Training to climb Kebnekaise: How Derivco Sweden prepares for the climb

Derivco Sweden are taking training for their Kebnekaise climb in September seriously. They realise it’s going to be a tough physical experience, so they want to make sure they train their bodies and minds as much as possible. So, how is their training going? Let’s find out!

This Spring, the team trained a few times at Humlegården, a beautiful park in the middle of central Stockholm, where they did some cardio and strength training to better their physiques for the September climb. These training sessions have also been a way for them to become closer and stronger as a team. This last Monday, they had their final training session at Hammarbybacken, a 93.5-metre-high hill in the southern parts of Stockholm where people go skiing during winter months. The rest of the year Hammarbybacken is open for downhill cycling and other activities.

“I have participated in all the trainings for our climb to Kebnekaise and it has been a great opportunity to get to know each other better outside the office,” said Martina Bergkvist, Office Coordinator. “The training we had this Monday was extra special because it took place at Hammarbybacken. Even though I’ve lived in Stockholm since November 2007, I have never been up there and it was totally worth it! We did some fun exercises that you can do together with a friend, your children or partner at any time. Personally, I feel that group training spurs me on a little more than when I train on my own. You cheer each other on which gives me more energy,” she said.

The team did some high-intensity interval training with brief recovery periods and they started with a couple of warm up exercises such as push-ups, squats and lunges. After that, their trainer, Malin from Team Nordic Trail (the company organising the climb) had them running up the hill and back down. They repeated this exercise quite a few times – running up and down the hill – before they finally reached the top of Hammarbybacken. “It was brutal!” said Alexander Sund, QA Manager & Team Lead. “But at the same time, it was fun and stimulating. I’m glad that so many of us joined this session,” he said.

Once they reached the summit of Hammarbybacken, they were barely able to catch their breaths and admire the beautiful view of Stockholm before Malin had them working in teams of two to do some more strength and endurance training. They continuously changed teams in between the exercises and it was a good full-body workout as well as a great way to interact with people from other teams.

When they were more than half way through the training, they thought the toughest part was behind them. They had been running uphill doing one exercise after another – it was fun and intense! And then, they were told to run downhill on a steep descent. “We were told to run downhill and return back up to Malin everytime she blew her whistle. And so we did. Multiple times. Until Malin finally told us all to just run downhill and meet each other at the bottom of Hammarbybacken. We were relieved when we finally heard this instruction,” said Emily Mankio.

Now the Swedish team are one step closer to their goal: to climb Kebnekaise. “Our joint challenge is a reality and is soon upon us. With just a few months away – the excitement in many eyes is starting to build and some worrying questions arise. Should I take the easier and longer route, or the shorter but more challenging one? Will I make it? Will I slow down the group? But as the clever Michael Jordan once commented on the phrase; ‘There is no I in Team’ – there’s not, but there’s an I in win!’. So instead of ignoring the I in team, we should embrace the I, and push it forward and towards each other to come together as a team. We as a team will win. So we did after this last practice before our attempt to climb Kebnekaise. We worked as a team to conquered and won over Hammarybacken,” said Marcus Adolfsson, General Manager. “I now feel confident that we can use this momentum and feeling, for further success in our day-to-day work. We as a team in Sweden, with our colleagues in Ipswich can come together as one team, to continue building a world class sportsbook platform,” he said.