map-this-item Image: Training Map Extract: 2018 Latvia

On The Red Line editorial - Charlotte wrote about other team members making a trip to join her in Latvia and run the test races organised by WOC. Several of the nations who will win medals use these as selection races so they re high quality. Jess wrote this article on Friday morning before the Sprint Test. Yesterday was the Middle test race. Today Sunday is the long test. There are live results and GPS.

Training Trip Latvia

Some of the team have travelled to Latvia for a pre-camp to suss out the terrain and prepare for the World Championships in less than a month’s time. There’s no point being in your best shape if you don’t know the faster lines to run, the best ways to attack the controls or what constitutes a good route choice.

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map-this-item Image: Map Extract: 2017 World Cup Latvia Middle Race

Learning in Latvia - Preparing for the WOC Middle Race

At the beginning of the year I applied to the athlete support fund for a grant to spend an extended period of time training in Latvia prior to the World Championships. We already knew that the terrain would be similar to the World Championships 2017 in Estonia. Having raced the Long there I felt I could have done much better if I had gone and spent some time learning about the terrain beforehand. Looking to other members of the team who had got better results than me, and other top athletes, it became clear that all those winning medals at WOC spend considerable time training in relevant terrain. The athlete support fund very kindly gave me a grant and I was selected for WOC middle so I was all set to go. I must also thank the North West Orienteering Association for their support on this training camp as well.

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woc2018team Photo Composition: GB WOC Team 2018 by On The Red Line

The team, or for British Orienteers "your team", for the 2018 World Championships in early August, has 14 runners. You know by now this is the last World Champs to be all discipline, i.e. sprint and forest races. So, in future years the team will almost certainly have fewer runners. It does mean for teams as a whole, for the support staff, and for spectators, there are many races to think about and look forward to: sprint, middle and long, plus the sprint and forest relays.

But that's not necessarily the individual athlete view. For seven of the GB athletes, half the team, there is a single race that is their's (counting the sprint qualification and final, which are on the same day, as one race.)

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Alasdair Photo: by Steve Rush, Ali McLeod running in to win the JK this year

Many of the GB team travelling to Latvia have a single race at the World Championships that they are training for. This situation will influence the preparation and training for the weeks beforehand. The ideas below may help when you are thinking about an important race for you, be it the forthcoming World Masters, a home internationals, your club championships, or looking ahead at a particular championship race next year.

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Willoz This Winter I took the opportunity to work on the Orienteering Australia Coaching Scholarship in Melbourne, Victoria. I spent six months from September to March racing, coaching and training across Australia. But what do you expect orienteering to be like when you step foot into terrain on the other side of the world?

I have been lucky enough throughout my orienteering career to have the opportunity to race in extremely diverse environments across Europe and China. Australian terrain, however, was different. What more would expect from a country on the other side of the world? Yes, the contours can generally be interpreted in the same way, but nothing can prepare you for the way the Australian forests have grown.

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sprinters Photo: Charlotte and Kirstin at the sprint weekend

The top GB sprinters gathered in York two weeks before the European Champs sprint races for a final group training weekend.

Graham Gristwood was the planner and he has put together a short video of the running giving a flavour of what went on. Several locations and several formats are evident.

Thanks to Steve Whitehead, Paul Murgatroyd, Peter and Christine Roberts, Bill Griffiths and EBOR Orienteers.

Hector Photo: Hector Haines in IFK Lidingö colours

To many, the name TioMila is very well-known. And those that have experienced it understand the excitement and the grandeur of the competition. But it takes living it to really get to the essence of the race.

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Alice Photo: Alice Leake at JK2018, by Wendy Carlyle.

This post contains links to several stories On The Red Line has noticed over the weekend. By the way if you are a user of Twitter we now are too. We will tweet when we publish major news items.

Athletics Weekly reports on the English Road Running Association's National Relays.

The 6-stage Women's race was won by Leeds City AC including Alice Leake (fastest runner on leg 5). The 12-stage Men’s race was won by Tonbridge - with Swansea Harriers including Kris Jones (fastest runner on leg 9) third.

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Alasdair The prime orienteering season in the UK is condensed into spring and summer with all the major competitions occurring over this period. The winter months are an opportunity to prepare yourself for the major races and I expect you thought about orienteering during this period: did you translate tha...

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Cat Cat Taylor has a tough start on a post-JK trip to the European Champs terrain.

She comments about her win in the Middle Distance race at the JK:

It helped me that the course only had a lot of short legs and I never got the chance to run too far off line. In the end I got away with the minimal preparation and took a narrow win. I was hugely relieved but also unaware that this was the last thing to go smoothly for a while…

CharlWard Charlotte Ward writes about "the most well-organised technical camp I have taken part in" - a Sprint Camp in Bergen, in her blog Finding Flags.

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Alasdair Good results come from good performances, and good performances come from being focused and in the moment. When you are in the moment you do everything you have practised. There are many ways you can work on this: building up your fitness, improving your orienteering techniques, refining your mental routines to cope well in pressure situations, and so on. Let's just take an example of something you may have given little thought to: your race day routine.

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GG Photo: Graham Gristwood, at the British Sprint Relay Champs 2017, by Brian Ward.

So much of orienteering happens when a runner is on their own that international runners and analytical mental strength go hand-in-hand. Some of the athletes are quiet, some are chatty, some are in between, but they are, as a general rule, very strongly self-aware and determined. They subject themselves and their performances to merciless self-analysis.

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