Wondering how training is going?

It’s been a while since we’ve done a little catch-up, and there isn’t any big event this weekend, so here we are!

The team has been up to all sorts of different things, everyone has lots of fun goals so read on to learn more about them!

Tori- Several months ago, my partner saw a trail race called Devil on the Divide (a 22 km trail race on the Continental Divide, only an hour from where we live) and decided to sign us up. So after getting back from sprint WOC, I switched over to focusing on long trail runs at high elevation. My partner and I have been going on weekend hikes/runs in the mountains as well as checking a couple of long runs closer to home (e.g., looping together the three peaks near Boulder) off our bucket list. And last weekend, we completed the Devil on the Divide race which started at around 10,000 feet elevation and got up to a high point of 13,200 feet. This was my first time racing at that high of elevation, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it went pretty well and the views were amazing! We were lucky and got above the clouds so we got to run in the sun, even though the forecast was for rain, snow, and high winds. The next big race coming up for me is U.S. nationals in November, so although I’m hoping to still do a bunch of mountain run/hikes, I will be incorporating some flat speedwork back into my weekly training schedule. I’m helping set courses for a local meet my club is putting on in a couple of weeks, so I’ll be getting out on maps some too. And I’m really excited (as always) for my club’s corn maze orienteering next month!

Finley- This summer I went to TJOC (Texas Junior Orienteering Camp), and one of the things that effected me more than I expected was the heat, and how quickly it drained me and made it harder to focus on navigating. A few weeks later I got to go to Wyoming for three days of orienteering in Medicine Bow National Forest. This time it wasn’t so much the heat as it was the altitude. It was about seven thousand feet higher than my body is used to so there was a noticeable difference in my running capabilities, and on top of that the terrain was very different from what I’m used to – way more rocks and a lot less under brush. I haven’t been doing much orienteering since Wyoming, more recently I’ve been focusing on my endurance and speed so cross country has helped me train regularly. One of my goals for the next couple of months is to be able to run a 5k in nineteen minutes and fifty nine seconds, another goal is to be able to run an orienteering course with a nine minute a kilometer pace, and to come in first in my club’s orienteering season.

Alex- Since I just started college this year, I’ve had to learn to balance classes and training. Thankfully I have long enough gaps between classes that allow for runs, so I typically jog over to Glen Artney in Patapsco State Park and do my runs there. I’ve been trying to incorporate strength training to help me be an even better runner and to just overall be stronger, but it’s weird not having a workout partner anymore (the one I had in high school moved back to Australia). 
Lately I’ve been preparing courses for a QOC event coming up on the second weekend of October at Cunningham Falls near Catoctin Mountain. It’s really tough terrain: it’s practically just a large hillside with some point features and occasionally a ditch or stream. Setting beginners courses there is extremely tricky since there’s one obvious trail on the whole map, so I had to improvise by having them following ditches, but I’m probably going to have to streamer a good amount of the white and yellow courses. 
Also in QOC we started up the junior training program again, and this time instead of being one of the juniors I’m one of the instructors, so I will be setting training sessions and giving advice and feedback to the other juniors in the club. We had our first meeting at the event this past Sunday at Gunston Hall and it went alright, but we were very underprepared since we weren’t sure who would show up and at what levels they would be at. But now we have a good idea of who will be there so future trainings will definitely be better!

Greg- My training this summer was finally back on track after a spring injury and catching COVID in early June. Timo Sild stayed with me for about two weeks before the World Games, which renewed my motivation and enthusiasm for orienteering and exploring new terrains near me. 
I have been focused on orienteering twice weekly with speed work and long runs completing the quality sessions each week. On easy days I have also aimed to climb as much as feasible to prepare for the climb at the Swiss World Cup. Thankfully, although the mountains around Scranton are small, they are steep and impossible to avoid. So it has been very easy to get +500m of climb in just 70 minutes of running. 
With carbon-plated shoes and consistent stretching, I have been able to do speedwork without the Achilles pain that has followed me for nearly 7 years now. Previously every time I would do any sort of intervals, my Achilles would be useless for the days or week afterwards, which naturally led me to avoid doing it. But now I have been able to get into a consistent stretch of speed sessions. There’s still work to be done, but last Friday I did 5x1mile repeats between 5:00 and 5:17 per mile, and they all felt surprisingly easy. 
So I am excited to go the well at the Swiss World Cup from October 1 to the 3. Thanks for the support!

Lily- My training is going very well right now. I’m running 6 days a week and orienteering on Sundays normally. I’m camping this weekend (9/24) to run at McIntosh Reserve in Georgia, and the weather is so perfect. Right now I’m focusing on my fitness level, so I’m really trying to get in good, consistent runs. It does get difficult balancing everything sometimes, which I think is something everyone can relate to. I’m preparing for Masters Nationals in October and JWOC pt. 2 in November. I am excited to get out on some new terrain in Connecticut and see what the hype is about in the northeast. My goal is to stay caught up in my classes while traveling…we will see how that goes.

