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Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The Rocketman tells us where to go....

Late last night, I emailled Ross asking him if he could write something up for us...this morning I woke up to a mail in my inbox. Great for someone to just get something done and help us're a legend Ross, go hard into the winter my little furry friend!

No sweat!

You guys can all check out my blog at , most of my maps from the camp are on there (mistakes and all!). I guess I'll just do a brief spiel about the different terrains as some of you guys will be targeting different races for WOC next year.

Sprint: This will be my main target for next year. Like the sprints I did at the camp, the WOC sprints will supposedly be set in the same fashion. Starting in steepish forest and coming down to finish in either a park, zoo or town type terrain. This is the map for both the qual and final of the sprint. The zoo part is on the southern part of the map across the road. I am not 100% sure if they will use that because that road is quite busy, (and it looked pretty crappy when we drove past) The forest part of the course will generally be very open and fast, in nearly all of the legs it will be just a matter of going straight and hard. So you will need to be strong with your compass and direction changing out of controls. It is very important to be ahead of yourself on the map in this part of the course to get some flow going. There will mostly likely be one route choice leg in the forest area (possibly 2), so again being ahead on the map helps. If you have planned your route before you get to it you will save alot of time. However, in alot of sprint races done in nz in parks and campus style etc, the route choice is not so important, you usually save more time by making a quick decision (one way or the other) than you do by trying to work out which is the best way. But I think in hungary you should definitely make sure you pick the best route because there could be 10 to 20 seconds difference in it, and that can be the difference between coming in 5th place and qualifying well and coming 16th+ and missing out.

Ross in action in Sweden: Credit Paul Prudhoe

The second part of the course will be again quite technically easy, but you have to be aware of the changing terrain and to adjust your technique accordingly. There will be alot of chances to make small mistakes on this course. So my plan will be to run at 95% and have a clean run, rather than at 100% and risk making 30seconds of mistakes. Ofcourse apon making the final I will then be going 110% and risk winning! I think the best training you can do if you are targeting the sprint is to try and find a simliar map in NZ, or do seperate trainings in forest and park terrain. Do alot of terrain intervals and short hill intervals aswell (600m-1km).

Middle/Long qual: These will be on the same map As you can see its quite steep, so start getting in that hill training! This terrain is quite fast, and very open. The light green is also very runnable, but the darker greens are definitely worth avoiding. There are alot of weird negative features on these maps, so always be sure of what is up and what is down. Because alot of the hills are very broad you have to be able to use point features very well to know your height during the leg. It is very important not to do extra climb, or to lose too much height. The brown point features that look like nipple rings are called 'lime burning grounds' they are basically just a small flat area on the side of a massive hill. But they are quite obvious and can be very helpful. Some look like small depressions even. I recommend on some pre woc trainings to become well accustomed with these friendly features. There is alot of stony ground in this terrain, which you should avoid as much as possible. It is quite slow running, and an ankle buster. Alot of the big depressions have stony ground around the sides, so often it will be faster to go straight through the bottom and up the other side than to contour around the side.

Middle final/ Relay: These will both be run on the western part of this map: As you can see, quite steep again! This terrain is a bit more interesting than for the qual maps. Alot greener too, so route choice will come into play a bit more.

Long final: This is on a new map. It backs onto the map I trained on in slovakia called 'Silica L'adnica'. So Im guessing the terrain will be quite similar. They said at a lecture I went to on the camp that there is an abandoned city/town or something like that on the map. So it should be quite interesting.

The training camp I went on was in autumn, so there were alot of leaves on the ground and not so much on the trees. This means that at WOC time it will be the other way around. So running will be alot faster, and visibility will be slightly lower. It can apparently be very hot in Hungary in the summer. so be prepared if you're targeting long distance!

Hope this helps.

Love Ross

PS. Also look at the lecture on the website

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