Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Map walks


I did a map walk this weekend. Mary and I walked around a very detailed area, carefully reading the map and talking about what we saw. It was fun. I think it was also good training.

Walking, rather than running, gives you a chance to really study the terrain and the map. It feels a like making a map...without the work.

Going with Mary also gave me a chance to learn a bit about how she orienteers and reads the map.

In the old days (i.e. the mid/late 1980s) I spent a lot of time walking around looking at maps. I cut back, way back, when I decided my basic map reading was strong enough and I needed to spend more time working on map reading at race pace. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have cut back on the map walks (except when I was already doing a bunch of fieldchecking).

Do elite orienteers spend much (any?) time walking around looking at the terrain and maps?

In Marita Skogum's book, she wrote about spending some time in the forest, walking around and looking at the map.

Kent Olsson wrote about spending some time each year doing a bit of fieldchecking (which is basically the same as doing a map walk).

Emma Engstrand wrote about a pre-WOC training camp in May:

One of the sessions was a map walk. That was something rather new for me and I had some trouble knowing how I should best set up a map walk....

posted by Michael | 8:23 PM


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