This blog is in recess. New contributions will still appear from time to time and new contributors are welcome. Check out orienteering.org.nz and the facebook o scene for your regular online orienteering fix.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Two Kiwis in top 30 of Spring Cup!

Just caught up on Ross's and Chris's performances at the Spring Cup, great write up on Ross's Blog! (as well as map, route, etc). Also checked out the google english translation of Daniel Hubman's write-up...worth it for the amusing computer translation...

I started very well, although I find the first two items could not read a lot and easily to the familiar direction. The card was pretty confusing, what I later race also observed. Up to my first error in Item 15, I expressed no difficulty. There, I ran a little too cheeky and crossed into two water troughs apparently without notice to it.

But awesome guys, you guys are doing us proud and lifting the benchmark back up to where we were in the late 90's with Al, Darren, Bruce, Greg et al. I look forward to seeing you lift it higher. A real intense battle going on there to see who is going to be the first kiwi male to usurp Al as "New Zealand's best male orienteer ever!".

Monday, 30 March 2009

Map of the Day

Courtesy of Helen Palmer, some great maps with interesting legs from Inverness, Scotland.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Captain America

Just checking what team USA are up to, and it seems they have a new coach. Remember the current North American champ is none other than our own Matt Scott, not sure if he is planning on WOCing in the near future, will have to catch up and check his plans.

Friday, 27 March 2009

QB Accomodation: Get in Fast!

Rightio, I thought I'd stay ahead of the game and while the rest of you were focusing on Nationals I'd sort out Queens Birthday. Simon Addison is putting in some hard yards to make this happen and his draft program looks exciting and innovative (I'll leave the juicy bits for the man himself to announce). The first couple of days will be based at or near Wharepapa South, so I thought I'd book out the legendary Castle Rock for the accomodation for the season finale....


View Larger Map

The nights are the 30th and 31st of May. The lodge is right next to the map. There is a cafe just down the road, great rock climbing across the valley and a bit of tennis and MTB as well. There is a spa too. There are several accomodation options which hopefully we can fill up, I need to know numbers within a week so I can confirm the booking. N Squad/D Squad/parents/supporters/legends and fringe get priority. Hopefully those of you that are more pecunious can shell out for the more expensive option, I will try and sort rooms out as best as I can, feel free to offer me advice, but understand my constraints. Since we hopefully will book the whole place out the available facilites will be available for everyone, Jamie's rules.

The Lodge

24 beds available at $25pp per night.

CastleRock Lodge is a beautifully renovated homestead with magnificent views of the CastleRock rock-climbing crag. There is a large Rimu kitchen and lounge room, two showers and toilets, laundry with washer and dryer, internet access, guest telephone, a tennis court (racquets/balls provided), barbeque, outdoor pool & spa. Bed linen is provided, towels are available at $3pp per stay.

The Woolshed 19 beds available at $10pp per night.

The woolshed is situated three minutes from the Lodge. It has a basic kitchen, shower and toilet. There are 19 mattresses that can be spread on the floor Marae style. I have stayed here before it is fun.

Camping 6 max person spots available at $12pp per night. (limited by facilities).

The campsite is located just before the Woolshed and is ideal as an overflow for groups of more than 19.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Analysis: When do you actually make your mistakes

Anyone who has listened to me rant at an orienteering camp, or about orienteering in general, will be familiar with Jamie's theory of "moments"...an orienteering race is a collection of individual little moments you have to master. The key being to identify those moments when they occure, not after they occur.

Mistake analysis, is about looking back and seeing which moments got the better of you, when you should have slowed down, looked up, made sure of a compass, come up with a detailed plan or basically done anything to kick the butt of that particular moment.

A common mistake is looking at the outcome of your mistake as the mistake, rather than as the stupid, idiotic running around in circles, crazy man routine you done after you've let yourself down further back in the leg. To embarass myself I have a couple of examples from the weekend below (you can't make mistakes like these and beat Bill Edwards of sanddune terrain no matter how fast you run the rest of the course.

