Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: JWOC bloggity blog blog

in: Orienteering; General

Jun 17, 2013 3:55 PM # 
Formal blogging will be at USA Team Blog; however I wanted to be able to throw less edited info somewhere; so I'll do that here.

All but four are in the hotel at Trutnov. Barbara missed a connection, and is arriving at 6pm; she will be met by Melanie, Anna and Carl who will then make the drive to Trutnov.
Jun 17, 2013 4:09 PM # 
Website for blog:
Jun 17, 2013 4:29 PM # 
MJ Stout:
Great to have a place to look for updates. Thanks, Barb!
Jun 17, 2013 5:46 PM # 
Melanie and Barbara have been met by Carl and Anna. Now there is an issue with the car rental. Credit card with too low a limit.
Jun 17, 2013 6:18 PM # 
OK, Carl and Anna used both their credit cards and got 7 days of car rental, and we'll have to go back in a week and re-up.

Those who made it here to Trutnov went for a shakeout run, showered, had dinner and came to team meeting. Anna had Melanie and Barbara do a shakeout run at the airport while she wrestled with the car rental company.
Jun 17, 2013 6:43 PM # 
MJ Stout:
There's a solution to every challenge!
Jun 17, 2013 6:56 PM # 
oooohhh, those rental car companies @#*&
Jun 17, 2013 7:19 PM # 
Tonight's team meeting:

Logistics. Meal times. Being on time. Time for nap at lunch.
Tomorrow: two trainings on long terrain. Team meeting.
Wednesday: interval track workout in the morning; middle training in the afternoon. Team meeting.

Erin put out the idea that we want to state overall performance goals for JWOC tonight, then figure out what we need to do to get to those goals, and put them aside and not discuss them until after JWOC. Instead, we'll be focusing on the process goals are.

Some of the goals for performance:

  • 1 person makes an A final
  • 4/6 people make the B final on each team (men's and women's)
  • 4/6 in the top 100 in sprint and long
  • 20th place in relay for boys; 25-30th place for girls.
Jun 17, 2013 7:21 PM # 
Race routine:

  • warm up with a map 15-20 min
  • stretch
  • a couple of strides
  • ready to race
  • race
  • finish, put warmups on
  • cool down 10-15 minutes
  • go backwards through everything you just did
  • water
  • food
  • check in with the rest of the team. Remind others to go through the routine.
Jun 17, 2013 7:25 PM # 
Erin said how you phrase a goal is important. In particular, you don't want to have negative phrasing; if the goal mentions injuries, even though the goal is about not having injuries, you are still focused on the injuries. Instead, create a goal with a similar intention but phrased in a positive way.

Erin talked about how a goal like "don't get injured" isn't actionable; instead, to help with training, you want goals where you known how to achieve them - like warming up before every training and race.

Some goals for training (each was discussed: what does it mean? how do you train it?):

  • Flow.
  • Consistency.
  • The general approach to planning a leg is to work backwards. The control draws the route.
  • After every race, review it backwards to understand what might have led to the problems that you had.
Jun 17, 2013 7:35 PM # 
Erin asked, what takes you out of a race? Some discussion of that, many examples. One example: at the beginning of a race saying to yourself, "There's no way I could do this. Look at all these amazing people around me."

Erin asked, what does it feel like when you're having a good race. Answers - you are in the game. You're having fun, feeling joy and enjoyment. Someone suggested that you're focused, but Erin said focus is not a feeling; let's distinguish between thought and feeling. Other feelings: Excitement. Strong and powerful. Clear head.

So at the beginning of a race, instead of psyching yourself out, tell yourself "I feel joy. I feel strong and powerful. I have a clear mind. I can and will check my map every 10-15 seconds."

In addition to this positive thinking ahead of a race, Erin talked about being in the zone: doing things before you think about them, and how with these habits, you can be an amazing person in your life with the power to turn things around.
Jun 17, 2013 7:54 PM # 
Well this is the only photo I got of the team meeting, and it looks a lot less joyful than it frequently was:

Jun 17, 2013 8:05 PM # 
One of the elevator incidents. We were too heavy.
Jun 17, 2013 9:26 PM # 
Thank you so much for the play-by-play. It's wonderful to be able to share what the kids are experiencing.
Jun 17, 2013 10:19 PM # 
MJ Stout:
That team meeting photo should be captioned JET LAG.
Jun 17, 2013 10:42 PM # 
Keep the updates coming! It is great to follow from afar!
Jun 18, 2013 6:44 AM # 
I saw Barbara and Melanie at breakfast. And Carl. Anna is getting a little extra sleep this morning. Quite a marathon for them traveling yesterday!
Jun 18, 2013 6:49 AM # 
Erin took this photo from his hotel window. There are running trails in those hills, and half a dozen O maps within 30km.

