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

Discussion: Junior Squad Changes

in: Irish Junior Squad

Jun 22, 2012 2:38 PM # 
Hello hello hello

If ye could change anything within the junior squad what would it be?

More training weekends?
More squad races?
More technical training?
More physical training?
Less training?
More chill out time?

Jun 22, 2012 7:14 PM # 
I think that when's there's not an event on a Sunday, there should be training organised for the juniors. To keep the O brain from going idle.
Jun 22, 2012 9:26 PM # 
In Dublin, or country wide?
Jun 23, 2012 11:16 AM # 
you cant really just restrict it to dublin as juniors are based nation wide!
Jun 23, 2012 12:13 PM # 
Meet at a place between each.
Jun 23, 2012 3:26 PM # 
Run it as a pilot in Dublin, then hopefully some up and coming seniors might pick up the baton in other parts of the country and help out the junior squad. . .

Ideally, if this was to work, it needs people in the area to take it up and run with it.
The hard part is getting it off of the ground
Jun 23, 2012 3:30 PM # 
I can see a subtle hint there Colm! I guess I could do some in the cork area?
Jun 27, 2012 8:15 PM # 
I think more Squad races would be useful. A mix of disciplines possibly. But proper courses, technical, and you know that stuff will be pretty correct, more reliable than a League event or so. It would be good to get all the 16s up to 20s running against each other on the same course every now and again for competition. And then 12s and 14s could do the same course as each other too. Or maybe 16s could choose which course, if racing 20s is a bit harsh.

But most juniors have no proper races before the selection races, like the JK. Just a few runs on maps at league events.
Jun 27, 2012 9:23 PM # 
So have a full Elite Middle Distance, 35-40min winning time a 21E (Irish Standard) and have Juniors battle it out as a prep for the JK Middle?
On maps better than league maps... thats the problem!

But - good idea none the less. Merci
Jun 28, 2012 12:35 AM # 
Basically, not necessarily for the JK, but some people will run nothing decent between July and April, that's 8 months. 4 or 5 races in between would be good to keep going.
And the map doesn't have to be better, you just have to use features or areas that aren't dodgy. Some league events are fine, but some aren't.
Jun 28, 2012 10:20 AM # 
I know what your saying, but I saw the calender for next year and it is jammers!
There is orienteering somewhere every week.

If we were to run a Junior League, it would eat into those going to the League events which would damage the bottom line of what the clubs take in.
Now, I'm sure that most clubs would be only too happy to help out of the Juniors were holding a training weekend - but having the juniors run else where isn't productive to orienteering as a whole.

One way to get around this would be for someone on the IJS to contact the event organiser and ask them is it possible to run a "middle" distance course along side it, or ask them can they re plan the brown to have a 90min winning time for an M18.

Just for comparison sake
Mullaghmeen: M18 63mins (winner 56)
Three Rock: M18 81mins (winner 72)
Carrigmeal: M18 87mins (winner 70)
Bull Isl: M18 64mins (winner 59)
Glendasan: M18 NA (winner 72)
Brockagh: M18 74mins (winner 64)
Rossmore: M18 74mins (winner 70)

So you'd want an extra 4km added to a LL or 2/3km taken off.
We can look into it.

What areas would be middle appropriate?
Bull Island?
Jun 30, 2012 10:38 AM # 
I agree. Test races would be really useful, just get used to actual competition, running at race pace, executing a good race consistently. It'll give the confidence in the proper races that you know you can do it, you've done it before many times.

I'm going to start ranting but there's no point just throwing on these trainings. The maps need to be good, the controls need to be in the right place etc. Also some practice at 1:15000 is essential. Even the 16's are running it in the EYOC long nowadays, where have our 16's ever used 1:15000?

And just because we live in Ireland doesn't mean we can't prepare just as well as other countries, physically AND TECHNICALLY.

Selections. A bit of a dilemma here. Do you make it hard to be selected so people make sure they improve but risk losing runners because of the work now involved for selections or do you keep it as it is and maintain the young runners we have but never see any really good results? I just find, personally, I could train more but don't need to. Chances are I'll be selected. Mostly laziness but it would help if I HAD to train more.

