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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Base Training Volumes

in: Orienteering; Training & Technique

Mar 23, 2004 7:23 PM # 
Just to start new discussion here is latest Pasi Ikonen base training week. Notice his 3000m run Thursday @ 9:17 and 189 bps average. He should easily brake 30:00 for 10K! Looks like he is doing ~110-120K (70mi) per week. That amounts for ~10 hrs running. Are we training long enough? My goal is to maintain 55-60 miles (7-8 hrs) until the end of the April.

More info at

15:30 PM: 10' running. 2km.
19:00 PM: 7' circuit. Short preparation for thursday's circuit-test.
11:45 AM: 80' running. 21 x 200m. Quite stressful training towards end. 17,5km.
18:40 PM: 24' running + 29' snow-football + 4' running. 8,5km.
13:44 PM: 120' running/snow-walking. Slow speed. Good for legs. 17km.
9:45 AM: 32' running + 9' running 3000m + 10' running/warming-up + 4'
circuit-test + 12' five-jumps + 15' running. 3K was enjoyable during the
first 2,5km and that's very good! 14km.
3000m 9.17,4
10:09 AM: 85' running + 17' cycling as a warm-up. Weather was really nice
after couple of cloudy days, my muscles had recovered from yesterday's training
and running itself was fluent and fresh. Yees! 17,5km.
9:34 AM: 31' running with Minna and Timo! Maybe the best morning run ever. We
ran on small paths which were quite hard, so it was possible to run fast. Feeling
was great! 6km.
15:46 PM: 101' running with Mika O. Easy feeling but quite high HR.
Something wrong? 22km.

Mar 24, 2004 7:34 PM # 
Here is sample from 3000m test run done in February by Italian O Team:

SEPPI Marco: 3:08-6:22- 9:33
SEIDENARI Giacomo: 3:09-6:23- 9:33:5
BEZZI Marco: 3:10-6:24- 9:38
TENANI Alessio: 3:10-6:29- 9:43
PAGLIARI Daniele: 3:20-6:48- 10:21
PELLIZZOLA Francesca: 3:56-8:30- 12:40

RIGONI Carlo: 2.50-2.58-2.59 (finale: 8.47)
NEGRELLO Manuel: 3.00-3.05-3.08 (finale: 9.13)
TAVERNARO Michele: 3.11-3.21-3.20 (finale 9.52)

Notice the result by Carlo Rigoni 8:47!!!

I wonder how many USA Team Members can brake 10:00?
Mar 25, 2004 12:25 AM # 
I assume they weren't navigating that fast but was this run in terrain or on a track or trails or what? If they did this on a track, I'm surprised by the conclusion that I was a fast enough runner to make the Italian O Team when I was 17 and by no means the terror of even local high school track competition.
Mar 25, 2004 1:26 AM # 
Here is the link
I am not very good with Italian so couldn't tell at what conditions the run was done.

Looks like it was just a test run outdoors to measure speed in the middle of base training. It was rather cold at the time of the run.

I am not implying that these athletes are best runners in the world. Nevetheless, I think only one or two persons in the USA Team can brake 10 minutes nowdays in this conditions.

And Italian team is not considered to be one of the top O teams in the world.

Looking at the training schedules at the Attackpoint by North Am athletes makes me sad! Nobody is training even remotely to be close to the world elite except may be for Mike Waddington (Canada), Eric Bone, and possibly Brian May (unfortunately he does not post his training lately).

By the way, Carlo can actually do orienteering at this level of speed!

The difference between USA athletes and world elite is exactly this - running and navigational speed.

What can we do to correct this situation?
Mar 25, 2004 4:49 AM # 
I think navigational speed is manageable if practiced correctly, but what to do when your running speed gets stuck?

I beleive that even if I roll my map and will simply try to keep up with the top elite guy, not only will I need a CPR administered over my body, if I do manage to stick with that guy for couple of legs, I will probably end up injuring myself.

Road running speed, isn't quite the same as terrain running speed, and we all know it. Just ask Greg (my coach) who knows bunch of guys who can run extremily fast on roads, but are sluggish in the woods and end up injuring themselves if they attempt to run with the road speed in the woods.

I think one of the major differences, besides speed, between US Elite O-rs and World Elite O-rs is that our athletes lack strenght, pure strenght in legs and perhaps the whole body. Not very many running sports require it to such extend as Orienteering does. Does my injury ring the bell?

And that is what I am planning to do (no suggestions here:), build the strenght fist and then work on speed, though I expect these two to progress simultaneously over 3 to 5 years period.

I am not trying to say that, hey, go build that strenght and you will become one of them, but this is just what I think will help our athletes to impove, and get one step closer to the top.

Mar 25, 2004 5:20 AM # 
Many Nor-Am elite orienteers (some in my club) are not on Attackpoint that I know train very hard. Anyway, I am a big believer of running specificity. Track/road running times are important in open continental terrain but in thicker woods and/or nordic terrain it is a whole new ball game. If you want to be fast in these 'tougher' woods you need to train in that terrain. I'm not saying that speed isn't important. It is! But with limited training time (family, work, watching survivor and other important things) I choose to train as much as I can in the terrain (and I enjoy it more - roads ain't fun). Oh yeah and my PB in 3, 5 and 10K is a very less than impressive 10 and change, 16:25 and 34:34. I once had (key word HAD) a VO2 max of over 83. Running specificity matters.
Mar 25, 2004 5:32 PM # 
Courtesy of Babelfish, it appears the first set of results were done on a track but conditions were 4 degrees Celsius with rain and light wind - I'll forgive the Italians for not setting personal bests under the circumstances. The last three results were also done on a track under sunny and mild conditions though it seems the track was a little bit wet.

