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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: iansmith

In the 7 days ending Apr 19, 2009:

activity # timemileskm+mload
  Orienteering3 4:12:59 14.63(17:17) 23.55(10:45) 71571c476.0
  Running3 1:41:07 9.9(10:13) 15.93(6:21) 17033.6
  ARDF1 15:00 1.24(12:04) 2.0(7:30)3.8
  Total4 6:09:06 25.77(14:19) 41.48(8:54) 88571c513.3
averages - sleep:11

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Sunday Apr 19, 2009 #

Running warm up/down 10:00 [1] 1.5 km (6:40 / km) +20m 6:15 / km
slept:9.0 shoes: 200811 NB MT800

Warmup for the long. I took a GU about twenty minutes before my start.

Orienteering 1:57:06 [5] *** 10.51 km (11:09 / km) +435m 9:14 / km
23c slept:9.0

West Point Classic Course. Of the three courses at this year's meet, this was my best, both measured by my assessment of my performance and my time relative to the field. In my judgment, the terrain and configuration of this park was easier than that of last year; relocation would not have been overly difficult on most controls, and features were generally prominent.

Overall, my approach was slow but conservative - I stayed in solid contact with the map, though my zone of uncertainty did become sufficiently large at times that I had to pause to ascertain my precise location from local features. I moved somewhat slowly at times; I need to practice retaining rigid contact, planning and executing routes, and observing features while still moving quickly. I never had to relocate; my biggest mistakes were on the order of 1-2 minutes.

On the first control, among three route choice considerations, I chose what was probably the worst, but it was an acceptable route, and I executed it well. I have done that exact process - enumerating three routes and choosing the worst, usually a compromise of the other two - several times in the past year, including on control 14 on the Ran-It Granite Classic in March. Controls 2 - 4 were fine; on control 5, while aiming for a prominent cliff on the edge of the map, I drifted slightly off and climbed too high. It was a common mistake.

I was especially pleased with my long leg execution - control 7. While I was far from the fastest on that leg, I chose between the two obvious routes - a long road detour or over the top of a large hill - and chose the hill. I then executed the route cleanly, effectively, and conservatively. I could probably have run faster, but I wanted to make sure I stayed in rigorous contact; I arrived at my attack (a saddle), found my simplified visible feature (a knoll), and found the control easily. I estimate I could have executed my route in about 15 minutes had I run more aggressively.

I was sluggish (and conservative) moving through vegetation down a spur to control 8 and traversing some cliffs to control 9. On control 10, I planned to visually locate via some large cliffs on the eastern side of a hill, but a smaller set of cliffs obscured them and confused me momentarily. I paused for about twenty seconds, guessed what had happened, and found the control for a total loss of about a minute.

I felt fantastic navigating from controls 11 through 17, which were of moderate technical difficulty. Everything was making sense, and though my pace was not the fastest, I was moving well. I made a thirty second error at 16 drifting down while contouring.

I started slowing down after control 18 because of fatigue, but I was aware that I was set to run in under 2 hours, and pushed near the end to keep that limit. I took a Gu twenty minutes before my run, and took one at controls 3 and 11.

Clearly, I need to work on my wood speed; also, armchair orienteering exercises and extensive catching features practice are in order.

Saturday Apr 18, 2009 #

Orienteering race 20:10 [5] *** 2.56 km (7:53 / km) +105m 6:32 / km
20c slept:3.0 shoes: 200811 NB MT800

The West Point Red/Blue Sprint. Conditions were sunny, clear, and warm. My run was not especially clean; the winning time, for reference, was Erik Nystrom in 15:27. I made about two minutes of mistakes, and generally should have moved faster.

My most spectacular error was the Go control - Ross punched control 18 four seconds behind me, and I had seen him closing on control 16. I had the fastest split to control 19, but I misread my map running to control 20 and overshot high, costing at least 25 seconds. There were two features that were monumentesque that I confused while running. This is especially troubling because the Go control is visible from the start, and I had watched runners come in. Also, if I had enough stamina left to push it so hard on 19, I should have been running faster throughout the course (particularly on trivial legs). I was also looking forward to challenging Ross in the finish chute.

I'm relatively unimpressed with my run because sprint courses are my relative strength, and I could have run sub 18 minutes. The first ten controls were relatively gnarly in rocky, thorny woods on a steep hillside; the latter ten were urban.

Running warm up/down 20:00 [1] 2.5 km (8:00 / km)
shoes: 200811 NB MT800

Warmup for the sprint.

Orienteering race 1:13:03 [5] *** 4.92 km (14:51 / km) +175m 12:36 / km
15c slept:3.0 shoes: 200811 NB MT800

The Middle Distance course at the West Point A meet. I am thoroughly disgusted with my performance on this race.

The Middle Distance is a race I regard with some trepidation because of the technical nature; given what I know about the West Point terrain - that it is particularly rugged, and that this particular venue was going to be difficult for relocation - I planned to run a more conservative race to maximize accuracy.

My Middle start was 2.5 hours after my sprint start; I would have benefited from more rest and more food. Conditions were also warmer and sunnier than I would have preferred.

