25 April 2006

Not long to TIOmila

Only 4 (and a bit) days left. I am feeling both nervous and excited at the prospect of my first TIOmila. I have run Jukola twice, once very well (for the 2nd team), and once very badly (for the 1st team). I am in the Tyrving 1st team, running a 'day' leg, and their are fairly high expectations for the club to perform reasonably well.

We have a pretty strong line up with myself, 4 top Norwegian runners - Audun Weltzein, Anders Tiltnes, Jarl Magnus Berg and Torbjorn Sagberg, and top Swiss runner Thomas Hodel. We have fairly good strength in depth, with a lot of people going for the other 4 spots in the team. The top 6 at least are in really good shape, with myself, Thomas and Torbjorn all achieving really good early season results.

TIOmila is one of the most prestigious competitions of the year, attracting approximately 350 mens teams alone this year, and as each team is ten men that is quite a big competition! And that is before you add the Women's, Youth and Veteran relays (maybe another 800 teams in total - although not with so many in each team). Most of the teams are Scandinavian clubs, with some clubs entering many teams, but every year there are some clubs from other countries, although these rarely challenge the top teams.

Details of the TIOmila are here

My preparation for TIO has been pretty good so far. Apart from a slightly inflamed achilles, I am in really good condition, and probably the best shape of my life. My form this year has been my best ever, winning the JK and the event on Sunday, 2nd at the British classic champs, and 2nd fastest on last leg of Spring Cup, so my confidence is high.

I have been getting up early this week and running in the morning (I usually run in the afternoons / evenings), and generally trying to adapt to the fact that on Sunday I will be racing at about 7am (not a usual time for me to even be awake). I have tried to train in relevant terrain, and I have been studying the old maps of the area.

I think the key things to remember for TIOmila are -

1 Check your codes
2 Check your codes
3 Run at a pace that you can orienteer at - control the speed, identify when it is going to be difficult and slow down, but when it is easy and speed is required, run fast
4 Use other runners as motivation and to help with the pace, and use them in the circle to find the controls, but don't get distracted by them or be tempted to follow or run above a sensible pace to try and keep up
5 Run your own race, don't ignore other people, but don't let them control your race
6 Check your codes
7 Enjoy it!

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