I thought that a little training camp before heading over to Switzerland for the Junior World Orienteering Championships would help me focus on the little things that need tweaking and give me a sense of direction before heading over. With the help of my Regional Coach Hans and DontGetLost, I put one together.
Day 1, X-league Race
After double and triple checking that I had packed not only everything for this week, but also everything for Switzerland, we headed off on the 7 hour car drive. After arriving in Kitchener we went to the Chicopee Ski Center where DontGetLost was putting on an X-League race.
The X-League races are in a the 30 min Score-O format where you first need to collect one set of controls and then head back to the start to check in. Once you’ve done that you can head out to the rest of the controls where you also have to complete a Dog-Bone control which means that you need to go from both sides of it with no controls in between. The map was 1:5000 and covered all the way around the ski hill so our course sent us up and down and I made a poor route choice which let me go up a second time…
Overall the race went really well. I felt comfortable in the forested areas and hit most of the controls smoothly with just a few minor errors. Most of those errors occurred while I was running quickly through the complex trail networks.
Note: I need to make sure to run at my navigating pace, not running pace 🙂
Day 2, Control Picking and Park-O
To start of the training camp I wanted to get my head back into the gear of clicking along from control to control. I got into the map pretty quickly which led to some smooth controls at the beginning. When I got to the loop on the west side of the map I started to lose focus and made some silly errors.
This session helped me get my head into gear. I decided that I needed to focus on flow and reading ahead.
Note: In hindsight it would’ve been best if I focused on maintaining concentration and thumbing along
The second training that I did was with the DontGetLost ARX group. It was a similar format to the X-League race which was nice because I now new how to plan routes with the Dog-Bone style courses.
I really good flow in this course. My only mistakes were from not being able to see the controls where kids were huddling around.
I started from 2A and then flowed around the course with 7 and 8 leading into 3 then the finish.
Day 3, World Champions’ Course and 2 McMaster Sprints
This was definitely the highlight of my training camp because I was able to finally have times to compare with which gave me that extra drive to run fast. It went really smoothly until the fifth control where I over-folded my map and thought that north was the other way. This made for about a 10 min error and that kind of crushed my motivation, but I kept on plowing along; instead focusing on nailing controls and having smooth exits, versus trying to really push the pace.
Overall I was happy with my run because the large majority of my controls were really strong, it was just around the 10-15 min mark that I lost my concentration and that made me mess up.
Note: I am going to have to continue to remind myself during races to focus to prevent more stupid mistakes.
I met Christian at the start and we did a quick warmup before starting the two sprints. The first one went fairly well until the 12th control where I had my map folded so that I didn’t see 12 and instead went to 15 then 16 until I had noticed my mistake and corrected it. To keep this from happening again I need to count controls and make sure that I have the entire route planned out so the I don’t get confused half way through. In this sprint I beat Christian by 1 minute but he went through unmarked construction to 5 versus I just skipped it.
The scale of this map worked really well with me and I was able to see things a lot more clearly which helped when planning routes. Every control went smoothly and I was able to figure out controls like 15 quickly with the help of the control description. The forest section also went fairly smoothly but was a little tough to run through because I had regular running shoes on. In this one I beat Christian by 30 seconds(he also had a smooth run).
I’ve come out of this camp with a few really good things to focus on:
- Reengage focus after 10-15 minutes to keep from having large mistakes
- Push my running speed but keep it within my navigating speed
- Have a preplanned direction for exiting the controls
- Be willing to take the climb when your route goes up a hill
Things that worked well:
- Having multiple checkpoints along the way from each control
- Make sure to have a strong attack point and a clear picture of what the control area looks like
If you would like to look at closer race analysis for any of these trainings you can check out my attack point training log: http://bit.ly/APTrainingLog