Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Some news from the sprint


The gold medalists in today's Nordic Open Champs sprint spent only 12 minutes 31 seconds and 11 minutes 30 seconds on the course.

It hardly seems like orienteering if it only takes 12 minutes. But, I guess the sprint champs events are here to stay.

You can check out the W21 course here.

Here are a few quotes about the sprint:

Emil Wingstedt won M21. "I took it easy from the start to make sure I didn't build up lactic acid on the first hill, and then I didn't think it was so tough....The controls could have been a little tougher."

Karolina Arewång took 2nd in F21. "I'm very satisfied with this. I didn't make any mistakes and I tried to push hard the whole way. Maybe I held back a bit on the first hill, but otherwise I was going at my max the whole way."

Bjornar Valstad didn't run the race. Like many of the top runners, especially the Norwegians, he decided to skip the race and focus on the other three events that take place over the next three days. Even though Valstad didn't compete, he commented on the race.*

What is the essence of a race like this? What decides the outcome? The usual advice is to go hard from the start! In an orienteering courses with such a low degree of difficulty, it is important to have the right idea in mind. Going hard from the start should be followed by this: fast, but "the right" speed, maximal concentration and error-free thinking ahead orienteering. "The right" speed -- I think it is very important to understand that 12 minutes of running is a long distance run and should be done without lactic acid. It is like a cross country or track race. I think orienteers have a lot to learn about the sprint distance. We probably have a tendency to rush at the start, then slow down because of the lactic acid. We think we are going fast. But, instead our running speed is low, pain is high and then our concentration goes. The result is a place in the pack. I think managing your energy is as important in a sprint race as in a classic race.

The first part of this weekend's U.S. middle (aka short) champs is just 1.7 km. It could be quite like a sprint O' race. The comments of these top runners gives me something to think about as I plan my race.

The NOC continues tomorrow with the classic race. My picks? Valstad and Arewång. If it is an O' race and Valstad is on the starting line, he's always a good pick. Arewång has had a strong spring season. She's from the general area where the NOC is being held, so she'll feel at home. Plus, she's already won a medal. She'll be relaxed.

* Be warned, my Norwegian isn't perfect and there were a few words I didn't get in Valstad's comments. I think I got the gist of what he wrote, but I might have missed a bit.

posted by Michael | 9:10 PM


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