Christian Iversen Styve

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Adventurer and polar guide extraordinaire. Christian has been expedition leader for close to 35 expeditions. Has been to the South Pole four times, has crossed Greenland several times and is an avid kiter..

Crister Næss

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Åsnes-branded gear genius and ski-teste, among other things.

Everything you need to get started with tyre training!

Tyre training’s a fantastic form of training. Not only for for longer tours and expeditions, but for skiing and physical fitness in general.

Below, we’ll show you how to proceed, step by step, to make your own set of tyres for training. You’ll have an excellent set-up for training in the off-season.

Equipment for tyre training doesn’t have to be expensive at all. If you already have a harness and enough rope for a tug-o’-war, then you’re already well on your way.

If you don’t have any old tyres lying around, they’re quite easy to get hold of. If you pop into a local tyre dealer or a car wrecker, they often have loads lying around. If you ask nicely, they’ll probably let you take some off their hands.

What you need to get started

Here’s a list of what you need to make a good tyre training kit. It’s not rocket science. You can most of it from the local hardware store. In Norway the usual suspects, Biltema or Clas Ohlson, should have what you need.

Tyres (1–3 normal car tyres should do it)
Pulk harness. Fjellpulken has some nice ones.
2 carabiners.
Rope – 3 meters of 6mm static rope.
Eyebolts (1pc for one tyre, 3pc for two tyres, etc.)
Shackles (2 pcs if you have two tyres)
Chain (30cm should be enough, but you may need more)
Eyebolts, shackels and chain.

The benefits of tyre training

Good mental training
Suitable for all
Ideal for the overweight and those who can’t run
Strength, endurance; increases the muscles’ ability to absorb oxygen
Tyre training can be social – a good way to make new “tur” friends
Fresh air – good for body and soul
Slow-paced – time to take in your surroundings
Don’t give any more money to the fitness centre ever again
Easy to motivate yourself for further training
Documented by research to be effective training
The start of the ski season will be a breeze – hit the ground skiing!

What to do – step by step

First: drill holes in the tyres to mount the eyebolts. Here we used a standard wood bit to drill the holes. Simple, straightforward and not difficult at all.

Then just push the eyebolts into the holes, put the washers in place and fasten the nut. If the washers are too small, find some with a larger diameter.

Link the tyres

If you want to pull two tyres, use a chain to link them – rope wears out pretty quickly. This way you have a tyre set that’ll last for years without the rope rotting away.

Fasten the chain to the two shackles at each end. You may want to use Loctite on the shackles to prevent them from turning.

The rope

Rig the rope using climbing rope, 6mm static rope, or any other good rope you have lying around.

Tie the carabiners to the ends of the rope with a double figure-eight knot, half-knot, or double overhand knot at each end. Make sure the rope’s 2.5 to 3m from the tyre to harness.

It is a good idea to loop the rope at the towing harness (see the picture). This way, the carabiner attached to the harness has some play and you pull, correctly, from the hip.

The only thing to do know is to hit the gravel pulling your tyres!

Professor Per Morten Fredriksen of the Norwegian College of Health has studied the effects of tyre training

Several recent studies, experience from expeditions, feedback from guides and guiding organisations show that training by pulling car tyres has a great effect. Per Morten Fredriksen PhD of the Norwegian College of Health has carried out perhaps the most extensive research into this form of exercise.

The researcher compared running on a treadmill to training with car tyres. They had a test group of students run with a 5% angle at 10 kilometers per hour and compared it with walking 4 kilometers an hour with two car tyres in tow on various surfaces, mostly asphalt. Beyond the aerobic effect (that is, improvement in endurance), subjects strengthened the upper body. This doesn’t occur in comparable exercises such as running or cycling.

Another advantage is that the load is distributed and not concentrated on the legs, especially when walking uphill. It’s good for those who can’t run, perhaps for reasons of injury. While it’s not an especially punishing form of training, in terms of joints and tendons, on a steep downhill you might possibly feel it a bit in the achilles.

You certainly can feel it, however, on your muscles and cardiovascular system. So don’t take it too hard. You can over-do it. But people are different, says Per Morten Fredriksen; you have to know your own limits.

The Tyre-Pullers Code

Take your tyres home. If you can’t, lock them with a bicycle lock. Never just leave car tyres lying around in the woods. If you lock your equipment, others will understand that the tyres haven’t been dumped and they’ll be where you left them when you need them. Don’t leave the tyres so that they spoil the experience of nature for others. Find a tree by a parking space, or similar. It’s a good sign to leave a sign so that people understand why the tyres are there.
If it’s too heavy and you’re going back the way you came, you can unhook a tyre and collect it on the way back. If you do this, leave the tyre somewhere it won’t inconvenience others enjoying nature. No one else can know that you’ll be back to collect the tyre in a minute.
Horses are scared of car tyres. Stand still until the horse passes.
Keep to one side of the way so that cyclists and others can get by. Remember that it’s slow to pull tyres out of the way – so always go to the side.
Don’t drag tyres on ski tracks.

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