Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ottawa Update

The orienteering scene in Ottawa is awash with strong orienteers and large collection of amazing event organizers. This fact was well proven at the Canadian Orienteering Championships this summer with the Ottawa Orienteering Club snatching 31 medals, 11 of them gold, to say nothing of the quality of the event itself. While hosting the COCs has exhausted everyone involved it has also inspired a lot of confidence in many of our event organizers and hopes are high for next year’s Ontario Championships, to be held in Ottawa. There is also some talk of bidding for the 2012 North American Orienteering Championships, and, assuming it actually happens, I wouldn’t hesitate to bet on it being a good one.

Canadian middle distance medalists: Mike Smith, Robbie Anderson, and Magnus Johansson, with event director, Richard Guttormson, bottom left.
(Photo thanks to Wil Smith)

On top of all that, the club has recently set up club running training sessions. These sessions occur every Wednesday evening and are open to everyone who is interested in dedicating time to improving their running technique and speed. We are very lucky to have a certified track coach – Francis Kawam – in the club and he has graciously stepped forward to lead these sessions. Better yet, in a fantastic show of enthusiasm, he is working with each of us to create tailored training plans! Thanks Francis!

The training program started last Wednesday with an interval session on trails in a city park. Supposedly it was a lot of fun and I’m sad I had to miss it. I should be there starting this week though and I’m looking forward to training with the group! I met with Francis at a local meet this morning and we quickly decided on a basic training plan for me for the near future. The week will start with a 1 hr LSD run on Monday and my bike commute to and from school (roughly 25 min each way). Tuesday is just biking to and from school, Wednesday is the group interval day and will also include biking. Thursday is listed as 35-45 min of running with strides and Friday is another biking only day. Saturday I’ll be doing a long warm up to stay loose and Sunday mornings are local races. Hopefully that won’t be too hard to balance with my school work and I’ll be able to graduate no problem next spring without having to sacrifice any training. The next tests are the Golden Leaf Orienteering Festival in Hamilton and the US Champs north of Albany, New York. My hopes are high, and I’m excited to be in Ottawa at the moment with all the promising things going on!