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Reading about it vs Doing it

Show Profile  nick Posted: 1 June 2005, 10:09 AM  
I have been in the sport for a couple of years and feel like I'm reaching the point where I can't expect improved performances simply by turning up. It feels like time to pay more attention to technique. So, how do I do this?

Are there any good books for a relatively new orienteer looking to improve his technique?

Or, is it better to get out on the maps and just do it? If this is the case, are there drills that are useful for honing certain techniques?

Would appreciate any guidance people may offer.

Show Profile  PaulS Posted: 1 June 2005, 10:32 AM  
I've found as a junior the NZOF junior training camps really really useful for improving my technique. Just need to get off my butt and do some training..... I'm not sure what's in the pipeline in terms of senior coaching camps, but if there was one I would recommend doing this as you will notice you're way better at the end.

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 1 June 2005, 2:57 PM  
The MAPsport Shop has a range of books, check out But as Paul says properly structured training exercises are the best way to improve. Ask your club and the NZOF Coaching Director what's on.

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 1 June 2005, 3:07 PM  
there are some useful topics here

Race analysis is a good way of finding your strengths and weakness', then you know what you have to work on and also what you can have confidence in doing during a race.

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 2 June 2005, 12:11 AM  
Several clubs also have a "Club Library" where you can borrow books - ask around at the next event

Show Profile  nick Posted: 2 June 2005, 3:45 AM  
Thanks guys. Appreciate your responses.

I'd leap at the chance to attend a training camp. I will make enquiries, but suspect that falling between Dev Squad and Elites as I do, theres not alot happening.

Which is why I thought a book may help! Yup, I'll look a the mapsport site and ask around for books at QB 3 Day. Not all books are born equal - which the best ones?

Greg - the articles look ideal, but I couldn't download them(?). Links are sweet though. Really looking forward to reading Gueorgiou's race analyisis.

See you in Waiuku - race you down the finish chute.

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 2 June 2005, 7:27 AM  
Nick, for more of Gueorgiou's pearls of wisdom, go to This guy knows what he's doing!
I got a really good O book from Michael a couple of years ago, and, ummm, will track down the title. See you this weekend?
Other suggestions:
Find the best people running your course and "interrogate" them after the race, particularly on legs that you had difficulty with. In some cases you can do this via email after the fact.
You have probably read the little book of O techniques, available on the NZOF website. If not, then you should.
Be on the lookout for training opportunities with the best orienteers in your club/area. In my case the AOC midweek training runs have been incredibly valuable for motivation, fitness and technique. When I started orienteering seriously 4 or so years ago, it astonished me that with a bit of enthusiasm and commitment I could train with and get advice from some of the top orienteers in the country. How many sports can offer that sort of quality to their new members?

Show Profile  nick Posted: 2 June 2005, 8:57 AM  
Thanks Jeff - You'll definitely see me this weekend. I'm amping.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 2 June 2005, 9:05 AM  
Hey Nick,

Go training with the elites in your area, maybe Brent or Neil they need to do lots of training in the next month or so.

Just give them a ring and see what their plans are for their next technical session. Elites are generally shy and bashful, approach them directly then ask them as many questions as you can.

Or move to Chch and train with us!

Show Profile  nick Posted: 2 June 2005, 10:30 AM  
Cheers Jamie - good suggestion; I'll move to chch after a few more decades of global warming. Too cold for me bro! Nice offer though, so thanks.

Yeah I'm also a little shy, and Elites are a fairly tight knit group, so its been slow going! Mad props to Meil though - Neil has always been very generous in offerring his time at events (cheers Neil) but we've not yet managed to arrange training together, despite a few attempts.

I'd gladly be a sparring partner, so to speak, for anyone preparing for WOC, JWOC, OYs, score events, summer series - anything! In fairness, I should also make more effort to get to the midweek sessions Jeff mentioned. Its not technique training, but there is potential for osmosis!

Show Profile  Andrew M Posted: 2 June 2005, 1:57 PM  
Training groups are one of the better ways to get stuck in. I train with a group or meaty runners in Wellington and learn new things every week. I learnt last week that quite a few elite runners complete a barefoot running sessions each week to tone the muscles in their feet and reduce the chance of injuries.

Anyway if your keen to develop the technical side of your orienteering a great first step is to analyse each of your races. Drawing the course on your map, noting both positive and negative feelings through out the race. I encourage heaps of juniors to do this. At least this way when you meet up with your coach or mentor you have something tangible to discuss.

Personally I am shocking at making the same mistakes in races over and over again. In hindsight I never pay enough attention to the mistakes I make and actually learn anything from them. Most elites would say the same things.

Anyway had better pack my bags. 9hr drive after work tommorrow with Ross Diddy Morrison and B Diddy Davies. Nothing like a few tunes a dozen packets of those addictive squirts to pass away the hours.

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 3 June 2005, 12:25 AM  
Go the knock off Neil and Brent car!!

Keep hassling Neil Nick (he has a heart of gold) and come along to a D-Squad camp (prob dec in Akld). We have often had older people along in the past - we can call you a coach if you like;-)

Show Profile  nick Posted: 3 June 2005, 3:03 AM  
Thanks again everyone.

Mentioning Neil made me think about the help I've had from other people. Mark Roberts got me started with the basics. I learnt heaps from one run collecting controls with Mark Lawson. And for reviewing courses and chatting about technique, Rob Garden has been a notable influence. Looking back, orienteering people have been very generous with their advice. Indeed, this thread is a good example!

I'm motivated to *really* hassle people for their time and advice now!

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 3 June 2005, 3:22 AM  
Reading this thread to get an idea of where you are at Nick, I would recommend "Modern Orienteering Training" by Wilf Holloway.

Show Profile  jeffg Posted: 3 June 2005, 4:37 AM  
That's the one!

Show Profile  Jamie Posted: 3 June 2005, 8:55 AM  
Forget hassling Garden for his time and advice, just hassling him is more amusing, start with his real name Bob Gardener;-)

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