Jun 18, 2013 6:50 AM # 
And this:
Jun 18, 2013 7:30 AM # 
So no banquet but a big pool party?
Jun 18, 2013 2:32 PM # 
MJ Stout:
So nice to have visual confirmation that the Trutnov area has been unaffected by the flooding. Doesn't look like that stream jumped its banks too recently. Did you see any aftermath of the flooding near Prague as you left the airport?
Jun 18, 2013 3:37 PM # 
Jun 18, 2013 9:46 PM # 
After today's thunder, rain and hail storm (during the afternoon training), the river got all muddy:

Jun 18, 2013 9:49 PM # 

Jun 18, 2013 9:49 PM # 

Meg looking concerned about Isabel's shoe
Jun 19, 2013 12:31 AM # 
Lots of red earth around there?
Jun 19, 2013 8:04 AM # 
Day 1 training was for long race. Everyone did the morning training, which went longer than expected, and about half the kids did the afternoon training. The others shopped for team snacks, did an armchair exercise, and rested.

Jun 19, 2013 8:23 AM # 
Zac at the parking spot for the first training exercise:

Jun 19, 2013 9:12 AM # 
Team meeting June 18th:

Erin recapped the behavior agreement (relationships, health, communication) and asked the 3 people who haven't turned theirs in to do so.

Today we did Long training. In the morning, teams of two tackled a course on steep terrain with lots of green; some features had been removed from the map to focus on others. It was hot, and tough. Afterward Erin reminded the team to take the time to close their eyes and do the backwards visualization.

Things that worked well today:
* Ethan was able to refocus after making a big mistake
* Addison: Ethan taught him to slow down and not panic
* Danielle: learned a lot from working in teams
* Someone did the backwards visualization exercise before being reminded.
* Getting a feeling for the woods
* Using specific features to navigate, like vegetation boundaries
* Keeping a compass bearing - Nate is really good at this, said John
* A new perspective on route choices from your partner
* Looking for peripheral routes; considering going out of the way to avoid climb or vegetation
* Anna followed Anne and Melanie and enjoyed seeing them discuss the route

What didn't go well:
* Jacob and Zac had trouble when they tried to take peripheral routes, and following trails (which weren't on the map) led them astray.
* Proper hydration. Erin: traveling, it is not always easy to get enough water. You were probably dehydrated today because you didn't drink enough yesterday.
* Erin saw some people using the compass well; others need to work on it. You can run faster on a compass bearing than reading all the details of the map, and knowing when you can do that is key.

Erin said that the purpose was to get mentally ready for the Long; it will be a brutal race. It will take a heck of an effort to run well. It's possible that our best shots are for the middle, and we may not be there yet to take on the Long with full effort. This is a strategy question for the team to think about, because we could choose not to attack the Long really hard and save our energy for the Middle.
Jun 19, 2013 9:15 AM # 

JWOC 2013 training day 1 from Barb Bryant on Vimeo.

Jun 20, 2013 2:11 AM # 
Great to have this on line. Thanks.
Jun 20, 2013 5:27 AM # 
Nice log. Do the kids have anything to say or have they all passed over to FB or whatever is flavour of the month?
Jun 20, 2013 6:58 AM # 
Kids are posting at the official blog.
Also some have been able to post on AttackPoint - see the USA Junior group
Jun 20, 2013 7:16 AM # 
This morning John found out that the hotel will send out your clothes for cleaning at a price the females in the party found exhorbitant, and the guys thought was quite a deal.

