prepared everything, the race director had let us do it this way. My wife was already in the field and I got on the ferry, I think two minutes before it left. It was just in time.

Again, I mean really lucky. And when I got on the ferry I thought, “Well, I made it, but now the race starts.” I hadn’t really thought further than getting on the ferry. But amazingly, that was also one of the best race days of my life.

That’s the least preparation I’ve done, but for some reason it just worked. I was in the shape of my life or the best shape I’d been in up until that point and I think I finished in 16th and I got the elite spot for the next year.

After then, I was just hooked.

I thought, “Okay, if I can finish number 16 with this preparation, how can I do it if I really prepare for this?”

And next year I finished number fourth, and the year after that I think I was second and then I’ve been on top three every year until I won in 2017.

Adelaide: That’s amazing.

Lars: Yeah, that’s how I started this journey. I think it’s a big coincidence, actually. I’ve never thought about doing triathlon. I just got hooked due to some coincidences and some luck, and I was just there. When I get hooked into something, I get really hooked, a bit too much actually. That’s why my wife has always critiqued the husband of her sister for getting me into this!

Adelaide: That’s hilarious. Were you always into sport or did it just come from this challenge?

Lars: I’ve always been into sport to some degree. I have two little brothers who are really, really into sport and we’ve been competing our whole childhood, we’ve been competing all the time in everything.

And I’ve been the oldest, so I’ve normally been best until a certain point when we were all alike. Now we don’t compete in that way anymore. Now we just help each other, but I got really inspired by them doing sports. I liked the lifestyle. I mean, it’s such an easy lifestyle. You have a goal, you train for it, you have an idea of what to do to train for it, you can measure everything and you can see that you get better.

I mean, in a normal world you can try to get better, but it’s much more complex. Life in general is so much more complex. But sports, when your life is sport, it’s so easy. I was just envious about their lifestyle. I thought, what if I could do something like this?

I didn’t actually think I would do it as much as I ended up doing it, but the ball started rolling and suddenly that was my life, and I really liked that. But I’ve been doing sports my whole life, different kinds of sports, rowing, football, cross country biathlon and cross country skiing, like everyone in Norway. I didn’t like lots of different sports, so I haven’t actually done cycling, running or swimming. How I ended up with that is just a coincidence.

Adelaide: What do you think was the thing that made you get hooked onto triathlon as opposed to the other sports that you’ve tried?

Lars: I think it’s the variation I really liked, because I’ve been doing a lot of sports and I think that being able to do different kinds of sports really fascinated me.

The reason I got hooked onto Norseman in the first place was because it was a really hard triathlon, because I was challenged. That’s it. That’s not the reason I continued doing it, but that’s the reason I started.

The reason I continued doing it is because I liked the variation.

I had been doing rowing when I was younger and that’s so little variation. It’s just back and forth on the same water. You don’t even see it the direction you’re rowing.

But in triathlon you have everything, you have mountains, you can swim in open water, you have the cycling, you have the speed, you have fresh air, you’re most of the time outdoors. You can train in so many ways and I really loved that. I still do, even though I haven’t had time to train for a triathlon now, I still love the variation in training, like do whatever I feel like doing. And when I have cycling, running and swimming, that’s just a lot of sports in one. You have always something you feel like doing.

Adelaide: I think you just described why everyone gets hooked on triathlon! Well, not everyone, but why those who are hooked on triathlon, I think that’s why they get hooked, especially with Norseman, it’s such an adventure as well.

Lars: Yeah, it really is!

Adelaide: For those who are competing in Norseman next year or maybe in an Ironman, or taking on their own unique challenge, what were the key changes that you made in your training that helped you go from 15 hours and 20 minutes in your first Norseman race, to then getting top 10?

Lars: Well, the first year I just trained. I had no plan. I was just training. I bought a bike two months before my first Norseman. I wasn’t prepared at all. I was just training and I thought that training in general would make me good enough and it made me good enough. I mean, my goal was to finish on the top and I did, but from there to get really good, I needed a plan.

