Before heading off to out training on Tuesday we were asked by the boarding school’s athletics director to sign a wall where they planned on having all of the teams put their names. We all found really cool and were excited to head off to S-Chanf for our forest training!
After doing a light walk/jog up to the start where I checked off features and worked on getting into the map, I finalized my plan and headed off. My goal for this run was to use checkpoints from each control, specifically going to them how I had planned. I also took controls 1-5 as a warm-up where I focused on following my mental process.
All of the warm-up controls went really well, I felt that my compass bearings were strong and I had picked smooth attackioints. The main part that needed improvement was check my control description for when side of the feature that the control was on.
At control 5 I regrouped with Lief and Christian and headed out in 1 minute intervals. We then regrouped at 8 and 11. From there they continued to do one more interval set (skipping 12 and 13) and I decided to let my legs rest and walked the last controls, still working on my mental process.
The competitiveness of the intervals made all of us get into our race-mindsets and definitely helped increase our focus which lead to a faster run. I was very happy with all of my intervals here, and only lost a little time on hesitation.
The girls went out and walked the controls checking off features until the last section below the hill where they also did some intervals.
After dinner we did a fun map reading exercise where people were going around on a trampoline while figuring out routes. I decided to instead lay down and do my map reading that way *boooringgg.*
On Wednesday we went went to Such for a middle qualification simulation. This was probably the most relevant maps that we had run on because to the north was actually where the middle final will be. Therefore I was fairly happy that I had felt quiet at home on this map 🙂
We broke the training into 3 intervals that we raced at close to our top speed and staggered each heat by one minute. Robbie, Christian, and Michael went out in the first heat, then Leif, Caelen, and I followed. I felt like I got into the map right away and started to the first control fairly smoothly. By the end of the first interval I finished right next to Robbie and Leif, where I went at around an 8:30min/km pace when using the direct course length.
For the next interval Leif and I took it out quickly and made it smoothly to control 6 but when I forgot to read my control description for which side it was on he got away from me and I had to work on catching back up to him until we finished close together on the 10th control.
After the second interval we took a short water break and then finished the third one and headed up the hill to check out the fort that was on top.
Overall I was happy with this training technically because I was able to understand how everything looked and had no navigational issues, but my mental process was really poor. I had meant to work on planning out checkpoints to each control but they had come so quickly that I was instead orienteering as I went which for me is doable but adds a lot more of a risk factor to messing up. For the middle races I want to really focus on my checkpoints so that I can keep constant and fast.