Technical skills is something that most often takes a long time for an athlete to develop and the orienteerer is no exception. It takes an enormous amount of courses and controls before we’re starting to understand the map and terrain, and it is preferable if we’ve run corses from all different coulors after our yers as youths. For the ones who starts orienteering later in life, I’m sure this must be frustrating. Is there any way to speed up the process? In this years Vinterstudio we got to follow Stephan Wilson, who tried to cross-country skiing. After seeing the first episode not many of us belived that he would make it. But after a few months and a winter with not that much snow, he did it. Here are some thoughts of how to improve fast even in the forest- so help yourselves, beginner or not.
- Get help from others. It’s necessary in the beginning, but it’s also valuble later on to discuss and get tips from other people. Even the runners in the national team do this to improve their technique.
- Like your mistakes. Instead of cursing, get interested in what happend. This can provide information and ideas to what you should prioritize in your training.
- It’s hard to do everything at once. Divide the different parts (for example direction, running after contours, which way to choose and so on) and choose a part you would like to improve. (It could also be a specific kind of terrain you want to learn how to handle). Focus extra on this part during some time.
- Do some intense training periods. That means you should try to lay extra focus on your technique training during a shorter period of time, for example at a training camp. Then it’s easier to get enough repetition at individual parts, and you can notice the development.
- Challange yourself. Are you stuck on the same level? Try a harder course or running faster. One way to do this is to divide the course and run it like intervals. Training at the limit of your capacity makes the limit move further away.
Good luck! /Emma Johansson