I ran a very conservative route and pace to control #1 (Jon Torrance caught up to me though he started five minutes after I did), but navigated cleanly. The basic routes from the start to control 2 all involved lots of side-hilling on very rocky ground. I was again quite slow to 2, but I navigated cleanly. Controls 1 and 2 were tricky; Emily and Eric Kemp each made a ten minute error on one of the two. However, I was moving so slowly that I only gained a minute or two on them. In retrospect, I should have moved faster, particularly given how long the legs were.

I had a two minute error on control five where I kept missing the knoll on which it was hidden; I relocated on some cliffs and reattacked without difficulty. I spectacularly failed on control 6 - a short, 250 meter leg. I attacked from a known location, but didn't pay enough attention to my compass and drifted north to a parallel feature (hill) on which I was looking for the control. Nothing made sense, so I relocated with difficulty and attacked again more gingerly off of a marsh. I doubted the bag location (I assert it was not on the correct feature, but I'm unsure). I ended up losing ten minutes. I think I was reluctant to admit I had missed because my two minute error on five was entirely within the control circle.

At this point, Dylan Thies - whom I am comfortably faster than, and whom I just recently passed in the USOF rankings - had caught me, and we moved essentially together to 7. I tried to make a move and pass him at 8, but though we took different routes, we arrived about simultaneously. Control 9 was uphill, and I put on a burst of speed to get ahead of him. I pushed to 10 and lost Dylan, though he apparently saw me make a thirty second mistake at control 11. I was feeling sluggish on the remaining controls, but I navigated them successfully.

The lessons from this race:
- While it is a worthy goal to have a solid, conservative first control, on long legs with conservative routes, it's important to move fast, too.
- Pay very close attention to compass on tricky legs, especially short ones.
- When things don't make sense, quickly admit you've erred and relocate.
- Hydrate and fuel before the race
- Don't race with less than a 3-4 hour interval between races

Running warm up/down 20:00 [2] 2.5 km (8:00 / km) +150m 6:09 / km
slept:3.0 shoes: 200811 NB MT800

Warmup and run to the start for the Middle Distance event.

Wednesday Apr 15, 2009 #

Running 51:07 [3] 9.43 km (5:25 / km)
slept:6.0 shoes: 200811 NB Absorb EX 12

I went on a late night run (3 AM), with the objective of 50 minutes of moderate intensity running. I brought a headlamp and the West Point Long course map from 2008 (on which I met my Leipzig and DNF'd); I was inspired by Gerald's similar exercises.

The West Point map is non-trivial to navigate; I have concluded that the contours are the most reliable features for navigation, but they are often difficult to interpret. Last year, I had just come off a 16 minute/km middle distance course; I am better prepared physically and navigationally, though I need work in both areas. My goal is 10 min/km on the long, though I would be content with 12 min/km. I will go well armed with GU.

The work for the CSU A-meet and my job this week have coupled to completely wear me down. I don't expect to get much sleep tonight and Friday night as I struggle to finish the volunteer schedule and start list before West Point. It is unfortunate; the demands of my current circumstances (exacerbated by my sluggishness to execute them) have stoked my fury at a certain director. I hope to be judicious in all that I say and do in the next few weeks.

Tuesday Apr 14, 2009 #

Orienteering 22:40 [5] *** 3.06 km (7:24 / km)
13c shoes: 200811 NB Absorb EX 12

My old, destroyed pair of trail runners is the same model and color as my new pair; I accidentally grabbed my old pair this morning. As a result, I orienteered in my sneakers (running shoes).

I had a clean run, with no major errors; I had about 15 seconds of hesitation at 7, a dumb route choice at 1, and a moment of confusion microrienteering at 12. I was slow. Ross started a minute behind me, and we punched together at control 3 (which I blame on my crappy route choice at 1). He made an error, so I beat him to 4, but he caught up at 5. I might have lost ten seconds to traffic, but he was unquestionably faster. I saw him leaving 7, and that was it. I didn't really warm up for this one, which probably contributed to my sluggishness, but I am nonetheless disappointed in my running speed. I think Ross finished in just under 18 minutes; Clem was slightly over 18 minutes.

Lessons for future sprints: concentrate and focus before you start, warmup physically, bring correct shoes, and run fast.

ARDF 15:00 [2] 2.0 km (7:30 / km)
shoes: 200811 NB Absorb EX 12

Vadim set up five radio transmitters for ARDF so those who were interested could try it. The controls were about one hundred meters apart and each transmitted for one minute. I had never tried radio orienteering, but it was very interesting. I had no real difficulty navigating while I was far from the control, but near it I struggled. Each transmitter was a small black box - flags weren't up, so visibility was a problem. Vadim also suggested holding my arms out with the receiver when I get close to triangulate.

I hope to try it more in the future; it was fun.

Orienteering 20:00 [3] 2.5 km (8:00 / km)
shoes: 200811 NB Absorb EX 12

I ran about with Ross picking up controls. We had pleasant conversation. Apparently he sometimes sings to himself as he's running if he's running well and in a good mood. It suits him; my conversation with myself while I contemplate route choice options is peculiar.

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