Monday, August 11, 2014

WUOC 2014: Long training

Sunday morning the team piled into the car to go off to the Long model event. It was about a 40min drive away but through some pretty countryside with twisting roads. The model map area was on a map called Sládkova skála and the women's course was 6.9km 170m 11c

ditch/vegetation change between S/F
the clearing of the finish looking towards road

I decided I was just going to steady run this course and see how I was feeling in terrain. It was made a little bit harder since there were no controls out but that only really stopped me at 3 of them (3, 9, 11) where I wasn't 100% sure where the control might have been hung. But other than that I was feeling like I could move and read the map well.

Some of the things I wanted to invetigate:
1) how steep it actually was going to be. Since the middle/relay is really flat and the long in meant to be steeper.
      -      So It was a bit steeper but nothing I couldn't easily run up (thank you hill running and base training!) However have been warned that the actual Long area is a bit more steep in places then this map.

2) Was the Vegetation and trails as obvious as they were in the middle model and good to use for navigation?
      -      The vegetation and trails visually seemed to be very similar to that of the middle model. However, what I would have expected to be yellow at times felt a lot more like open rough. So for example ended up running through a small field in the middle of the woods and it was actually harder to run though than the white woods around it :/ so not sure how you can tell how fast some of the vegetation is going to be but possibly a thing to shuffle around then run through.

3) How to possibly deal with the long leg? what kinda long leg does the course setter like? as the model event was planned by the same person who has planed the long distance race.
     -      I'm feeling like I actually picked an ok route for the long leg, however I did not execute it very well. I think one is going to need to find the fastest easiest way to get near the control and power fast to there and then slow and precise into the control. Or possibly for me even break it into "2-legs" find a point half way along my route navigate to there, and then to my attackpoint and into the control. I could see me zoning out if the long leg is really vague though.

So the first control was easy enough but learnt that I'm going to need to look up when I get in the area of the control if it is a distinct tree because one needs to find the leafy tree vs the pine. The second control I decided I would try cutting through some green to see if it was any faster because I had the first big road to hit. It was actually not too bad but I think that was because A) the darker green was so thin and B) because the lighter green the trees were pretty much planted in the lines the direction I was going, Think it would have been a bit slower going 90º the other way. But once I hit the road I was on the trail connecting me to the next big trail and that was actually smaller than I was expecting so will have to watch out for openings for trails fully in green I think. I then got a bit turned around coming off the big control. COMPASS ALISON! silly mistake and ended up going along the trial into the control, but in a way thinking that might have been the better attack anyway.
Then 3 - So the plan was to go right of straight. I wanted to hit the trail running along the green patch SW of control 9. use that to hit the road, pretty much hit #8 cross over to the next big trail, down the reentrant to the stream and up the hill close to the junction to cross over the two other trails and then slow into the green. Well I never hit that trail ended up pretty much closer to control 9 and then was sloppy from there into the control and confused by what the knoll actually was :/ Nightmare as not any more confident about long legs now. But here I did it without fully not knowing where I was.
Then tail end of 4 to5 was also an issue for me. I managed to get myself turned around with my compass and then the vegitation wasn't matching up the way I would have liked. I needed to have looked at my compass a bit better before heading into the green as didn't find the trail I was wanting to but thankfully hit the trail running along the hill and into the control fine.
I sailed through most of the other controls only having to really stop about 9 and 11 just not sure I was actually on the exact feature but was in the area. Hoping that if it was on a knoll because they were all very small that I would have seen the control anyway. Same with control 11 as the reentrant that I'm very sure it was meaning to be was SUPER shallow.

So overall learnings. The Long is going to be a bit hillier - and I hear even more so than this model map. It is going to be not as nice underfoot to run through the woods - and apparently this model map was the nicer section of woods. So from both of those things along I think I might be picking trail options if trying to go through green more so than battling my way through. On the long leg I have to stay focused the whole time. The whole course I need to look at my compass a bit more than I did for this run and be more precise with my bearings. I think however my running ability I should be fine with the distance and climb though which is nice :) 

Next up the Sprint Relay!

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