Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chasing and being chased


I spent a lot of time this weekend chasing or being chased.

On Saturday, I made a couple of mistakes in the first part of the course and Randy caught me. I'd lost two minutes and didn't think I had much of a chance of getting those two minutes back. But, I thought I could get away and might have a chance. I thought I'd be running stronger than Randy. No way. I could barely keep up with him.

On Sunday, Robbie made a big mistake early on and I caught up to him. I figured there was no chance I could hang on to Robbie. He is faster than me. But, I managed to keep even with him, running similar but not quite the same routes. At one point I had to stop twice to get a thorn out of my foot. I was sure Robbie would be gone, but I chased and caught back up fairly quickly. In fact, I was able to get a bit of a lead and ran a good bit of the course being chased by Robbie.

It is strange that my perceptions were completely wrong. I thought I'd out run Randy, and I couldn't. I thought I'd have no chance to keep Robbie in sight, and I managed to get ahead and hold a bit of a lead.

Given the choice I'd much rather be chased than chase someone. When you get a small lead, it feels like it is easy to work hard. But, when you're in back, it feels like a fight to stay in touch. There's no drafting in orienteering.

Randy wrote a bit about his experience being chased by me:

While I was happy with all my races, the middle at FLO has to stand out as one of my better races ever. It certainly was a PR by a wide margin in terms of WRE points, if that means anything. But more to the point was that I was in a zone and doing everything right, even the little things. All at a pretty high speed for me. 5:30 per K, not too bad. I boomed #5 for about 10 seconds, and that's about it. Finished 4th in a decent field. I think starting behind Spike, and catching him, and ahead of Ted, and not wanting to be caught, had alot to do with focus. One thing I tend to do when ahead of a better orienteer is be cautious about leading. I feel nervous about being watched. But I was able to put that out of my mind and ignore everything but the map and terrain and pushing myself. I think pushing myself in this race left me a little weak for the long, but I imagine my competition was also pushing themselves.

posted by Michael | 9:00 PM


Monday, February 27, 2006

Some notes from Florida


High quality

This may seem a bit silly, but I'm convinced that a good way to quickly judge the quality of an orienteering race is to answer two questions:

1. Is the map printed well?
2. Are the map cases good?

The Florida meet looks good on both questions. The maps were well printed (I don't know the details of the printer and paper, but clearly the organizers paid attention to the quality of printing). The map cases were the right weight of plastic and sealed well.

Of course, that isn't all that goes into a high quality meet, but organizers who pay attention to those details typically put on good events.

The Florida meet was quite good and a lot of fun. Thanks to all of the organizers. I won't try to list them all, but clearly Vladimir deservse a bunch of the credit.

Fast terrain

I ran yesterday's 10 km M40 course in 6:06/km. That's fast. And, I'm not fast, so you can get an idea that the terrain was fast. The forest was open and flat.


Saturday afternoon, we took a little trip to Blue Spring State Park where we saw a group of manatees. The manatees need warm water and the outflow from the spring is a good temperature for them, so they congregate at the junction of the outflow and the St John river. That makes the junction a perfect spot (at least on Saturday) to watch manatees.

posted by Michael | 7:47 PM


Saturday, February 25, 2006  

this is an audio post - click to play

posted by Michael | 2:36 PM


Friday, February 24, 2006  

this is an audio post - click to play

posted by Michael | 7:08 PM


Thursday, February 23, 2006

To Florida


I'll be orienteering in Florida this weekend. Look for audio updates each day.

I haven't given much thought to the weekend's races. But, I suppose a safe strategy is to read the map. I'll have to be careful not to run too fast into the controls, unless it is appropriate. Last weekend, you didn't need to slow down at any of the controls, especially if you kept your head up since you could often see the flag and feature from a good 100+ meters away. It might be like that in Florida. But, it might not.

