Orienteering 3 Sundays in a row!

This Sunday (today). A hugely enjoyable visit to Bramshaw Wood. Many thanks to Pete Davis (organiser) and Nick Jarvis (planner).

Next Sunday (13th December). WIM are holding a level C event at Inside Park, Blandford Forum. So far only 7 SOC members have entered - but there is still time as entries (via Fabian4) are open until tomorrow evening.

The following Sunday (20th December). We will be holding the postponed event at Farley Mount. If you have already entered you will be contacted in the next few days. If you haven't entered but would like to do so just let me know.

Zoom Social Thurs 3rd 20:00 + Orienteering Advent calendars

 

SOC Zoom social series 2 episode 2 this Thursday 3rd at 20:00 for the mental Vs physical debate! Chance to chat after and to look forward to our event on Sunday. I am still looking for volunteers to debate that the physical side is more important, please get in touch and help make the evening more interest! Zoom details the same as previously.

Orienteering Advent:

TORUS are running an advent calendar of daily trail orienteering events. I've taken part in the previous two leagues and they're good fun (and free). Really good practice for interpreting a map at speed. Info here: http://torus.yq.cz/advent_2020.cgi

WorldofO run a Route to Christmas with daily route choice problems (plot your route and compare with the tracking of big events, always interesting areas, often big 2-4km route choice legs!) First day here: http://news.worldofo.com/2020/12/01/route-to-christmas-day-1-2020

 

 

 "Mental vs Physical, which is more important for Orienteering?"

 

Anyone who has a regular fitness training regime will know how long it takes before any noticeable improvements are seen. Recording your times on a regular run, for instance, may show very little or no improvements on your splits for ages. Then suddenly you dip below your previous best time. Even so it may only be by a few seconds over say a 5K run.

In terms of shaving seconds off your orienteering splits you would have to put in a great deal of time and effort improving your fitness for any major gains in orienteering results.

On a 5K orienteering course with 12 controls if you can save just 10 seconds per control you would save 120 seconds or 2 minutes off your overall time. Now think how hard it would be to shave a whole 2 minutes off your best 5K time!

So how do you save 10 seconds per control?

Easy! All you have to do is plan your approach and exit strategy, so you do not stop at the control. Before you reach the control, you need to know which way you plan to leave the control. This requires you to plan ahead. Which direction is the next control and what route do you intent to follow to get there, if you keep moving in the right direction after punching a control even if you only walk away, you can quite easily save valuable seconds!

No one completes an orienteering course without some errors even if they are only small ones. The best orienteers are those who react quickest to any setbacks. Recognising that you have made an error and having the ability to get back on track quickly are key.

If a control does not appear where you expect then it is time to be mentally strong. Do not run round like a headless Chicken instead re-locate to a recognisable feature and make your final approach again.

There are many more mental tools that an orienteer needs to master to help improve their navigation. Practice using these tools, so you are ready when you find that you have made an error.

It looks like Mental comes out on top over Physical in orienteering, but you should still not neglect the Physical aspect.

A faster runner may still beat a competent orienteer on some courses. You do need to put together the complete package of fitness and skill as a navigator to compete with the best.

Maintaining or improving fitness also has other benefits.

The fitter you are the less likely you are to pick up stress or strain injuries.

Fitness can also help with decision making. You are more likely to make errors when in oxygen debt or near the end of a run when you are getting tired. Improving your fitness and stamina may reduce overall tiredness and cut down the time spent in oxygen debt.

If you can finish your run strongly and not feel totally exhausted you will be pleased that you have coped with the physical challenge of the course. If you can see an improvement in your navigation as well then your enjoyment will be doubled.

Improving both you mental O skills and your physical fitness is the route towards reaching your orienteering goals.

Lockdown Training

Yesterday Rob Finch and I did a brown course at Long Valley South. A number of these "Solo O" courses have been set up by Colin Dickson - I can let you have details.

I quickly found out how it is that Rob is consistently one of our best athletes - currently 140 in the national rankings - and he was kind enough to coach me through the course.

So what did I learn? Well the first thing is I need to look at the map more often. And then I need to check I'm going in the right direction.  I was gently told that my plan " to head west and see what happens" wasn't orthodox technique! I need to try and be more fluid, planning ahead and not stopping at junctions. Rob was keeping in better contact with the map than me and that really counted in more technical terrain.

Rob has offered coaching to anyone else interested. Do take him up on it.

 

Thanks for the kind words Julian. It was good to get out together and I learn some stuff from you too! If anyone is interested in being shadowed or going round a course together, let me know. My contact details are in the members area.