Leg No 3: Heading out of 2 my bearing was only very rough. I hit the track and raced over it trying to find a good path through the very rough terrain. I didn't give myself a chance. I was running along a slope, but I actually thought I was further to the right, running along a parallel slope, hence when I came to a low point in the ridge I headed hard left, only swerving back right when I saw the road fast approaching. The latter mistakes in the leg are there for your amusement but arose largely because I had lost all confidence in my angles and exactly where I was. The major mistake that wrecked the leg for me was very early on crossing the track and not making 100% certain at this very easy point. I had a chance to correct myself at the 2nd x but again failed to do so. I got mastered by the moments.

Leg No 17: I had decided in the route choice before clipping 16 and creamed it down the hill to the clearing and round the track, swinging wildly onto the ridge, I made connection with it briefly, but thought that the control was a bit further off the ridge lines direction than it actually was. It turned to custard out there in the flatter stuff and my recovery was poor. Again I made my mistake the best part of 200 metres from the control circle where I lacked the discipline to hug the linear feature and work out a clear plan for attacking the circle. The mistake wasn't where things started looking uncertain within 100metres of the control. It was where they felt so easy and in control where I have marked the X.

If you are into it, have a look at a recent map or two and try to identify where you really made your mistake, not what the outcome was. When was the moment that you could have put a plan in place or exercised some discipline to prevent the mistake from happening?

Chris and Em's Blog

Chris and Ems blog - always worth a look

Friday, 20 March 2009

Map of the Day

Early Spring Cup: Middle Race

Thursday, 19 March 2009

First Control Ponderings

A friend asked me the other day for some tips on first control technique. Now I'm not really the person to ask having made more than my fair share myself, but I thought about it a bit and remembered a few of the bloopers I have made and came up with some ideas.

Nerves? They are only wires in your head

The stock answer is go slow, give yourself time to get into the map. Now this is all well and good, but it has to be time well spent. Oceania relays I picked up the map went real slow, concentrated on going slow, couldn't really identify anything on the ground, and made a big flat slow error. I came to the conclusion going slow is no good.

So I was thinking the other day, what is it that is different between the first control and others. Theres the usual answers; nerves, distractions, concentration, not into "the map", but the one thing that I came up with is that the first control is often the only one where you run through your start point (the start triangle) at full speed. We practice doing orienteering legs from control to control, much more often than we do from start triangle to control, and as we know orienteering is a fine balance game between speed and navigation. I followed this thinking and looked back at a few maps and found that almost all my first control mistakes came on controls which involved a decent run to the start triangle (as opposed to those you pick your map up at the start triangle or close to).

Maybe it would be a better strategy to replicate what I do most often, run from control to control. Use the run to the start triangle to plan ahead, assess exit direction then slow down and even fake punch the start triangle before treating no1 like anyother leg, including if necessary a compass bearing right from that point, not on an angle at speed. Just some thoughts anyway, whaddya reckon?

A Squad Email Snippett

*****WOC 2009 NZ Coach - Kenneth Buch

we have managed to sign up Kenneth Buch as the coach for the WOC 2009 team. Have a look at the interview that Jamie made with Kenneth on the http://osquad.blogspot.com/ He is the youngest high profile orienteering coach around. Further information will flow to the members of the 2009 WOC team when it is selected - if anybody wants more information at the moment they are welcome to contact me.

*****World Games 2009 - availability for selection

20. March - Last day for getting your name down for trial for World Games 2009 - see further information on the nzorienteering.com (only the sprint and middle at Nationals counts towards selection - not the long)

******Pinestars Tops

The dudes that has been representing the Pinestars and have the new Pinestars tops - should bring these to Nationals (or organise for someone else to bring to Nationals or send to me) for collection and storage to have them ready for the next Pinestars Team! Could all the ones that have a Pinestars top please indicate this to me and tell me the size of it for the records.

******Nationals 2009!

Yep, it is soon - the ultimately legendary Nationals 2009 - get your entries in to be a part of it and get some awesome orienteering - as well as a chance of being a champ! Entries close on the 11:00pm Thursday 26th March 2009 Here is the link: http://www.madeventz.co.nz/auckoc/default.cfm And it looks like Jack's Beef Snacks are sponsoring!Be there- or you'll miss out!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Orientation

Clipped this out of the Canty Uni mag a few years ago...get out!!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Attackpoint

Stumbled into Attackpoint for the first time in a while. I haven't used it for a little while but great to see still a flourishing little community of NZ orienteers using it, and great to see some evidence theres some people training out there!!

