Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

How to run in Scandinavian forests


I've spent some time thinking about how to run in Scandinavian forests. The places I can train at home have relatively smooth and hard ground. But, in Scandinavia the forest tend to be soft and bumpy. In my experience, it is difficult to make the transition.

When I was in Stockholm a couple of weeks ago, I got some clear evidence of the difficulty. I ran with orienteers who do a lot of training in Scandinavian terrain. As I ran with them (either leading or following) I could tell I was working harder and not taking smooth lines through the terrain. I had to expend more thought on running that I should, making it easier to boom.

So, I need to figure out how to make an efficient and effective transition to Scandinavian forests when I go back to Sweden to run the 5-Days. I've got some ideas about how to do that. But, I'm not certain where I put my notes. When I find them, I'll post them.

I was amused to see Holger Hott Johansen struggling with the same problem (though Holger feeling slow is certainly moving faster than I ever do). Here is a bit of what he wrote:

After very little running in typical Nordic terrain this spring I just didn'?t manage to run that fast on rocky ground. The o-technical mistakes I did could not explain my time loss to the winner. It was a frustrating feeling not being able to run fast on a surface where I normally feel very confident. I assume one explanation is that Tiomila and the three days of training before Tiomila are my only kilometres in typical Nordic terrain this year. Other than that my time in the forest has been spent in Skane (southern Sweden), Denmark and Estonia.

Three practices, 3,5 hours of running, and 20 km of orienteering later I was ready for Jukola. Now my running worked much better.

posted by Michael | 7:37 PM


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