Alex put streamers through the woods and you follow the streamers.
some advice excerpted from an email Boris sent
"1km seems about right - you could either do long intervals on it (~5 minutes) or just run shorter ones continually around the loop. I would recommend including a little bit of everything into the loop so that you never have time to get comfortable and are always switching between running techniques. This means a bit of trail, maybe a twisty bit, some nice white forest, some greener stuff, a bit of swamp, and some rockier stuff. Don't include anything that is too nasty or too rocky and unrunnable, since you still want to be able to keep a high heartrate throughout. And every time you do an interval session there, definitely start by jogging a loop to make sure that (a) you remember the general layout, (b) the streamers are still up, and (c) nothing has messed up the loop, like a new fallen tree or something"
You got much faster over the course of the workout. Tells me you are still being a bit tentative through the woods in the beginning. Aim for 4:25-4:30 for all of them next time - you can clearly do it.
Boris, how effective would this exercise be using O-tervals instead of a streamered path? While you might initially have some route variation, I assume that with experimentation, you would settle on the optimal route.
I think 4:53 is an outlier because of no warmup and not remembering the course... I will aim for 4:20-4:30 for my next ones and will include a jog of the course.
Ian, I ran a couple of the Hammond Pond courses enough that I had in effect settled on an optimal route. It was pretty fun, and I only needed the map to refresh my memory about where to go. The distinction that I would make is that o-tervals should be about choosing the best woods to run through and a streamered loop would be about running as best you can along the chosen route. Both way better than just running on a trail in terms of specificity.
Orienteering intervals. Boris set a training exercise at Harriman which consisted of a set of orienteering intervals - short courses with 4 controls with a total length of about 600 m. A group of 4 would start at fifteen second intervals; the objective of the exercise was to practice being in the lead - navigating while under pressure.
More generally, I think orienteering intervals could consist of any short, repeated sessions, with possible objectives including wood speed, navigation under pressure, practice with sure footing, climb, and so on.