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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 7 days ending Apr 29:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  biking - dark blue bike4 6:51:14 97.73(4:12) 157.29(2:37) 5283
  orienteering4 3:18:00
  Total8 10:09:14 97.73 157.29 5283
  [1-5]7 9:24:14
averages - weight:139.5lbs

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Sunday Apr 29 #

8 AM

orienteering 45:00 [0]

Checking / waking up 11 controls. Very disconcerting when I got to the ninth one and there was nothing there. Nothing. No flag, no post, no orange streamer, not even a little piece of a streamer.

Spent about 5 minutes being absolutely sure I was in the right place, also checked similar features within 100 yards or so. Nothing.

Went to the last two, in more of a hurry now, not a lot of extra time. Got back, told Ed. I didn't have time to take a replacement out, had duties at the start for all the juniors and needed to be sure it was ready to roll well before the first start. But Alex went off with the replacement, and then Greg checked it, and all was well.

Except what happened to the original?

3 PM

orienteering 33:00 [1]

I had left to head home, stopped in Northampton for a cup of coffee, discovered an e-box in my pocket, and figured I better just take it back.

Did that. Saw Phil, thought about the fact that I think there were 126 controls to be picked up, and offered to get a few. He gave me a nice cluster close to the road, 11 controls, and it went quickly, no codes to check, no streamers to take down, and my brain was working.

Not much of a contribution, but a little is better than nothing.


My sense is the event went very well. I certainly liked having all the juniors there, added a vibe that was just plain fun. Phil did a huge amount of work with the courses, brilliant. And serious work from Ed, Steve, Alex, Becky, Greg and many others.


I was fortunate to get hooked up by Gord Hunter with the group from South Sumter High School in Florida, 12 kids and 5 adults. I was a little apprehensive about how it would play out, not having any idea of what their skill levels were, plus it has been some time since I did any coaching. There was a little more anxiety than I wished, a little less confidence.

We spent three hours at the model terrain on Friday, luckily starting mid-morning and getting done just as the rain was settling in. Seemed to go very well.

After we were done, and with the weather deteriorating, they headed back to their motel, where Gord spent a bunch of time with them going over old courses at Mt. Tom.

Realize that few of the kids had ever been outside of Florida and none had ever orienteered outside Florida. My expectations were that Saturday was not going to be a happy day. I certainly tried to tamp down expections, stress how hard it was going to be.

And so imagine my surprise when on Satuday all 12 finished, most with very respectable times.

Today was tougher, the rain and the cold (they're from Florida, plus quite a few wear glasses). I think 3 didn't finish. But I was really proud of the whole bunch. And I think they were quite amazed to have managed as well as they did in terrain that was so unlike anything they had ever seen.

There were 5 adults in the group (they drove up). I really enjoyed talking to them too, just a real nice bunch of people.

Gord thanked me afterwards. I said I was the one who was thankful, for a really wonderful experience.


Friday morning before I headed down to the model event I wrote up a few notes on things I hope to cover in our training session. I figured it might help them afterwards to remember what we were trying to do.

Here's what I wrote. It doesn't cover everything we talked about, but it gives an idea of things --

Understanding contours

-- How far apart lines are shows how steep a slope is. How many lines there are show how big the slope is. The way the lines curve show the shape of the slope.
-- Closed “circles” show hills. Small hills can have as little as one contour line. Large hills can have many. The lines show the size, and also the shape.
-- Which way is up? Generally, streams flow down reentrants. Where contour lines cross a stream, the “U” in the contour line points uphill.

Using contours to navigate

-- You can use contours as handrails, just as you might use other handrails (the edge of an open area, a power line, a trail). Some examples are a long reentrant, the top of ridge, along the bottom of a slope, going straight up (or straight down) a slope.
-- Look for the big obvious features and navigate using them.

Understanding rock features

-- Generally, boulders must be at least a meter (3 feet) high. A large bolder at least 1.5-2 meters (5-6 feet) high.
-- Generally cliffs must be vertical or nearly vertical and at least 1-1.5 meters high.
-- There will always be boulders and cliffs that are not on the map because they are just a little too small. You have to accept this.
-- When you have to navigate to a rock feature, see how the rock feature sits in the terrain, ie. look at the bigger picture. So if it is near the top of a hill, navigate to the hill, and only then to the rock feature. Just because the control is on a rock feature doesn’t mean that you should ignore everything else on the map, especially the contours.