I picked the following off Greig Hamiltons log, reporting his and Tim Sikma's 3rd place finish in the NZ Rogaining Champs.

The National Rogaine Champs. We ended up doing okay, possibly due to the lack of real competition. We got 2160pts but I think 2500+ would be do-able if a bit fitter. I didn't feel great for the first 7hrs, I was drinking Leppin Enduro which I have used before but I think I should have had some water too as the Enduro wasn't quenching my thirst and I started to get a headache. I think the heat or my sun hat might have also been causing problems. When the sun went down and I got some plain water I started to feel better. Navigated well until about 9.5hrs into it where I made an incredibly big mistake and lost 30mins, made a parallel error on a leg but I should have been concentrating and checking things more carefully. We ended up having a 40min sleep on the course, not sure it cost us much time because we were pretty fast for the next few controls and my navigation was really good apart from a 10min mistake when I got a bit lazy and sidled too low into some scrub. Made another 15min mistake going into a control at about 9am. We were jogging into the control and I didn't slow down enough and just headed into the control circle then couldn't find it straight away. It was just over a ridge in another gully. Should have taken a better bearing and used an attack point that hadn't been chopped down. Overall a good event, I looked after my feet well and got no blisters, got a bit of chaffing between the legs but it wasn't too bad. Ate well, cheese and hummus rolls, fruit biscuits, leppins, gu, museli bars, pikelets. Navigation was pretty good apart from the three mistakes, all the other controls we went straight to the control without losing any time at all. Things to improve: More running and hill work. Need to carry a pack that is quite heavy, training with 2L water, food, gear, torch, plus some extra to simulate carrying partner's gear. I wasn't used to this and felt a bit slow. Can probably get away with a smaller battery, only used 1.2Amp/hr worth of battery. Maybe make some smaller ones and test them out.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Overweighed

Well a Bulgarian coach once told me, and now its confirmed by of all things a computer, that I am indeed overweight. 6"2 94kg - Ya big fat bastard the computer says - don't listen to it I tellya!

And interesting to see Woodhill coming out first in people preferences, or at least needs, for a training camp. Thats where I placed my vote, its still the most technically challenging and runnable area we have.

On the training camp topic a couple more weekend plans to be released soon, keep an eye out!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Carey Nazzer

I stumbled upon this. The Taranaki Daily profiling Carey Nazzer, ex top elite, gp and did you know, rock music enthusiast. Someone all you orienteering med students out there can look up to as a person that has managed to maintain that work/life balance!!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Are you swimming naked?

Just found the great quote above from American money man Warren Buffett, thought it was quite apt for this blog (although when you are thinking as circularly as I am at the moment any quote is good for anything).

Are you orienteering naked, when the tide goes out do you have clothes to cover your inadequacies? When the hills are hard do you have the fitness, when the racing is close do you have a clear head, when the terrain is tight do you have the technical finesse. When was the last time you reflected on your strengths and weaknesses in orienteering and made plans to exacerbate or lessen them?

I'm working on my endurance at the moment, and food/water intake during longer events and on my mental approach to passing through the control circle. What are you doing? And remember the last quote on the blog from Einstein, to paraphrase...if you do the same thing every time don't be surprised when you have similar results.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Kenneth Buch: WOC Coach

Through the efforts of Carsten Jorgenson, HP Director, we will this year and possibly into the future have an international coach at WOC. Introducing Kenneth Buch...

I emailled Kenneth and asked him some questions. So exciting to have a dynamic young coach with his international experience feeding into our high performance programme. I am looking forward to him refining and focussing the raw talent of Ross and Chris et al at WOC 2009 - Hungary. Good skills to all involved!!

Kenneth, can you give us a little bit of background about your previous experience in orienteering. Were you an elite yourself or has coaching always been your interest?

