Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: BigWillyStyle

In the 7 days ending Mar 30, 2014:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering3 2:02:37 10.94(11:13) 17.6(6:58) 47057c
  Running1 40:20 5.03(8:01) 8.1(4:59) 120
  Strength1 27:00
  Total5 3:09:57 15.97 25.69 59057c

» now

Sunday Mar 30, 2014 #

9 AM

Orienteering race 1:00:17 [5] *** 8.8 km (6:51 / km) +185m 6:12 / km

Eastern Washington Homebrew-O, day two. Another great course, wide open and fast, especially for the first eight or nine controls. Things got a little "rocky" after that. Ha! Get it? Rocky. Yeah, like Rocky & Bullwinkle, my favorite cartoon as a kid. What? Moving on. Splits:

1. 3:06 (9:11/km leg pace)
2. 2:01 (5:21)
3. 2:36 (5:15)
4. 2:33 (7:20) *error - poor bearing (~30s)
5. 3:20 (5:20)
6. 1:49 (6:19)
7. 3:28 (5:47)
8. 3:46 (5:27)
9. 2:21 (10:10) *error - hesitation in circle (~30s)
10. 8:34 (7:24) *error - route choice (~40s)
11. 2:37 (8:33) *error - hesitation (~30s)
12. 3:12 (5:49)
13. 0:41 (6:58)
14. 2:23 (16:33)
15. 8:33 (7:46) *error - route choice (~60s)
16. 2:00 (6:16)
17. 1:24 (6:23)
18. 3:26 (6:55)
F. 2:27

Total: 60:17

I was shooting for under an hour - just missed it. Finished about 2:20 behind Eric, although I was ahead at least until 6, clocking in at 15:25. Hmm, looks like a sprint time, what a coincidence. We didn't compare to see when he caught me, but it was probably at 9.

We all failed the major route choice test of the day - no one took the smart, loop-around route to 15. On long legs I have a tendency to take the straightest reasonable route without sufficient examination of all the options. Need to do a better job of reading ahead.

Saturday Mar 29, 2014 #

9 AM

Orienteering race 15:32 [5] ** 3.0 km (5:11 / km) +100m 4:26 / km

Woodland Park Sprint. A really interesting course with lots of elevation variance - up, down, up, down. Very few flat legs. I was hoping to go sub-15, but couldn't make it happen. The 5:00/km barrier still eludes me for a non-relay race. Also made the mistake of not wearing spikes and fell on my butt once or twice on slippery side hills.
1 PM

Orienteering race 46:48 [5] *** 5.8 km (8:04 / km) +185m 6:58 / km

Mappy, stolen from Hannah's log.

Peteris' Eastern Washington Homebrew-O, day one. More of the Columbia River Gorge awesomeness we've come to know and love after last year's event. Wide open terrain, lots and lots of cliffs and rock features. I had a few problems (overran 4, hesitated on 15, lost focus on 16) and lost 3-4 minutes, but it turns out I still got Eric by a minute.

Thursday Mar 27, 2014 #


I was intrigued by something I heard over the weekend, which is that Will Hubsch, although still a junior, is already consciously planning/working on becoming a sprint specialist. This is a concept that also appeals to me for several reasons, but first we must do some analysis, because as luck would have it there is lots of data on this very subject!

He and I have gone head-to-head in no less than 14 A-meet-caliber races over the past four months, and we've split them right down the middle, 7-7. Tossing out the Team Trials Middle and Long, 12 of those have been sprints, of which Will has won seven. Here's a summary of the sprints:

1. Sprint the Golden Gate, Stage 1: Enger 19:25, Hubsch 22:50. Great for E until last two controls, still solid overall. Actually, my highest OUSA score ever. Error time ~3:30 for H.

2. SGG, Stage 2: Hubsch 17:45, Enger 20:40. Great for H, shenanigans for E. Accosted by homeless guy, broke e-stick, skipped penultimate control and re-ran last three legs.

3. SGG, Stage 3: Enger 15:35, Hubsch 15:47. Great runs for both. H had a pack to run with throughout, E had only a partner for first half.

4. SGG, Stage 4: Hubsch 17:24, Enger 19:34. Head-to-head race, ran together in a pack for first 60%. E took the lead at 13 and promptly blew ~2:00 and fell out of the running.

5. SGG, Stage 5: Hubsch 17:17, Enger 18:28. Great run for H, average for E. Very tired legs.

6. Sprint Camp #1: Enger 12:16, Hubsch 13:00. Clean, fast runs for both. Bouncy legs!

7. SC #2: Enger 13:23, Hubsch 15:30. Glorious, glorious run for E, average for H. On my gravestone will be the words "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. He was once 13 seconds behind Will Critchley."

8. SC #3: Hubsch 13:31, Enger 14:37. Solid run for H, poor for E. Farsta craziness!

9. SC #4: Enger 16:57, Hubsch 17:04. Below average runs for both, although E lost more time: blew >1:30 on last control.

10. SC #5: Hubsch 15:59, Enger 16:19. Chase race - H started 0:07 behind E and quickly caught up. Mainly clean, fast runs for both, running together for >50%. H again has faster legs at the end of the weekend.

11. Team Trials Sprint: Hubsch 16:20, Enger 17:28. Great run for H, average for E.

12. TT Sprint Relay: Hubsch 14:48, Enger 15:50. Another good run for H, poor for E. Farsta-like craziness!

That's a total of 197:15 for Hubsch, 200:32 for Enger. Or, per-race, 16:27 and 16:43, respectively. At the risk of overgeneralization, my best results come in forested sprints, while Will H. gets work done in pure urban environments.

