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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: IanW

In the 7 days ending Dec 8, 2007:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering6 9:09:29 10.44 16.8 395101 /117c86%
  Warm up/down2 30:00
  Circuits1 4:00
  Total6 9:43:29 10.44 16.8 395101 /117c86%

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Saturday Dec 8, 2007 #

Orienteering race 29:13 [4] *** 4.0 km (7:18 / km) +85m 6:36 / km
spiked:14/16c shoes: 2007 Falcons

ShUOC Chasing Sprint Prologue - Ecclesall Woods. Got to the start just in time, started quite well but then turned wrong way when hit a big path and went via #4 to #2 - lost at least 30secs. However the running was feeling pretty good, not the hilliest of areas. Slight wobble towards #9, caught in some grot towards #13 cost 30secs, then 20secs lost by not picking the optimal route to the finish. Pretty pleased with my run though :)

Orienteering race 24:34 [5] *** 4.0 km (6:09 / km) +100m 5:28 / km
spiked:16/18c shoes: 2007 Falcons

ShUOC Chasing Sprint Chase. 9 seconds down on one guy, 4 seconds ahead of Chris Williamson, so the aim was clear!

We were together by #1, then took the longer southern route to #2, spiking the control but probably losing 20-30 seconds on the route choice. Then was 50-100m behind through to #12, taking slightly different route choices to #7 and #8 which didn't gain me anything - that to #7 probably lost me time. They missed #12 by about 30 seconds, allowing me back in the lead. Hesitation at #13 as had misread descriptions cost 10 seconds, found a very good route to #15 then went over the top to #16 when round the path at the bottom would have been 20-30 secs faster. However, Chris got dragged up with me, tried to contour but that was even worse. A slight bobble on #17 lost a few seconds but had enough breathing space to finish 11 seconds up on him.

Was pretty knackered by the end of that, but really happy that I could race at pretty much full pace without making any big errors - probably less than 30 seconds lost, primarily through hesitation, across the whole course. Still need to sort out the route choice thing though, looking at all the options across the entire leg and a strong entry to the control at the end of the leg to cut the hesitation time down. In traffic light terms, that last bit is trying to increase the speed of the 'red' phase.

Warm up/down 20:00 [1]
shoes: 2007 Falcons

Jog/walk to start/from finish of sprint prologue.

Circuits 4:00 [2]

Plank-off on Saturday evening, don't know if I had the setup slightly wrong (overextended?) but was shaking slightly from about 30secs in and this slowly got worse... Scott got to 5 minutes relatively easily.

Friday Dec 7, 2007 #

Orienteering 40:00 [1] ****
shoes: 2007 Falcons

Hanging controls on Great Tower for the Handicap Sprint prologue, a couple of features weren't so clear so spent a bit of time checking the flag locations.

Orienteering 1:05:00 [2] ****
shoes: 2007 Falcons

More control hanging, for the Chase - took 15-20 minutes to hang one control because couldn't really work out the map from the directions I was approaching the control site from, and it was pretty steep in this area. Got that one right eventually... climbing up and down the hill was quite hard work.

Orienteering 30:00 [2] ****
spiked:3/4c shoes: 2007 Falcons

Collecting some controls, approaching the difficult one from the south as the race did made things much easier to understand and dropped straight in on the flag with no problems. The climb out of #10 was an absolute killer though - pretty knackered by the end of this!

Thursday Dec 6, 2007 #

Orienteering 35:00 [3] ****
spiked:16/18c shoes: 2007 Falcons

Lakes Training Tour - Nibthwaite. Peg Relay - took it relatively slowly to #1 and was the first not to get a tape - led a small pack through to #4 where next tapes were and picked up one of them. Coming down to #5, the packs who split at #1 and #4 rejoined. Picked up another tape at #8, then caught in bracken going up and took a poor route choice back down, losing everyone else and hence easing off considerably. But people were being particularly blind at #11 and I found one tape left there, did the obligatory route to 11a and back to the finish where it was established at least 4 people didn't bother checking the flag at #11 for that final tape. Technically was pretty sound, apart from the bad route choice and a parallel error at #12.

Orienteering 29:00 [1] ****
shoes: 2007 Falcons

Line course on Nibthwaite - very good training, picking out exactly where you were amongst the maze of small hills, knolls and crags wasn't the easiest of things at times. Need to get better at this given what Scandi terrain is like! Got forced off the line by some windblown at one point and took a bit of time to find my way back on.

Orienteering 34:00 [3] ****
spiked:9/9c shoes: 2007 Falcons

Just a 'standard' course on Nibthwaite - missed a good/better route on one long leg but otherwise pretty sound technically, reading the detail quite well and spiking all the controls.

Orienteering 25:00 [3] ***
shoes: 2007 Falcons

To finish off a great day's training (primarily as it was pretty dry!) a "Headless Chicken" race. To make things more interesting it was done in pairs, finding one control at a time, with the more experienced orienteers going map-memory. This was good - the exact location of the flags had to be recalled (got one slightly wrong). Time an estimate, area was pretty flat and felt was moving quite well for the first time in the week - guess the two are related and that my hill fitness is far worse than I thought it was...

Wednesday Dec 5, 2007 #

Orienteering 45:00 [3] ****
spiked:6/8c shoes: 2007 Falcons

Lakes Training Tour - Skelghyll Woods, just south of Ambleside. Mooose course - 3 possible locations for each control, the correct one determined by the answer to a question. Typical Lakeland woodland, plenty of contour and rock detail, few paths. Orienteering was pretty good, slight misses on a couple of controls - 1:5000 scale took a bit of getting used to, and a big unmapped rough open area near the end caused some confusion.

It then pissed it down for a while - didn't do the other course (Squirrel).

Tuesday Dec 4, 2007 #

Orienteering 1:18:00 [2] ****
spiked:16/18c shoes: 2007 Falcons

Lakes Training Tour - Tarn Hows. Course: "Relentless". A bit wet to start, taking it relatively easy, trying to look for every route between controls as have been missing good routes too easily recently. Also trying to read all of the detail along the way to get into Lakes terrain, and deliberately going off line a couple of times to see how certain things were mapped. Very slippery and wet underfoot mean was taking things pretty slowly/carefully - even dobs don't necessarily give enough grip on wet leaves covering rocky slopes... Couple of little misses but otherwise fairly good technically.

Orienteering 48:00 [3] ****
spiked:7/8c shoes: 2007 Falcons

Norwegian course on Tarn Hows - "Espress-O" - one parallel error following the wrong line of marshes/ponds to a reentrant, but worked out where I'd gone wrong without the need to go back to the map fragment. Physically feeling a bit weak, although Lakes areas are always going to be tougher physically than most things down south...

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?

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