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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: TyrTom

In the 1 days ending Nov 3, 2007:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering1 1:19:09 5.72(13:51) 9.2(8:36) 31016 /16c100%
  Run1 30:00
  Total1 1:49:09 5.72 9.2 31016 /16c100%

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Sa

Saturday Nov 3, 2007 #

Run warm up/down 30:00 [1]

Nice long warm-up and 10 minute cool-down run. Felt pretty good considering the time-change. Also felt focused!

Orienteering race 1:19:09 [4] *** 9.2 km (8:36 / km) +310m 7:22 / km
spiked:16/16c

US champs M45, same course as the F21 WRE. Very good effort overall. Was focused right from the start and really no errors more than a couple of 10-15 second hesitations. Physically though I probably could have done a couple of minutes faster, particularly if I had pushed the pace more the first half of the course. But due to not being in the terrain at all ahead of time I had a plan to offset 2 factors I was aware of: 1) Traditionally ridge and valley terrain has caused me problems since I am not used to it and 2) having heard from others who had been to the model event I realized the navigation could be tricky because of the vegetation.
Feel good that I executed very well and actually really enjoyed the course and terrain even though it was painful getting through the greenbriar, laurel etc. Lots of compass work and micro route choices to pick the best way through the green areas. I found the contour detail on the map to be very accurate which helped staying in touch at all times.

Adding my comments per leg, route is in RouteGadget.

S-1 Left or right of the green was the first decision, and I quickly decided for left as I wanted to use the long ridge as a handrail on the first part of the leg. Plan was to follow the ridge to the saddle about 60% into the leg then drop down into the reentrant and stay north of the green climbing back out up the shallow reentrant south of the cairns, crossing the ridge and dropping into the 2nd reentrant and follow it north up to the control. Pretty much what I did, but caught the narrow reentrant (old road bed) and indistinct trail 100 m before the control and was able to attack more directly than first planned.

1-2 There was really no route choice other than straight on, so first just wanted to get to the road as soon as possible. Dropped to the streambed as soon as possible to make sure I didn't end up left of the reentrant intersection and then didn't really read the map until the road, actually wanted to follow the reentrant further but no big deal. Plan from the road was: across the broad hill, drop down into the reentrant skirting the small hill to cross the reentrant and follow the deep gully NE. From the top of the gully angle over to the L shaped reentrant (attack point) and contour across to the control feature. Execution was pretty much perfect and used my compass for transportation between point features.

2-3 Straight down the reentrant, cross the streambed and cross the spur staying below the green (which I didn't succeed at completely, got tangled up a bit) then cross the second stream bed and use the ridge as a handrail into the control. Picked up the hilltop on my right and then the spur about 150 m short of the control. Was a little concerned approaching this rather indistinct control feature but the control was placed fairly and I picked it up right away. Again executed well to plan.

3-4 Set compass and checked direction. Drop down right of the green area into the reentrant then decided to got straight through the second green area (hoping to hit the narrowest part) to the highest point on the hill top and attacking the control along the spur. Perfect!

4-5 First plan was to go straight skirting the green (and actually started that way on a compass bearing), then I noticed what looked like an indistict trail heading out of the control to the left. And since I liked the attack to the control coming down the broad white spur decided to try it. However, I turned too late and never did pick up any section of the trail so fought my way through the worst green I was in all day. Once I got out to the road the attack down the spur and down into the reentrant went perfectly but lost time here. 1 min or more?

5-6 Set a compass bearing and used it up the side of the spur. Hesitated as I got atop the spur and then felt I was too far down the narrower spur to the left of the control. Decided to turn right and quickly picked up the control. Lost 30 seconds here.

6-7 Straight compass bearing until I crossed the streambed mid-leg then up onto the broad spur. From there I could see the saddle and from there full-speed into the reentrant and ditch.

