Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Football and orienteering


I've been reading The Blind Side and, as usual when I read, I've been thinking about how it relates to orienteering.

One of the concepts in the book is that football strategies "evolve" in response to specific pressures. For example, LT forced teams to have huge, fast left tackles in order to protect the quarterbacks.

How can I connect that idea to orienteering?

What is the orienteering equivalent of having LT crash into you and push you face first into the ground (or even snap your lower leg bones)? Maybe it is creating an artificial constraint on your training and then experimenting with training approaches to adapt. The constraint forces you to adapt the same way that LT forced football teams to adapt. As an example, think about how you would train if you could only devote half the time you usually do to training?

I did something like that a long time ago. I cut back on the amount of training I did. It forced to to increase the "quality" of what I was doing. It didn't take long before my racing improved noticeably. It also corresponded with learning a whole lot about orienteering - technique, racing, training, etc. - that I hadn't figured out in the previous 10 years of orienteering.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:49 PM


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Concentration training


I did some concentration training earlier this evening. Concentration is, of course, very important for orienteering. So, I planned a training where I'd be concentrating more-or-less continuously and would quickly notice when (if!) my concentration lagged.

This type of training fits the "deliberate practice" model, "setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome."

I was reading about concentration exercises over on a log on Attackpoint (can't remember exactly which log). That's, in part, what inspired tonight's training.

So, what was tonight's training? The perfect concentration exercise for an orienteer - a night orienteering control picking course.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:57 PM


Monday, January 29, 2007

Training camp in South Africa


Some nice video from Finnish TV of the Finnish O' team training camp in South Africa can be found here. *

I haven't yet watched the whole video, but what I've seen looks really interesting. There are some very nice pictures (good looking orienteers and nice scenery). So, even if you can't manage the Swedish, it may be worth a look.


By the way, I found this video because a reader sent me an email pointing me to it. Thanks.

* If the link doesn't work, go to sporten.yle.fi and look for the link to Sportmagasinet 23.1.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:22 PM


Sunday, January 28, 2007

What is Terhi up to?


A few years ago we had a visit from a Finnish orienteer, Terhi Kauppila. Terhi was studying at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. You can read about her in an article from MSSU.

Joplin isn't a great place to be if you're an orienteer. But, Terhi managed to get some O' in by traveling up to Kansas City. She also went with us to an A-meet (in Michigan, I think).

I was wondering what she was up to because I saw a site visit at Okansas from a Google search for her name. So, I Googled her and found a result from a recent park O' race in Australia. Check out the web page for the Sydney Parks Orienteering Series - click the link for each event to get results and a copy of the map.

Michael Lewis Interview

Nothing to do with orienteering, but if you're interested in baseball and football, check out the interview with the writer, Michael Lewis. Lewis wrote, among other things, Moneyball.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:26 PM


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Training on a Google Earth photo


Part of today's training was a very short course on a Google Earth photo of a bit of Bonner Park. The map is below:

I'm not sure what the scale of the map was, but the tennis courts near controls 3-4-5 give you an idea of the scale.

The course is easy, but in there was a lot of stuff to read on the map. The course has a high number of features-to-read-per-minute-of-running.

It was fun.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:23 PM


Friday, January 26, 2007

Are you a better runner or navigator?


If you think of orienteering as two skills - running and navigating - which is your strength? Compared to average orienteers, are you a better runner or better navigator?

I bet that if you asked 100 orienteers these questions most would say, "I'm not a very good runner, but I make up for it by being a pretty good navigator."

I suspect, without any hard evidence, that most orienteers over-estimate their navigating ability and under estimate their running ability. One reason is that it is so hard to measure navigation. Running is easier, you can compare 10K times. Another reason is that it is easy to understand what it is like to run much faster than you can run, but it isn't really possible to understand what it feels like to be a better navigator than you are.

It is an interesting topic, but that's enough for now. I'm going to go back to watching....

Men In Black II

One of the highlights of the movie is seeing my sister-in-law Annette's work. Annette designs jewlery and Serleena wears one of Annette's necklaces throughout the film. You can see more of Annette's work here and here.

You can see Serleena and the necklace below.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:59 PM


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Non-stop training


I came across an new (for me) idea for technique training on the HOK blog from Norway. Here is how they introduce the training (roughly translated):

Orienteers often talk about having good "flytt" - that you flow through the terrain without stopping. To do that you've got to be able to read the map at speed, ideally at high speed. For elite runners it is essential to be able to orienteer at high speed and read the map at speed. For more inexperienced runners this is how you learn to read the map at speed and run from control to control without stopping to read the map - and then orienteering become really fun.

