Monday, 23 May 2011

Training Training Training

NZ champs was the perfect motivation for me to start enjoying my training again. I'm not saying I wasn't having fun before, but now I'm looking forward to each session and always have a specific focus or goal in mind. I had some good results at Nationals, but technically there was a lot of room for improvement in my orienteering.
I have been working quite a lot in my part time job at shoe science, so that I can save towards moving to Finland in June. This means that most of my training has to be done in the dark. Normally this would be a bit frustrating for me, but right now I'm making the most of it :) I will be running Jukola relay shortly after I arrive to Finland, so to prepare I've been doing a lot of night training in Woodhill forest.
In the first few night sessions I was making a lot of mistakes especially in the vague areas where I couldn't seem to run in a straight line! But my technique has quickly improved. Also it is sometimes hard to know for sure if you are at the right control point because we don't have any markers or controls, just our oxygen deprived brains and 10m of vision. The latest night training I did at a moderate pace, with only a couple of small mistakes (hesitations on #2 and #11 and a mispunch at #25 where I didn't check my compass). With 69min over 11.5km I was quite happy. It was also the biggest training week I have had in 2 years with 151km of running - 37km of which was night orienteering.
My next goal is a 5km time trial next Tuesday where I will attempt to beat my personal record of 15.30. Then I have the Australia vs. NZ test match at the Regal Orienteering Carnival over Queen's Birthday weekend. I will be looking to have some great technical races to build my confidence before heading to Europe. It will be interesting to see what it's like to run in Woodhill terrain in the day time after so much night training :) I think it will be a challenge to beat the up and coming NZ junior runners, especially the 'O-men', who are running up in men's elite, they all have a lot of experience in Woodhill and I know they've been training extra hard and are frothing at the mouth for JWOC in Poland!

On a final note, here's a video made by Mick Finn from NZ champs with my Route:

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