Heading out now for Day 3 of training.
Jun 20, 2013 7:26 AM # 
Getting your laundry done in Europe is always a challenge. I usually drop it off somewhere, because coin laundries are few and far between, and you don't want to spend your day at the laundromat anyway. It would probably be cheaper to carry your clothes to the dropoff laundry. That way you are not paying the hotel handling charge.
Jun 20, 2013 7:29 AM # 
What's wrong with the hotel washbasins? Kids these days...
Jun 20, 2013 7:54 AM # 
MJ Stout:
"at a price the females in the party found exhorbitant, and the guys thought was quite a deal" -- that is hysterical!
Jun 20, 2013 11:46 AM # 
Ask Ethan to demonstrate my 2-bag, Fels Naptha clothes washing system. Works great! With 2 people it would take half the time! With the right music the agitation cycle is lots of fun.
Jun 20, 2013 12:38 PM # 
@MJChilds&ethan: I think I can picture it, but video-demo would be nice :) and Michael can demonstrate the 'wrap-in-towel-quick-dry -method' to go along with the wash system.
Jun 20, 2013 5:45 PM # 
I'm not going to video my shower method.
Jun 20, 2013 6:07 PM # 
I did mean the 2-bag method as video.
Will and Michael on the later direct train to Prague now, after glitch in catching the earlier one.
Jun 20, 2013 9:16 PM # 
Yesterday's team meeting (6/19):
various small announcements...
Training tomorrow will be middle training, morning only. Afternoon conditioining.

The interval workout went well; people ran solidly. It was the first real interval workout for some. Discussion about what people laerned; pace, form, etc.

Review of the afternoon training (Erin walked with the whole group for the first half, and then they ran the rest individually). Looking ahead; looking for runnable woods. Orienteering while others are around you. Interpreting a new map. Footing was tricky. Cliffs on the map were serious cliffs on the ground. Boulders can be moss-covered. Interpreting what is around you at a good pace. Vegetation boundaries were useful. When going up a hill, look at the top to see where you're going. In the Long, there are big hills; if you look to the top of the hill as you approach it you can register some features and not have to think as much as you are going up it. Erin said there are key moments to catch yourself before you run into an area without knowing where you are.

The Middle will be really rocky, proaly some bland hillside. You won't want to read controus in detail in this terrain; pay attention to whether you are going up or down, and set yourself up to see rock features. Erin shared a conversation he had with Addison about simplifying but not over-simplifying. Example: turning a line of boulders into a handrail rather than trying to count off each boulder. Discussion about different techniques, and how you don't want to be overwhelmed with all the possible techniques, but have a way to pick the right one for the situation.

Some discussion about the JWOC maps; Erin said not to get too hung up on guessing what they'll be like. They will be good and clear.

Erin talked about how coming from a running background, or a soccer background, or a basketball background, you develop certain movement techniques that you use in that sport. The muscles are a little different than the ones you use in running through the woods. As you develop woods running, it takes some time to develop those muscles. You can decide you want to get better, and do it, by developing a fundamental base of how to move in this game, just as you can in any sport.

Erin had the team review the day backwards; he'll continue this exercise each day and ask for more detail over time.
Jun 20, 2013 9:24 PM # 
Today's team meeting (6/20):

We sang happy birthday to Melanie and ate ice cream cake.

Erin asked each person how they are doing physically and mentally, on a scale of 1-10. Most answered 7 or 8. Some tiredness.

Talked about what went well today. (The morning exercises were island-O and memory-O; in the afternoon conditioning) People mentioned using the compass, and flow; distance estimation, calibrating on the first leg; getting better over time. Anna said it was good to know that on a short leg, you can just memorize the control circle and then go fast and not worry about the stuff in between.

Struggles: Jake said following the trails made it hard to relocate. The flies were bothersome. Erin said they were a metaphor for other runners.

We talked about techniques that are useful in memory O.

Tomorrow: leave at 9:30; relay terrain in morning and afternoon. Lunch in the city; may walk around a little. We'll practicce head to head racing, and work on how you use people around you and navigate at the same time. You see a runner going in a different direction than you'd planned - what do you do? Getting used to thinking those decisions through.

Erin took video of team members running strides, and he gave some feedback on things to change. He talked a lot about form and had us stand up and try a few things out, with useful visualization techniques that included walking on a ball, pulling it back with your feet, letting it go behind you, a belt, salsa dancing, a horse, cups of paint, and more.

We went over the day backwards.