The training is really simple. You run a course without stopping to read the map and while running as fast as you can. You should begin with a course where it'll be relatively easy to run non-stop - like a sprint O' map. You should begin with an easy pace, start off jogging and if that works, pick up the pace. After you can run without ever stopping to read the map, try picking up the pace and running in more demanding terrain. If you absolutely have to stop to read the map, don't. Instead, jog in place while you read the map.

The map below shows a course for non-stop training. The course is designed so that you can run it on good surfaces, mostly paved.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:09 PM


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"The O'nion"


If The Onion covered orienteering, you might see something like this:

U.S. Team Gives Up on Reading Map: Following to the Gold

Actually, this snapshot (copied from Sandra Zurcher's web page) from a recent U.S. Team training camp shows something called the "We Go Team Link" a device for hooking adventure racing teams together so that a stronger runner can tow a weaker one.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:11 PM


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Too tired to think or write


What to do when you feel like crap? Look at orienteering maps, of course.

I'm suffering from a cold and a draining day of travel (I started trying to leave Phoenix at about 3 p.m. on Sunday and didn't get home until 6:30 p.m. on Monday). I'm tired. Instead of writing something, I'll just point you to an O' blog with lots of interesting maps (I discovered this through Aspleaf). I've lifted a few of the intersting maps from Dejan Avramovic's blog at the-best-choice.blogspot.com.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

While I was poking around Dejan's page, I also came across a video ad for Oringen 2007 featuring none other than OK Denseln's Damien Renard.

posted by Michael | 6:22 PM


Monday, January 22, 2007

Another Swedish News Story on Mental Training for Orienteering


I came across another article in a Swedish newspaper on mental training for orienteers. This one is from Nyckeln till Norkopping. If you can read Swedish, check out the article here.

The article is about OK Denseln and how they've got Ismo Makiranta helping them become mentally tougher before Tio Mila. Here is a bit of the article in a rough translation:

Of course, physical strength is the ground for all orienteering, but it is also important to be mentally tough in the face of adversity," according to the club leader Janner Berggren. "An unfortunate example for us was Tio Mila last year. The team was deflated when a headlamp went out on the first leg. We've got to change that."
Ismo Makiranta [the mental trainer OK Denseln is using], "I'm no miracle worker, more of a piece of the puzzle as they prepare. The guys have to do the hard work themselves. I'm helping to create a mentally strong team. To inspire a sense of security within the team so that they are always ready for unexpected situations that always happen."

Reading about OK Denseln always brings back memories of the first time I ran Tio Mila. I ran in a team built from three clubs: OK Denseln, Hallestads OK, and OKS Ljungsbro. Back in those days, I remember OK Denseln for having a club bus that looked like it had seen its good days a couple of decades ago. OK Denseln is a lot stronger elite club now, with runners like Erik Andersson and Damien Renard.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:07 PM


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mental training in Swedish newspaper


I'm killing some time in the airport, hoping to get on an early flight and make it home before midnight...but expected that I won't be so lucky. To kill time, among other things, I read an article in Mora Tidning about Martin Johansson's mental training. Here is a rough translation of a bit of it:

“These guys have completely different needs when it comes to the mental aspect. I have to listen to them and meet their needs,” says Asa

“I train twice a day and there are also competitions. I should think about what each training session should give me. My strategy is to train speed; so it should be fast, but it can’t be 110 every workout,” says Martin.

“I integrate the physical and mental parts,” explains Asa about how she helps Martin.

Johansson gives an example from when he made his debut in the orienteering WOC. He was really nervous before the qualification.

“I was so terribly nervous and I felt bad. In the final I thought about it and asked myself what I really wanted. Before the qualification I hadn't done that,” says Martin as one of the explanations for why he was so nervous.

“That is just the situation where sports psychology is so important,” according to Asa Mattsson.

“These two guys have decided to involve mental training in their everyday training. More people should do that,” according to Asa.

You can read the entire article, if you can read Swedish, at Mora Tidning.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 4:52 PM


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Nearly stayed healthy


A cold sucks. I knew it was a good possibility. I'd increased my training for a couple of weeks. Mary, like a bunch of her co-workers, had a cold. I made an effort to rest a lot and wash my hands a lot. In the last few days I've done very little training. I figured the danger had passed.

