Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Why just 3000 meters?


From a discussion at Attackpoint about running speed...

Very interesting that the Norwegians use the 3000m as the test. Seems very short and fast to me - but probably important these days with so many shorter races at WOC than there used to be!

I'm pretty sure I know why the Norwegians use 3000 meters as a test distance. Obviously, it is easy to control and easy to compare times from year to year and place to place. But, maybe as important a reason is the graph below (lifted from Staff-valstad.com).

The graph shows you that at about 9 minutes you're running at about 95-98 percent aerobic. That's about the same as if you run for a longer time. If you run shorter, the aerobic portion declines. But if you run longer the aerobic portion doesn't really change. So a test run of about 9 minutes is the minimum you can use and get an aerobic/anaerobic mix that is just like a much longer race. There is no need to go any longer.

A longer test run would work, but it'd doesn't really give you any more information and it is just more draining. You could do a good warm up, run a 3000 meter test, jog a bit, and still have plenty left for a second session. But, if the test is 10K, that second session might not work.

Of course, I'm just speculating. Maybe I'm wrong.

posted by Michael | 6:15 PM


I wrote an article for one of our running magazines a few months ago, summarising various orienteering reserach on anaerobic performance (all from Sci Jo of O). You won't be able to read it because it's in Hebrew.
One of my conclusions was that good (fast) orienteers have anaerobic capacity similar to 3,000m runners and therefore that distance is a good predictor of orienteering speed. As it's based on existing research, I suppose lots of people know that.
Post a Comment
March 2002April 2002May 2002June 2002July 2002August 2002September 2002October 2002November 2002December 2002January 2003February 2003March 2003April 2003May 2003June 2003July 2003August 2003September 2003October 2003November 2003December 2003January 2004February 2004March 2004April 2004May 2004June 2004July 2004August 2004September 2004October 2004November 2004December 2004January 2005February 2005March 2005April 2005May 2005June 2005July 2005August 2005September 2005October 2005November 2005December 2005January 2006February 2006March 2006April 2006May 2006June 2006July 2006August 2006September 2006October 2006November 2006December 2006January 2007February 2007March 2007April 2007May 2007June 2007July 2007August 2007September 2007October 2007November 2007December 2007January 2008February 2008March 2008April 2008May 2008June 2008July 2008August 2008September 2008October 2008November 2008December 2008January 2009February 2009March 2009April 2009May 2009June 2009July 2009August 2009September 2009October 2009November 2009December 2009January 2010February 2010March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010July 2010August 2010September 2010October 2010November 2010December 2010January 2011February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013July 2013September 2013