Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yesterday's race at Wallace


I ran a local event on a new map of a new area. While it was fun to be in new terrain, my orienteering was a bit sloppy. I had some good moments, but I had too many legs where I was running and reading rather than reading and running.

Before I ran the course above, I ran a sprint relay. 3 x 1 km. It was a really nice format and a fun course. I did something a bit strange, though. I skipped a control. I think I just folded my map wrong as I came to a control and then ran. Things didn't fit right as I left the control, but I could see a big clearing in the distance and didn't think much of it. I should probably be angry at myself, mostly I'm just surprised. Never thought I'd do something like that.
Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:37 PM


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Strenghts and weaknesses of being young


I found the discussion of the advantage of being young interesting. Carlsen is a Norwegian chess player:

Carlsen: As a young player you have a lot of energy, a lot of strength, you are very motivated. But young players are often not good at defending a position; they cannot cope well when fate turns against them. The fact is simply that experience is a central issue. One of the most important things in chess is pattern recognition: the ability to recognise typical themes and images on the board, characteristics of a position and their consequences. To a certain degree you can learn that while training, but there is nothing like playing routine. I have always made sure to get that. I am only 19, but I have certainly already played a thousand games in the classic style.

Some parallels with orienteering come to mind. Young orienteers are often super motivated, but don't really know what they're doing. As they get older, they learn a lot, but they have a harder time staying motivated (for all sorts of reasons).

You can read the entire interview with Carlsen.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:34 PM


Sunday, March 21, 2010

A couple of thoughs about open maps


I've been playing around with both OpenStreetMap and OpenOrienteeringMap for a few months now and wanted to post a few notes/thoughts....

OOM is useful. You can create a simplified map and put it to use right away. You wouldn't want to use it for a formal event without some fieldchecking, but for training it is fine. I've used a couple of OOM "street O" maps for training this winter. I think OOM could be useful for introducing people to orienteering. Instead of just telling someone what orienteering was all about, you could create a street orienteering map of the neighborhood where they live and draw them a little course. Maybe they'd even go out and walk or run the course and really get a feel for what the sport was about.

Editing OpenStreetMap might be a good way to introduce orienteers to mapping. Editing OSM gives you a chance to do some fieldchecking and drafting, to make some cartographic decisions, and to see the results. You can do something that feels useful with a lot less time and effort than fieldchecking and drawing a real orienteering map. Maybe we'd find more orienteering mappers if more orienteers tried editing OSM and discovered that they liked mapping.

Finally, here is a presentation about OOM:

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 9:41 AM


Tuesday, March 16, 2010



Joe Posnanski wrote about Bill Self and confidence. Worth a read if you're a Kansas basketball fan. Maybe even worth a read if you're just interested in confidence.

I've written a few things in the past about confidence versus experience and it is possible to will confidence.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:21 PM


Thursday, March 11, 2010

HD headcam video


Pete ran the sprint at Forest Park last weekend with his headcam. The quality is really impressive.

Forest Park Sprint - March 5, 2010 from Pete Curtis on Vimeo.

You can get more details (and a link to the map) on Pete's blog.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:08 PM


Monday, March 08, 2010

Surfing USA


Lots of discussion is going on about a new logo for U.S. orienteering. It seems a bit over the top to me, but people seem to have very strong feelings about it. At Attackpoint one logo approach seems to have gotten a lot of support. I think the idea is to incorporate a map through stylized contour lines.

My eye doesn't see contours, it sees waves...and I think of this tune:

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 6:58 PM


Monday, March 01, 2010

Slow training


Many elite orienteers are of the opinion that it is only worthwhile training orienteering technique at intensities close to race pace....I am starting to believe in the "innkjøring" of technique at easier speeds.

That's Helen Palmer on Zen and the art of orienteering. It is worth a read.

I've had different ideas over the years about the best effort for technique training. My current thinking - and reserving my right to learn in the future - is that you can get useful training from just about any level of effort (from walking to faster-than-race-pace). It takes some thought to make the most of any technique training. How you approach the session matters more than what you do. Think about deliberate practice.

You can make use of deliberate practice at a walk. You can make use of deliberate practice at a flat out sprint pace. An advantage of training at below, even well below, race pace is that you can do more of it. You can do a lot of easy pace deliberate practice.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:36 PM


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