I woke up today feeling a little off. Runny nose. Slightly scratchy throat. A cold.

Now I'm hoping it will be mild - more so than Mary's cold.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:03 PM


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A look at the new (old?) U.S. M21 rankings


I spent a few minutes looking at the 2006 M21 rankings for the U.S. The first thing I noticed was that Orienteer Kansas' Mark Everett sits in the number 1 position.

The next thing I noticed was that I was on the list - sitting in 20th position. Then I noticed that the top 20 is full of old folks, like me. Boris pointed out "...it's a bit sad that only 7 (I think) of the top 20 ranked blue runners are under 30..." Actually, as of 12/31/06, only 6 of the top 20 are under 30. There are just as many who are over 40.

Looking at the ages raised an obvious question, "old compared to what?" So I took a look at the ages of the top 20 ranked orienteers in Sweden in 2006. Nearly half (9) of them are over 30. Only 1 - Thomas Asp - is over 40.

Comparing the age distribution for the U.S. and Sweden, I noticed that 3 in the U.S. are under 25 (John Fredrickson, Ross Smith, and Leif Anderson); only 1 Swedish orienteer is under 25 (Anders Holmberg).

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:16 AM


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

JWOC terrain


I spent a few minutes looking at some of the sample maps for the upcoming JWOC in Australia. You can see sample maps from the JWOC web page.

The terrain looks like a lot of fun. Take a look at Buckenderra South.

When I look at maps, I like to think about what sort of problems an orienteer will face. Looking at Buckenderra South, a few things jump to mind:

1. You could get caught up reading lots of details and running rock-feature-to-rock-feature. That'd work, but it'd be risky and a bit slow. Looking at the big contours under the black features would make the orienteering go a lot faster.

2. Legs that go across hillsides (like 1-2 and 14-15) could be difficult.

3. The course setter could give you some serious climb. Check out 7-8.

4. I wonder if the rocky areas are hard to run through? In the U.S. we've got maps that have lots of rocky ground where the rocks really slow you down. But, we've also got areas where the rocky ground doesn't slow you down much. I ran a race in California last fall where the rocks didn't slow you much. My brain is trained to avoid rocky areas, probably from running in Sweden and New York, but in the race in California you navigated by the rocky ground, but going around it was a waste of time.

Take a look at the map from California below - looks a bit like Buckenderra South to me.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:48 PM


Monday, January 15, 2007

Sprint O' map for the blind


Orienteer Kansas is sharing our sprint map of the KU campus with Rachel Magario, a student who is working on a mapping the campus for blind students (with some help from Chris Cassone). I'm not exactly sure what will come of it, but it seems like a very interesting project.

I read about Rachel's project in the Lawrence newspaper about a month ago. You can read To Develop Maps for the Blind that are Created by the Blind. The article includes a link to a video of the TV coverage of the story. Another article about the project "Gifts Help Students Create a New Way for Blind Students to Navigate."

It'll be interesting to see the finished product.

Here is a PDF of the campus sprint map.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 12:16 PM


Orienteering Video


USOF made an O' promotion video a few years ago and it has finally shown up on YouTube. Worth a look if you haven't seen it before.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 12:09 PM


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Look Left


I noticed something while I was running yesterday. Something I've never noticed before.

I see more to my left than to my right. As I was jogging along a trail yesterday, I was looking at the terrain and then comparing it to the O' map I was carrying. At some point it registered that without making any concious effort, I was picking up lots of stuff to my left and not so much to my right. Weird. Or maybe normal, I'm not sure.

When I thought about it, I realized I tend to sit with a computer screen slightly to my left. Same thing with watching TV or a movie.

As far as I can tell, my eyesight is equal in each eye. It is more like being right or left handed, I guess.


I've got a heart rate monitor. But, what would be really cool is to have a thinking rate monitor. It'd be pretty interesting to see how much you think during an O' race. Maybe in a few years I'll be able to buy a TRM.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:58 PM


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Liisa Veijalainen's training


In the back of Veijalainen's book, she's got a graph showing her training for the 12 months of October 1978 through September 1979. It is the year leading up to a WOC in Finland where she ran two races and took a silver and gold (keep in mind that back in those days, the WOC only had two races).

I spent a few minutes looking at her training, here is what I saw.

For the year she averaged 67 km/week. She'd planned to average 3 km/week more.

Most of her training (64 percent of the kilometers) was easy running at a steady pace.

