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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending Apr 4, 2010:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering5 6:16:13 20.83(18:04) 33.53(11:13)35 /104c33%260.7
  Running5 2:48:01 18.41(9:08) 29.62(5:40)30.1
  Total7 9:04:14 39.24(13:52) 63.15(8:37)35 /104c33%290.8

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Sunday Apr 4, 2010 #


Some observations from the CSU Training camp:

- As per (my) declaration, the mascot of Oxford University is the "Crumpets." Note that this declaration is retroactive.

My strengths and ways I have been improving:
- Control Picking: I had fewer problems staying in contact and planning routes than in the past; I had good flow (for me)
- Having the will to keep fighting, even when I'm tired
- My ability to simplify complex terrain is stronger than it has been in the past
- I have improved moving past gnarly obstacles without giving up speed
- I have occasional moments of strong focus and physical power, showing some measure of potential
- I move well downhill
- I am comparatively good in finish chutes (possibly because I'm moving slower on the course than is optimal)

- My fitness is still inadequate to be competitive. In particular, I lack the stamina to train as hard as I want to.
- I very much struggle with my compass; while trying to make optimal local route choice (moving past features within 20-30 meters), I deviate significantly from a global route choice (legs of length 200m+). This is particularly clear in gnarly places like Pawtuckaway, where there are many local obstacles.
- I had difficulty getting into the map at the beginning of a course. I typically made some early mistakes, and as my focus sharpened, I improved later in the courses.
- I am influenced by other people in the woods; I become self-conscious, speed up (i.e. try to beat them), and make mistakes. Amusingly, I tend to specifically not follow them.
- I am comparatively slow on hills (possibly exacerbated by giving blood).
- My core muscles are weak and easily tire from having to crouch to avoid obstacles.
10 AM

Orienteering (Time Guessing) 45:00 [5] **** 5.0 km (9:00 / km)
9c shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Clem set a very intriguing "Guessing" exercise, the primary objective of which was estimating how long a particular route would take. We broke into groups - I was with Ross and Brendan - and would pause at each control to examine the possible routes to the next control. We would each take a different route and try to estimate how long that particular route would take us individually. It should be noted that I did not have a good plan for how to use my Garmin, and my track is not overly informative.

I think this exercise would be more informative either if I were able to test each of the routes or if I was running with people closer to my speed. Brendan and (especially) Ross were much faster than I, such that sometimes when I had the best route, I finished behind them. Nevertheless, it was an interesting exercise, bringing some of the merits of planning in advance like Saturday's simplification exercise.

I was pretty tired after the weekend's events, and we pushed hard on each of the legs, so Brendan and I aborted after control 9 to pick up controls from the Night-O. Ross finished the course and picked up some of the flags. Seeing Brendan and Ross fly out of controls starting their routes was impressive and informative.

Orienteering (Control Pickup) 1:00:00 [1] **** 5.0 km (12:00 / km)
4c shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Picking up four Night-O controls and running back to the start along a trail.
1 PM

Orienteering (Control Picking) 47:38 [4] **** 3.84 km (12:24 / km)
26c shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

The first of Clem's control picking courses; I decided I was too wasted to run the second. I was moving slower than the exercise from Saturday, but I nevertheless had a constructive session focusing on flow, preplanning and quick execution. I had some minor bobbles, but no major errors apart from going too high on the hill to 14 - losing about 90 seconds.

I saw Alex running to 20 while I was going to 18, but I failed to catch up to her.

Orienteering (Control Pickup) 30:00 [1] **** 2.0 km (15:00 / km)
shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Picking up three Night-O controls and seven controls from Sunday's control picking exercise. At best, I was jogging.

Saturday Apr 3, 2010 #

10 AM

Running (Trail) 16:40 [2] 2.66 km (6:16 / km)
shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Orienteering (Control Picking) 1:01:56 [4] **** 5.97 km (10:22 / km)
spiked:21/35c shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

I really enjoy control picking exercises, and certainly my technique has improved through that training. Brendan set a challenging course with 35 controls over 5 km in the most technical area of Pawtuckaway. It was exhilarating, though physically I was unable to push as hard as I would have liked.
2 PM

Running (Trail) 19:18 [2] 2.66 km (7:15 / km)
shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Orienteering (Simplification) 1:17:03 [3] **** 7.76 km (9:55 / km)
spiked:14/19c shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

The simplification exercise consisted of 19 controls over 6.7 km with emphasis on choosing intelligent routes and check features. Notably, we thoroughly planned our routes in groups before running the exercise. Brendan and I planned together, and it was interesting to see how orienteering can be when you have a thorough understanding of the course. I imagine that the top navigators in the world run their races as well as if they had planned their routes in advance. I made significant errors on five controls, including four of the first seven. Particularly with a map as complex as Pawtuckaway, I struggle getting into the mindset and focus I need to run effectively. I grew more comfortable as the race went on.

