I was just thinking that 1500m running is probably good prep for the surges and tactics of KOS races, good to see you getting some practice in.
Yeah it was good to run a more tactical and faster race, will probably do another one in June
Also some specific sessions where you work on that surge / recover capability - accelerate / decelerate. Sprint / cruise repeats. Something along the lines of 10 seconds on, 50 seconds cruise x 10. recover and repeat. The cruise is the hard part and as you do more of these sessions then it is the cruise where you really feel the improvement. Its something you would do across 3 or 4 weeks peaking.
Yeah good shout. Although I do think (from my limited experience) that the women’s races tend to be less tactical than the men’s as there is a larger spread of running speeds. This gives more scope for the better women just to run pretty hard from the start and get rid of anyone who can’t keep up.
Head to head or not I think the ability to absorb the impact of accelerations whilst running hard is essential in sprint.
When you are running right at your aerobic limit any added strain ( accelerating out of a corner or away from a control, up steps) will deliver a pulse of lactate and you need to be able to clear that lactate whilst continuing on at speed.
I'm not sure you ever go easy enough to clear excess lactate during a sprint. Yes, you can surge up a hill or steps, but it's not like you then cruise for a bit to let the burn fade: you keep going full gas just your legs hurt a bit more. That doesn't mean it isn't something to work on, and I think Kitch's suggestion has merit. Variable pace reps, like mini fartleks, can also be useful.
Semi-relevant: the Swedish team did some pace & lactate testing a few years back on a simulation course with lightgates on entry and exit to controls. They found that the cruising pace (ie ignoring acceleration and deceleration at controls was pretty much 5000m pace, but lactate levels were way higher, more like those experienced during 1500m running.
Agreed, you don't try any less hard, but the lactate does build, so ultimately you go a bit slower than otherwise -
Personal experience of this at Scottish XC champs one year. I was running on the limit holding a stable position, went over a bump, slipped a bit on the other side but kept myself upright, kept running just as hard but suddenly went backwards several places before then holding position. What happened ? The effort of staying upright gave me a burst of lactate, which slowed me down until it was cleared / stabilised.
In any endurance race up to 10 or 12 miles (an hour) or so you are running with a permanently elevated level of lactate. The shorter the race the higher the level and the less time you can maintain it. You will always get pulses of lactate on top of the elevated "steady state" and when you do you need to bring it back down again to that elevated "steady state", otherwise it builds and builds out of control.
The Swedish research makes absolute sense, and very relevant.
the 10 x 10/50 session is a cycling session. In a road race you are constantly having to react to the surges of other riders, a block of these sessions makes it so much easier to cope. Highly recommend.
From what I've heard, elite orienteering lactate levels are unusually high compared to road and track athletes, supported by the Swedish research. For some reason it appears elite orienteers can tolerate higher lactate levels.