She took a fair number of days away from training: 56 rest days and 36 sick days. So that is about one day a week off (probably planned) and a whole lot of sick time (presumably unplanned!).

Her training year was designed like this:

1. Begin with some rest and then a long, gradual build up (8 months).
2. A race preparation period (3 months)
3. Racing period and the season end (1 month)

You could further break the first period (long, gradual build up) into two parts. The first part was a steady build up, beginning from a fairly low level. The second part being a step up - with almost half of the weeks having planned over 120 kilometers.

Looking at Veijalainen's training year, one thing that immediately jumps out is that she plans lots of easy weeks and has an easy week planned either every other week or every third week.

Let's let "H" mean a planned hard week (meaning relatively more kilometers) and "E" mean a planned easy week. Her yearly plan looks like this: E E E E H E H H E H H E H H E H H E H E H E H E H E H H E H H E H E E H E E H H E E H E E H E E E E H E

Notice that there are a lot of easy weeks and never more than two hard weeks in a row. Those easy weeks look quite easy, to me. I'd say the average easy week would be about 25 kilometers of running.

The graph in the book shows a comparison of her plans and actual training. She pretty much stuck to her plan. Given that she had some injury and illness problems, it seems pretty good that she was able to stick close to the plan.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:22 PM


Friday, January 12, 2007

Reading about Liisa Veijalainen


Watching some of those Finnish O' videos reminded me of a book I've got sitting on my shelf about Liisa Veijalainen. Veijalainen won a WOC in 1976 and took 2nd in 1978 and 1979. The book is a Swedish translation of a book she and her husband wrote.

I poked around in the book a bit, looking at the maps and the photos. One thing that caught my eye was how little she trained. For the years 1972 through 1977 she had between 1252 and 3055 kilometers a year. That isn't much. It is tempting to conclude that the level of competition must have been a lot lower in the late 1970s that it is now. But, I really don't know.

I also came across an interesting little story about expectations. Here's the story (paraphrased, not translated):

An orienteer and his coach decided that the coach would give a special signal at the press control to let the runner know how it was going. But it turned out that the coach didn't make it to the press control. The runner came to the control and started looking around for the coach rather than looking at the next leg. He made a mistake. He'd expected the coach to be there - the coach wasn't and that must have caused the stress.

It has been many years since I read the book. It looks interesting - might be worth re-reading.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:35 PM


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Orienteering on Finnish TV


Check out some orienteering coverage from Finnish TV. (Follow the link and click on the video button). They've put up coverage WOCs in 1966, 1979 and 2001.*

The videos are fun to watch. They do a nice job of showing orienteering as running in the forest. Watching the best in the world run through the terrain is always inspiring. They move with such a light stride that you watch the video and feel like going out for a run. I also like the way the Finnish commentary sounds. It is such a mysterious sounding language.

Watch the 2001 women's relay for the photo finish for the silver. The men's relay isn't nearly as dramatic. For some reason Finnish TV didn't show the big fight between US and Canada on the anchor leg.

* Or perhaps 1966 was European Champs?

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 1:08 PM


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Self experimentation


Training is really just one long experiment on yourself. You think of some way to train, you try it, and you decide if it worked. If you're lucky, you figure out a way to prepare that works for you. If you're unlucky, maybe you get injured or you stagnate.

I've been thinking about self experimentation for two reasons. First, I'm in the middle of a couple of specific experiments. Second, I've been reading a book called The American Plague; a book that features some impressive self experimentation.

The book describes the history of a Yellow Fever outbreak in Memphis and the research that ultimately showed that mosquitoes spread the virus. The impressive self experimentation was done by medical researchers who believed that mosquitoes spread the disease. To test their idea, they exposed mosquitoes to people suffering from Yellow Fever, then let the mosquitoes bite them. As you might expect, a number of the researched got Yellow Fever and some of them died.

I'm pretty sure my orienteering training experiments won't have such dramatic consequences.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:55 PM


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The science (or art?) of training?


From an article about the Canadian exercise scientist, orienteer, adventure racer, runner, etc., Mark Tarnopolsky:

"There's a real disconnect between my research and my training," he says, now in training for a winter triathlon and a winter adventure race.

"My training is more Zen."

He raves about how, from his Westdale home, he can instantly find great trails to run. He never wears a heart rate monitor and complains about a friend who convinced him to buy one.

He doesn't keep a training log, he doesn't follow a specific annual training plan, so he's basically the antithesis of what most coaches would want.


