Heres an excerpt, a Tuesday training session and the importance of maps:
Those details have a lot to do with map exercises for Thierry and the gang in St. Etienne. The ice-cold Tuesday training session in the park Le Jardin des Plantes, just a stones throw from Thierrys house, is both impressive and a little odd.
Olivier Coupat runs the workout like a soccer coach, and on the track in the lower part of the park, 10 elite orienteers are doing bounding and strength exercises mixed with stretching. Even though were in France, land of freedom, your thoughts go unbidden to Eastern Europe -- not that that is necessarily a negative thing.
The runners are divided into three groups. One does bounding drills, another balance exercises and the third strength, in a circuit format. During each 15-second period per circuit, they have to look at a map, a detailed Norwegian map with a course on it. When they get to the strength station, Coupat is there with an assignment: If theres a stone at control number 2, without looking at the map again, the runners have to decide whether its to the left or right of the actual control point.
We dont have so much detailed terrain here around St. Etienne so this is good for learning to read many details around the circle, explains Gueorgiou.
To keep up to the Scandinavians and Swiss we must be better than them technically. Therefore the map is almost always present in some way in our training, says Olivier Coupat.