My first plan I actually got from my younger brothers. They were on the national team in kayaking and I got their plan and I just changed that to triathlon. That worked quite good. I had a plan, having a plan, you won’t just go out and train hard every time.

The first year, I thought that the harder you train, the more you train, the better you get. That’s not the case. You need a plan. You need to know when to train, how to get the most out of your sessions, when to train easy to get the long distances. You can’t do much training if everything is hard.

You need to plan, to know when to train and easy and long sessions, when to train hard and maybe shorter sessions. When to train competition-specific just before the races to get ready for what you’re actually going to do.

I mean, if I felt like my biggest handicap is that I haven’t got high enough oxygen uptake, then I thought, “Oh well, then I need harder sessions in the winter to develop that, so it won’t be a handicap anymore.”

But still when the race closes in, I need to be specific. I need to plan exactly what I’m going to do. I also got a coach, who has followed me for almost my whole triathlon career. He followed me and he’s still one of my best friends. He is into all the science. I haven’t got time to read everything about sports science, but he has done that. He has guided me in making a plan.

The downside of having a plan, is that you can be a bit too stuck to the plan and it’s easy to forget to listen to your body. You can have a plan, but the plan won’t always correspond to what your body is feeling. I mean, there are so many variables in everyday life. You can’t control everything. At the same time as having a plan, you need to listen to your body. If today it says hard intervals on the plan and the body feels shit, I can’t do hard intervals.

I have had a long development in that, because the first year I was doing triathlon, I had this military mentality, because I just came from one year in the military over to triathlon and I thought it’s like this. It’s all in your head sort of thinking, which is obviously not true. It’s not all in your head. I mean, the head is really important, but it’s not all in your head. The body needs to work. If you just think that you can push through everything, you will get exhausted. I’ve done that a lot of times, sticking to the plan without listening to the body, and now after some years, I think I learned a lot about that. Listening to the body as well as having a plan and changing it to what is right at the moment.

I think that’s maybe a lot of essence in being a good sportsman, combining those two, the plan then the signals the body gives you.

Yes, that’s in general what changed from the first time to the last time I did Norseman or the last time. I was better, I knew my body better and I had a better plan for my training, and went to train different intensities and different disciplines, and different kinds of sessions.

The downside with having a plan and being too strict about it, is that I often forgot why I began this in the first place. When you get too much into it, you have to do everything right. It’s all about getting better at everything that you forget. I did that several times.

I forgot why I began doing this. It’s because I love the experiences. I love being social with all the people, training with other people. I love just being outside and being on adventures. I can’t be on adventures if it says 4 hours and 20 minutes cycling on the program, then you have to stick to that, whatever it takes. I mean, you have to turn around maybe before you wanted to turn around or you can’t go to that exact place in the forest you want to go to, because you have to stay on the time trial bike all the time. I mean, that’s what I mean by not forgetting why I began with this, so that happened a lot of times, that I really forgot.

I think that’s a really important point.

These days when a lot of competitions have been postponed or canceled, I think it’s really important to remind yourself, “Why did I begin with this?” and just do all the things that you would do in the first years you did the sports, because you have to get back to that as well.

Even though if you only do the things you feel like doing all the time, you will get good, but you probably won’t get to your best, but you’ll be really good. No matter how good you get, I think it’s so important to remind yourself, “Why did I begin with this?”

Do the sessions you just love to do, like doing adventures and going into the mountains. Just do it and forget about the training, forget about the heart rate, forget about all that. Just do it because you love it. I think that’s really important these days.

Adelaide: I’m really glad you brought that up, because I’ve been seeing people say that everything’s been canceled and all my training has been a waste of time, and that’s when, as you said, you need to remember, why do I this.

What’s some of the questions you can ask yourself, or things you can do where maybe you’ve forgotten what you did enjoy or why you got into triathlon in the first place?

Lars: Well, I think just that question, why did I start? This is a good question. I also think some days try to forget about getting better. Just get up. Think about, what do I want to do right now? Or often I had dreams of what I would do after the season when I was active.