[KB] I never performed really good as an athelete, but I tried my best for some years and learned at lot from it. I also started early out as a coach (when I was 20) and when I was 26 I decided to focus a 100% on coaching. I was more succesfull as a coach so it was an easy choice to focus fulltime on coaching. Im now 29 years old and from Denmark but Im living i Halden in Norway. Im a fulltime coach in Halden SK. Ive always been interested in the mental part of a performance so coaching was an easy choice.

Do you have any formal qualifications in sport science or coaching?

[KB] I have a bachelor degree in sport science with a speciality in coaching and orienteering.

What, or who, are, or were, your influences in orienteering coaching, how have you developed, or adapted, ideas to improve orienteering training?

[KB] I started out in Denmark with a talent group when i was 20. After that I moved to Norway and started out as a coach in Østmarka. 2 years after I got hired also as the national junior coach. Later I became the B-squad coach in Norway and 2 and a half years ago I started as a coach in Halden SK in 50%. From 2009 I resigned from the national team and got a fulltime job in Halden. I think I developed as I went but the years when I studied I really learn a lot, especially from Egil Johansen (formed world champion)

Can you sum up your opinion on the skills upon which are sound orienteering technique is based on?

[KB] Its hard to say this shortly. I think that this is the best place to start as a runner, but it does not matter how fast you can run if you can't find our way. The techniqe is a bit different form person to person, but to be aware of your flow, how to get there and how to refocus a headpoint to get control at. Hope you understand.

Who is technically the best orienteer you have coached? What was most special about him/her?

[KB] I work with runners on different levels and it's hard to take credit because my influence is so different. But for sure working with runners like Anders Nordberg, Anne Margrethe Hausken and Emil Wingstedt and other runners that really want to be good is really fun. There is a difference between those who get best and those who don't, It's awesome working with the giants.

What gives you job satisfaction? are there particular athletes you have helped really turn the corner and overcome technical, physical or mental problems, what sort of problems were these?

[KB] Agian it's so different my job from runner to runner and just being in the process with an athelete that really put his or her best in to it, gives me satisfaction. I keep this kind of list to myself so I hope you accept that. But finding the right state off mind is the thing I work with the most.

What do you know about New Zealand elite orienteering?

[KB] I dont know so much, but Ross Morrison lives in Denmark and I've talked with him and followed his results the last year. Apart form that I remember especially the New Zealand female juniors did well in JWOC in Australia. So there is some talent for sure.

What are your goals in accepting this position to coach the New Zealand WOC team?

[KB] I want to help the runners perform their best races at WOC 2009. That is my only goal.

What do you see are the areas in which we can improve the performance of New Zealand athletes?

[KB] I can't say that yet but I will get back to you on that when I have talked with some more runners. A thing could be the mental perfomance, but we will see.

What strategies or "requirements" are you going to suggest to, or ask of, the athletes that are selected?

[KB] That the are well prepared when I meet them a week before WOC. That is physically, mentally and technically

Are these strategies or "requirements" specific to performance in Hungary or more widely applicable?

[KB] Yes for sure. I will make som point that the runners have to be prepared for and I hope they want to do a job on it

What is going to determine the success of this assignment from your viewpoint, both in terms of performance and your own development as a coach?

[KB] To dare to do your best, when it's required. And for sure to enjoy an have fun on the way.

Hong Kong Ph'O'oey

Wanting your map for the week for going over in your head theres a cool park map on this blog from the Hong Kong Orienteering Force

Monday, 2 March 2009

Imagining being Georgiou

Now its not like I run around fondling my non existant goatee or adjusting my headband, while swearing in french (although occasionally I do sing "foux de fa fa"

But I am prone to running courses in my head. Running at Belmont Bunkers didn't appeal to me yesterday but I ran the course in my head last night and I was perfect (and much faster). Today I stumbled over this map and route on Georgiou's blog. Nothing better than trying to put yourself in the head of a champion, guess their plans and trying to identify what they would have been reading.

Here I should attack from above, here I should avoid the boulders and their restricted visibility looking for the contours instead, that single boulder tells me I am the right height, there is no good detail near the control I must compass right from the track junction to be as accurate as possible,

The last few years has seen a dramatic increase of good and topical maps available on the internet, make the most of it. Challenge yourself to plan how you would cope with a particular course...