First Days in Switzerland

The first days of my trip in Switzerland has been a blast! Sofie picked me up at the airport Saturday morning and we got to spend the rest of the morning together 🙂 Later in the day we went for a run up a “hill” which had 700m of climb, and I got my first taste of what Switzerland had to offer terrain wise!

On Sunday Sofie’s coach had prepared us a map to run on so I went out on my first Swiss Map! Because it had been raining for days and days the ground was really really slippery and that made for a lot of walking and holding onto trees. But even with the slippery ground and green forest I took a lot out of the training. Here are a few things that I decided to work on after seeing how my run went:

  • Make sure to have plenty of checkpoints to keep in the right direction when going up or down hills
  • Always know your compass bearing before heading down hills
  • It is 100% easier to navigate down a hill versus coming from below, so pick the higher attack points when the option is there

After the run we walked up the hill and took some scenic pictures and then relaxed for the rest of the day.

Monday morning I went out to do the sprint courses on a map that Sofie had gotten for me. Each of them were about 1-1.5km in length so they were some nice and quick sprint intervals.

Once I got to the map I warmed up along the Rhine and then went back to the start. I quickly got into the maps and never had any kind of a major mistake. Overall I was really happy about how I performed because I often have troubles getting into the maps and staying focus. I decided that it was three factors which accounted for my good concentration:

  • Having a gel(with 20mg) of caffeine before the training
  • Not being stressed
  • Having a solid plan to work off of; I focused on knowing my exit direction(with route planned) and thumbing along

On Tuesday Sofie and I went down to Bassel and she showed me around the “Big Bassel” part where the wealthy family used to live back when the walls were actually needed.

Later that afternoon we heading out to a compass training with her regional team. They had simplified the map to only having one symbol in the control circle and everywhere else being completely whited out.

Though the run was only at a 9.8min/km I though that it went pretty well because all of my compass bearings were perfectly on line. The part that I struggled with was understanding how far I had gone, and so I stopped short and had to search for almost every control.

This was a great confidence builder for me as it showed that I am able to consistently keep strong compass bearings. That with the combination of having features to check off will hopefully help me do well this weekend at my training camp in Jura. There I will be training on Thursday and Friday and then go a Swiss Middle National Event on Saturday and a Long Event on Sunday!


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