Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Looking at maps


Part of the first two weeks of my 2013 project involved some map study.  Easy and fun.  A great feature of orienteering as a sport is that you can practice without actually getting up off the sofa.  Small amounts of concentrated map study - say 2 x 10 minutes a day - take very little effort.  It also fits in with some of the principles from Coyle's book.

Coyle writes about how chess players use databases of matches to study other players and study different situations.  That's exactly what orienteers can do easily, espcially with so many maps easy to find on the internet.

Here's a quote about a study of expertise and chess players:
Stronger players also tended to own more chess books (and read them) than weaker players.  As an individual activity, reading chess books was the most important predictor of chess skill.  
Is reading chess books analogous to studying maps?

When I was more serious about orienteering I typically spent at least 2 x 10 minutes each day looking at maps.  My record was roughly two years without missing a day.  These days I'm much less systematic in map study.

Back to my project...last week I studied MTBO maps.  It feels a bit different from looking at a regular orienteering map.  I end up thinking more about what it would feel like to ride a trail - thinking about the roughness of the surface and the hilliness in a different way than when I'm running in the woods.  That's largely a reflection of my weak MTB skills.  A rough trail slows me down, but it also causes stress.  I'm slow running or biking through really rocky terrain.  But when I'm running I'm just slow.  When I'm biking I'm stressed about crashing.

Looking ahead to next week, Coyle's third "tip" is to "steal without apology"

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 11:01 AM


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