I orienteered in Florida years ago (maybe 10 years ago?). I remember the terrain being fast and not super interesting, but not bad in any way either. It should be fun.

posted by Michael | 1:10 PM


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The 20 minute nap


Mary introduced me to the 20 minute nap. One summer when she was in college, Mary worked at a sleep lab. Among other things, she learned about the value of the 20 minute nap. Apparently 20 minutes is just about the perfect amount of time for a nap. If you sleep much longer, you often wake up feeling sleepy rather than refreshed. If you sleep much less, well you don't really get any rest.

The sailboat racer, Ellen MacArthur, takes lots of short naps when she races. You can read about her napping in a BBC article and at Outside Online.

What got me thinking about naps? Check out Sandy Hott Johansen's latest article.

posted by Michael | 7:05 PM


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Some questions to ponder


I ran easily for an hour tonight. To entertain mnyself, I thought about two questions:

1. If I spent another hour a week preparing for orienteering, what would I do?

2. If I spent an hour less per week preparing for orienteering, what wouldn't I do?

My answers:

1. I think I'd add three 20 minute strength workouts. In the past I've done a little strength training (typically a mix of things like sit-ups and push-ups). It has always seemed worthwhile. It is also something I could add without having to add any driving or preparation.

2. If I dropped an hour, I'd probably split it up. I usually do two or three short bike rides on a trainer in my basement. Short means 30 minutes. I'd cut back on those and save a half hour or so a week. For the other half hour, I'd reduce the time I spend looking at orienteering maps.

I wonder if I ponder the same questions tomorrow I'll come up with the same answers?

posted by Michael | 8:07 PM


Monday, February 20, 2006

A few notes from the Georgia A-meet


GPS track

I ran with a GPS on the second day. The image below shows my track and Mats Froberg's route (his is the thin blue line). The graph at the bottom shows altitude, speed and heart rate.

You'll note that the GSP track seems to have screwed up between 7 and 9. I remember hearing some beeping from the unit as I ran along that hillside. Maybe the signal was blocked by my arm and/or the hillside.

Pet Peeve

As far as I could tell, GAOC did a fine job with the event...but, they also presented one of my pet peeves. They'd set up the finish on both days with the expectation that a runner would either:

(a) stop moving within about a step after crossing the finish line, or
(b) slow down before reaching the finish line and then stop within a step of the finish.

Of course, that isn't the way a race works. You punch the last control and run like mad until you've crossed the finish line. Then you slow down over a short stretch, maybe ten meters or so. You don't just cross the line and stop. If you're running you just can't do that.

It isn't a big deal. It certainly doesn't affect the overall quality of the event. But, it is such an easy thing to get right that it drives me crazy when they get it wrong.

Inspiring TV

I watched some inspiring TV on Saturday afternoon. NBC ran a documentary about the 4x10 Km ski relay from the Olympics in Lillehammar, Norway. You might remember that race for a sprint finish where Italy beat Norway. It was a great race to watch.

The documentary featured interviews with all of the various skiers, including Dezolt from Italy.

I learned that Dezolt was 43 years old when he won that gold medal. Wow, that's older than me.

You can see a video clip and buy the show from Google video.

posted by Michael | 6:27 PM


Sunday, February 19, 2006  

this is an audio post - click to play

posted by Michael | 3:42 PM


Saturday, February 18, 2006  

this is an audio post - click to play

posted by Michael | 3:22 PM


Friday, February 17, 2006

To Georgia


I'm leaving for the Georgia A-meet in a few minutes. I'll probably try to post a few updates from the weekend from my phone.

The O' should be fun. My plan is simple -- read the map.

posted by Michael | 11:46 AM


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Gambling and an interview


You can bet on orienteering results in Norway. Check out betsafe.com and you'll find a series of gambling opportunities based on the Nowegian Orienteering "Craft Cup."

I was reminded of the World Champs in Finland in 2001. The snapshot below shows a nervous gambler checking out the results (I believe he became a happy gambler having picked Rostrup to win).

An audio interview with Patrick

I discovered a tool/toy called Odeo that makes it easy to post short audio message and send audio notes (you can send me an audio email by clicking the little "send me an Odeo" button on the right side of this page, under the archives.

