Sunday, 31 May 2009

Portuguese Absolute Vice-Champion

This weekend was really hot! There was the National Absolute Championships in Alentejo and temperatures were around 35ºC!

Saturday (Qualifications) 6,1k, (145m), 32'53 - I qualified in 3rd to the A Final. Temperatures were around 36ºC. A mistake to the 1st control, as I ever do... The last controls were really painful in such a desert. I did some unecessary mistakes in the 1st part of the course and just controlled the time in the 2nd part of it. I felt dizzy in the end with such a weather.

Sunday (A Final), 11,1k, (325m), 65'07 - This day was much fresher than the day before (34ºC). This time I started well. To the 3rd, there were some heavy greens that are marked in the map as white area. To the 13th, stupid mistake. And the last controls the lack of stamina made me loose some time. I really have to reformulate some of my trainings (I train almost as a road runner, maybe I need some longer off-road sessions) once I always break down too much in the end of Long distances.

Tomorrow I'll fly with my club to Finland in order to train there for a week. I'm really thankful to Juuso Metsala, my old friend who organized there some trainings for us. Can't wait to get away from all this sun!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

National Universitary Championships

Today I went to Gâmbia, near Lisbon, to the National Universitary Champs in a really fast map in an open area.

Middle distance, 8,4K, (100m), 28c, 42'04 - This time I messed up. I didn't start focused and two big mistakes in the beginning. To the 1st control I deviated to the right and then thought that the special trees line was the white area. In the 2nd control I was loosing more than 1min to the 1st. To the 18th huge mistake again. I lost my focus when crossing the small path that, in fact, was a big path in the terrain. I was 3rd overall and found many errors that will have to be corrected to the next weekend. I have realized that my mistakes are in chain: if i missed a control, I'll miss the next 2 controls too. I have to Stop and refresh after a mistake! And I also realized that I have to boost my self-confidence. Physically, even if I didn't took off the load to this weekend I felt really well running.

This week I'll have to give my best studying. Next weekend, National Absolute Champs. We'll see...

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Everyday pains..

Almost everybody have their own everyday pains and problems during the trainings... Today I just wanted to share my crosses and wanted to know if there is any other way to heal these things.

Fasciitis Plantaris

It seems that there are many orienteerers with the same problem. My feet are a bit "cavus" (the middle part of them is higher) so sometimes (when training more on pavement) I have that anoying pain. Sometime ago I did custom made orthoses with an arch support in a shop that supplies the portuguese guys from athletics that really reliefs the pain. I avoid using them everyday because i don't want my foot tendons to get lazy (and me ending dependent on them) but they are an huge help. The other thing I do is rolling my feet over a Golf ball when my tendons ache. It's an excruciating pain, but I'm ready to train in the next day.

Meniscal pain
Yes, about 1-1/2 year ago I did a small meniscal fracture that prevented me from training about 4months (I wanted to avoid surgery). Sometimes I have those minor pains to which seem to have no treatment (except surgery). There is not a great scientific support to this, but with an increased hydration and with a supplement of Glucosamine (one of the constituents of the cartilage) my aches seem to get better. Even if I've talked with some doctors that tell me that Glucosamine is only for old fellows with arthrosis, there are some studies that support it:
...glucosamine supplementation can provide some degree of pain relief and improved function in persons who experience regular knee pain...The trends in the results also suggest that, at a dosage of 2000 mg 'milligrams per day, the majority of improvements are present after six weeks."
In British J. of Sports Med., vol. 37, 2003.

Muscle aches

My muscle aches have been relieved (and the lesions disappeared) since I've tried ICE. It's amazing! We sometimes do an ice bath after the intervaled trainings (there's a place to do it in the track) and I'm just a new guy in the day after. In the other hand there are some friends of mine that can't even handle 30sec in the tub because they're too sensible(so the 12min are impossible for them). Once again there is some controversy about it, but it seems to have some effect:
...intense exercise actually causes microtrauma, or tiny tears in muscle fibers. This muscle damage not only stimulates muscle cell activity and helps repair the damage and strengthen the muscles ( muscle hypertrophy), but it is also linked with delayed onset muscle pain and soreness (DOMS) , which occurs between 24 and 72 hours after exercise.
The ice bath is thought to:
- Constrict blood vessels (which should be bad)
- Decrease metabolic activity and slow down physiological processes
- Reduce swelling and tissue breakdown
But then, with rewarming, the increased blood flow speeds circulation, and in turn, improves the healing process.

And that's it! Fortunately, no more pains!

The next weeks will be tough... I'm already preparing some exams while training well.

This weekend National Universitary O-Champs. Next weekend National Absolute Champs. Then travelling to Finland to a 1week O-Camp. Can't wait for it!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Portuguese Sprint Champion

Last weekend was also the National Sprint Champs in Santarém, a fast map without many relevant details.

1st race, 3k, (90m), 12'00 - I started slowly. I just had to slow down when leaving the 5th because of a car that was closing the street. I won by a short advantage of 3 seconds to Marco Póvoa. You may find the results here

2nd race, 3k (60m), 11'33 - (my watch ran out of battery)I managed well the stress of starting in the lead. Anticipated well and had the 9th leg course in my mind when punching the 7th. Anticipation really resulted with me in this Champs. I've trained it with Bruno Nazário in the last training camps and it ended being really useful (as well as relying less in the compass and reading more the terrain in the middle).
You may find the results here

The overall results are here

Now it's time to manage the study to the next exam season and starting the preparation to the National Absolute Champs, NOC and selection races to WOC. We'll see...

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Portuguese Middle Distance Champion

This weekend were the National Sprint and Middle Distance Championships in Santarém/Almeirim. I was able to win my first 2 national champs as a senior.

Sunday, Middle Distance, 6,8k, 28c (410m) 43'49 - I was glad to win, but I wasn't satisfied with my race. There were 3 controls in a row where I lost the control. To the 9th I lost time, once I should have gone by the path from the beginning, to the 10th I attacked the reentrance to the right, to the 11th, that deviation to the left of the path and to the 12th a bad option (the terrain was tough to run, the best option should be the path). I tought that I had lost too much time and that the race was spoiled there. Fortunately I was able to recover the brains and I did the last controls with self-confidence, winning the race only in the last controls by more less 30''.

Curiously, my everyday training mates were also 3rd (Paulo Franco) and 4th (Jorge Fortunato). I really have to thank them (we push each others everyday), to Bruno Nazário who is always there to support us and to our coach José Santos.

You may find the results of the weekend here and photos here

I'll post the sprint maps, courses, photos and results as soons as I get the maps...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

We had to repeat it...

We liked yesterday training so much that today we did the same. 5 of us went to Quinta das Conchas, a park in the middle of Lisbon. The same method as yesterday: many starts, mass starts, different courses, except the last one that was the same to everybody. We particularly enjoyed the downhill course with 7 controls in the closed area (so much that we repeated it with different courses).

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Downtown training in Lisbon

Today, in spite of the normal tuesday's intervaled training, me and other 4 orienteerers went to the downtown of Lisbon in order to train to the next Saturday's National Sprint Champs. I didn't know this map, but it's really amazing... The right part of it, around the Castle with lots of stairs is really challenging.
We quickly drawn many starts/finish. Then each of us drawn different courses. We switched the maps among us and started each course in mass start and waited ones for anothers in the next start. Between the traffic, the surprised tourists and under a 30ºC athmosphere, it was a cool training.

My menisci have been warning me lately, but nothing serious by now...