After 2 days of easy training in Wanaka my attention turns to the inaugural Southern O Week, 8 races in 7 days based between Wanaka and Alexandra. A good mix of race formats and terrains has made this event something to look forward to for some time now. Although this does come at a strange place in the season for me, the promise of tough competition in quality terrain is too good to turn down. I aim to work on my mental and emotional performance during this week by putting pressure on myself and channelling that pressure into process focus – the skill of staying focused on only your orienteering technique and not being distracted by physical or mental stressors.
Yesterday I did a recommended training on the Hikuwai map nearby Wanaka yesterday to help get my head back into an orienteering space after focussing on solely running for so long. Building the technical intensity was hard at first, but eventually I subdued the urge to boost and focused my energy more on navigation. The course was really tricky (the map really says it all) and without flags it was difficult to know if I was in the right place for a number of the controls.
I topped off the session with a boost around the trails in the area to make the run more of the subthreshold that it was supposed to be. My pace was good and the twisty MTB trails through the low kanuka trees – soft leaves brushing my arms as I leant into the corners – made me feel extremely fast and pumped to race!
Today I did another enjoyable training run on the side of glistening Lake Wanaka under a clear blue sky. I started with a cruisy orienteering course which was more of a park-style course with nothing tricky, but the location made very enjoyable. I finished the hour of running with a cruise along the water’s edge over grass, marshland, sand and stones. My Icebug Zeals were getting pretty excited but I had to hold them back and just cruise knowing next week will bring plenty of opportunity to go fast!
SOW starts tomorrow!