Odeo also has a function that allows for people to add audio comments to an existing audio entry. It occurred to me that the comment feature would make it possible to easily interview someone. So, I did a little experiment. Over a couple of days, I interviewed Patrick.

You can listen to an experimental interview with Patrick by starting at the top of the page and listening to each entry.

If you know Patrick or read his T5T web page, you might find it interesting (or if you're really interested in things like the difference between orienteering in Seattle and Kansas City).

I thought using Odeo to conduct an interview worked pretty well. It was a bit like holding a conversation by email (i.e. it took place over a couple of days), but I think that it feels a bit more like a conversation because it is audio rather than text. Like email, it was convenient. I didn't have to find a time when both Patrick and I could chat. I'd just post a question and Patrick would answer when he had a chance. Then I could follow up a day or so later.

posted by Michael | 5:42 PM


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Training feelings


Here is a very rough translation of something Aspleaf wrote a couple of days ago that I found interesting:

Tonight's training was a 45 minute interval workout where we ran 8 x 3 minute intervals. 80 percent was through snowy fields and 20 percent on roads. It was tough for me. Already after just 2 intervals I didn't feel good. That got me to think about what gives you the most. Do you get more from a workout when it feels really tough and you fight for every meter or do you get more when you feel 100 percent and almost fly along? If you fight through a tough workout, you get a real boost after the training and can move forward knowing you completed something tough. After a workout that feels like everything was easy, you get a bunch of self confidence. Probably both workouts give you the same physical training effect, but they give two different feelings.

A Winter Olympic memory

An Olympic memory...the 5 dollar cup of coffee at one of the Salt Lake hockey venues. I wonder if the organizers in Torino are soaking the specatotors the way they did in Salt Lake City?

posted by Michael | 9:04 PM


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Looking ahead


I was watching some old Tour de France videos last night when I was on the bike trainer.

The stage was from Gerardmer to Mulhouse and featured some fast, steep downhills. The professional riders are so smooth going down those winding roads. I'm sure that I would struggle. I'd have to break too much or not enough. I'd watch the road, but not look far enough ahead to ride smoothly. The pros look like they're reading the road as far ahead as they can see, even as they go through a tight turn.

You see the same thing when you watch the Olympic downhill skiing. When I'm skiing, I'm lucky to be thinking more than one short turn ahead. The racers look like they're way ahead all the time.

That ability to be looking far ahead seems to be a common feature of elite athletes in most sports.

I also watched a Kansas basketball game last night. Russell Robinson grabs a rebound and starts running up the court (with someone guarding him) and he's clearly looking far ahead. How else can he see Brandon Rush cutting toward the basket looking for an pass?

Looking far ahead pays off in orienteering, too. You can often see much further than you might think. You might, for example, glimpse the edge of an open area in the distance -- that field edge might be enough to let you navigate very quickly while a competitor who isn't looking far ahead is reading small features along the same route.

When I trained after work today, I practice looking far ahead. I ran on trails in the forest, but without a map. I practiceed looking far ahead and picking out features that would be on the map from as far away as possible. I have no idea is this was good practice, but it felt like it might have been.

posted by Michael | 7:17 PM


Monday, February 13, 2006

Special figure skating edition


Olympic time means...lots of figure skating news. For the first time (and probably last time), I'm going to write about figure skating.

The big skating news in the last couple of days has been that Michelle Kwan has backed out of the Olympics and will be replaced by someone whose name I can't recall. The story is interesting because Kwan was put on the team through some sort of exception. She didn't win a spot on the team at a team trails competition. Instead, she petitioned and had some sort of special try out.

My impression is that a lot of people didn't think that was fair. In the U.S., we traditionally pick teams by having a competition. If you can't cut it in the selection event, you're out. In Sweden they call it "American selection" (amerikansk uttagning).

To be more correct, I should say that we pick certain teams for certain events through a competition. The Olympic track and field team is picked based on results of a selection race. But, the Olympic soccer team is picked through some sort of try out/committee/coaching selection process.

