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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: Jagge

In the 7 days ending Dec 13, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Trail running3 3:44:0044.8
  Orienteering2 2:44:00 4.47 7.249.2
  Running3 2:05:00 6.59 10.622.0
  Total6 8:33:00 11.06 17.8116.0

» now

Sunday Dec 13, 2009 #


Click to open bigger version:

Here is simplified description how I do O - I have left out all pressure distracted by other runners etc to make it simple and took only core stuff here.

1: The big picture of the race. You need to have this to get the strategy right. What is the race like, map, terrain, course, rivals. For example if there most likely wil be about two tricky controls and the rest is easy, but the course is so tough you will have to save strength at some point anyway there it may be wise take easy while approaching those tricky areas to have lots of oxygen in your brain at that point. And so on.

2: Big picture of the leg you are running. Like "to SW, control is behind the biggest hill on the map and there is railroad just behind the control". So if you have trouble before the halfway you know it not maybe not worth trying to relocate using tiny dot knolls. Or "whole leg is dark green, it's essential to hit the only path trough it right from the beginning", so now if you have trouble you need it may be worth to relocate using those tiny dot knols.

3: the basic routine: read from map whats ahead, pick up your target (use most distinct features) and tools/ways/accuracy needed to hit it. Then just run and use the tools and hit it and then do the same again. Note, you don't have to run to the middle your target, seeing it is enough. Sometimes even not seeing something is enough (for example trough green between two rocks, if you don't see the neither if the hills you are spot on).

4: on the way to the target you use the map the other way around, you see features and look at the map to see if you are doing fine and you may also use this information to fine tune your route. But this is just to ensure all is ok, and make you faster (so this should not slow you down at all). Your navigation is not based to this and you should do fine even without doing this at all. And you should never do any radical direct on chances for seeing something tiny unexpected.

5: Control spiking, here you need to have plan how to spike it. Often it's about like 3 but in more detailed level.

Some details:

A: often you select target further a way and end up running over an are where you dont even try to read map. sometimes because you are forced to do so - map is empty, there is nothing. Or you choose to do so, are is too detailed indistinct it better not to use brain power there because there is better target just behind this area. For these cases it's important to make sure the tools/means/accuracy are at the needed level so you really will hit this target further away. Tools like compass or other ways to keep direction, distance measuring, contouring/learning to drop/climb X contours etc.

B: You can change plan if route look worse and there is unmapped path. Here you need the big picture of the leg, you can realize it's better to do it the other way and you know it's ok to do it (for example if you know there was no difference from the beginning, you just had to pick one of the alternatives)

C: at some point you need to see how next leg looks like. So when you punch you need to have at least idea what direction you should turn your nose to and if you haven't done route choice you should at least know you need to do it. In Finland it's usually enough if you look at the leg to find out is it typical just straight one or is there one obvious route choice or do you actually have to make route choice.

In addition, I have thumb rule to always keep going with compass with extra focus on accuracy when I get confused. Better keerp the line and overshoot and relocate with something obvious - and dometimes hit the flag by luck - than trying to relocate with something vague and possibly not mapped stuff, loose time by hesitating, or a venue runt to all wrong direction for relocating yorself all wrong.


This is the ideology how I am used to fix it when I have had trouble with my navigation:

Then if we think if the basic nav process (3) it is kind of loop with stages and each stage has input from previous stages and output to next one ("Negative loop" image). What makes O difficult is if one stage is weak/false input to next one you the next stage may go wrong and give even more false input to next oen and then you are trouble. This is why sometimes everything you try goes wrong, you seem not to be able to do anything right. You end up loosing self confidence and you don't trust any input even if it's correct.

But what makes O easy is the fact the same loop works also in positive way. If most stages work fine one weak stage may not spoil it. Often you at beginnig your doing may be so so, nut things get rolling better and better, and soon you feel like it's not possible to do any mistakes.

So the key is get things rolling, identify what stage is the weak on with false output and focus on doing that correctly. For example I sometimes start doing parallel mistakes, end up running 30 degrees wrong direction and taking controls in wring order especially if course crosses. At first you would think I am so crappy navigator I should learn everything over again, but the solution usually is focusing to keep my thumb on the map at the spot I am. Then I will be able to read the map, so I'll get sensible plan and some idea what direction to run and also I'll not end up taking wrong controls. Usually no trainings needed just focusing on thumbing has fixed everything.


