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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: First Orienteering Race- How can I do better?

in: Orienteering; Training & Technique

May 25, 2014 4:11 AM # 
Entered into my first orienteering race today and really enjoyed it, it was a 75 Minute score-O and I managed a sweep in 58 minutes.

I underestimated myself somewhat and didn't think I would be capable of clearing the course (I didn't realise they were set up so that it was even possible to clear it, let alone for a rookie), so halfway around I had to take a bit of a detour to get some points which I had originally decided to leave. Also need to work on not going back to the same point twice (yeah, whoops).

Next time I need to organise some spikier shoes (x-talon 212's are apparently the in-thing) and maybe a compass that still operates while I'm still moving - suggestions?

Looking back at the map now I'm trying to figure out what would have been the best route for a course sweep and hoping some of you guys could provide a bit more of an experienced insight.

link to the map below with my route drawn on. I was about to drop down to point 72 before I realised I would easily have time to get the controls in the middle of the map which I had earlier opted to leave.
May 25, 2014 7:10 AM # 
Orienteering is like many other skills. Keep doing it. That will make you better. You probably know that already.
May 25, 2014 8:41 AM # 
Well done. Your route looks good apart from the obvious double visits. No issues with the navigation but the course could of been planned harder in that regard so don't expect that every time!!

Once you have done a few score events you get the feel for if its possible to clear or not just knowing the scale and seeing the extent of stuff on the map. If you think you can clear it set off on that route but leave yourself options at the end. Know what the penalty system is as coming in late can be worth it.

Fast settling compass is a real help especially on flatter areas. see
May 25, 2014 10:10 AM # 
Don't buy a compass from there Camma, they are balanced for different parts of the world. Talk to the locals.
May 25, 2014 10:33 AM # 
Moscow thumb compasses are good and reliable, great for beginners. Silva thumb compasses are a bit (a lot) pricier but supposedly settle faster. definitely would suggest the first, mine has always been faithful to me :)
May 25, 2014 11:30 AM # 
Try a line course event. All the top guys are doing it.

As to the above, many compass brands come in different varieties - fast settling is your best bet. I use Moscompass for MTBO where everything is bumpy and have no issues with it.
May 27, 2014 12:51 PM # 
Moscompass do a Southern Hemisphere version: (I imagine you can get the same in NZ though).

So, as well as score events, like you've done, there are line events - where the order the controls need to be visited in is decided by the course setter. Usually (but not always) this means the course is harder than a score course. There are loads of variations of courses re. distance/terrain etc.

Best option, as someone said above, is to get out and practice. Also, worth joining the local club as they might run training.

Enjoy, it's the best sport in the world :)
May 29, 2014 9:53 AM # 
If use try to use as many of these techniques of possible you'll improve quickly!
May 29, 2014 9:33 PM # 
At your next event, offer to pick up controls or go with someone doing it if you can. Control pickup lets you focus on getting to the controls efficiently without the pressure of competition. If you go with an experienced person, they can explain their route choices as they go.
May 30, 2014 12:03 AM # 
The two things I always emphasize to new orienteers is to keep the map oriented (always) and find attackpoints.

Attackpoints help with simplification, and let you break the leg into a large (relatively) easier section and a short trickier section. They also force you to think backwards from the control, which is important since the hardest part of the leg is the end.

This discussion thread is closed.