I've been reading a lot about educational philosophy lately. There's a lot of magic tied to passion that produces results that the usual tests (such as IQ) can't explain. How might harnessing your love of the woods lead to results beyond what your training stats might explain? Results that happen almost in spite of your training? I'm sure we all wish for this, but the stuff i've been reading lately, and listening to our 5th grader stress about grades in her advanced academics school, has me enthusiastic about unschooling. Perhaps it's time to look into untraining, too!
That's fascinating stuff, Tori.
I had to do the same soul-searching you're going through, Alex. It's not an easy decision, whatever way you go. I know how frustrating it is to give it all you can and not get the results you'd like. For me, I was able to get to a point where I was sure that I had maximized my potential (or got very close), and I eventually was okay with how I did. I never was the athlete you are, though, so it may be even harder for you.
Good luck with whatever you decide, and know that there will be a whole bunch of us supporting you and your decision.
Thanks for the support, Peggy. I guess this is a point every athlete gets to, somewhere along the line, and maybe the choice is to always keep going, at some level. I certainly admire those athletes who keep finding the desire, year after year, to keep doing the hard work. And respect, just as much, those that choose some other use of their time.
Tori, I think you're right about channeling the enthusiasm. I haven't quite figured out how to do that in orienteering. Probably not something that you can work at, so much as try and find the right mindset and let it flow.
You sucked back in 2008, which is normal. You worked to improve and proved you certainly do not suck.
It is hard to shine against people running 10% faster than you. Navigation can only take you so far. Sweden will be good and rough and slow the others down. If you do enough running in snow this winter, the summer may feel easy. Or not easy, but if you know you are tougher than your competitors, that gives you an edge.
The mental aspect, as noted above, is important. Cutting back on some running and orienteering sessions seems possible. If you don't fill in this extra time in your week with other activity (any chance are you capable?), you can relax more and bounce into your important orienteering sessions with a fresher mind.
The orienteering itself only provides limited benefit. The post-training processing, mental re-running visualisation and analysis, is more important. Cutting out distractions to do this (more and better) will lead to real benefit. Moreover, you can use this processing time as meditation-time, driving out sources of stress and helping you deal with real life.
Best wishes whatever way you find balance. There are many routes to happiness.
Too early to discuss, but have you thought about coaching after you're done racing? Because I bet you'd make a pretty great coach.
She already is a pretty great coach (for skiing)
The overall training numbers are pretty big
looking at the graph of your annual training the thing that strikes me most is the very small amount of quality that is logged - i.e. zone 4, zone 5 effort; 1% maybe 2% of total.
When I hit my peak in orienteering my target was 20% across zones 4 and 5
In winter that was 2 hours out of 10
( I hit 19% last year with my new lease of life in cycling)
I think you have the opportunity to drop the quantity and increase the quality.
More 4 and 5
Kitch, I agree with that. Except the zone 2. zone 2 is junk.
I think I need to get my zones tested again. Because hitting zone 4 is nigh impossible. So it's possible that my HR has just been dropping, a bit each year, and I'm not staying on top of it. And, the way my zones are set, I will almost never hit zone 5 measured by HR alone (maybe some finishing sprints in hot weather). I suppose I could adjust stuff so that it follows a formula instead of blood lactate levels, but that seems like a step backwards, not forwards.
Dropping the quantity is easier said than done. I'm not going to give up cycling to work, even though it's pure junk miles. I need it for the mental relief at the end of the day, to clear my head and reflect on the state of my being. and also, sitting in traffic for a commute sounds like a really shitty way to be spending my life. But there's an extra 100 hours of zone 1 that I don't need.
I'm not going to give up coaching. It's pretty much the only thing that really makes me happy that isn't purely selfish. But our club coaches in a manner where the coaches are out in the field with the kids, leading by example, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Much of skiing is done in zone 1, to build the muscular endurance and neuromuscular patterns that you need to perform it well. The time where we stand on the sidelines and watch is when the kids are doing intensity. You can see the problem there. But again, another 120 hours, mostly in zone I.
I HAVE decided that one thing I can control is the intensity at which I orienteer. But, usually that ends up in an easy zone, because i'm just fucking lost. That's the part I'm trying to improve :)
Perhaps a measure of improvement in orienteering traing and racing is to be able to navigate consistently in a higher zone - ultimately up in 4, thats where the best guys are racing.
In my book 1 is recovery - minimal effort. 2 is muscular endurance. 3 is junk. 4 is Threshold to VO2max. 5 is anaerobic. - So that explains the different understanding on 2 (same view really) -. Its nice to have a 1 - where you can just meander along
Sounds like a new Lactate profile would be worth doing.