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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: IanW

In the 7 days ending Dec 2, 2007:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering1 1:06:42 5.47(12:12) 8.8(7:35) 21014 /18c77%
  Night Orienteering1 1:05:005 /9c55%
  Circuits1 50:00
  Warm up/down1 10:00
  Total3 3:11:42 5.47 8.8 21019 /27c70%
averages - rhr:57

» now

Sunday Dec 2, 2007 #

Orienteering 1:06:42 [3] *** 8.8 km (7:35 / km) +210m 6:46 / km
spiked:14/18c shoes: 2007 Falcons

New Forest, Burley North - Brown Course. Was raining on and off most of the way down there, then really pissed it down just as we arrived. Plan was simple - sit in car 'til it stops. About 15 minutes later it does just that, and we're greeted with beautiful blue skies, sunshine, bit of a breeze and low teens temperature. In December. Absolutely gorgeous weather for orienteering.

Course was quite nice too - mainly in typical fast runnable New Forest woodland with a couple of forays out into the heathland. Started off not feeling great and really quite hesitant, drifting off bearings really easily and confusing rides/paths that I was hitting, losing 2-3 minutes across the first 4 controls. After the knee-deep stream crossing things started to pick up a bit - slowly got more of a running and orienteering rhythm, felt a bit smoother, until #12 where I was a bit unsure exactly where I'd come in relative to the very vague "distinct" veg boundary and lost ~1m30. But caught Jon who'd lost about 5... Then we were orienteering off one another, taking slightly different route choices but still hitting the controls pretty well. In front to the final control, was a bit unsure as to where I'd come out on the track and exactly which veg boundary the control was on - was partly thinking New Forest = 1:15 when we were running on a 1:10. Knew should have turned left but 15-20 seconds of hesitation and a sprint finish with Jon ensued - felt longer than the 130m it was purported to be...

Warm up/down 10:00 [1]

To/from the car and to the start. Coughing just a little...


I've noticed recently that I've been almost over-implementing the "straight is great" philosophy, often taking the straight route because it looks like there's nothing rubbish in the way. It's not necessarily a conscious decision - straight route looks OK, go for it, don't bother looking for alternative route choices. Even when there is a nice(r) alternative route, which could have the added benefit of navigational safety and a stronger attack point. And the going straight option often results in some significant hesitancy and/or mistakes.

Am thinking this is a "Southern England" type mindset, but something I want to move away from - don't think it will be as much of a concern in the Lake District but perhaps next weekend it could be...


A short, to-the-point rant (after looking at today's map again):

Why do the majority of planners seem unable to cut lines/circles to show obscured detail?

Saturday Dec 1, 2007 #

Night Orienteering 1:05:00 [2] ****
spiked:5/9c shoes: 2007 Falcons

Western Night League, Webb's Wood nr Swindon. 1 hour night score, 2 maps, 2 control cards. Do as many/few from the first map as you like, hand over card 1, pick up card 2, do as many as possible from map 2. No going back to map 1.

First ever night-O event in a forested area, and it was a learning experience alright. And, as rarely as it will be said, it would have been easier had I been in Sweden. A pretty flat, almost featureless bit of forest is not at all ideal for this sort of thing - whichever "Webb" this bit of forest was named for/after, he wasn't an orienteer! Some recent forestry work meant that there was a lot of mud and many extraction lanes, which could easily be mistaken for ditches given how wet it was underfoot.

So what was learnt:
- Distance judgement at night is bloody difficult. Especially in this sort of forest where there are no features to check yourself off against. Even on paths it wasn't easy. So need to pace-count
- You're effectively running with 5% or less of the information you would have usually. I'm a really "visual" orienteer - I rely on having a big picture of the terrain surrounding me and seeing things in the distance/periphery that confirm where I'm going. That technique just doesn't work at night
- You need decent, strong attackpoints, especially where there's nothing to 'guide' you into a control. And then be really accurate on the compass.
- Sometimes perhaps you need to create an attackpoint - run 100m along a track and then bearing from there.
- It's so easy to run over a path (esp. at this time of year), or mistake an unmapped feature for a ditch, or just as easily run over a "ditch". Consistency of mapping would help!
- Obvious catching features behind controls are very useful!

So yes, plenty of thrashing about aimlessly, not having a clue exactly where I was in relation to where I wanted to be/the control. Visited 16 of the 27 controls, 7 of which were designed as a 'yellow' course so weren't at all difficult. Of the more difficult ones, spiked 5 of the 9, but could follow linear features into 4 of them. The other spike was an almost spot-on bearing from an attack point 200m away - I got lucky. The others which I tried to do that for must have resulted in ~5 minute time losses every time. Direction of approach really seems to have mattered for these - there was an easiest attack if you were going the "right" way around the course. Although I still think #20 was really hit or miss - I eventually hit, Jon M didn't find it...

Felt alright physically which is good - few remnants of cold still being removed from system, but didn't seem to have much effect on running :)

Friday Nov 30, 2007 #

rhr:54 (rest day)

Was starting to feel better last night and the best part of 12 hours proper sleep last night, very few interruptions. Feeling almost normal again, just a few cold remnants hanging around. Another day of doing nothing should set things up quite nicely for next week I hope.

Thursday Nov 29, 2007 #

rhr:60 (sick)

Perhaps a slight improvement, 12 hours in bed but very broken sleep. Stuffy head, achy muscles, not going anywhere today.

Wednesday Nov 28, 2007 #


Yes I'm ill again - annoying tickly throat and cough, with general muscle lethargy and seemingly quite slow reactions. Not getting anything done in the lab so going home, probably to sleep.


Tuesday Nov 27, 2007 #


Not going to kill myself doing intervals - have a sore throat and occasional nasty cough which I don't want to get worse. Plus the brain is half asleep...

Monday Nov 26, 2007 #

Circuits 50:00 [2]

Good OUOC Circuits session, bit tougher than usual, introduced to most painful side plank variant in existence...

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