– I ran a good race without any major mistakes but I still could not believe that I was second, Michal Smola says after winning a very popular silver medal at home ground in Olomouc – actually the first by a Czech man since the gold medals of Petr Kozák in 1991. Below Smola is presented for the nomination “The Orienteering Achievement of 2008″ through an interview made by World of O and Ultimate Orienteering.
About: Two of the major sources for international orienteering news on the Internet – World of O and Ultimate Orienteering – are organizing a poll to name “The Orienteering Achievement of 2008″ and “The Ultimate Junior Orienteer of 2008″. The winner in each category is decided in a vote amongst all the readers of World of O and Ultimate Orienteering after all nominees have been presented. Starting November 12th we present all nominees on a day-by-day basis. The poll is sponsored by Trimtex. Voting will be possible after all nominees have been presented from the voting page. See also all nominees in the initial press release.
Interview with Michal Smola
Give a short presentation of yourself.
My name is Michal Smola. I am 27 years old and I have been doing orienteering since I was twelve. I live in the city of Zlin in the Czech Republic. I am a PhD student at Faculty of Applied Informatics at Tomas Bata University in Zlin. My hobbies are orienteering of course, XC-skiing, cycling, photographing, travelling.
What was the highlight of the 2008 season for you?
It was the middle distance in WOC for sure. I ran a good race without any major mistakes but I still could not believe that I was second. I was so happy. And the fans, they were great.
I ran a good race without any major mistakes but I still could not believe that I was second
What is your thought about being nominated for the orienteering achievement of 2008?
I am very pleased with the nomination. I was quite close to a medal from world championships in 2006 and 2007 too, so finally I won a medal this year. Good results and also the nomination are some kind of stimulation for continuing to train hard.
What are your main goals for the future?
My goals remains the same, to succeed in WOC. If I take it more generally I would like to improve my orienteering. I know I can run well and save in continental terrains but I have still a lot to learn about running in other types of terrains.
Where is your favourite place to orienteer – where you would advice our readers to travel?
I like very much Mediterranean terrains especially when it is a semi-open terrain with a lot of details, for example maps around Millau in France. I also like very much Spain.
Can you describe your toughest training week in 2008 (day-by-day)? Did that have any specific impact for your great achievements in 2008?
My toughest week was in winter. I trained almost 25hours but mostly on skies. I think more interesting would be a week with running. Here is an example of an almost 19 hours week just 5 weeks before WOC:
- Monday: Afternoon: Jogging 48min+running exercises 20min+full speed short sprints up-hill
- Tuesday: Morning: Warm-up+cool down 39min+10 times 3min fast/3min slow (asphalt) Afternoon: warm-up+cool down+jogging between intervals 33min+6times 5min steep up-hill in terrain fast+ down-hill orienteering 6times 4min
- Wednesday: morning: jogging 31min+strength 30min afternoon: long slow orienteering 164min
- Thursday: morning: warm-up + cool down + jogging between intervals 34min+4times orienteering interval 8min fast Afternoon: warm-up + cool down 20min + orientering middle dist. Fast 37min
- Friday: Morning: strength 20min Afternoon: morning: warm-up + cool down + jogging between intervals 33min + 10 times 1minute uphill fast
- Saturday: endurance training 257min in terrain in mountains- course with 1:50000 map, 2000m climbing
- Sunday: long slow orienteering 182min
I like very much Mediterranean terrains especially when it is a semi-open terrain with a lot of details
Are you a professional orienteer? How many percent is your work/study that you do besides orienteering compared to a full position – and how many hours do you train each year?
I am not a professional orienteer. I am a PhD student of electrical engineering and I should graduate in August 2009. The PhD studies includes not only studying but also work on research projects and teaching, and the work load varies considerably. It can be about 80% during a semester when I have to teach (October-December and February-May) and about 50% in the rest of the year. The best thing is that thanks to understanding of my boss I can be absent quite many weeks.
Last year I trained 576 hours.
In your training: Do you put priority on running in the forest or on the road/track? What is your PB in 3000m/5000m?
I put priority on running in the forest. More than 40% of overall time of my running activities was orienteering in 2008. However, my training week comprises fast road running sessions too. I ran my best time in 5000 this year and it was 14:56.