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Tweet Sunday 17th December 2017

Malham Training Camp...continued 2: Stan Heap (Southdowns Orienteers)

Jennie Taylor Communications Officer at British Orienteering caught up with Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla (Eborienteers) and Stanley Heap (Southdowns Orienteers) who are both athletes in the British Orienteering’s Talent Squad. Both attended the recent Malham technical training camp with the rest of the Talent Squad. Stanley and Anika both kindly agreed prior to attending camp to keep a diary account of their training over the training camp weekend.

Training Camp Diary:  Stan Heap

Talent Squad
Club: Southdowns Orienteers

Read Stan's diary account.

Stan Heap (Southdowns Orienteers)

Day 1:
Friday 1 December

Travelled by train to Preston station where I met up with some of the squad, physiotherapist Heather Thomson and coach Tom Bray, before heading to Malham by minibus.


Arrived at Malham Tarn Field Study Centre to be greeted by the rest of the squad and a layer of snow!


A late dinner before heading out to build a snowman (of course!)

Day 2:
Saturday 2 December



Up at 7.30am for a cooked breakfast, muesli and OJ. Made packed lunches – sandwiches, brownies and a massive pot of pasta. Drove an hour to Ilkley Moor.


Paul Murgatroyd led a 25 minutes warm-up. We did 10 minutes slow jog followed by lots of variations of high knee raises increasing in intensity and some straight-leg running.


We did some 200m-400m exercises with course only maps i.e. with no map detail to practice our distance judgement and compass work. I found this really useful.


We then did 2 courses with map detail only in the control circle, again to hone our compass skills and distance judgement, but also making sure we had a good picture of where the control should be in relation to the surrounding terrain.


We had lunch followed by a jog around the ‘Cow and Calf’ to warm up for the afternoon exercises. Our warm-up involved quite a bit of rock-climbing!


Norwegian Map Memory exercise. 2 x 2km courses. There’s a map at each control showing just the next Leg. You can look at the map for as long as you like and then you had to remember how to get to the next control. I was amazed how much faster I could run and also how quick it was to make a route choice and plan when you had no map to run with.


By the time we got back to Malham Field Study Centre it was dark. The snow had nearly melted, and we were all pretty tired. We went and washed, changed and came down for dinner. I had a very good curry and sticky toffee pudding.


At around 7 pm we had an hour’s talk from Mark Nixon analyzing what we had done that day using 2D Rerun, a programme for comparing routes, times and speed with other runners on the course. Following this was a 20min chat with our coaches. I went through my training programme with Mark which was really helpful. At the moment I’m aiming to do a long run (50mins) alternating with a tempo run (25mins); athletics (1hr); as much orienteering as possible; hill reps (2 lots of 5 x 1 min reps) and jogs out with a map on all the other days. Every month I cut back on my training for 1 week before moving on to the next training phase.

Day 3:
Sunday 3 December



Up at 7 am to pack and then a cooked breakfast, muesli and orange juice before heading to Tockholes, an hour’s drive away.


We were sharing controls with Pendle Forest Orienteers who were organising an event and we were using a mixture of different training exercises in a 5.5km course.


The first part of the course was a corridor exercise, practising staying online and in the ‘corridor’ which was about 50m wide in the terrain.


The second part of the course was a compass exercise with map detail only inside the control circles.


Then a contour only exercise to practice interpreting the map and taking pictures of the landforms around us.


The last part of the course was a line course which we jogged trying to keep as close to the line as possible. All the skills from the previous exercises were needed for this – picturing, compass and direction.


After the run, I went for a warm down run before being taken back to Preston Railway Station for the journey home.


Reflecting on the weekend technical training camp, Stanley Heap from the Talent Squad and Southdowns Orienteers, said:
“I really enjoyed the weekend. I learnt quite a few new exercises which made me focus on one particular skill. The most beneficial exercise for me at this weekend was the compass exercise that we did on the Saturday with a course and no map detail at all. It made me slow down and take proper compass bearings.”

Stanley continued: “I’d like to say a big thank you to Paul Murgatroyd, Mark Nixon, Tom Bray, Rona Lindsay, Helen Winskill and Heather Thomson who gave their time for another great weekend of orienteering with the Talent Squad. I’m looking forward to Blencathra in January 2018.”


Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer at British Orienteering, says: “Many thanks to Anika and Stanley for both sparing the time to write and share these diary accounts of your time away. It is great to hear about the various technical training activities you did whilst at camp and learn how they have directly benefited you and your orienteering skills.”






Find out more about the full Talent Squad attending training camp here.

You can read Anika Schwarze-Chintapatla (Eborienteers) diary account here.

The next Talent Squad Training Camp is being held at Blencathra in the Lake District in January 2018.

British Orienteering wishes you both and all the Talent Squad all the very best with training in the last days of this year and throughout the new year of 2018.