We've also discussed as juniors about EYOC/JWOC. I feel you should be allowed go to both for various reasons, as do others.

Some thoughts, more after.
Jun 30, 2012 11:37 AM # 
Races wouldn't have to be on a Sunday... we could stage a middle somewhere on a Saturday, and a Long Distance (normal League event), only ask for 1:15,000 maps for the juniors. Those winning times are pretty fine as it is. A little varied, but quite good. Winning times usually aren't 90mins for M18s abroad. They're usually 60mins, even 50mins. So 70mins should be fine for us. But all foreign Long Distance races use 1:15,000, and it's normal for them. I agree that we need 1:15,000 races. The League events are sufficient so long as they do take extra care to make sure the course is fair.

Most of our Long Distance maps would be easy to use for a Middle, the winning time can range from 30-35mins, maybe slightly more. So you don't need a big area of nice stuff, just need some nice stuff. The places you mentioned earlier as well as:
- Brockagh
- Scarr (top of)
- Carlingford!!
- Barnaslingen (maybe a little dodgy, not sure)
- Featherbeds
- Curragh (for a middle, with different planning to usual)
- Trooperstown (the white forest at the bottom? Might be small)
- Clara Vale (would be very nice for a middle)
- Killiney Hill
- Mullaghmeen
- Three Rock (has some decent areas for a Middle)
- Knocksink (maybe a bit shit, not sure)
- Glen of the Downs

I think there are more, but my I've just had a block. Some of these aren't usable for Longs, but all our league events are classic distance, so finding long distance areas shouldn't be a problem. Some areas could be used for Sprint too, open mountain and forest can also be used for sprint, don't have to stick to city maps... but we do have city maps too that are good!

With regards to Laurence's point about selections, I think they got the selections right this year with EYOC at least. It's a good team, consistent results, and probably better results than we've ever had before, no really bad results like we usually have. Everyone has done decent, with some very good results.
Jun 30, 2012 12:44 PM # 
Selections. A bit of a dilemma here. Do you make it hard to be selected so people make sure they improve but risk losing runners because of the work now involved for selections or do you keep it as it is and maintain the young runners we have but never see any really good results? I just find, personally, I could train more but don't need to. Chances are I'll be selected. Mostly laziness but it would help if I HAD to train more.

So your admitting that you are happy to finish bottom half?

The question was always do you focus on a small "elite" or get a large group.
Ruth successfully got a large group of juniors involved, so the question is now do people want a smaller squad within the squad?
How does one make a criteria for selections?

I know where your coming from, but the problem is drawing the line. Like, if you go to JWOC once, you go for the rest of them. Personally, I disagree with this and I always have. What makes a JWOC athlete a JWOC athlete?

Just for debate I'm going to throw this out there.
You said your happy to not bother training to try reach your full potential, cause you'll get selected anyways...
So, why should the IJS bother to organise extra races and trainings if your only putting in a half arsed effort?
Jun 30, 2012 1:11 PM # 
For the record, I was content to finish bottom half but I'm not anymore. That's why I took a year out. Work starts now for next year having finished school. I'm not running EYOC because I don't think I should be.

I hear you but it's the same for almost everyone, giving this half arsed effort. There's a reason only two or three juniors work really hard.

It's extremely hard to give a great effort, you're completely on your own for the whole year, aiming for one race in the summer. We need to do it together. Or else things will never change. Stuck with the odd Nick Simonin every few years.
Jun 30, 2012 1:36 PM # 
I think this is getting off point.

Yes, I think it's hard to give a good effort throughout the whole year while in Ireland. Personally, I found myself well motivated for the Autumn/Winter, and it starting quite well, but come Spring I started to lose motivation and training dwindled a lot more.

It is tough for juniors to train consistently throughout the year when there aren't many to train with, no organised trainings. The training weekends help, but it would be good to get together more, test races would be a useful indicator, but they would also be a big motivator. If you have one of those in the middle of the month, you only have to plan a week and a half of training, then some races with juniors, then 2 weeks planned training. Rather than 1 month full training. It would connect the juniors better and that. I think it would help.