"I run based on how I feel, always in the woods, I always look for something that's aesthetic, something I enjoy," says Tarnopolsky, busy as a doctor, a researcher and an associate professor in medicine and pediatrics.

I guess you could summarize Tarnopolsky's quotes by saying that training (at least his training) is more art than science; more management than engineering.

Tarnopolsky was the surprise (for me) at last January's Hamilton Training Camp. His talk on nutrition was very interesting - a good mix of science and pratical advice.

By the way, you can read the entire article at the Hamilton Spectator. Thanks to Matthew for sending me the link.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 5:05 PM


Monday, January 08, 2007

Route choice results


A couple of days ago I posted a route choice test I ran at SMP.

Of the routes I tested, C was the fastest. I ran it in 6:29.

B was slower, but not much slower. I ran it in 6:34.

A was much slower. I ran it in 8:05.

Before I ran the test, I expected C to be fastest, but I thought B would be more like 20-30 seconds slower. I expected A to be more like a minute slower. I didn't do a very good job estimating the time differences.

By the way, in a race I would have run a different route. I'd have gone straighter - following the C route in the beginning and then going straight toward the control (rather than running the trail) for the last couple of hundred meters to the control.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:21 PM


computer problems


I hope to have my computer problems solved soon. When I do, I'll update this page.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 12:44 PM


Saturday, January 06, 2007

What happened to winter?


It was warm and sunny when I ran today. Checking out logs on Attackpoint, I discovered that it was even warmer in the north east. What happened to winter?

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:22 PM


Friday, January 05, 2007

Route choice test at SMP


Take a look at the leg below.

1. Which route is fastest?
2. How much slower are each of the other routes?

I ran the three options yesterday. I ran at an easy, but steady, pace. My time on the fastest route was 6:30.

The leg is about 800 meters long. The contour interval on the SMP map are 3 meters, so the hills aren't as big as they look at first glance. The trails are all nice to run on. The forest is fairly open and fast.

I think it is pretty easy to pick out the fastest route. But, for me it is a bit harder to pick out how much slower the other options are.

I'll post the answers in a few days.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:37 PM


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Live GPS tracking for club training?


Wouldn't it be cool to be able to have a live GPS tracking system for small events, like club training sessions?

I can imagine something where each runner carries a small GPS transmitter that sends the location signal back to a small receiver with a map screen. You could sit and that start and watch the race unfold on the screen - just like the big races like Tio Mila and WOC.

Garmin is planning to start selling just such a toy in the coming year. But, it isn't designed for orienteering. The intended market is hunters who want to live tracking of their dogs.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:15 PM


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sprint course part of today's long run


I did some sprint training today.

I ran the course during a long run. I began at a moderate pace and tried to keep increasing the pace on each leg until, at the end, I was going quite hard (of course, I don't actually go fast any more).

I like this sort of training - short, quick courses run at a hard pace.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:01 PM


Tuesday, January 02, 2007



Last year it was to make a map. That worked pretty well.

This year it'll be to add some regular strength training to my routine(basically just some light calisthenics and maybe some weights). I suspect that doing some overall strength training won't hurt and might help.

In the past I've never managed to keep doing regular strength training for more than a few months at a time. Two reasons:

1. It just isn't much fun. Running is fun. Cycling is fun. Orienteering is fun. But, strength training isn't fun (to me).

2. In the last few years I've had a couple of rib injuries. Tripping on a fence, hitting the ground, brusing the ribs. Bruised ribs make strength training uncomfortable.

1 + 2 make it easy for me to stop doing strength training.

How can I make it more likely that I won't stop? It seems like the key is making it fun. Starting from zero helps. When you start from such a low level you can see improvements quickly and that usually helps with motivation. I gues the other thing to do is to keep the volume low. If something isn't much fun, but only takes 10-20 minutes 2-3 times a week, I ought to be able to manage it.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:04 PM


Monday, January 01, 2007

Dissecting Boris - Part 2


Moving on to the questions that are harder to answer (and easier to get wrong), but in many ways more interesting...

possible to answer, but easy to get wrong

Does the orienteer have clear, known goals?

Boris has clear goals. I'm not sure if his goals are "known." But in some discussion on his training log he offerred to email them to anyone who was interested. I was interested and I've seen his goals. But, since he didn't put them out on his log, I won't write about them specifically.

One can guess that he has ambitions to make the U.S. WOC teams and do well at the WOC races.

Does the orienteer work with a coach?

