It was many years ago when I discovered the Lunsen orienteering map while browsing online and I have now finally have the pleasure of training on it. OK Linnés Albin Ridefelt set a 16km session broken into a number of short courses with different focusses. I was glad we had a low pace section first to give me time to get into the map. I was a bit worried about making a big stuff up because it is very hard to relocate in this terrain with no tracks and so much similar contour detail. There were also no control markers. Below are sections 1, 3, and 5 of the training.
The forest was much denser than expected and the thick knee-high bushes and uneven ground made running very hard. The marshes were very soft and although they were flat, they were not as fast as running up and down over the high points in most cases. The high points are not easy going either, as the undergrowth can still be thick and any bare rock is often cracked and fragmented. There was a lot of jumping and leaping and I can see the significant benefits of doing plyometric training for this terrain.
Section 2 of the training was a mass start with splits. I was really struggling to read the necessary features on this exercise and was very unsure of where I was most of the time. I used the clearings a lot to relocate myself because the hills were not standing out to me. I was impressed by the aggression and confidence of the others in this high-stakes terrain. On the second easy section I tried to ignore the others and find my own flow. I gradually got better and seeing the hills but many were still not clear to me and I had to relocate a number of times. The rocks were helpful but there were some rocks which seemed big to me but were obviously not on the map so had to be ignored.
I was feeling pretty tired at the start of this contours only section proving the physicality of this terrain. I hit this exercise quite hard and I was getting quite good at picking up the contour shapes. Matt caught me 20 seconds at number 11 and we pushed hard and finished a long time before anyone else. I was starting to feel quite confident with my technique and didn’t let make Matt distract me.
The final hard section was broken into 2 parts, mass start, and reverse chasing start based on the mass start. I was feeling much more confident and tried to run away from Albin to take the lead but he was strong and I had to hesitate a few times coming into the first finish. I did the same in the reserve chasing start but lost time trying to run through a marsh that was a lot softer than I expected. I never caught Albin once he passed me and Matt also stayed clear, but we were a long way ahead of the rest. Everyone was pretty tired after those 16kms.
I was very happy with how I progressed over this session and the OK Linne guys who train here often were impressed that I picked it up so quickly. It probably is the hardest area I have ever orienteered and it is easy to see how top orienteers can make big mistakes. I’m not sure if I should have another training on Lunsen before I leave to Czech Republic or if I should quit while I’m ahead.