British Orienteering's Talent Squad's Training Camp held in Badaguish, Aviemore, Scotland on Thursday 15 - Sunday 18 February 2018.
Jennie Taylor Communications Officer at British Orienteering asked a couple of Talent Squad athletes set to attend the Badaguish training camp in Scotland to keep a training camp diary of their time spent at camp. Angus Harrington and Alice Wilson kindly agreed.
Wednesday 14 February 2018:
We arrived in Aviemore after our long journeys. Long at least for the few southerners amongst us, the Scots had it easy.
As soon as we arrived at Badaguish we headed straight for dinner lobbing a few snowballs en-route. After our first taste of our fantastic chef Phil’s cooking for a long while we then had the introduction from Paul before free time and bed.
Thursday 15 February 2018:
AM: Inshriach Relay 1st Leg
We started the morning training in the western part of Inshriach with a first Leg Relay simulation. Not quite the normal banter start a lot of us were expecting. For me it was because it had been a while since I had seen so much brown on one map, so favoured gently easing into the navigation. The boys’ course consisted of 2 gaffled loops totalling 4.6km at a good strong pace. I’d like to thank the great support from the crowd (Tom Bray) going through the spectator control.
PM: Inshriach Middle training
We were on the western side of Inshriach in the afternoon for a Middle style exercise. Physically much tougher than the morning, with steeper contours and a bit more sleet in our faces. You had to really stay in contact with the map, picking out the hills and depressions. If you decided to run blindly on a bearing everything began looking the same and much time was lost. Luckily this only happened once to me. My feet got so numb that I couldn’t feel the ground which made negotiating rocks a little tricky. Nevertheless, it was still an enjoyable 4.3km course although I did appreciate the hot shower on return.
After watching some pretty entertaining crashes at the Winter Olympics and drawing up our routes we had another fantastic meal made by Phil and Simon.
End of day analysis led by Mark Nixon consisted of a review of the days training and talk about the difference between racing and training. We also discussed the benefit of looking for large ‘positive’ features for navigation, which proved very useful in the following days.
Friday: 16 February 2018:
AM: Aviemore Sprint
It was nice to have the Legs on a harder surface. It was however by no means a sprint course you could cruise round, with plenty of route choice options around buildings, fences and walls. Some good planning of the course meant that not always the route that looked the most obvious was necessarily the shortest and all was revealed in the evening's analysis which was, in fact, the shortest.
PM: Loch Vaa Long
We were in the wooded section of Loch Vaa having been on the open section in the summer. Most of us really enjoyed this area due to its easy running which allowed you to cruise and really focus on staying on your line. The contour detail was often vague but made the larger features stand out even more. An allusive Capercaillie was even spotted.
We had a little snowball fight upon return to base. The snow was feeling icy but that didn’t stop any of us from giving it a good wang. We did that until our hands became numb and then carried out the usual routine of showers, Winter Olympics, dinner and analysis.
Saturday 17 February 2018:
AM: Darnaway Middle.
We took part in an event put on by Moravian Orienteers. It was a very nice area with a great run ability and lots to navigate from. I felt the last two days training was beginning to take its toll and I lacked the strength in my legs to haul my body up the hills, but it was still great fun.
PM: Culbin Relay 3rd Leg simulation.
It was a staggered start to replicate the last Leg of a Relay. I set off first with Pete Molloy. We were taking it more leisurely until we were caught. There was a bit of a scrap for first from then until the Finish, over the fast, wooded sand dunes.
We had a long drive back to Badaguish filled with some absolute anthems and tunes. Our bus took about 10 minutes longer than the other and mysteriously all the hot water had disappeared. We followed the usual routine when we got back and had a great last supper from Phil.
Sunday 18 February 2018:
We packed up the bags in the morning and set off one last time to Uath Lochans for a Long training exercise. Many tired legs meant that many cut the 6.0km course short but with the incredibly picturesque backdrop, it was hard not to enjoy. We then headed to Aviemore, said our goodbyes and headed home.
I’d like to thank all the coaches and our two chefs for making it another fantastic and beneficial camp.
Thank you, Angus. British Orienteering would like to wish all members of the Talent Squad all the very best with their training and preparations for the 2018 season.
Please note: The Training Camp Diary by Alice Wilson (Clydeside Orienteers) will be published on the website shortly.