In college sports the process is different still. For big programs (like Kansas basketball), coaches pick players as long as those players meet certain academic standards and the coaches want the player. It isn't necessarily fair. A coach might not like an athletes attitude and won't pick them.

Professional sports are different. Managers just pick the players they want. Sometimes they go through a draft process and sometimes they go through free agency. The teams and the athletes then negotiate employment conditions. Compared to college sports, professional sports give the athletes more power (I'm thinking big time team sports, not individual professional sports like bowling).

I think it is interesting that selection processes for sports work so differently depending on the environment (i.e. college, professional, Olympic), but that we tend not to think about the assumptions that go into the selection process. We tend not to explicitly think about the connection between the goals and the process.

That was a bit of a digression, let's get back to Kwan.

It seems to me that Kwan's selection was viewed with skepticism and controversy. People felt that it was unfair because she was treated as a special exception.

But a couple of things strike me about Kwan's case. First, treating her as an exception seems reasonable. She's got a couple of Olympic medals, has won a load of national championships, and has lots of experience. Maybe treating her as an exception is reasonable. In fact, it strikes me that putting Kwan on the team was probably a risk, but a risk that could pay off big. She might not be able to compete (apparently she's had some recent injury problems), but if she could compete she'd be a legit medal candidate. If the U.S. wants a medal, having the possibility of Kwan competing was probably putting the U.S. in the best position to take a medal.

You couldn't very well make Kwan an alternate and then, if it turned out her injury was no problem, kick someone off the team and put Kwan on. So putting Kwan on the team kept some options open -- in particular, the option that if the injury wasn't a problem you'd have a great skater available.

As it turned out, Kwan withdrew yesterday and the alternate U.S. skater is going to take her place.

Some nice O' maps

Check out Tore Sandvik's report from the weekend's Norwegian national team training camp. If you can't read the Norwegian you can still click on the links and see some interesting maps.

posted by Michael | 7:31 PM


Sunday, February 12, 2006



I've been sitting in front of the TV a bit watching the Olympics. A few thoughts:

1. I've been watching the Olympics on a high definition TV. Mary bought an HD TV few days ago...wow, it is great. I never thought I'd say that about a television. In fact, when Mary first brought up getting an HD TV, I wondered why, "our TV is fine and is it really worth spending money for a new TV?" Well, I was wrong...and Mary was right.

2. The snowboard uniforms are built to be used with a mobile phone and Ipod. The hood has built in speakers, the collar has a microphone and a remote control panel sits on the sleeve. How stange.

Maybe orienteering needs more high-tech gear. How about an O' top with built-in GPS and antenna? Maybe pants and gaiters with d3o padding?

3. I hope NBC shows us some of the x-country ski relays. Here is a snapshot from the men's relay in 2002.

4. I was poking around the web page for U.S. Speedskating and came across a press release about the sponsorship between the team and Hilton Hotels. Here is a bit of it:

To alleviate athletes' anxiety about waking up on time, the hotels will also install the "world's easiest to set" alarm clock in each room. This cube-shaped clock radio automatically adjusts for daylight savings time and includes a connector for MP3 and CD players.

"When competing at the Olympic level, even the smallest of details can directly impact an athlete's performance, and sleep is one of the most critical factors," said Steve Roush, chief of sport performance for the U.S. Olympic Committee. "Partnering with Hilton to create an enhanced sleep environment in the training facility dorms demonstrates our commitment to provide Team USA the top resources and support as the athletes prepare to contend for gold."

Other room enhancements include sensory changes involving temperature, lighting and visual stimuli. However, at the request of the USOC's Sport Performance Team, the complete details are not being revealed to prevent competing countries from gaining the same competitive edge as the U.S. athletes....

... Many of the new dorm elements will be replicated for the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Italy to help keep the American athletes at their peak during the most critical time of competition - the Torino Winter Games.

"Familiar surroundings during training and competition are essential," noted Dr. Rosekind. "For an athlete, two hours less sleep than needed is the same as having a blood alcohol level of .05 when it comes to the effect on performance."