Erin said some people have had trouble falling asleep and he suggested trying to think about anything in reverse order, like your day, or the life of a plant. Marianne suggested saying the alphabet backwards or doing a song backwards.
Jun 21, 2013 4:07 AM # 
Speaking of the JWOC Maps---This may have been mentioned but in Bulletin 3 it says that the organizers have decided NOT TO INCLUDE ROOTSTOCKS.
Jun 21, 2013 5:59 AM # 
Why all this backwards-ness (beyond route planning)?
Jun 21, 2013 11:38 AM # 
Thanks, Carl -- the rootstocks were discussed in the team meeting though I didn't include in my summary.
Guy, thinking backwards helps you identify problems and then work back toward what might have been the cause. It's also the direction you plan your route.
Jun 21, 2013 11:41 AM # 
Today we got off to a late start because we were deciding what to do about Addison not feeling well. After consultation with his parents and a US pediatrician by phone, we decided not to take him to the hospital (headache + stomach pain), and instead leave him to rest and hydrate. He took a nap and I'm happy to report that he is feeling much better. We have been in phone communication.

Michael and Will arrived. I picked them up at the train station and we stopped so they could have a classic Czech lunch of pounded breaded chicken and potatoes before meeting up with the rest of the crew. Now everyone is having the sandwiches the hotel packed.

Nice and cool in the breeze today.
Jun 21, 2013 1:43 PM # 
tell Will he left a dirty black sock in my car after last weekend's training. I'm not sure that he and the sock will ever be reunited, but in case he's wondering where it is...
Jun 21, 2013 2:22 PM # 
Wishing all the best to the juniors & coaches!
Jun 21, 2013 4:06 PM # 
A fine day. When I woke up the rain was coming down in buckets, but it stopped long before we finally left the hotel. The breeze was cool in the shade. A long drive south of Hradec Kralove for training on the relay terrain. Very fun. I missed the morning training but very much enjoyed the afternoon training where I got to be a rabbit or turkey and try and confuse the teams doing forked relay courses.
Jun 21, 2013 5:55 PM # 

John, Michael, Matt Will

Danielle, Anne, Anna, Isabel, Meg, Marianne

Melanie, Barbara

Duncan, Jake, Addison, Zac, Ethan

Nate, Carl, Erin, Connor
Jun 21, 2013 6:16 PM # 
MJ Stout:
Thanks for the pix! Addison looks like he's feeling better.
Jun 21, 2013 6:28 PM # 
Addison feels way better.
Jun 21, 2013 7:09 PM # 
Training map samples
The long training Tuesday morning was on map 1, though it's a little hard to recognize with the trails :-)
We did middle training on 2b, I think on the second day, Wednesday.
The island-O and memory-O were on map 3.
Today we were on maps 4 and 5 for relay terrain training.
Jun 21, 2013 8:06 PM # 
These updates are fabulous! Thanks, Barb. So looking forward to following the progress of everyone.
Jun 21, 2013 9:00 PM # 
There are new postings at the team blog.
Jun 21, 2013 9:13 PM # 
Team meeting, 6/22/2013:

People were asked to make ice for Connor's toe.
We applauded Erin for being a creative and awesome coach.

Today we were on relay terrain. We ran together a lot, to get used to running at pace, and around people, and still being able to focus and navigate cleanly. There were 2 exercises in the morning. Comments about what worked well:
* Duncan said he learned a lot about the differences between regions of the forest
* Compass bearings worked
* Open, fun, fast
* Barbara beat Connor
* Barbara focused mostly on keeping up with Ethan and Duncan.
* Carl was able to pay attention to the vegetation and isolate small clearings.

Erin said that everybody looked really excited when they were done.

Things that didn't go so well:
* Finding the stakes was hard; they were hard to see
* Duncan overran several controls.
* The scale was off
* It was hard to relocate
* Carl said he should have paid more attention to the clue descriptions.
* Connor hurt his toe, pretty badly.

In the afternoon we did a 3-team exercise. Erin, Anne and Barb ran ahead and tried to confuse the teams. Routes were forked with nearby controls for different teams. The teams had really good communication, and it was a different dynamic for each team. For example, Nate's team yelled out features and checked: "did everyone see the ditch?" and they'd yell "yes" "yes" "yes".

Ethan: we had good communication. In theory, that's absolutely useless in the actual race.

Erin: It's true that you're not going to be talking to runners around you. However, there is lots of communication going on. They are all tackling the same problem. What kinds of non-verbal communication or information-sharing might exist amongst runners in the relay? How can you take some of what we did today into the relay?

