A Pre-Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC)Training Camp was held for Talent Squad members aged between 17-20-year-olds in Hungary last week from Sunday 13 August to Saturday 19 August 2017.
For those athletes in the British Orienteering Talent Squad, the JWOC in 2018 will be the pinnacle of their orienteering career so far.
What does the average day at pre-JWOC training camp look like for our Junior Talent Squad members?
Jennie Taylor Communications Officer at British Orienteering asked a couple of the athletes attending the training camp in Hungary last week to keep a diary of their training days. Fiona Bunn (TVOC) and Aidan Rigby (CLOK) kindly volunteered. Read Fiona's diary account of her time at training camp.
Pre-JWOC Camp: Diary of training
Thames Valley Orienteering Club
Day 1: Monday 14 August
08.45: Wake up and breakfast at the hotel. Very good, although the lack of bananas was sad! Coffee to wake me up after a late arrival last night and a Team meeting to outline the purpose of the trip and the day’s arrangements.
10:00: Travel to Kecskemet for sprint training. The area we used was in the same town as the JWOC Sprint will be but as it was in the suburbs we are not sure how similar it will be to the competition terrain. We were getting used to the layout of typical Hungarian suburbs and housing estates.
12.30: Finished Sprint training. Post-training analysis showed that some of the simple looking route choices were quite significant and there were not many 50-50 choices which could be a typical feature of the course planning.
13:00: Lunch-time. Sandwiches and discussion of the morning’s training.
14:00: The afternoon was Middle distance training with SI at Bosca directly adjacent to competition terrain. It was a completely unique area with varied vegetation, 2m contour interval and a very tricky “labyrinth” of juniper bushes in an open area which was crazy! We checked out the mapping, and what everything would look like and the runnability of different vegetation to help us with choosing route choices later in the week or at JWOC.
17:00: Returned to the hotel. All of the athletes went to the adjacent outdoor swimming pool for some post-training recovery and relaxation. It even had a cold plunge pool: perfect for an ice bath!
18:30: Dinner at the hotel, followed by analysis of the days training. We are all in groups of 3, and each group has to discuss and do a mini presentation about one session. My group had to do the Middle distance training.
20:00: Team meeting. One group did a presentation about each of the sessions including terrain descriptions, what challenges the terrain poses and strategies to use and we discussed this along with looking at GPS and GoPro footage.
Day 2: Tuesday 15 August
08:00: Breakfast and leave for training.
10:00: Long training at Iszak. Trained in groups of 3 so we could test different route choices on Long legs. A Very varied area with almost every type of vegetation possible.
12:30: Lunch break, trying to stay out of the sun.
14:00: Middle style training at Kaskantyu. This area was more open than the previous Middle training, also with some very tricky labyrinth style bushy areas. Most of us took this as a steadier training after the Long in the morning. Sharing a massive 12kg watermelon after the session was the perfect way to refresh after a hot run.
17:00: Return to the hotel.
18:30: Dinner, including a speciality Hungarian dessert made from chestnuts.
20:00: Team meeting, similar format to last night with lots of interesting and useful points raised about route choices and strategies.
Day 3: Wednesday 16 August
08:00: Breakfast as usual.
09:00: Leave for morning training at Zsana. This was a Relay training session and we were joined by some Austrians, French, Australians and Spanish for a 2nd Leg Relay simulation where athletes were set off at random short intervals to help us experience head-to-head racing in the most relevant Relay terrain. This helped us to analyse micro-route choices and assess the impact of the heat on our performance in the highest intensity session so far. We know that speed and fitness will be extremely important for the Relay in particular due to the rapid terrain which can be a good focus for our training next season.
14:00: Sprint training at Szeged. This was a different style of Sprint to the previous session and had more challenging route choices and complex sections which may be more relevant to the old part of town in the Sprint embargo for JWOC 2018. Across the 2 sessions, we covered both types of terrain for the Sprint competition area and could compare the techniques needed in each of them and how we might need to adjust during the race.
17:00: Relaxation time at the thermal pools, including spending some time perfecting our diving technique.
Day 3: Thursday 17 August
09:00-13:00: Rest morning. Some athletes received A-level results. All good news luckily! We then explored the local town, with a return trip to the pool.
14:00: Long training at Pirto. The only session of the day but it was a quality session, with an 8km course for the girls and 11km course for the boys. This terrain was adjacent to the Long competition terrain so should be the most relevant. Technical challenges included route choice between blocks of vegetation and running against the lines of the plantation.
17:00: Celebration of results day…at the pool again. Focusing on hydration and recovery for the last day of training in the heat.
Day 5: Friday 18 August
09:00: Leave for Bocsa again. A chance to either re-run one of the most challenging courses of the week putting the techniques we had learnt into practice, try a different course or plan your own route to check out what you wanted to. I did the boys course to test some different Legs. The aim of this flexible session was so that everyone could get out of it what they wanted to. Most of us came back with more confidence than last time.
14:00: Long training at Pirto again. Another flexible session to allow people to do what they felt they needed to do and tidy up anything they had identified earlier in the week. For me, I just wanted to test out running straight route choices and so did a part of the boy's course from yesterday that I hadn’t already done.
17:00: The Final trip to the pool and time for a competitive beach football game. The outdoor pool and plunge pool was refreshing after the hottest day of the week so far with temperatures hitting 35 degrees.
20:00: Final meeting wrapping up what we had learnt during the week, and applying the learning generated from the training areas to the actual competition areas. The team will be producing summary booklets to bring all of our notes together and for this to act as the JWOC 2018 Bible, especially for the benefit of those who may get into the JWOC team who haven’t had the chance to come on this camp.
Day 6: Saturday 19 August
03:00: Very early departure was not enjoyed by some, especially when the alarm was set at UK time…naming no names.
08:30: Arrival back to the UK, surprisingly not too disappointed to arrive into grey, rainy weather after the sun overdose in Hungary!
Thank you, Fiona! This is really insightful. We wish you and all of British Orienteering Talent Squad athletes all the very best with their on-going orienteering training.