What it comes to training, problem often is you do lots of training during short period at training camps. One cant run them all at race speed, so it may build habits to navigate more using 4 instead of focusing target further away. At training speed you have time for it, but at race speed you don't.

This is why I have ended up basically four different training types:

1) racing
2) faster than race speed O intervals
3) "slow" training pace O without doing 4 at all. All based on 3 using targets so far away you can't see them at the point you pick them as targets.
4) special trainigs to learn to us "tools", direction running, contouring, line O (=good fore learning stage 4 type nav) etc etc.

I have been big fan of 3) and been doing it secretly a lot during last 20 years without telling in to anybody.


So if we analyze my CF performance yesterday I was seriously looping the negative loop, could dead the map (no thumb in this game), never got any target, and because I had no target I had no idea of the right direction so I ended op being lost an relocating, but went on without proper plan. And control spiking stage was just running about right direction without any plan hoping to see the flag. I can't fix this as easily as I fix regular O because MinnaR would't like getting greasy thumb marks on her laptop screen:)

Running (Pram jogging) 30:00 [2]

Hesburger loop

Running warm up/down 5:00 [1]

Orienteering (Night) 1:46:00 [3]

Night O, Kvarnby. Course by BorisGr. Mistakes at #1 and #3, then stopped using compass (with big bubble) and got it rolling better. GPS live thing died at the start (I kind of expected that, I made sure this verion dies with this other phone too).


This is what I thought I was doing versus where I actually was:

I think you can see the similarity and imagine how easy it is to make paralle mistakes there at night - at some point all bare rocks knolls looks te same. In both cases the disaster started by running 30 degree left. I am used to be good at running at right direction using compass so I am used to choose narrow targets. if I can't use compass I need to adapt - last night it took 30 minutes :(

At #12 i saw pair of very large yellow eyes looking at me. Eyeballs was very very far away from each other. It did not go away, it just looked at me. Or myu headlamp. The creature moved a bit and it souded like something big and heavy. Scary. Later on way to #14 thre was sond of someone moving in the valley and I think I saw something big moving there too. Just in case I went right and looks like I did even bigger roundabout than I thought.

Saturday Dec 12, 2009 #

Running (Pram jogging) 1:05:00 [2] 10.6 km (6:08 / km)


I did discharge test today with Walle the Headlamp. Current values are multimeter readings, lumen values are estimated flux at given current based on some web sources.


I played CF first time for months, it looks like I haven't lost my skills :)

Friday Dec 11, 2009 #

Trail running (Night) 1:28:00 [2]

cosmic run. rest day did the trick, legs felt fesh.

Wednesday Dec 9, 2009 #

Running warm up/down 25:00 [1]

Orienteering 58:00 [3] 7.2 km (8:03 / km)

Course by ndobbs. I took more controls than I had in my course :/ drawing course with thin pencil on old map was not a good idea.

Some trouble at #2, I had compass but it was in my pocket, so I got the direction a bit wrong and went left. It wasn├Ąt that easy to leave road in right place and right direction without compass because both hill side and road turn are so round.

#3 ok, except I was not sre was I in right place. Here I decided to take compass from pocet to not get hopelessly lost.

#4 first leg with compass :) gound was wet/flooding and I tried to avoid worst places and eded up running too much right. Then noticed ring and spiced it nicely just to find out it was not mine... then went on just pretending notting happenned witout noticing the fact i was all too much left so I ended up hitting the road. Sometimes giving me a map and compass is like giving head lamp to a blind man.

#5 ok
#6 took the porple ring. Damn pencil drawn course...
#7 used new unmapped path most of the way, it ended up almost hitting the control. Just like in Jukola.
#9 went right, left might have been a bit faster, gren was not that bad at all.
#10 stopped at wrong stones once, but quite ok.
#11 I was sure I will never find this one becaus I have had this once before and never found it. But back then I used 2.4 W halogen, now I could spot the hole just fine. No idea was my route optimal or not. i guess it was OK, right woul have been long way around and possibly some climb.
#13 punshment for being lazy and making too many mistakes.
#14 ok

Tuesday Dec 8, 2009 #

Trail running (Night) 1:03:00 [2]

cosmic run

Monday Dec 7, 2009 #


07.12.2009 - Share on Ovi

I found use for a left over led from a head lamp project and a reserve head lamp battery pack.

Trail running (Night) 1:13:00 [2]

cosmic run

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