Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

L.A.M. intervals


One of my flaky training ideas is what I call "L.A.M. intervals."

Before I explain what that is, I should explain that one of the things I've been doing with my training the last few months has been to test some ideas for sharpening my O' technique without doing technique training. L.A.M. intervals are the result of an experiment.

I was thinking about how I orienteer when I've been doing enough technique training compared to how I orienteer when I haven't been doing enough technique training. One difference seems to be that I don't look at the map frequently when I haven't been doing much technique. I tend to look at the map, make a plan, and then run. That isn't a terrible way to orienteer, but the problem seems to be that I have a tendency to then keep running when I should look at the map. On the other hand, when I am orienteering well, I'm taking lots of quick glances at the map.

Watching video from some top elite races, I started to pay attention to how often the best orienteers in the world glance at their maps. Some of them look at the map very frequently.

With those two ideas in mind (i.e. when I orienteer well, I take lot of looks at the map; and some of the best in the world take a lot of looks at the map), I decided to train that -- to train myself to look at the map a lot. Look at the map...L.A.M.

I began by running a set route that takes 3 minutes, carrying a map, and counting how many times I looked. I trained myself to take lots of short glances at the map while running hard. I used a heart rate monitor to make sure I kept the effort where I wanted it. It felt different than just running hard.

When I first experimented with L.A.M. intervals and then ran a race, I ran well. That isn't proof it works. But, it was promising.

To get ready for this weekend's races (a clip of the map with Peter's routes is below), I'd planned to do 3 or 4 L.A.M. workouts in the weeks leading up to the race. I didn't do that because I've been struggling to run well (sore ribs). But, today I did some L.A.M. intervals and it felt good. It feels useful.

Mongolian Music

I heard a report on NPR about a "rock opera" honoring Genghis Khan. Check out the NPR story and listen to a short music clip. It's got a bit of the Mongolian long song sound. Cool. Though I'd say Lumino is my favorite Mongolian pop music.

posted by Michael | 9:04 PM


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