7-8 Again decided for straight compass bearing and picked my way through the green. Wasn't sure exactly where I was on the ridge as I crossed it (some hesitation here) but decided to trust my compass bearing and dropped down into the control.

8-9 Quickly decided that a more or less straight route choice was best (around left looked too long with too much green at the beginning). Divided the leg into pre- and post-road. Original plan was skirt the first spur, cross the first stream and then follow the streambed heading NW to the small open area then compass bearing to the road staying between the thicker green areas. Started out on this, and the streambed running was open and fast, but as I approached the open area didn't like the look of the green before it. So I decided to cross the streambed earlier, up over the hill/spur and compass bearing to the road. Got stuck in the thicker green area and had to back out and find a way around which worked OK. Spent some time here picking my way through the green areas. When I got to the road I first thought I was further south and the vegetation on the other side looked thick so I decided to go left then angle down the spur (compass bearing here) to the open area then stay high up the hill-side and go right of the green in the first broad reentrant. From there I actually ended up setting a compass bearing from the end of the stream/ditch and basically followed it crossing the second broad reentrant and picking up the shallow reentrant down to the control. Good execution to plan but probably should have crossed the road immediately and dropped directly down to the streambed.

9-10 Compass bearing and contoured straight across the hill picking up the shallow reentrant 100 m before the control. Felt I was a little to high and dropped down over the bank to the control. Some hesitation on this leg. This would have been a good leg to pace count!

10-11 Scary control so I decided to be cautious here. Compass bearing again, using the north slope of the spur as a handrail (i.e. making sure I always had a slope to my left). Was able to pick up the thicker green area to my left then angled across the spur on the bearing and saw the 2 rootstocks and small knoll which was my attack point. The visibility was poor around the control and didn't see it right away even though I was sure I was right. Execution OK, some hesitation into the control.

11-12 Plan: Contour out the spur and try to hit the edge of the eastern most open area. Tick off the spurs and reentrants on a compass bearing, go around the last green area to the right then up the reentrant to the control. Executed well at the beginning but misread the open areas slightly which brought me too far right. New compass bearing from the stream crossing, picked up the green area on the last broad spur, then decided to go through the last green area to go up onto the last spur and make sure I didn't go up the wrong reentrant to the control. Green wasn't as bad as it looked (at walking speed). Good adjustment to plan!

12-13 Just get to the road! .... but I angled slightly too far left which gave me a longer distance to run. No big deal but sloppy.

13-14 Classic leg to think about optimization of running distance. Briefly considered dropping off the road earlier and following the north bank of the river and up the spur in the woods to the first group of cabins. But quickly decided I wanted to take the climb on the road not in the woods. Decision to cut across the field and through the cabin areas was based on 3 factors. 1) Shorter distance (estimated) with little climb penalty, 2) I feel comfortable with this type of quick sense-of-direction small trail navigation and 3) better short-distance attack point from the last cabin area. Perfect execution of plan, my best leg of the day!

14-15 Straight down the continuation of the ditch crossing the streambed and straight up the steeper reentrant. Up onto the spur crossing the road, the drop down into the shallower reentrant and contour along the hillside to the control. Ended up slightly low, about 20 meters left, but otherwise perfect execution of plan.

15-16 Straight down to the streambed, then shut down my brain, not a good idea. Lots of hesitation as I was climbing up towards the fire-break. Luckily I was headed in the right direction and picked up the streamers.

16 - Finish Felt strong and fast!

Lessons learned:

Positives

+ Very good rough and detailed compass work
+ good at reading contour detail
+ Generally good plans for each leg with good handrails and point features to check off.
+ Good execution of plan on most legs, appropriate level of concentration

Areas for improvement
- leg 4-5 should have stuck to my original plan! Need to trust my first instinct more.
- leg 8-9 around left looks like a better route after analysis. Interesting!
- continuing trend with strong start and finish, but often weaker in the middle of the course. Need to be more aggressive on the entire course.

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