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Think Fast | Run Hard | Go Orienteering – coaching videos

Even if you can’t manage the Run Hard bit it’s definitely worth taking a look at this suite of 8 coaching videos funded by Sport England and produced by SLOW Orienteers along with GB Team members explaining and demonstrating various techniques to help you plan your routes between controls and nail them more accurately thus saving time and energy and making you feel chuffed with yourself as it all goes to plan. (Plus you get to put faces to the Elite names you might have read about.)

1. Setting the map – so that what you see on the map matches what you see in front of you and you don’t have to think “upside down”
2. Using the compass
3. Attack points – getting as close to the control as possible first by using bombproof features so you know exactly where you are
4. Aiming off – deliberately aiming to one side of your target when running towards a linear feature so that when you get there you know exactly how far along it you are and don’t have to guess between turning left or right to home in on the control
5. Large contour features – making those brown lines leap out at you from the map as being hills or valleys
6. Route choice – could go round it, could go through it but which is best in terms of length vs height gain vs undergrowth?
7. Intricate contours – making the really squiggly brown lines make sense – how to spot a re-entrant or a depression as opposed to a ridge or small hill
8. Simplification – forming a route plan based on the bigger picture so you can “put the map away” and don’t slow yourself down checking off every last boulder

(Personally, I just need another video now to help me remember to do all these things while I’m out there rather than tune out and drift off into a dwam as I sometimes do!)

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