Saturday, 21 November 2009

Nordic maps vs. Portuguese maps

In Portugal the cartographers care more about detail: every single rock has to be on the map. The Nordics just put the essential on the map. In order to understand this differences, Antti Harju and Janne Weckman have spent some days in Portugal making some maps in the center of the country. Today was the first competition in one of these maps.

Middle, 8,8k, (145m), 27c, 42'40 - A really fast map allowed a 4'45min/km average. However, I had some troubles in the south-east rocky hill. I've missed almost all the controls there. We did a 6km course after in order to understand the limit between what is/isn't represented in the map. It was a big help to the January International Meeting that will be held in maps like these.

Physically I've been feeling a bit tired. The Thursday's 10x strength+200m intervals always take me some days to recover from. I've reached this week my coach's 140km/week goal. 13th of December will be my first Athletics race of the season, the Lisbon's Christmas GP. I have no idea of how much I'm running right now. But I'll find out that in the next weeks...

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Saturday's club training (with mirror train)

Yesterday I went to Peniche area to train with the Elite groups from my club, COC and ATV (Don't have the GPS software in this PC).

Morning, Middle distance 8k, 20c, 46'07 - A nice session. Mistake to 9th (lost map control and slowed down a lot) and big one to 18th (continued following the wrong valley). Wanted to test the greens to the finish.

Afternoon, multi-technique Middle distance, 5,6k, 22c, 34'22 - Mistake to the 2nd, (missed the depression), deviations in the azimuth area and big mistake to 19th (misunderstood the yellow long top as a low area and ended in the wrong depression).

Night, Mirror training - I had never done anything like this! It was a city mass start and they had only told us "be careful!". We started and everyone stopped 5m ahead. The map was inverted, like in a mirror. So you had to turn left if the map showed you right. At each control you would see guys running in every different directions. It was really fun! I admit that I had some difficulty in understanding the concept and followed the guys while trying to fit the map to the terrain in a great part of the course. Only in the end I was able to fully understand it, punched the last one in the lead and ended in the front in a tight sprint. (1 - The map that was given; 2- The real map)

Today I'm spending a day at my hometown (the 1st day in a month) and I've done a 1h45, 20km session in a hilly terrain where I've totally hit the wall.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

National team weekend

This season, we have some weekends with intense training camps with the National team. This was the first weekend, with 6 sessions. My legs were (still!) sore from the Thursdays training session (a new one to me: 10x skipping, squating, jumps + 200m run at track). I wasn't able to get great speeds but I also did lots of deviations and control missings (due to less contact time with the map). These kind of weekends are really productive. I just post the major trainings (the greens can be difficult to pass):

Mass start at 2 times (loss of GPS signal in the 2nd)

Under the line training with controls in the line

Corridor session

Chasing start

Tomorrow, is the return to routine. Oh, and this blog was invited to be the blog of the month of the Ezine magazine, an online urban sports magazine. You may find the article here (November edition, pag 36)

Monday, 2 November 2009

Iberian Championships

Toledo, a beautiful Spanish city, hosted this year's Iberian Championships.

Middle Distance, 5,9K (120m), 41'39 - The greens were tricky. I started slowly with a big mistake to the 2nd (45sec). Bad option to the 5th, big hesitation to 11th with a mistake to 12th. Bad option to 19th. I didn't like my performance. This course was pauted by lots of hesitations and many meters at a slow pace. I was 3rd overall.

Sprint Distance, 3,2K (140m), 19'41 - It was an amazing race, in a nice city map with a big crowd cheering us up during all the way. I started with an hesitation (I tought that the stairs by the right weren't passable). I had some slow downs during the race due to inconsistent navigation. From the 5th I took my biggest lesson: The stairs were closed and I stopped and blocked there, loosing 20sec. I have to be able to cope with these unpredictable situations during a race! I also felt that I wasn't able to find my rythm during the race. I won it, but I was lucky this time.

Long Distance, 12,4K (475m), CANCELLED - This race was cancelled due to a control swap at the 16th control. I lost some seconds in the first controls. I managed well the long legs. Messed it up at the 16th were I found another control in the place of my control. I wasn't self-confident enough to leave the control when I attacked it and kept looking for my control. The most stupid thing were all the mistakes that I did after. I was doubting if I hadn't made a mp and did (a lot!) of silly mistakes. This can't happen again and, once again, I wasn't able to cope with unpredictable situations. In the end, the race committee decided to cancel the race.

You may find all the results and split times here. I returned home with an Iberian title and a 3rd place in the middle. And, afterall, I really enjoyed my weekend at beautiful Toledo.