...a taste of a great race always makes us hunger for more!
I wish I could put my finger on how to take mistakes from 10-15 minute errors down to a minute or two. Some of it is experience, certainly, but some people just reach that point faster than others, so there's more to it than that.
My husband had a "one hunch" rule he used with the West Point team a lot - you get to follow one hunch that "maybe it's over here," and then you force yourself to bail to the nearest known point and fix yourself. (Wish I'd done that on the long a bit sooner this weekend). That probably helps get errors down to ~5 mins.
Less than that probably requires a very good sense of being in touch with the map (or relocating quickly) and adjusting on the fly. For me, this works best when I have taken the time to have a very good picture of where I'm going. Beyond that, I think it can be terrain and course dependent. Perhaps visualizing more? Practicing fine navigation skills? Keeping track of distance so you don't overshoot or stop too soon? Keeping an eye on your compass to not get off too far left or right? Force yourself to have a good attackpoint every time? Maybe a bit of all of these, as well as knowing that you can execute the route you've chosen accurately, even if it may not be the "fastest" route compared to what everyone else is doing.
Hang in there, it'll come!
Thanks, all of that is really helpful!
.....>of all of these...<..
...execute the route you've chosen accurately....
Cardinal rules of O' imho.
Bam! You speak truth!
Again kicking myself for nearly 15 minutes of stupidity in the poison oak at the US Champs Long...so close to another awesome race, but yet so far! And why I love this sport.