Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, January 31, 2010

31 Day Challenge...is over!


I did an O' session today and finished the challenge - do an O' session every day in the month of January.

Some numbers. I did 18:30 of orienteering technique (out of a total of 31 hours of training). I found 313 controls. I ran on 15 different maps. 7 were sprint standard maps. One was an Open Orienteering Map (using the street-O setting). One was a map that showed pavement and buildings on the Kennesaw State University campus. I did 1 session on skis and 3 on a bike.

Gear. My headlamp was important. I did 13 night O' sessions. Neoprene socks proved useful. We had more snow than usual. Neoprene socks made running in the snow a lot easier...no, not easier, more comfortable.

Map feel. By "map feel" I mean comfort with having a map in my hand and using it to navigate. Lots of map sessions develop a very good map feel. The map feel from training every day is different from the map feel of training a similar amount of technique but in less frequent sessions. It reminds me of the difference between fieldchecking 5 days a week versus fieldchecking on the weekends.

Company. It really helped that Cristina was also doing the 31 day challenge. It provided some added motivation to check her log and see what she was up to.

Many short sessions. I did a lot of short technique sessions. An interesting question to ponder - is it better to train the same amount of technique as many short sessions or fewer longer sessions? It is probably specific to each individual. I've been pretty happy with lots of short sessions. Of course, the ideal is a mix.

. Having an arbitrary goal - like 31 days of O' technique - forces some creativity. You need to figure out when and where you're going to train. You need to figure out what you're going to do when you get to the map. You need to make sure you're focused. It is easier to make all of those decisions if you only train technique 1 or 2 times a week.

Peter made a similar observation about running at least 30 minutes a day for 45 days in a row:

I'm not sure why I got started on this silliness, but it actually has rarely been hard to get out the door, with the question each day (or more accurately each week, because I try to plan ahead a little) being how and where am I going to train rather then just am I going to train.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 4:14 PM


Thanks. I think I'll try it again next year. By that time I'll have a few more sprint maps in Lawrence (the Vancouver of Kansas).

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