The sprint went well. Tane kindly mucked around a bit and let me catch him, though it always helps to have a clean first half dozen. If you do so you both have a chance of getting led into some controls but those in front of you but more importantly you also give yourself a chance to do well. Sprint racing is orienteering on the edge and it demonstrates in micro what elite orienteering is all about, consistency at speed. I am always amazed how if I and others have had a good run the split difference between us are always very similar for each leg - a second say for each 10 seconds of the leg. Performance should not usually go up or down during a race it should be on a constant red line specific to the athlete. Variations are mistakes, or some sort of weakness being exposed. You will never do well at sprints until you learn to respect your red line.
The long was a joke, I hadn't intended to do it, but my bike ride to the event put me in such a good that I subjected myself to it. I lasted about half the course until I feel to bits, with the only real mistake been on no2, where I was not careful enough with my height or compass for the terrain and scale of the map. Something I have been thinking about a lot recently is quality over quantity. I have been racing elite for over a decade now and in that time have run a lot of crap classics. Incompetence creates only incompetence. I remember reading about Nouredine Morcelliand how he would cry after a poor training session, when he hadn't achieved whatever the sessions purpose was. I think now of all my completely purposeless training session and resolve to up the quality and be more specific. For me that is going to mean focussing on my speed and power which is what I am good at. My running sessions are going to be shorter, repetitions and tempo runs up to an hour total session time, maybe with the occasional longer, recreational run thrown in. I will build-up my longer endurance on the bikes, which don't expose my bio-mechanical inefficiencies quite so ruthlessly.That may mean that I run less classics, cause I'm going to be dammned if I am going to races that I don't train for just cause people expect me to. I encourage you all to think of ways you can improve the quality of your training for orienteering.
The middle was embarassing, firstly a race ending parallel error and poor recovery entering the gorge and then returning to discover a miss-clip, my second in two middle distance races. Middle distance is the race that I am most motivated for and like to do well in, so this is a bit of a downer. So here is my analysis.
1) the parallel error. I had a bloody good plan for this leg, stay high, open ground, distinct trees and get on the right spur before entering the bush. Easy. I know the danger of heading down the wrong ridge, I went to WOC in Japan for goodness sake. But the diagonal descent out of the control was soo much easier (at least for a start) ggggrrrr. Anger strikes deep. Stick to your plan you fool. 2) The miss-clip. I have lost the habit of checking my code and description, just before or at the attack point (I have always found that if I check it earlier in the leg I am prone to forgetting it). It is so important for precise navigation and smoothness in the circle, and for not dsqing. I must practice this at every control, thats my resolution for my next orienteering event. There is always something to learn. PS. Particularly impressed with some fit young athletes out there; Angela Simpson, Jourdan Harvey, Tim Robertson and so many more. Best of luck for all those JWOC triallists awaiting selection.