I agree about the JWOC athlete point. Also don't think I'd say I've ever put in a half-assed effort because I knew I'd make the team, but it doesn't make me train more either. The thought of selections doesn't make me train more, because I have rarely had to worry about selection. Big competitions, and the thought of good results is better motivation, but it only lasts so long.
Jul 2, 2012 9:36 AM # 
We need more high speed orienteering test races. Relays with gaffles! That's what I took form my time running EYOC. I wasn't able to cope with the navigation at such a high speed.
Jul 13, 2012 7:08 PM # 
Greetings. Just a few thoughts. For east coast runners, I would also consider getting a minibus or a few cars (and parents/chauffeurs) together and going to the odd weekend of high quality races in Wales and/or the Lake District.

Part of the reason is to get good race conditions, part of it to get experience in different terrain, which is what really tests your technique. Training camps are also good.

If you want to be good technically (at speed!), you have to orienteer more than four times per month.

Re people to train with - how many of you have tried recruiting schoolmates/college friends who can run, and escorted them around a course or two? Create a group if you can. Ask your parents to chauffeur you and your friends to the mountains. They might say yes. Maybe.

I'll let Colm look after the physical side :)
Jul 13, 2012 8:47 PM # 
I dont see why we cant use the good areas that we actually have properly... If we go swedish style and just put out a whole load of tags out for control sites then it will encourage people to train in these areas, as well as making training easier. If everybody has an all controls map then they will be able to easily make themselves courses and exercises from these.

As for people to train with... It seems to be very rare that orienteers are isolated from each other, we seem to all cluster in certain areas. There is the problem however that most of the juniors cant drive, especially you southern lot :P
Jul 13, 2012 9:10 PM # 
I agree with Jack about the tags thing. I'd happily put out some in the Dublin/Wicklow area. Also hanging tags is good training as well so more people should do it. There's plenty of training partners if you look for them and communicate with them to see if there's any training going on.
More training camps is also a big thing. We should arrange a trip to international competition terrains (EYOC/JWOC). I know that funds and money is always an issue but if you go to a cheap European country you'll be able to find good terrains. Also, Jack didn't you say it cost you like 200 quid for two weeks training in Sweden with GB squad? I don't see why we can't do something like that.
Just my thoughts on the issue.
Jul 13, 2012 9:47 PM # 
I was putting out tags today on croob and I would count it as technical training. I would also be more than happy to do this in other areas too. When I was in Sweden training, them tags were all over the place, they were small but that just means that you actually have to navigate to the feature rather than trying to spot a big orange/white thing.
I agree that we could have more training camps. Scotland has awesome terrain and its not a million miles away. Yea Jonny, looked it up there and it was £190 for 10 days training, with 3 sessions a day. We also took part in the Silva Junior Cup and other events as well. This didnt include flights but they werent overly expensive. We slept on the floor of a club hut and used public transport to go everywhere, so this kept prices down. The public transport idea is really only feasable in areas like Stockholm though, but they just have so many maps!
Jul 13, 2012 10:03 PM # 
Guys, we have just finished one of the best JWOC's ever! Conor finished 48th in the Long and finished 24th in the Middle A Final and Colm 27th in the B Final. Its your job as the next JWOC juniors to beat these placings.And you won't do it if you couldn't be arsed putting in the long hours of training, many of these unfortunatley on your own like what these guys have had to do.
I have agreed to be JWOC Manager for next year and I'm happy to try new things,
for instance I would like to create a JWOC squad and hold the selections for JWOC in the Czech Republic instead of the JK. maybe training in the autum in the Czech Republic and spring training in Portugal. I would like to take a larger team with both boys and girls, but only if they are at the standard. let me know what you think.
Jul 13, 2012 10:15 PM # 
Aye, fantastic results. And you'll be in good hands for the coming year.