Approaching control 15, I was fatigued and slogging along the small hills into the control when I heard Sam below me and saw Ali ahead of me punching at the control. I dug deep, focused intently, and pushed with my last reserves of stamina. Ali made a mistake at 16, and I just barely managed to hold Sam off into the finish. It was a very exhilerating finish; if I can muster that level of focus and intensity for an entire race, I will fare well. Training at that intensity would also be beneficial.
10 PM

Orienteering (Night-O) 54:36 [2] **** 3.95 km (13:49 / km)
11c shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

We started the Night-O at about 10:10 PM, with the requirement that everyone be back at the parking lot by 11 PM. Andrew, Ethan and I ran together, and we decided to skip controls 3-7 - they were the most distant, and in terrain with fewer catching features. The remaining 11 were sufficiently interesting to be challenging.

I enjoyed running with Andrew and Ethan; we took turns leading the legs, and Night-O is much more fun when you're not alone in Pawtuckaway. Leading legs and following along were both educational activities, and we made few mistakes. Overall, it was a pleasant experience, and one I was far better able to tackle than the Wicked Hard Night-O from September 2009, in which I basically piggybacked with Boris, Kat, and Brendan.

Running (Trail) 7:00 [2] 1.2 km (5:50 / km)
shoes: 200908 Inov8 X-Talon 212

Run to the start.

Friday Apr 2, 2010 #

(rest day)

Decided to rest again in the hope of having the stamina for this weekend. Oddly enough, my lower legs are a bit swollen. I can't quite account for this - the past week has not been that strenuous. The camp this weekend was long - I was running for long periods, but at low intensity. It is possible that giving blood somehow exacerbated circumstances, but I do not see how. Perhaps the half marathon from 12 days ago also caused some problems? I'm most concerned about shin splints, but without a more thorough understanding of my condition, I see no recourse but to monitor my condition and plod on.

Thursday Apr 1, 2010 #


Interesting comparison:

COF's financial statement from March 2008 - March 2009:

USOF's operating fund budget, 2009:

(rest day)

My legs still feel like crap, so I'm taking a rest day in the hopes that I will have the stamina and speed for a productive training camp this weekend. I continue to be frustrated by my weakness.

Wednesday Mar 31, 2010 #


The US SML Champs in Sprague, WA are from 26-28 June, and the NAOCs are from 1 July to 4 July; 1 July is a model event, and 2 July is the first race. Since I'm not competing in the Trail-O champs on 30 June, I think I will take 28-30 June and drive to nearby Glacier National Park to absorb some of the sublime beauty. Would anyone be interested in joining my posse?

It should be noted that I likewise had my second highest training month ever this month. I also ran the second greatest distance (counting "running" and "track" categories) in a month for me. This suggests three goals:
1. Train more than the 33 hours I ran in September 2009
2. Run more than the 111 miles I ran in January 2010
3. Train more than my Newtonian nemesis, Sam, next month

Naturally, to pull off #3, rather than make an explicit competition like Boris and she did, I will furtively use her training time as motivation to get out and train (by running, apparently). Overtaking her is easiest is she's unaware of my efforts until I move in. She pulled a glorious coup at the half marathon by training for a fraction of a second longer than I did; I will not make the same mistake again! (Ross and sgb in particular showed terrible training volume tactics).
11 PM

Running 1:09:53 [1] 12.6 km (5:33 / km)
shoes: 201002 Asics T918N

I decided to run home, and then added another 6 km loop. My legs felt good at first but were heavy and sluggish a short time into the run. Based on the sensations in my leg, I suspect my calves were swelling. I'm not quite sure what to attribute this to, but it's very clear that I need to rest if I'm going to have any stamina at the training camp. My frailness frustrates me. How am I going to get fast if I can't run during the week between training camps?

Marit Bjoergen would be horrified by my mortality.

Tuesday Mar 30, 2010 #

11 PM

Running 55:10 intensity: (38:08 @1) + (17:02 @3) 10.5 km (5:15 / km)
shoes: 201003 Nike Lunarlite

Today's workout was a cruise intervals session. It was raining rather hard when I started, and because of leg soreness from the junior camp, I considered going on an easy run instead. However, I ambled over to the track, and set about 4x1200.

By the time I reached the track, I was completely soaked. My vision was thoroughly obscured because I was wearing glasses, but it scarcely mattered because it was dark. As hardcore as I thought it would be to finish my workout, I decided I was done after 1x1200, 2x1400.

I did have trouble getting to my prescribed threshold pace (6:23/mile); my intervals splits were:

1200: 511 (6:54/mile)
1400: 551 (6:41/mile)
1400: 558 (6:49/mile)

I suspect part of the problem was that I donated blood yesterday.

Monday Mar 29, 2010 #

(rest day)

My calves are a bit sore from the training camp, and because I'm a sissy, I have elected to take a rest day. Marit Bjoergen would be ashamed.

Revised plan for the week:
Monday: rest
Tuesday: Cruise intervals
Wednesday: O-training
Thursday: long
Friday: easy
Sat/Sun: CSU Pawtuckaway training camp

I gave blood on Monday, and the lethargy I currently feel is likely due at least in part to that. The tightness in my legs - in particular my right calf and left hamstring - also is somewhat disconcerting, so a lower intensity week seems in order.

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