Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Finding form

April's barely started but the orienteering season feels like it is in full swing. The last month has been busy with a week sprinting in Italy, a club (IL Tyrving) trip to the Danish Spring, the GB World Championship selection races and most recently two World Cup races in Spain. The World Cup races have been the highlight so far as I came 5th in an epic long distance and 7th in the middle distance. I've really worked on my technique over the winter and I knew there were some good races in me. I really clicked with the terrain and felt confident and comfortable racing. I'm not going to pretend that I would have got such good results had more national teams turned up but the performances were good and probably still World Cup PBs for forest races.

Photos from David Rosen

My long distance route.
GPS tracking seemed to be a bit unreliable so this is what I think I did!
(It's a bit clipped on the right. My computer skills not up to much.)

The weekend before was also pleasing in terms of performance but less so on the results side. We had our World Championship selection races in relevant limestone terrain to this year's competition - the stuff I had tried (and failed) to get my head around when preparing for the 2011 World Championships. I did a much better job this time round with two solid forest runs, not perfect, but I felt like they were a fair reflection of my ability. Sadly it wasn't enough to get an individual forest run which I had been half hoping to prepare for, but I am part of the relay squad. I finished the weekend off with a good sprint run, coming 2nd to a flying Cat. That earned me a sprint and sprint relay run, two races that were always in the plans. The full team is here and it's really exciting to be part of. We had a great world championships week last year and we're capable of surpassing that.

So with two good weekends in the last fortnight it's easier to put aside some bad runs at MOC where I couldn't explain why I was so far behind the winners. It's time for me to move on and forget about what I have and haven't done in training and get on and race. I'm clearly in decent enough shape to pull out some good results so time to get rid of the excuses and get ready to race hard at the Europeans.

Amazing forest in Italy

It's going to be tough preparing for WOC sprint in Venice

I'm really grateful to Silva UK for their support over the winter. I've been using the new race compass that has been designed with the Swedish Orienteering Team. It's really clear helping you to see more of the map underneath. Also, they provided me with a Silva sprint headtorch which I've been using for weekly night orienteering sessions. I think this training has been great for making me be so much more precise when orientering. It's also been great fun, thanks Forth Valley Orienteers!  

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