To get full benefit from the non-event training sessions, analyse, contrast and discuss your gps routes afterwards (and hand-drawing your route first is still beneficial).
Jul 14, 2012 7:01 AM # 
I fully agree with Greg about selection races being held in similar terrain. And extra training in Portugal would make the start to our competition season more interesting and might get Irish juniors to start training hard if they want to compete at a high level at these internationals.
Jul 14, 2012 7:50 AM # 
Conor and Colm have been training in Sweden with a big group of athletes so that's obviously helped them to achieve a higher standard. If we could organise one of the big mass start trainings they have over there even once a month I think it would benefit all of us.
I think it's a bit unfair when singling out just two juniors who did good that we all have to train harder. I did more training than Conor this year and he did way better than me because most of mine wasn't technical training and nearly all of his was. So it's not that the juniors should train harder, they should train more orienteering if they want to become better. That's what I'm doing this year and hopefully other juniors will try and do the same.
Jul 14, 2012 7:42 PM # 
Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD)

1. Fundamentals

1. Learn to Train

2. Train to Train

-Athletes need to learn to cope with the physical and mental
challenges of competition.
-For all athletes, the use of body-size and skill-level appropriate
equipment remains important.
-Optimize training and competition ratios and follow a 60:40 percent
training to competition ratio.
-Too much competition wastes valuable training time; too little
competition reduces the practical application and development of
technique, tactics, and decision-making skills under realistic
competition conditions.
-Use talent identification to help athletes focus on two sports.
-Utilize single and double periodization plans to prepare athletes.
-During training, include competitive situations in the form of
practice matches or competitive games and drills.
-A key reason why many athletes hit a plateau during later stages of
their development has to do with too much competition and not enough
training during this stage.
-Competition is most valuable when it is used to develop strategic and
tactical understanding. The focus must be on the learning process and
not the outcome.

3. Train to Compete

-Provide year-round, high intensity, individual event and
position-specific training.
-Have athletes perform their skills under a variety of competitive
conditions during training.
-Place special emphasis on optimum preparation by modeling high-level
competition in training.
-Continue to tailor and refine individual fitness programs, recovery
programs, psychological preparation, and technical development.
-Emphasize individual preparation that addresses each athlete’s
individual strengths and weaknesses.
-Athletes must strive to deliver consistent high performance results
in both training and competition.
-Coaches should consistently use periodization plans as the optimal
framework of preparation according on the periodization
recommendations of their sport’s Long Term Athlete Development plan.
-Coaches and athletes must plan for tapering and peaking for
competition, to accommodate the large increase in training volume.

3. Train to Win.

-Train athletes to peak for major competitions.
-Performance outcomes take first priority.
-Athletes must develop the ability to produce consistent performances on demand.
-Coaches must ensure that training is characterized by high intensity
and high volume.
-Coaches must allow frequent preventative breaks to prevent physical
and mental burnout.
-Training must utilize periodization plans as the optimal framework of
preparation, according to the periodization guidelines of the
sport-specific LTAD plan.
-The training to competition ratio should be adjusted to 25:75, with
the competition percentage including competition-specific training
-Training targets include the maximization and maintenance of all
athlete capacities.
-Athletes must learn to adapt to different environments to perform their best.

4. Excellence Takes Time

How long does it take for athletes to reach the top of their game?
About 10,000 hours of training and competing. For most athletes, that
translates into about 10 years.
Research has shown that it takes 10,000 hours of quality training for
athletes to achieve their full potential and perform at an elite
level. In most examples of top-ranked athletes and other star
performers, their 10,000 hours are usually accumulated over at least
10 years of training and competing.
This translates into an average of 3 hours of daily training, applied
practice and competition over 10 years. Again, this is an average over
the span of 10 years. It is not desirable to see children formally
“training” in one sport for three hours every day when they are 7
years old. Training hours increase during adolescence, and this rounds
out the average.

Increasing training hours

By the time an athlete has chosen to specialize in one sport – usually
around age 14 – they should begin formal daily training for that
sport. Their overall training hours should begin to approach 3 hours
per day or more if they want to reach an elite or professional level.

Not all of these “training hours” will involve training directly in
their sport. Many of the hours will include generalized components
such as flexibility training and fitness training (e.g. running, gym
workouts) [colms edit: Or studying maps, old courses, route choices

This discussion thread is closed.