To me this is the best and the worst of the Olympics. The best being the attention to detail and efforts to do everything possible to put the athletes in the position to perform well. The worst being the cloying commercialism.

5. I'm looking forward to spending more time in the coming days sitting in front of the TV (or maybe watching while riding the trainer) and reading about the events in the newspaper and on the web. The winter Olympics is usually inspiring (even if you're not a big ice-dancing fan).

posted by Michael | 10:07 AM


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Long trail race at Wyandotte


One of my theories about training is that you should probably do more of whatever kind of training you don't like. I don't like road races. So, I should do more of them.

I guess a trail race is a step in the right direction. It has some of what I don't like about road racing -- it is a pure running race and you run with a bunch of people.

Today I ran my third trail race of the year. I did the Run, Toto, Run race at Wyandotte. I had three options: 10 mile, 20 mile or 50 K. Each loop of the park is about 10 miles. I picked the 20 mile option.

Here is the course with my GPS track.

The race started at the south end and the course ran counter clockwise.

You might wonder about my time. I ran 3:34. That sounds very slow. But the course is hilly. I climbed just under 4000 feet. And the conditions were a bit tough. It was cool, 25 F, windy, and there was a light dusting of snow on the ground (and falling off and on throughout the race). Most of the race is on a horse trail. A frozen horse trail is rough and makes running harder.

So, I'm pretty happy with my time. I haven't seen the results. I was 3rd overall, but 28 minutes behind the winner.

The GPS data shows that 40.3 percent of the distance was climbing and only 21.3 percent was flat.

I pushed the downhills. Among orienteers I'm not a good downhill runner. But, compared to trail runners, I'm really good. It was fun to bomb down a hill and gain a lot of ground.

Overall, I'd say it was a good day. I'm happy with how I ran and it was reasonably fun (making the run more interesting is that the park is mapped for orienteering, so I carried the O' map and read it off and on throughut the race). My legs feel shot. But, I've been training well enough that I expect they'll feel fine in a couple of days.

posted by Michael | 5:35 PM


Friday, February 10, 2006

Number one sport in Latvia


Did you know that orienteering is the number one sport in Latvia? I didn't until I read about it.

I have fond memories of orienteering in Latvia back in 1990 (and some not so fond memories from parts of that trip...but, no need to go into that).

Gueorgiou's Stairs

posted by Michael | 7:21 PM


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Boom scale


I heard a story on NPR tonight about the "Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale." The scale is a new way to categorize snow storms. The scale combines the amount of snow and the population affected. They've got five different snowfall categories:

1. Notable
2. Significant
3. Major
4. Crippling
5. Extreme

The Okansas Boom Impact Scale

1. Notable - a boom that you notice but has little or no effect on your overall placing. Often these booms are little more than a hesitation or a loss of just a few seconds. Often these booms can be corrected on-the-run.

2. Significant - a boom that costs you some time and may cost you a place in the results. You feel like you've lost time, but it doesn't affect the rest of your race.

3. Major - a boom that costs you at least 30 seconds and often more. A major boom probably costs you one or more places. Recovering from this sort of boom requires some standing still and looking at the map carefully. A major boom often leads to a fight to get your concentration back on the next leg.

4. Crippling - a boom that costs minutes and places. Recovering from a crippling boom might take some serious relocation or bailing out to a clear feature. A crippling boom affects at least the next control and often several controls. You may struggle to regain concentration for several legs.

5. Extreme - a boom that costs minutes and places and wrecks the race. An extreme boom often involves some aimless running, hoping to bump into something useful and some standing still looking at the map with no idea of what is going on.

That's my fist stab. I'm open to revisions.

You can now send me an audio message

You can (if I've got everything set up right) send me an audio message by clicking on the link below.

Send Me A Message

I've also added a link on the right side of the page, under the archives.

posted by Michael | 9:16 PM


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Home court advantage


Kansas had an amazing come-from-behind win on Sunday. With less than ten minutes to go, they were behind by 16 points. The lead disappeared and Kansas won the game, beating a good Oklahoma team.