We discussed this.

Duncan said that if you see a runner's speed increasing, they might have the control in their sights. "Duncan, you go supersonic once you see the control," said Ethan.

Tomorrow there will be a long drive to sprint training. We'll do sprint intervals. Then we'll do some memory and route choice work. In the afternoon, 1 or 2 sprints, short.

We went through the day in reverse.
Jun 21, 2013 9:25 PM # 
Robert H.:
Great Blog! It's good to see smiling faces. I hope Connor's toe heals quickly! Run Smart, Finish Fast!!!
Jun 22, 2013 1:46 AM # 
People were asked to make ice for Connor's toe.

Do the rooms have fridge/freezers?
Jun 22, 2013 4:59 AM # 
Jun 22, 2013 2:46 PM # 
We had a good couple of sprint exercises, though a Renaissance Fair was blocking part of the courses. Split up for lunch in town and then headed to the next sprint map. 2 vans are here but the car (with the maps) is AWOL. I ornerily made the kids go for a warmup run after I was accidentally hit with a pine cone, and now they're playing hide and seek. Doves or pigeons are cooing, and there is a nice breeze, though a few languid mosquitos, here on a bench in the shade.
Jun 22, 2013 3:32 PM # 
I love these "play-by-plays". Thanks.
Jun 22, 2013 7:13 PM # 
Car and maps appeared; we ran a short sprint, cooled down, headed back to the hotel, ate dinner and had a team meeting.

We talked through tomorrow's trip to Prague. Duncan had done some homework and came up with a nice plan for his group. Some girls were overheard saying they'd like to go with him because, even if they wouldn't have chosen the sites he had, it would be interesting, and besides, he'd be very intimidating to pickpockets.

Erin brought up some schedule issues that didn't seem to be working as agreed; we changed some things with input from the team. Erin asked people not to agree with the group if they don't agree with the group. As we are heading into the last week of training, he brought up the possibly sensitive issue of JWOC team vs those doing the Tour races. (So far we have been completely integrated.) He'd like to see everyone be as serious as possible about whichever event they are running, but JWOC is a level above, and performance in the world championship is our team's highest priority. He asked that all work together toward that goal, and be supportive of the JWOC team's need to train and rest optimally.

Some trainings may happen in parallel, different ones tailored for different groups, in the next week.

We reviewed today's sprint trainings: what was good, what was problematic,what we learned, and what was the point. A key skill is making quick decisions about route: left or right?

We went through the day, backwards.
Jun 22, 2013 7:48 PM # 
Connor's toe is feeling better; he still can't run on it. A couple people are coming down with sore throats. Ethan has had a cough for a while.

It is cooling off here. Pretty nice compared to last year's heat wave in Slovakia.
Jun 23, 2013 5:25 AM # 
New thread.
(Loading this one in order to post new items was taking a while.)
Jun 23, 2013 1:24 PM # 
Coach Erin spoke about being in "the zone". I believe this is key (even more than the joy one feels) when participating in any sport. It's the reason the superstition of not mentioning a perfect game or no-hitter to a pitcher in the midst of such a feat, until it's been broken. No one wants to take him out of his zone. I remember coming off the football field to unexpected slaps on the back by coaches and players. I had been in the zone (everything was blocked out, but the task at hand). I was aware of thinking, but not on a high-level, more in a mode of all the things on which I'd drilled and been taught coming to me at the right times. It's not easy to create the zone, but in my attempt to create it in my orienteers I don't allow cheering amongst my team at the START. They are supposed to be concentrating on what they know about where they are on the map, what they expect as they turn the map over, and how they felt on one of their most successful courses or series of legs.
Jun 24, 2013 5:58 PM # 
Coach Erin,
This days will be.. “CEAP CALM GO TO THE MIDDLE OF THE CIRCLE AND PUNCH THE CONTROL”tm, .OK so if US JWOC team likes the line I'll give it to them..make more shurts..
Back in days, was.. three times World Champion Coach,.. talking to two times World Champion, (complaining about the map)..”Wat is your problem kid..go to the middle of the circle and punch the control”
Jun 24, 2013 6:28 PM # 
Jun 25, 2013 3:52 AM # 
Why are people still posting on this thread?
Jun 25, 2013 10:20 PM # 
Because they can. What's your excuse?

This discussion thread is closed.