Based on his performance at Team Trials, we can hazard a guess that Will is already one of the top sprinters around, and I'd like to think I'm not super far behind when I occasionally get my ish together. Now, here are the reasons I can think of to focus on sprints:

1. Obviously, WOC starts availability. I will basically never start a WOC long no matter what I do, which I'm fine with.

2. I've never been a distance runner in the orienteering sense, where 5k is middle distance, and do not have the endurance to run >10k races at a high level.

3. It takes many years of intense training to build up the endurance that someone like Eric has. I have not the time, ability or inclination to do it - but is it any easier to build up sprinting fitness?

4. I am currently much stronger in a sprint than anything else, relative to the field, although I'm not hopeless over middle distance. Also I have more experience in sprints than many orienteers, thanks to Vlad, Rex and the Canadians.

So, how actionable is this information, and should I act on it? I suspect my routine has already been heavy on sprint training, without being planned that way. However, I should probably do more track interval workouts, while being careful not to disregard distance work.

I'll have to think about this approach some more while considering the next few months of training.

Wednesday Mar 26, 2014 #

8 PM

Strength 27:00 [3]

It seems like poison oak is happening to people now, but I still have no idea what it even looks like. I could have been frolicking in fields of poison oak all weekend for all I know, but if I ever came into contact with any it appears not to have affected me in the slightest. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Tuesday Mar 25, 2014 #

7 AM


Now that a couple days have passed and things have settled somewhat back to normal, it's time for me to recap my first Team Trials experience. I have many conflicting thoughts and emotions about the whole thing, so this may be a very disjointed post, and I'm sure I will forget some things that are swirling around in my head and add them in later. This is meant to represent a catharsis and thus may seem stream-of-consciousness at times.

The most important thing to say right now is congratulations to the WOC teams. I'm glad to see that Eric's injury issues (clearly) didn't hurt him, and that Tori made the team! Awesome. And of course, Katrina! Top-scoring junior, and one spot out of the last WOC "alternate" slot - in just three scores! That was so so cool to see. Woo Cascade!

So, first question - am I disappointed not to make the team? The answer is complicated, but the most correct one would be no, because that's a relative outcome largely beyond my control. I am, however, disappointed not to have been able to run at least one of my best races. Would I have been disappointed to have three great races and still not make the team? Who knows. Making it this this year was always a very long shot - it would have taken three excellent races in the middle and sprints, with no margin for error given my lack of a representative previous ranking. As it happened, I came away with two average races and one sub-par race.

To the numbers: 95.41 (5th place), 91.94 (T6th), and ~91 (15th) for a total of about 278.35, which was good for 11th overall including petitions. The bad news here is that I left at least 3-5 easily attainable points on the board for each race, but the good news is that I left three 3-5 easily attainable points on the board for each race, and still scored above 91 each time. The worst thing to happen would have been putting up those scores with three great runs, because that would have meant a simple but very disheartening lack of physical fitness. Instead, I showed myself that I am able to run with almost anyone in the country, especially in a sprint - I scored over 95 in the sprint despite 45 seconds of errors. It also shows me that my physical ability, right now, was arguably able to carry me into the 3rd-7th place range, and certainly into Alternate territory.

What do I conclude from that? Mainly, it's the best possible validation of my physical training over the past 15 months, and of the progress I've made so far. From the start, WOC 2015 and beyond was always my main goal - making it this year would have *almost* been too easy. I say that only half jokingly - I love what Ian said: "The prize is now all the sweeter for the challenge it has been."

I also now finally understand why elite orienteerers - or athletes of any kind, really, especially in solo sports - sometimes burn out and quit the sport. The stress, uncertainty and self-doubt associated with success and failure at the highest levels must surely be crippling at times. I've only had a tiny glimpse into that window, but I don't think I liked what I saw.

That's not to say I'm considering quitting - quite the opposite, in fact. Whatever negatives orienteering may potentially bring to my life are far far outweighed by the positives, the most notably one being a part of the tight-knit local, national, and international community I've been privileged to join over the last year or so, with such a variety of friendly, interesting, intelligent and goofy people.

It's now time to move on from the Trials. Hopefully I'll get some solid ranking scores and my rank will climb into the 90s where it belongs. That triple-digit sprint score continues to elude me, but I know it's out there because I ran one at Sprint Camp. Looking forward, my focus now turns to the US Relay Champs a month from now. With Eric and Tori's Trials performances, Cascade suddenly has a REALLY interesting team - watch out y'all other teams. Other than that, lots of good local events coming up, plus Boggs Mountain, Fishtrap, and further out, Canadian Champs and NAOC.

This post is now long enough, so I will stop writing now. I don't think I've written this many words at any one time or place since grad school. Okay? Okay, stop writing now. Stop. Why are you still writing words? What are these words that are happening?!? Hey, you - yeah, you reading these words that I am writing. STOP READING MY WORDS AND MAYBE THEY WILL STOP BEING WRITTEN. I'M SERIOUS, ST-
6 PM

Running 40:20 [3] 5.03 mi (8:01 / mi) +120m 7:28 / mi

Welp, guess it's time to start training again. Emotionally, it feels a little like starting back at the bottom of the mountain, but it's important to realize that's not at all logical or true.

Easyish run around Bridle Trails. Had to push HARD - much harder than I would have liked - to get the fourth mile under 7:00. Still pretty sore from the weekend.

1. 8:46
2. 7:33
3. 7:48
4. 6:59
5. 8:58

« Earlier | Later »