Keegan- Wow, what a transition these last few weeks have been. From the constant travel and orienteering of the summer, to the frantic start of school, to the slow beginning of routine the last couple of weeks have been quite hectic! The first and most important thing that happened was of course the US corn maze champs. While I didn’t t win (silly platform-o) I still had an incredible time running through the maze. It really is the best event of the year and I can not wait for the next one. The other thing that happened during this time was I started running, like a lot. You see I had just gotten back from an active and busy summer and had a lot of energy. I also moved into school a full week before my first class. This left me a lot of time on my hands. So I ran and ran and ran some more. It wasn’t incredibly high mileage but I did go from like 0-10 miles a week to about 50-60 miles a week and predictably my body didn’t love that. I took it easy for a few days but I had a half marathon coming up so my body had little time to recover. Luckily it held up through the half and I even managed to do pretty well, coming in second and breaking 1:30 on a trail course. Unfortunately, I also fell during this race hurting my toe. This motivated me to take a few days off and eventually go to the doctor. The doctor told me not to worry and said they just had to stab my toenail and everything would be alright. A little fearful I agreed and everything was alright. What this whole ordeal means is that I went from 0 miles to 60 miles to basically back down to 0 miles in a little under 3 weeks. Which is about where we are today. Who knows what my future training will look like but I am currently enjoying taking time to orienteer and vetting the courses for Masters coming up. 

Ali- I’ve recently moved across the country for the year to move in with my parents in New Hampshire while I’m on sabbatical from where I teach at Reed College (in Portland, OR). So far this fall, I’ve been soaking up the orienteering in the area plus getting some great trail running in right out my front door! My focus for the next two years is to try to do as best as possible at what I plan to be my last forest WOC and my last sprint WOC. For this fall, I’m working on increasing to a more appropriate volume of training for an elite athlete (I haven’t trained over 300h a year since 2015, professoring and being a parent stole too much time…) and getting at least one orienteering training or race per week. Trying to do well at Nationals in LA is the local goal of the fall! 

Danny- I think I’m physically as fit as I’ve ever been and orienteering the most consistently I ever have, but I want more. Every week for the foreseeable future there’s a Boston Orienteering Group training or a NEOC event or some other event, and now I just can’t get enough! I just ran an 8K with the Tufts NIRCA team and got sub-28 which was well beyond my expectation/goal of sub-29, and I’m diving into a running training plan brewed by Canadian Phil where I’ll try to add a flavorful dash of interval work on the track to my typically forest-only diet. Grad school of course makes it difficult to do all the orienteering all the time — I probably won’t be going to US Nationals but instead will stay semi-local opting for the NIRCA regional meet. I don’t think I have any goal orienteering races coming up soon, but I’ll still do my best to prepare and get better.

Holden- As an OTTO (Orienteering Team Training Officer) on USMAOC, it has been my duty to lead some weeks of practice and train the new members up to a level in which they could compete in Orange courses with success. The last few weeks for me personally has been a whole lot of running for mileage, making courses for my team using PurplePen software, and plotting points for the course so that USMAOC can conduct training. The focus of the team so far has been familiarization with compass and practical exercises requiring the use of map interpretation and route planning in order to develop their attention to detail and route strategy.
Personally, my focus is to get into shape to run an 18 minute 5k and eventually a marathon while maintaining a 7:00-7:30 pace. I will be slowly increasing mileage as it fits into my busy schedule and will do more mileage running than interval training. Another focus is to do well at all orienteering races in order to make it onto the JWOC 2023 roster and be able to apply my additional year of orienteering experience and skills into another international event. I’ll use what I learned from trial and error in previous races in order to perform better than I did at JWOC 2022. Finally, I want to see my team succeed and get the national trophy as we did last year.

Oriana- The main two things I’m training for now are JWOC in November and then a Half Marathon two weeks later. I’ve been trying to run 3-4x a week as well as getting 2 strength training days in, while continuing to have rest days at least once a week (especially before/sometimes after harder effort days). If I don’t have a harder effort day in a week, I try to do speed work (which I’ve admittedly been slacking on, but since I don’t have any super hard efforts planned til Nov I’ll pick it back up at college.) Incorporating strength training has been really helpful as well as providing a good opportunity for recovery from running days while still working on everything! Orienteering-wise, I’ve been taking all the opportunities I have to orienteer as those will become limited in college :/ Overall, decent training time — looking forward to seeing how it improves in the next few weeks.

Bridget- Training since I’ve gotten back from summer travels has been great! I got to start right up with my cross country team and new coach and I’m finally working back up to 40mpw which is awesome. The training program is very different than I’ve ever had – no rest days, only one cross training day – but it seems to be paying off because I’ve finally broken 20 in the 5k, and by almost 30 seconds! Definitely feeling a lot stronger and fitter than I ever have. Looking forward, I’m going to be focusing a lot more on my running, hopefully pushing my PRs even lower throughout the cross country season. Main goal through it all though is to stay uninjured (fingers crossed). I’ll be doing some orienteering here and there as my schedule allows!

That’s all for now – stay tuned for a lot of fun map photos next weekend 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s