I thought, “Yeah, after this season, I will go on this trip, I’ll do that. I’ll run around… You have these long runs out. I’ll do…” Yeah, I had so many dreams and I always did some of them, but I didn’t do all of them. For some, maybe that’s a good question to ask oneself, “What have been my dreams when I finished this? When I’m not all into triathlon or whatever sports you’re doing, what’s my dream after I’ve been doing this all these years?” That would be a good question for me if I was still as active, which I often miss having that goal and everything is about reaching a goal.

I think these days the right question for me to ask myself would be, “What have I dreamed about doing when triathlon is not everything anymore?” Going camping in the forest, going swimming over several lakes around where I live. Just do it for fun, and leave your watch at home if you can’t stop looking at your watch while doing it.

My brother actually just asked me the same question, because he’s among the top in the world in kayaking, and now everything is canceled, and he’s so de-motivated. He asked me the same thing and now I think he’s going camping, he’s going outside and doing other stuff than kayaking. If you want to do that, I mean, you don’t have to do exactly the sports you’re doing all the time to get the variation, which we all love as triathletes.

Adelaide: Yeah, I absolutely love that. That’s a great question to ask yourself and the why feeds into motivation! You spoke earlier how you have a combination of inner and outer motivation. How does the why fit into those two things?

Lars: Well, I think the why often has two sides. It’s the one which is often called ‘outer motivation’, which is winning a competition or getting a specific time in a competition, it’s often really specific about what you want to achieve normally in a competition, and it’s also often about the attention you get from other people. I think that’s an important ingredient. We like the attention that gives us, that specific place, that specific goal, that specific time. And a lot of people I think are a bit afraid to admit that, but I mean, everyone likes a bit of attention. That’s the outer motivation, which is a good motivator.

But what I just spoke about, the inner motivation, why we started this, what our dreams about sports, why we love being fit, why we love having strong bodies, being able to do a lot of things, all the things where we couldn’t do if we weren’t fit. If we’d been really sick, all the people that are sick now start dreaming of all the things they would do when they’re not sick. That’s when you start dreaming about what you really want to do. That’s the inner motivation.

It’s easy to separate them when we’re talking about them, but they’re not so easily separated, because when you work to get better at something, it’s often a good reminder to push yourself in the sessions.

That’s not inner motivation when you sit and you’re tired in the evening, you don’t want to get out, you don’t want to do the next session, but you just push yourself out anyways. You get started, you try it. That’s often because you have this outer motivation. People know they have a goal or they just had the goal to do that session. Maybe that’s all they think about, but that’s also more outer motivation. You’ve set that goal, you know what to do to work towards that goal and you do the work, but when you do that work, you also get the inner motivation. You get this feeling of achievement when you get better, the feeling of achievement when you did that session you really didn’t want to do. That’s the really good feeling inside which you have when you’re training, after your training in everyday life you feel like you’re mastering life.

When you put it down to something so specific as training, it’s really easy to master life because it’s so specific. You just have to do that training and you master life. I don’t think they’re so easy to separate, but I think outer motivation like goals, places, you have positions, times, attention. That’s important also to get inner motivation for many people, not everyone, but I think that’s a good way to get inner motivation for many people.

I feel like these days when I’m not working for these goals, it’s so much harder to get out for the sessions, especially in normal workdays. I work, then come home, I’m with the kids and when they go to bed at like 8:00 PM, and I’m so exhausted. I’ve no inner motivation to go out and do the session. The only thing I want to do in the whole world is just sit down or sleep.

I’ve done that a lot of times the last two years. That’s exactly what I’ve done, just sit on the couch, watch some series and do nothing. And therefore, I signed up for a marathon, so just to have something to work for and I also force myself like a rule, I remind myself, “What did I do when I was active? Yeah. I had this plan to work out and I knew when to do the training.” Now at 8:00 PM I go out no matter what.

Adelaide: No, that’s excellent, that’s so good. I think now especially with people’s races being canceled, we don’t know whether even the race is going to happen this year really.

Do you think the number one thing for people to stay motivated to train this year for next year is to re-evaluate inner and outer motivation, and also then to put it into a plan?

Lars: Yeah, that’s a good summary.

