Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Thursday, November 27, 2003

A couple quick notes


Happy Thanksgiving! I'll celebrate by going to Lawrence to check points for the upcoming OK race and eating a turkey dinner with my Dad. Tomorrow I'm taking the day off work, so I've got four days away from the office. It feels great.

I learned a lesson at last night's night orienteering training. You've got to pay attention to the map and pay attention to what you are doing. I didn't. I just ran in the general direction, often thinking about the pace and about keeping moving, then looked around for the control. I missed half of the six controls. Pay attention. Read the map. Have a plan. If the map reading is going well, the running will come. Unfortunately, I seem to "learn" this same lesson a couple of times a year.

I suppose the real lesson is to spend a few minutes before each technique training session thinking about what I'm doing.

A new project. I keep finding more and more orienteers who put their training on the internet and I'd like to figure out a way to learn something from all that information. My new "project" is to come up with a set of questions I can answer by looking at people's training logs. Answering those questions will help me understand the similarities and differences even when the specific information people track isn't consistent.

I'd like to be able to have 5-10 questions that would characterize how different people train. I could then compare orienteers like Pasi Ikonen, Takehiko Oguma and Matthias.

It might be a waste of time, but it might not. Maybe I'd learn something interesting.

So, what are the 5-10 questions? That's what I'm working on. The questions ought to be ways to draw distinctions about the ways people train. I've got a list of possible questions (but the list isn't in front of me). I could ask things like:

Does the orienteer do much "cross training"? What sort of cross training do they do? How do they seem to use the cross training?

Does the orienteer do a lot of technique training or do they use races as their main way of practicing O'?

Does the orienteer seem to structure their training in blocks with a focus for each block (e.g. spending a couple of months in the off season building up a base of long and easy sessions)?

Does the orienteer have some clear, specific goals that they've made known?

Does the orienteer work with a coach?

Well, the list has a lot more questions and I'm not sure which ones will make the most sense. That's why this is a "project."

Use the comment function to suggest any questions.

posted by Michael | 11:47 AM


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