Map reading frequency


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Map reading frequency

The best orienteers have a very high map reading frequency - and they can read the map at close to full speed. Having a good map reading technique is vital for an elite orienteer. An elite orienteer should optimize his map reading technique by determining if the map reading frequency is too high/low, if the map reading time is too long/short (can be coupled to other technical training), how map reading influences on running speed, stop-time at controls / out of controls / into controls for map reading, etc.

See here for a tool for automatic analysis of map reading technique.

Thoughts about map reading technique


A rough translation of something Johan Ivarsson wrote:

Both Pasi [Ikonen] and Jörgen [Rostrup] must have an amazing ability to read the map and to read the map at full speed in the forest. I think they can do that because they take many looks at the map each leg.

At a training camp with the Norwegian team before the 1999 WOC, they did a simple study of the number of times each runner looked at a map on a leg. The best men in the world that year -- Petter Thoresen and Bjørnar Valstad -- read the map more than 20 times on a 400 meter leg. Hanne Staff, who has been the best woman the last few years, read the map 15 times, while the worst of the women in the test read the map just 5 times.

Jörgen and Pasi probably take a lot of looks at the map. They get it. Read the map a lot and you won't miss much. And they're able to read the map at full speed!

You've got to get out and train and, as Bjørnar says, "it will pay off!"

See also here:

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