Adelaide: Okay, great. That’s really helpful guidance and as the time is ticking on. I really want to pull on your expertise for handling the ups and downs, but especially handling the downs, because the times we’re in are pretty crazy, and people are finding it difficult to maintain optimism and a positive outlook, and all of these things.

What is your best advice is for handling the downs in racing and how has that helped you handle the downs in life?

Lars: The races are the easiest thing, because you can always prepare for the races and you know there will be downs in most races, especially long distance triathlon.

For the races, I’ve used visualisation, visualising the downs in the races during training. Visualise one of your main competitors catching you up and how to take that without ruining your own race, and without telling yourself thoughts that you can just quit. You’re not good. I mean, all those thoughts that I think most people get while racing at some point. And remind yourself that these thoughts are not helping me. They are just making things worse.

Some people like to brag to themselves, “You are so strong.” Just tell yourself all this stuff that makes you feel strong. You’re so strong or maybe thinking about who you want to see you being this strong. For example, my wife, I like that since I spent so much time doing this, I want to show that yeah, I spent a lot of time doing this, but I’m also good at it. That’s like a thought that helped me. But I mean, that’s very individual.

Find the thoughts that help you feel strong when you’re racing. And the way you find that out is doing it when training and visualising. Visualise the hard situations that will come up in races because we know that when you visualise things, the same things are happening in the brain as when you’re actually there.

And the better you are at visualising, the more you do it, the more stronger you’ll work with those connections in the brain. Yes, say swimming, you can actually practice swimming technique by visualising it when you’re not in the water.

There goes a little bit back to what we spoke about before, do what you normally love doing. Think about what you really like doing and just do it, because you really want to do it, or you know that this will give you so much energy and joy, you’re going for that camping, that trip, that long run. Yeah, and being with friends is also actually really good, friends and family, is really good too, but that’s one of the hard things these days. You can’t be with all your friends, so that’s really hard. That’s a bigger question, how to get up from all the downs in general.

Adelaide: It is a big question. I think you touched on it really well with the visualisation, that’s so important. As you mentioned, your brain can’t tell what’s real and what’s imaginary, and then changing your thoughts to be helpful, because sometimes the records that we play in our heads can be very negative. And it’s worse when you’re also in a negative environment or one that we’ve been in today as well with the COVID-19. I think you’ve touched upon the two really key points there.

Lars: With negative thoughts it’s first about knowing that you’re having those thoughts. Because often they can just feel part of you and you can’t see them in perspective and attack them. That’s metacognitive thinking. You have to see the thoughts from outside in order to do anything about them, and that’s a good tool to use in everyday life, if it’s sports or just everyday life.

Adelaide: When we’re talking about getting perspective and recognising these thoughts, do you have a favourite technique that people can apply and do it themselves?

Lars: I think a good way to recognise those thoughts is being mindful, and a good exercise to do that, is sitting down. Just try to feel what you’re going through your body, feeling your legs, your stomach, everything, like every muscle in your body, and just seeing the thoughts that pass through and just accept that they’re passing. Don’t try to judge them. Don’t try to do anything about them. That’s the first step. Just accept that they’re passing and let them pass. Try to let them pass. If you can’t let them pass, that’s also okay. Just remind yourself that the exercise is just about accepting the thoughts are there, and then you realize what kind of thoughts you have.

Often, we don’t have time to do that. The thoughts are just going all day long and they affect our feelings, and we don’t know why we’re feeling what we’re feeling, because we don’t have any idea of what thoughts are connected to those feelings, because we don’t have time to sit down and really try to understand how things work together.

When I tell you about this, I feel like, yeah, this is something I should do more often as well, because I have two kids and there are so many days I just feel stressed, and my wife asks me, “Why do you feel stressed now?” And what is even stress? I mean, that’s so general. And just try to find out what thoughts actually or what situations, what am I actually thinking that is making me feel stressed right now?

Before this interview I was a little bit stressed, but then I was aware that it’s because I’m going to speak English for an hour and I haven’t done that in a long time. To express myself in English and explain everything in English for an hour, I get a little bit stressed. But if I hadn’t been aware of that, I would just have been stressed and I wouldn’t know why. And I think many people can feel that, we would just have a feeling of not knowing why.