-- Orienteering at Mt. Tom is difficult. For everyone. Do your best. Try to learn things on Friday so you will do better on Saturday. And then learn things on Saturday so you do even better on Sunday.
-- Use you head. Don’t worry about how fast you are running. It’s OK to walk, it’s OK to stop. Think about navigating, about always knowing where you are and where you are going. Do that and you’ll make out just fine.


Saturday Apr 28 #

9 AM

orienteering 30:00 [1]

Walking around checking and waking up about 10 controls. Nice morning. Then got recruited to help at the start, so spent about 3 hours there. Turned out to be a pleasure, as everyone passed through, got to say hello to lots of folks I hadn't seen for a while, plus dispel any notions that I might be in a rest home or have already passed... :-)

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:33:03 intensity: (2:11 @1) + (59:33 @2) + (29:33 @3) + (1:46 @4) 22.67 mi (4:06 / mi) +1404ft 3:53 / mi
ahr:125 max:153 weight:138.5lbs

I'd brought my bike with me, so when the start was done there seemed no reason not to head out for a ride. I had no plan of where to go, just a wish to do something like 20 miles. And I figured, with a starting point at the finish of the O' meet, there was no way to avoid some uphills toward the end of the ride.

Headed out the south access road, then kept going south, mostly into the wind. Didn't really know the roads, but I figured I could go out 10 miles, then turn around and come back. For a while I was on roads I'd never been on, but then I came out at a familiar spot, and decided to loop around through Southampton and a bit of Easthampton and do the climb up Mountain Road.

All worked out fine. Lots of either wide shoulders or smaller roads with minimal traffic, except for Mountain Road, aka Rt. 141. Minimal shoulder, steady traffic. But nobody came too close for comfort and pretty soon I was up, and heading back north on the access road, wind at my back. Fine way to finish. And for a moderately hilly ride (60' climb per mile), the pace was OK.

Friday Apr 27 #

orienteering 1:30:00 [1]

Put out some controls for the Junior Nationals this weekend at Mt. Tom.

Also spent not quite 3 hours in the model terrain with about a dozen students from South Sumter High School in Florida. A fine bunch of kids. Ditto the parents making the trip north with them. Thanks owed to Gord for arranging this.

Thursday Apr 26 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 2:05:09 intensity: (1:00 @1) + (49:52 @2) + (1:08:48 @3) + (5:29 @4) 30.74 mi (4:04 / mi) +1312ft 3:55 / mi
ahr:130 max:158 weight:140lbs

Over into the lower Whately and Conway hills, maybe 3-4 miles of dirt road. Getting windy so went a little earlier than usual. NW 10-15.

Tuesday Apr 24 #

2 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:48:25 intensity: (10:43 @1) + (1:23:06 @2) + (14:36 @3) 22.85 mi (4:45 / mi) +1520ft 4:28 / mi
ahr:116 max:137 weight:140lbs

Continued nice but windy, upper 60s, S 15-20. North to Millers Falls, then the climb up to Wendell SF at Ruggles Pond, then made my way home. I was determined not to work too hard. Set a limit of 135 on my HRM, and pretty much kept to that. Takes a little longer to get up, but it sure doesn't hurt as much.

Getting into summer route planning -- had 5 sections of dirt road, one of which is more accurately old woods road. They all a bit of spice, even if the total distance was only about 3 miles.

Monday Apr 23 #

3 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:24:37 intensity: (1:50 @1) + (45:57 @2) + (34:13 @3) + (2:19 @4) + (18 @5) 21.47 mi (3:56 / mi) +1047ft 3:46 / mi
ahr:126 max:161 weight:139.5lbs

Low 70s, sunny, S 5-10 mph. If the weather keeps up like this, it's going to be too hot before very long...

Pretty good ride, put out a little more effort than I planned to, but such things happen.

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