OCR World Champion Pia on finding her most enjoyable form of training
Can you tell us about who you are, what you do and what's important in your life?
Pia Kind, 47 years old, 158 cm tall, weight 67 kg. I grew up in the countryside close to the forest. Movement was a natural part of my childhood - we biked and walked wherever we went.
I work as a specialist nurse specializing in geriatrics. Aging has always fascinated me - how differently we deal with life, challenges and losses. I have met many people at the end of life who have taught me to try to live to the fullest, realize dreams and dare to change.
Feeling energetic, curious and functional is important in life to me.
Can you tell us about how your background in training has shaped your life?
I was an energetic child and loved movement, which my parents, luckily, saw as something positive. I became a circus artist at the age of 4, at the Norsholm Youth Circus. I loved the smell in the circus tent, the audience and all the nice costumes. There were many performances and some craziness, such as when we did cartwheels from Linköping to Söderköping (48 kilometres) and ended up in the Guinness Book of Records. The training was tough and versatile; 5-6 sessions a week in addition to performances. I believe that my versatility was built up during these years when all the body's functions were challenged, for which I am extremely grateful. After ten years, the interest in horses took over, field racing was my favorite sport. I loved the speed, the beautiful courses and feeling the power of the horse.
I have always been interested in "a lot" in life. I played football for many years, probably for the team spirit, boxing - is super fun, explosive and an outlet for frustration, running and cycling provide freedom and time for reflection, yoga helps me to feel rooted, to appreciate and to pause.
How come you train the things you do, thinking about OCR, running and strength?
I've never been a star in the individual sports even though I trained a lot. Not until I came across OCR and realized that this is the hardest and most enjoyable thing I have ever tried - and I am good at it. I love the combination of tough trail running and obstacles, that challenge different functions such as flexibility, courage, strength and balance. The training is versatile. Running is a big part, usually- I train one threshold session, two interval sessions, obstacle sessions with running and one long run per week. Even so, I don't run many miles per week. Running is something I can still develop in, although right now it's a lot about maintaining speed and remaining injury-free.
What is most fun about OCR?
Obstacle training is the most fun, practicing different techniques, practicing speed through the obstacle or different combinations.
Flying over walls or swinging through difficult grips with a feeling of being unbeatable - that's real magic.
To strengthen ligaments and reduce injuries (eg shoulders are vulnerable), strength training is important, but in small volume about 2 sessions /week, as my body easily builds muscles. Obstacle training where I combine obstacles and running (200m-1 km) I train one session/week. To become flexible and train the grip, climbing is effective and I usually get 2 sessions / month. Then I hang from various things, stairs, signs, trees and lampposts every day, spontaneous movement is not to be underestimated ☺. Another decisive factor is the culture in the OCR sport, there is a helpful and compassionate atmosphere even though many are aspiring athletes & the competition is tough,- I think that's so nice.
What did training mean to you earlier in life and what does it mean today?
A large part of the motivation for the training was to keep up with my children in their activities and to be an active mother. I didn’t want to stand and watch - I wanted to be able to participate in play and games. Now it's about being mentally stable and resilient to the stresses of life. I want to be able to do things and not feel limited. Right now, flickflack and frivolous still works for me - that’s fun.
What is health for you?
Health is not feeling limited, having the energy to enjoy life and experience. I think the balance between sleep, diet and exercise is an important factor.
How do you think your training will develop in the future, what and how you want to train and live for a sustainable life?
I know that aging is not favorable when it comes to explosiveness so I have some focus on that. I will continue to train and compete as long as the body wants. Training will always be there as long as I live. I find it exciting with nutrition and have been lucky enough to grow up with homeproduced carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, lettuce, meat, etc. Now I eat mostly game. I eat from all energy sources and abstain from diets. I love food. I will work hard for an active lifestyle for the rest of my life.
Do you have any special training goals?
The European Championships in Hungary and the World Championships in Belgium are two important goals, but the most important thing is to stay injury-free on the journey there.I broke my arm a year ago when I fell off my bike and have lost some grip strength, so right now it's extra fun with progress in obstacles where that particular function is challenged.
What is your advice to other women about strength training?
To dare to train hard and heavy, take place and do what feels good. Try new forms of training, it gives a greater perspective and opportunities.
How do you combine strength and cardio training?
One part is about combining high pulse through running, rowing or SkiErg with functional strength to withstand pulse in eg obstacles. The other part is to run separate running sessions and strength to increase stability and durability. A good setup is running in the morning and train strength in the evening. The challenge is to achieve sustainable recovery. I sometimes train early in the morning and then late in the evening the next day to give my body many hours of rest.
What is a Powerwoman for you?
A person who chooses and goes her own way. Dare to give 110%, fail and continue to fight towards her goals. A woman who never stops challenging herself.
Which garments do you like best?
I love my leggings,the Leo leggings fits perfectly, stays in place. they look great. I've had mine for three years and they are like new.
When I compete, I have benefited from the "anti-slip" technology found in the Power Woman shorts, whether I swim, or slide over walls, the pants stay in place, I do not have to think about correcting the pants and can focus on the race.
My other favorite is the running jacket, which is breathable, you can barely feel it on the body, provides good protection and a sense of luxury. The clothes give a boost that makes you extra excited to train. The garments also provide a wonderful community at training and races between us PW.
You can follow Pia on Instagram @bekind76