It’s a good exercise to take 20 minutes and just to check in with your thoughts, try to understand why you feel like you feel, why do I have those thoughts? Is it something coming up? Is it something I can do anything about?

If it isn’t, that’s maybe a predictive thought. Telling yourself, reminding yourself that this isn’t anything I can do anything about. Sort your thoughts out between what you can do something about and thoughts you can’t do something about, and do something about the thoughts you can do something about, and accept the ones you can’t.

This is some general advice, which I’m not always so good at doing myself, but I think it’s really important for all athletes to be aware of that. I think I should have spent more time being aware of all that when I was an athlete myself.

I often forgot to think about those things and how it would be, which is really important for recovery. Am I stressed about that stress? Am I stressed that I’m not doing the training right, right now? Have I accepted that this is the training I’m confident with doing right now, which is good for my motivation right now? Because you can often have some thoughts that, yeah, I’m doing this training that I love, but in the back of her head you’re thinking, “But this isn’t actually the training I should do to get really, really good. I should actually do something else.”

And then you may feel some stress because of that. Instead of just resolving that conflict and accept that, “Well, I do this training right now because the main goal is to be as motivated and enjoy the sport as much as possible.” And all the times you just have to accept that now I’m doing this because this is the best training I can do for my next race. That’s maybe an important thing to sort out right now. Why am I doing this training and just accept that, well, this is the training that is most right for me to do right now.

Adelaide: I love all of that advice. Before we move on to the lightning round, is there anything else that you’d like to add in the context of which we’ve spoken about today?

Lars: Probably, the time has gone so fast when we started, so I could probably talk about this for days, especially if it was in Norwegian, I could talk for four months as it’s easy to find the words. But yeah, I think we’ve touched some themes that I love talking about. I think it’s been good.

Adelaide: Awesome. I’m so glad to hear that. We’ll now move on to the lightning round. The first question is how would you describe Norseman in one word?

Lars: Social.

Adelaide: Oh, that’s a good one.

Lars: Yeah, that’s the word I think when I look back on it now, that’s the part I miss the most. The social part, the evening before. Yeah, that’s amazing.

Adelaide: I love that. If you could watch three athletes race Norseman, who would they be and why?

Lars: I would love to see Jan Frodeno race Norseman, because he is the best. I would love to see how fast it is possible to do it, he would do it really fast, but would it be too different from what he’s used to? But I’m happy that he hasn’t done it yet, because therefore I still have my record! I

I would love to see my brothers race Norseman, because it would be fun to be their support and see how they would do it. They’re really good at kayaking, so I’d love to see them do that.

And also we have these really good Norwegian triathletes, Casper Stones, Kristian Blummenfelt, Gustav Iden. I mean, all those, I would love to see them race, but still I’m happy they haven’t done it yet because therefore, I still have my record!

Adelaide: Thank you so much for coming on. It’s been an absolute pleasure and thank you for all of your advice, it’s super helpful.

Lars: Thank you. It was really nice talking to you.

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About Adelaide Goodeve

Adelaide is a member of the Norseman media team and a professional mindset coach. Find out more about Adelaide here.

Lars Christian Drivdal Vold

Lars Christian Drivdal Vold is a family man and clinical psychologist working for the Norwegian Child Welfare System. However, if you’re an avid follower of Norseman, you may recognize him, because, in 2017, he raced into first place and smashed the course record with a crazy fast time of 9 hours 52 minutes and 3 seconds. The record still stands today.

If you’d like to connect with Lars, then you’ll find him on

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About Norseman Radio

If you’d like to listen to interesting and intriguing stories around the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon and fully immerse yourself in the experience, then Norseman Radio is for you.

This podcast is not just for those who’d like to jump off the car ferry into Eidfjord and run up Zombie Hill.

You can find Norseman Radio on:

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© Kyle Meyr / nxtri.com
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© Kyle Meyr / nxtri.com
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© José Luis Hourcade / nxtri.com
© Lars-Erik Blenne Lien / nxtri.com
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© Kyle Meyr / nxtri.com

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