After getting sick and missing a few days of training this week I have managed pull together a pretty good weekend with a hugely beneficial long run in terrain on Saturday and having very good race at the Auckland Orienteering Relay Champs today.
Saturday’s run was a very orienteering specific session from the Muriwai end of Woodhill Forest with a few simple rules:
- You can’t run on the beach
- You can’t run in the forest
- When you run for 1 hour you can turn around and head back towards the car.
This leaves a thin strip of sand dunes covered in long grasses, waist-high bushes with patches of open sand and hundreds of small, steep hills. This is running at its most physical, demanding constant muscular strength, and not just aerobic endurance. Based on the rules above you end up running in a relatively straight line so when you turn around at 1 hour there are no short cuts back to the car, in fact it’s probably going to take you longer to get back to the car because you will be getting quite tired towards the end.
Here is my GPS and heart rate data. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/519997969. 600m of accent is a pretty cool figure with a maximum altitude of 17 metres! My quads last night felt pretty smashed as if I had been doing a specific hill session (stairs at home always remind me how much I have been using my quads in training).
After 90 minutes my body reminded me that I was still recovering some my cold and really struggled to keep a reasonable pace going. You can see my heart rate slowly fall as I get weaker and weaker in the last 30 minutes.
In my opinion this is one of the best sessions AOTC have been involved in and it really showcases our orienteering specific running training well. I am now looking to the current up-and-coming juniors in Auckland to come up with some of their own innovative sessions to further improve our running fitness especially in terrain.
Today I raced at the Auckland Relay Champs as the second leg runner for the top NWOC team. Running second leg was a nice change as I am used to running first, also this is a sprint relay so racing is a lot closing and can be more exciting to watch.
Here is my route from my GPS.
My team finished second behind CMOC in the open class but I was happy that NWOC won overall with points counting from junior, open and master classes.
My performance today was important to me because I was particularly focused and applied myself well to get the right information out of the map. It does make things easier having raced on the Epson Campus map a number of times before but my head was in a very good space and replicating this will be very important to my races coming up overseas. I felt very good in my warm up and I also believed that I was the fastest orienteer at the race. Sorry for being cocky, but these two things left me feeling very confident in my own ability and I felt very little pressure. During the race my thoughts stayed mostly with the course, only getting distracted by Matt Goodall when I caught him near the end. Once I was in front of him I was planning my routes very well and made no errors in my execution.
So there are some interesting and positive points here, and I encourage everyone to look into their own good days to learn more about what brings the best out of them.