The game was on Kansas' home court. Though I can't be sure, it seems likely that Kansas would have lost the game if it had been on Oklahoma's home court.

In a half an hour, Kansas will play another game. This time they play Nebraska. Kansas beat Nebraska in Kansas by a big margin earlier this season. But, that was in Kansas. Playing on Nebraska's home court means the game should be closer.

And, that raised a question...is there a home court advantage in orienteering?

It isn't exactly clear what a "home court" would be in orienteering. Is it a specific home map? Maybe it is maps "near" someone's home? Maybe it is a specific type of terrain?

What if I defined "home court" as home country? Then I could look at results and compare orienteers' results in their home country with results in other countries. That isn't exactly the same as the Kansas home court, but it would be pretty easy to look at and might be interesting.

So, I went to the IOF world rankings and spent a little time looking at results. I looked at just a couple of runners and reach a conclusion -- it'd be worth looking systematically and seeing if there was something interesting going on.

One thing I need to consider is that there should be (or maybe not?) a tendency for orienteers to have better results when they are in other countries. An orienteer is more likely to travel if they are in form. They're more likely to just show up and run, even if they aren't in form, if the race is convenient. On the other hand, maybe the travel and new environment is enough of a change, that orienteers will perform worse when they aren't on the "home court."

I suspect it is more interesting to look at orienteers who aren't at the absolute top. Rather than looking at the top ten best orienteers, I'd look at a random group of the top 100 or so.

I hope to spend some time looking at world rankings in the next few days. I'll report what I find.

posted by Michael | 5:59 PM


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

watching wildlife and finding controls


Mary and I spent some time in Yellowstone about this time last year. One of the highlights of a visit to Yellowstone is the chance to watch the wildlife.

A lot of Yellowstone's wildlife is very easy to spot, like the Bison below.

But other animals, like wolves and big horn sheep, are harder to catch sight of. In the weeks before our trip, I made a point of training my eye to spot animal movement. To do that, I tried to spot as many birds as possible when I drove to work and walked from my parking space to my office. With just a little training, you become much more aware of the birds, which I figured was similar to spotting wildlife.

I was thinking of this when I read Aspleaf's blog today. He wrote about an training exercise that, among other things, trains the orienteer to spot control flags.

Put out about 30 controls in the box. The runners run around the area, checking out all of the potential control points until they've found a certain number of controls. It trains you to read the map carefully and to look around and spot the markers.

Just like my exercise to spot the birds.

posted by Michael | 7:43 PM


Monday, February 06, 2006

100,000 served


At 8:23 (Central Time) this morning the 100,000 visit to this page was recorded. Cool. I don't remember when I put the tracker on the page, so I'm not sure how long it took to reach the 100,000 mark.

The 100,000th visit was from a verizon.net domain and was apparently located in Elysburg, Pennsylvania.

Some sprint maps

Not much time to write tonight. I've got to go grocery shopping and eat dinner (need to maintain my weight), so I'll just point you to some sprint maps from Ohio.

posted by Michael | 6:44 PM


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Superbowl Pick


Just seconds left before game. Here is my pick:

Seattle 24 - Pittsburgh 17

Keep in mind that I know almost nothing about football and nothing at all about either team.

posted by Michael | 5:26 PM


Training month


I like looking at how people train, but I rarely spend much time looking at my own training. As I was reading logs at Attackpoint, I realized that it has become fashionable to review your month's training and write a few notes about it.

I've never done that. I've never really thought about training in terms on months. I think of days, weeks, parts of the season, and years, but never months. So, I decided I'd look at January and compared it to the every January since 2001. For each January, I'll list the total hours, hours of O', and hours of cycling:

2006 39:07/15:32/8:55
2005 27:32/11:02/5:10
2004 22:58/7:33/6:35
2003 32:53/10:58/5:55
2002 18:30/6:35/7:20 (lots of rehab from knee injury)
2001 33:40/9:00/8:40

I've generally trained pretty well in January. 2006 stands out a bit (2001 looked quite good, too). It is motivating to see that I'm training as much as I have since 2001, which was a very good year until I tore my leg to shreds. It looks like I wasn't especially motivated in 2004.

