Friday, 12 April 2013

Portugal Training Camp

As I mentioned in my last post, I was the lucky winner of the worldofo.com prize for picking the winning course in the 'course of the year' competition, and my reward was an all expenses paid 4 day training camp for 2 in Portugal from Orievents - woohooo! :) It was great to get away from the cold and snow of Finland for a little while even though it rained almost the whole time we were there, which was meant to be quite unusual for that region (I put it down to Ross's luck).

We had to stop for a photo of the only blue sky we saw all week :)
Hanna and I arrived in Castelo De Vide in the evening and soon met with Fernando Costa, the camp organiser - who turned out to be one of the most helpful guys I've ever met! We were fortunate enough to organise our mini TC at the same time as a Norwegian club (Frol IL) so we would have some company for the trainings. Better still they had with them a kiwi tag-along, Nick Hann, who had grown enormously since last time I saw him, both in size and orienteering ability!

We were anxious to get started and made our first training that night on a forest sprint course. Orienteering for the first time in months in unfamiliar terrain at night with only tapes (no reflectors) is quite a challenge! We managed though, with no huge mistakes.

The next few days we tried to squeeze in as many trainings as possible. Unfortunately I was a bit too overconfident in the condition of my ankles and twisted my dodgiest one pretty badly on a mass start night training on the 2nd day. I had to take it pretty easy for the rest of the camp. I focused on sprint trainings after that, but even those were pretty painful, and possibly not such a great idea, but I didn't want to make the trip a waste! :) See the start of the mass start night training:



Over the 4 and a half days we were in Portugal, depending on how you count, we managed to do 13 orienteering trainings and one gym training at a local spa where we were also able to get 60min massage for only 15€! :) It was the perfect area for a training camp, with a great variety of over 20 different trainings available, all within around 30min driving from the Hotel where all meals were prepared, making it possible to do several trainings per day. There was also an athletics track just down the road, which unfortunately we didn't really have time (or the desire, due to the weather) to make use of. BUT! over everything the biggest deal for me would probably have to be the price of steak :)

Cook it yourself steak on a hot stone, mmmmmmmm....
My favourite training had to be control picking on the map 'Carapinha' - probably because it was the one I made the least mistakes on! Check it out:


See my other maps from the Portugal training week here.

I'd like to give a special thanks to Jan Kocbach from worldofo.com and Fernando Costa from Orievents for making the camp possible. We both had a great time and we definitely want to come again, next time hopefully for a lot longer!

Cheers Fernando!
From Portugal we went straight to Göteborg for our club 10mila training camp, but I'll write about that some other time. Now I'm back in Jyväskylä so I better run fast to make the snow melt ;)
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