Occassional thoughts about orienteering

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


I'm not knocking the idea or the training. I will just add that there are times in a race where it may be *essential* for the racer to make a full stop in order to get a crucial piece of information from the map--and that's not at all inconsistent with the idea of 'flyt".

I agree with swampfox, that on the on an advanced level the question of "stopping when necessary" vs. "keep on running" is mostly fatal, when answered wrong...

--fatboy mastermind --
Besides, some study show that elites take less time to read the map than beginners. They are simply more quick and efficient at "catching features" so that they can run quickly between short bursts of reading.

"Flow" is more a question of anticipation (isn't it?) so the training description should at least focus on this idea? (or perhaps it is "learning by error")
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