Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

One course, two times


George, Peter and I ran a short (modified green) course earlier today. We ran the course twice, giving us the chance to compare times. I was interested in seeing how much faster it'd go the second time around.

George ran 42:08, then 33:43.
Peter ran 32:26, then 24:41.
I ran 28:26, then 25:29

We all improved substantially the second time around the course. But, the times require some careful interpretation. For example, on his first time around the course, Peter was hanging tapes at the control locations (and at least one other spot) and he made a big boom on one early leg.

After we ran, we spent some time comparing splits at the local Starbucks (I can recommend the crumb cake). I'll have to spend some time looking at the splits to get a better sense of the level of improvement if you take away the errors.

I got a sense that, for me, the second time around the course was a bit faster because in the first 2/3rds of each leg I ran with my head up a bit more, spotting major features from further away. It didn't feel like I was gaining any speed in the last bit of each control. But, I'm not really sure, perhaps I was going faster but just didn't notice it.

As an experiment, I'd say running a course, re-running it soon afterwards, and then studying the split times, is a useful training exercise. I'm looking forward to learning how to run a course as if it was the second time around.

posted by Michael | 5:52 PM


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