Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

More from Birklin on Switzerland


Here is a bit more from Jimmy Birklin about the 2003 World Champs in Switzerland.

Making route choice decisions will be the most important O' technique. We Swedes aren't used to making route choice decisions, so we'll have to do a lot of "dry land" exercises. Physically, running on the hills will make the difference. Having the guts to really run the downhills will be an important part of our WOC preparations. The ground has very few rocks and is hard and firm, so someone who isn't afraid will be able to earn a lot of seconds on the downhills. The risk of building too much lactic acid in the beginning of the race is something we also have to master. Lactic acid tolerance should be a priority for training. I think we can do a lot of that on the Swedish ski hills.

Jimmy's focus on downhill running is interesting. Two years ago, I began to work on my downhill running. I've never been good at running downhill and it seemed like an area where I could pick up a fair amount of time. I improved quite a bit. Then I tore up my knee/leg in New Hampshire and I'm back to square one. In fact, I'm probably worse at running downhill than I've ever been. Downhill running is, once again, a good place for me to gain time.

I'm not sure I'd agree with Birklin about route choice. Sure, there will be plenty of route choice opportunities in continental terrain (which is the dominant, but not only, type of terrain in Switzerland) and to prepare for Switzerland an orienteer ought to spend some time thinking about how to make route choice decisions. But, I'm not really sure route choice is going to be a deciding factor.

I should write a bit more about route choice, but it is the end of my lunch hour and time to get back to work....maybe I'll write more this evening or some other day.

posted by Michael | 1:02 PM


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