For whatever insight it might yield into the components of O performance, I'll run a 3000m time trial or two if any significant number of other people here will. Takers?
Mar 25, 2004 6:12 PM # 
Top orienteering elite runs 10K below 30:00 flat. What shall be done to come to this level?

On the other side, both Mike and Sergei are right. Running as much as possible in woods and strengthening the body. But don't play with weights too much - you don't want to be bulky in the woods :)

Most importantly - it takes years of sustained and consistent efforts to build this speed, strenght, and endurance. Guidance of a coach is very important during this process especially for the juniors.

Most troublesome I see in NA is that juniors are not coached properly and their training is not consistent. Therefore, most are lost and only a handful reaches even our low level of elite. Average age of the USA team is scary. We need to do something about this unfortunate situation. I am trying to coach somewhat on the local level. Best results so far I see with my daughter Masha who at her 9 is ranked above all on White course.

May be each one of us should take personal responsibility for one or more juniors?
Mar 25, 2004 8:27 PM # 
Good point Sergey, I know of one such relationship between John and Alexey. And I've seen Greg doing the same with couple of juniors at various meets.

However, perhaps an informative web page for Juniors could serve, may be not as a real coach, but at least provide some serious stuff that young athletes could use to improve themselves.

For example, we have a site build by John where a section of which could be used for exact such purpose. Certainly it is not someting that can be done overnight, but let say if John or any other junior start asking specific question and opinions from O-community, I bet he would get numerous responses from coaches/athletes that he can use to post on his site for Juniors' use.

Also some folks may want to go even further and send some advises on their own. Thus, over period of time quite a good guidance page could be build for juniors to turn to.
Mar 25, 2004 10:16 PM # 
Information vs. Coaching:
- I think there is plenty of information out there for Junior's to be able to coach themselves reasonably. For example, any Junior who reads and follows Vlad's Training notes from the '03 Jr. Training camp would be doing at least as good of a mix of training as the average AttackPoint posting Sr. team member.
- However, as you probably know yourself, there is a big difference between knowing what to do to train properly, and actually doing it. Here is where a coach can help, _and_ where we help each other a bit by reading each other's info on AttackPoint. I've thought about coaching, and done some local training and coaching discussions, but I'd have to know someone who was really motivated to get fast, and good at orienteering, before I'd want to commit to coaching them...

3k Speed:
- I recently PRed in the 5k at 18:59. Daniel's puts says that would give me a 3k pace of about 10:59... Anybody else care to share?

(However, the last 3 times I've run intervals, I haven't been able to even average 4min/km... Although this part of the post probably belongs on the fatigue thread or something...)
Mar 25, 2004 11:07 PM # 
I can say right now that this "remote" coaching will not work with juniors. It may somewhat work with seniors who are disciplined enough. There is already plenty of information on training out there but we don't see USA elite improving much.

As Alexei pointed earlier in one of his emails - it takes time to build mutual connection between both coach and athlete. Occasional couple times a year coaching during training camps is not what we need. We need sustained face to face coaching at least couple times per week.

I think initial success with my daughter can be largely attributed to her trust in me as her coach. We need to find motivated coaches who would personally train motivated juniors on a regular basis and give periodical guidance to motivated seniors. Only then we may expect some decent international results in about 3-5 years.

Speaking about 3000 m test runs - these are exactly as they said - test runs. They are not done as competitive runs, therefore, I suspect run at 95% threshold to avoid injuries. By the way, italians ran during wet conditions and temperature was 4C or so.

I ran about week ago 3000m indoors in 10:50 exactly for the same reason - to measure my speed in the middle of base training. I plan to run mid-May to measure speed in the middle of the speed ramp up season. Comparison of the times should give clear indication about my potential running performance.

Mar 25, 2004 11:19 PM # 
If juniors read this discussion thread I want personally stress the following.


This should be your running goal if you really consider to be an elite athlete. Please, please - start training really hard and in 5 or so years you may be close to this goal! Don't miss your best years! At age 25 your should be the leader of the team! I believe we have people who can help you in achieveing these objectives.
Mar 25, 2004 11:21 PM # 
Athletic development requires a decent sized group of athletes living in close proximity to each other. training and racing together. Pushing each other and keeping each other motivated. They need not all be orienteers. For example BMay has a large group of trail runners and nordic skiers to train with. But ideally it should be an orienteering group. There are only a few pockets of these in North America - Boston/Durham, NYC, Vancouver, Hamilton, etc. The critical age for junior development are the university/college years. Having a keen group locate to the same University or Uni. region is ideal.
Mar 26, 2004 4:02 AM # 
More than a few important words said in this discussion thread. I just want to add few more cents without digressing from the topic BASE TRAINING. Many NA orienteeres jump to speed training or racing without building appropriate base. Good way to get injured or easily burn yourself! So what is base training about? The best article I know so far on base building is by legendary Mark Allen (6-Time Ironman World Champion):

Just a short paragraph from this article - "And by the time it came to do my interval training, I was able to run close to a 5:30 mile at my aerobic maximum heart rate of 150!"
5:30 mile @ 150! Any questions?

This discussion thread is closed.