I hadn't really realized I'd done 15+ hours of O' practice and races in 2006. That's really quite a bit. With all that practice, I should be orienteering a little better than I have been. Maybe I can turn it around at the Georgia meet in a couple of weeks.

PNS race

A couple of thoughts from this morning's race:

I passed two people in the last two miles. I passed on guy right at the top of the biggest hill on the course (a climb of maybe 250 feet over about 1/2 mile). I passed another guy on a downhill. I'm not used to passing people on hills. It feels good.

I won my age group (M40), which may say more about the level of competition than my performance. Still, I felt like I ran well and I'll be interested to see how I finished overall.

The organizers had a public address system and used it to comment and play music (all 1980s pop, as far as I could tell). It was nice. Having an announcer makes an event feel like a sports event. I wish more O' races in the U.S. had announcers. I don't know what a small PA system costs, but it would seem to be a reasonable investment for a club.

Having an announcer would change the environment at most local O' meets -- making it feel more like a sport and less like a hike in the woods. Maybe that is why it hasn't happened. Maybe most orienteers prefer the event to feel like a hike than a race.

Cause and effect? I trained well in January. I ran well today. I guess the lesson is that training works.

posted by Michael | 4:04 PM


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Another test of my kartpekaren


I ran with my kartpekaren (a.k.a. map pointer) today. It felt like I took a few more looks at the map than usual. I wonder if the pointer caused that. If so, it might be a good thing.

Racing on Sunday

I'm running a trail race on Sunday at PNS (Parkville Nature Sanctuary), one of my favorite training areas. I think the race is 8K, which would mean two loops of the main trails. Each loop will have one good climb and some rough, rocky stretches. It should be fun.

posted by Michael | 8:39 PM


Friday, February 03, 2006

Soft talent


From Oystein Sorensen on the forum at OPN (a rough translation):

Maybe talent is continualy seeking to suceed, critically evaluating, the will to do what is required, the desire to reach a goal, and to forget everything else but that which means something?

Well, that is really a rough translation, but the idea that Sorensen seems to be getting at is that more than just physical talent should be considered talent.

It seems to me that most sports tend to look first for the raw physical talent, and then hope for the stuff Sorensen is talking about to either be coachable or to be less important.

What would happen is sports selected first for the talent Sorensen talks about? In other words, instead of focusing on people who seem to have some natural phsyical talent, focus on people who have the talent Sorensen wrote about.

It is hard to identify the softer talent.

You can easily pick out the pure phsyical talent. Put a bunch of people on a track and have them run for ten minutes. Watch them and time them. That'd probably do it.

How do you get the motivational talent, the drive to succeed? I've got a few ideas, but nothing very carefully thought out. I'll give it some thought.

posted by Michael | 7:36 PM


Thursday, February 02, 2006

How are night and sprint races alike?


Boris wrote, "slowly getting used to distance estimation at night. I find figuring out how far I've run one of the hardest things to do in night-o, for some reason."

Reading that made me think of sprint races. It can be tricky to adapt to the scale for sprint races.

So, difficulty estimating distances is similar in night and on sprint races.

And the technique to solve those two problems is the same (atleast for me). When I run a night or a sprint race, I make a point of trying to read everything on the way to the first control. I do that even if I don't need to read every feature to navigate to the control. I think reading everything forces you to notice the scale and distance.

UK map of O' events

Yep Sport put together a map with coming O' events in the U.K.
Try it out. It is slick.

posted by Michael | 8:07 PM


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Aspleaf's dream


Wouldn't this be cool?

The image, and idea, is from Aspleaf. If you can read Swedish, poke around his blog and you'll find some interesting reading. If you can't, poke around and you'll see some interesting maps.

posted by Michael | 8:23 PM


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