Tour De Peninsula marks the build up to the 2015 orienteering season in NZ with its series of 8 races over 3 days with the cycle tour inspired concepts used by Sprint the Bay in previous years. This year I was open to compete for as many of the leaders’ singlets as I could.
It’s pretty hard to summarise 8 races into a short write up so I will just look at a few interesting things, some good some bad.
Starting with the bad…
Over the past year I have come to express my orienteering performance based on the “Triangles of Orienteering” model, but like any model there are always simplifications and assumptions. I had great success applying this model in 2014 but not such great success so far in 2015 and a number of things have come to light this weekend.
The first race at Ferrymead was pretty poor with a lot of time lost to the first control. This was a result of looking on the wrong side of the map for the start triangle, as we had a map flip, and then still taking ages to find the start triangle on the correct side of the map. In this time I managed to cross a train track, which was uncrossable in this particular race. There was also a large wall on the map, and I was so focused on determining whether or not I was allowed to cross the wall that I didn’t even think about the train track I was crossing. I corrected myself by returning the way I came losing almost 1 minute in total. I think a major part of this error was not being mentally ready for the race. With no mental and emotional warm up I was essentially “winging it”. I’m not entirely sure on how to reduce the time taken to find the start triangle but visualisation and more awareness of my surrounds could have helped a lot.
Another massive stuff up came on the on the 4th stage when I exited control 2 as if I was at control 3. I was very confident doing the first 2 legs and had planned ahead to control 4 before I got to control 2. I seem to do this a few times per year and I know other people do it too but I haven’t come up with any good solution to prevent it from happening. My understanding of it at the moment is that it’s just unfortunate timing of thoughts but I would really like be able to bring a solution to it. Is there something I can including into my mental process or is it something that isn’t worth worrying about?
The good bits…
The sections of these races that I raced well proved again to me that trigger words really do help drive my technical process and enhance my concentration while reducing the amount of story thinking that goes on inside my sometimes frantic mind. So I remain confident that I am taking the right approach to improving my orienteering by focussing on my mental processes and specifically applying trigger words to that effect in training and racing.
Another thing I’m really happy with is how much more I’m habitually using my compass to sharpen my direction. This was actually quite important at Tour De Peninsula because 6 out of the 8 races were non-urban. I simply found myself checking my compass more and at the right times. I believe this is part of my progress from conscious competence to unconscious competence – at least with this component of my performance.
Also on the physical side of things, my body held up to the stains of 8 high intensity races in 3 days but the same niggles I have had for the past 2 months remain. My good use of my specialist rolling pin is helping with some of the prevention and its importance is obviously acknowledged as seen here with my fan club.
At the end of the weekend I finished 3rd in the general classification for the yellow singlet, and 2nd in both the sprint and hill climb points competitions.
I’ll let my GPS do the rest of the talking, so check out my routes, including some massive blow outs, on my DOMA page!