Alex Jospé, courtesy of WorldOfO.comWorld Orienteering Championships
Lausanne, Switzerland
July 2012 

by Alex Jospé
photo courtesy of WorldOfO.com

You know those days where it feels like your feet barely touch the ground as you run? Where the navigation comes so easily that every feature appears in front of you at exactly the right time? Those are good days. Unfortunately, it’s pretty rare that everything lines up exactly as it should, so those good days are few and far between. What can you do to affect when those days happen?

For me, the answer to reliable athletic performance lies in self-analysis and clear goals. I have always felt that having very specific, measurable, attainable goals is a key to success, and set both outcome and process goals to help get me there. Given the inevitable fluctuations in how fast a given finish place in a race ends up being, one of the more reliable measures of success is how far behind the winner’s time I end up being.

The Delaware Valley Orienteering Association (DVOA) has a nice collection of articles on training and racing.

by Peter Amram

Continually remind the child to hold the map properly: flat; in the "weak" hand; thumb on present position; and oriented correctly. This is the most important technique for any beginner to master. Cheerfully, ceaselessly, insist that the map be held properly.

Encourage an interest in the contour lines even if it means interrupting progress on a leg to notice a nearby hilltop or spur or reentrant.

by Peter Amram
Originally appeared in the NEOC Times, Volume 35, No. 2, Feb/Mar, 2005

Hold the map properly. If you hold the map properly, it will show you where to go.

Hold the map with your "weak" hand, that is, with your left hand if you are right-handed, and with your right hand if you are left-handed. That way your "strong" hand is free for other duties, like punching in at controls and reaching for cookies.

by Peter Amram
Originally appeared in the NEOC Times, Volume 35, No. 3, April/May, 2005

The most important control on any orienteering course is the first one. Experience has shown that problems on #1 often presage difficulties throughout the course, or at least until the orienteer has had time to "settle down" sufficiently to see the map and its scale clearly and to relate both to the surrounding terrain. Conversely, a secure approach to the first control is the foundation for a clean run with accuracy throughout.

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