Oscar Claesson

Meet Oscar Claesson, one of the best trail runner in the Nordics!

Hello, Oscar Claesson here, today 28 years old and raised in Taberg outside Jönköping.

As a child, I tried various ball sports, but it was during middle school that I found my way to cross-country skis. This path led me to the ski high school in Gnosjö, where I still live. Cross-country skiing provided me with a very good and versatile training background. I’ve always enjoyed skiing, but my best results came during dry ground when I had running shoes on. Like many others, running has involved some training breaks due to injuries. Two years ago, during one of these breaks, I decided to try trail running. During that summer, I progressed from the golden trail seeding race Åre fjällmaraton (Salomon 27k) to the Nordic final in Finland and then to the international final in Madeira. It was a fantastic and amazing experience that I am incredibly grateful for, and it has led me to the pursuit what I’m engaged in today: breaking into the world elite in trail running.

My current training consists mainly of running, but I also include elements of cross-country skiing and cycling. However, the foundation for the results I achieve today is largely attributed to my time at the ski high school in Gnosjö and my upbringing with six younger brothers. When we were younger, there was a lot of spontaneous movement at home, constantly coming up with new challenges or games. Today, everyone is involved in running and sports, albeit at different levels. Edvin (27) is fully committed to his printing business, Brodertryck. Despite minimal training, he managed to secure the sprint prize in Mångsbodarna during Ultravasan. As for how the remaining 70 km went, I’ll leave that untold… Benjamin (23) and Gabriel (20) are like me, focusing on running with national team assignments in terrain and road for 2023. So, I have good sparring partners in training sessions down in the forests of Småland.

In 2023, I had the opportunity to compete in the international golden trail series. Just visiting these places was something I had only dreamed of before. One favorite was Chamonix and Marathon Mont Blanc, but even the final in Italian Liguria was a memorable experience. We also went as a Nordic team, which was incredibly fun and enjoyable. It was especially significant that we took first place in the national team competition! I had several stable races during the year but felt like I was missing that little extra to be completely satisfied with the international results. Running in the long, sustained ascents, which are often encountered here, is somewhat different. It’s something I’ll be working on developing for this season, which kicks off at the end of April.

Although it was incredibly exciting and educational to compete outside the Nordic region, I still have my two absolute favorites in the Nordics: Årefjällmaraton week and Fyri Trail. They not only offer beautiful scenery and challenges but also an absolutely fantastic atmosphere around the races. So, I strongly recommend these, and I will be running both of them again this year.

But before these and other races start, I’ll be doing several weeks/months of training. During the winter, I try to vary between indoor and outdoor training. The treadmill has become a tool for incorporating intervals and harder sessions when conditions are not optimal outdoors. Here, I do about four sessions a week, consisting of everything from 3-10 minute intervals with varying incline and speed. In addition to these, I incorporate as much outdoor training as I can manage.

A week might look like this:

Monday: Intervals morning/evening
Tuesday: Distance 25km
Wednesday: Intervals morning/evening
Thursday: Distance 25km
Friday: Speed play 15km
Saturday: Long run 40km
Sunday: Easy distance/Rest

I try to include strength and flexibility training in connection with indoor sessions. In case of injuries, I switch out running for cycling, cross-country skiing, or skierg depending on snow availability.
In winter training, I recommend training more diversely and trying out new things.

1: If there’s a good gym nearby, I recommend checking if they offer group training. For example, spinning or HIT training sessions are often very good—social yet high-intensity workouts.

2: The treadmill may seem boring, but it’s an excellent way to maintain your running technique during winter and, not least, get good interval training.

3: Review your equipment; in winter, the surface is often poor, and I strongly recommend investing in a pair of shoes with metal studs as the Salomon Spikecross 6

For 2024, I have been given the opportunity to run as a “prospect” for the Salomon International Trail Team. This will give me the opportunity to run several international races and hopefully take the next step in my development towards the world elite. Here is how my competition season looks from spring to summer:

April – Kobe trail Japan
April – Four sisters mountain trail-China
Maj – European Championship in trail running
June – Montblanc Marathon

Now, I just want the season to start and look forward to the races I’ll be running and meeting old and hopefully many new trail runners. I wish everyone a good winter training, and I hope to see you all at Fýri Trail 21 September 2024.