I don't think so. But, he gets advice from lots of people who post comments to his training log. I suspect that he listens to some of the people who post. He may get some advice from TomHollowell (OK Tyr/US WOC team leader).

When he first moved to Sweden, he was getting lots of advice on Attackpoint to take it easy and not train too much. As I looked at the comments, two thoughts struck me:

1. I'd never give someone advice to train less if I thought they were smart enough to figure it out the right amount of training on their own. (I'd make an exception if they specifically asked me about their volume). One of my basic theories is that most people need to experiment to learn what works best for their own situation.

2. Some of the advice to take it easy was coming from people who know a lot and who know Boris pretty well. So, maybe it was good advice.

While I'm on the topic of training advice on Attackpoint logs, I can't help but quote from some discussion on Boris' log last January:

Sergey: Boris, be very careful as you started doing some speedwork! Just remember that is should be not an addition to the training process - it should be instead of some low intensity training. You are running your luck! I am crossing my fingers for you!Nevertheless, please, listen to your body and consult with your coach.

Boris: Sergey, thanks for the advice! I have been doing speedwork every week, with the exception of last week's vacation, for the last few months, and the only stuff I am adding this week is the skiing, which is low intensity and low impact, so I think I should beok (knock on wood). But i am very aware of the possibility of overtraining and am making sure to recover and eat well.

Not all of the advice people give at Attackpoint is as divorced from reality as this example, but it illustrates one of the problems with Attackpoint - filtering out the nonsense from the sense.

Now I've gone way off track. The question was "does Boris work with a coach?" The answer was "probably not," but he doesn't work without advice.

Another digression...I don't think OK Linne has a club coach. They've got a training group/committee (Boris is a member) and they've got a lot of organized training, but I don't think they have a coach. Boris wrote something about this on his log, but I can't recall exactly what he wrote and I don't have the energy to work through his
logs to find it again.

Another digression....Boris' log at Attackpoint is interesting. He writes a lot.

Does the orienteer's approach seem to be scientific and detail-oriented or more intuitive?

I don't like the way I worded this question. I'll have to fix it before I use these questions again.

I'd describe Boris' approach as rational with lots of thinking and experimenting. I don't get the impression that Boris is planning his training in great detail or training with an eye glued to a heart rate monitor. But, he is paying attention to what he does and to how it works.

hardest to answer, probably wrong

Does an "attitude" come through? Does the orienteer come across as having a positive approach? Do they whine a lot?

Boris has a good attitude. The word "unselfish" comes to mind. He also comes across in his log as being thoughtful.

A very speculative thought is that Boris seems like someone who just really loves running around in the forest with a map.

More speculation - I bet if someone picked up the phone and called Boris, the conversation might go like this:

Caller: I've got a couple of old sprint courses on Stadsskogen map. I was thinking of going and running them as orienteering intervals, want to come along?

Boris: Well, I ran intervals yesterday and my hamstring is a bit sore, I was going to just running in the pool. But, I guess I could come along - sprint courses in Stadsskogen would be fun. I'll just keep the pace easy.

Does the orienteer seem to be experimenting or following a template?

I think living in Sweden is an experiment.

To some extent, Boris is following the normal Swedish O' club template. Lots of group technique and running training; some group strength training (likegympa); and aiming for relays like Tio Mila and Jukola.

What sort of background does the orienteer
have? Do they make maps? Have the competed at a high level in another
sport? Did they start at a young age? Have they lived in

I don't really know much about these questions.

I think he has done a little bit of mapping (I recall reading about updating a sprint map of the castle area in Uppsala).

Does anything seem striking or unusual?

I'd say three things struck me:

1. Boris does a lot of orienteering: training, racing and going to camps. He has had a period where he did a whole lot of racing. I took a quick look at July 2006 where Boris ran inGotland , Switzerland and Denmark. By my count (which was quick and might be off a little) was that he race 13 times in July. Add to that 9 days with some O' training, a couple of days with just running, and a few days being sick, and you've
got a busy month.

2. While he's had a few injury problems, I think he's done better than you might expect if you just looked at how quickly he increased and changed his training.

3. Boris travels a lot. He's been living in Sweden for 17 months and only 3 months don't involve an trip out of the county. Here are Boris' travels by month for 2006:

January None
February to England and Spain
March to Estonia
April to England
May to USA
June to USA and to England (and of course Finland for Jukola)
July to Switzerland (then Denmark)
August to USA
September None
October to France
November None
December to England

That's All Folks.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 11:21 AM


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