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Fun and Interesting: Live Chat with the Champions

– My favorite map has to be detailed and sandy, Daniel Hubmann said in the Live Chat organized with Hubmann and Simone Niggli after them being awarded with “The Orienteering Achievement of 2009″ titles earlier yesterday. – I did really enjoy to run the EOC in 2008, this is one of my favorite maps [see map here].

When asked the same question, Simone Niggli picked a map from the country where next years World Orienteering Championships is organized:

– There are so many nice forest all over the world… If I have to pick up one I choose the map “Tynset” in Norway. I ran there a World Cup race some years ago and it was fantastic: at the starting point you got the view over the forest with white moss on the ground… it looked like on the moon! And I have good memories because I had a great race and was the winner. [Editors comment: This is probably the Havern-map which was used for the World Cup in Tynset in 2002. You find the D21 Elite course at the Havern map here, a report from the race here, and the relay map from the day after here]


We got a lot of interesting questions for the two big Swiss stars – and more than 800 unique viewers visited the Live Chat either during the day to ask questions or during the evening to look at the answers. You can replay the complete Live Chat at the bottom of the page – but first a selected few of the questions and answers are repeated here:

  • Question for both: Which kind of physical trainings are the most important for you both in winter and in summer? Mental training – how do you put yourself into spesific state and how can you keep your focus in performance? Or is it just enough to know that you are already the best?

Simone: Most important is of course the running training (orienteering & only running). But I also like alternative training like cross country skiing in winter, cycling and deep water running during the whole year. For me it’s good to make some training with these alternative forms so that it is not only running which is quite tough for the body.
Concerning the mental training: before an important race I really try to imagine what could happen in the race (different situations like the start moment, making mistakes, meeting other runners…). Furthermore I find the joy for the competition and I’m concentrating on my technical goals. I have still big respect for my concurrance and therefore I never think that I am already the best!

Daniel: Mostly I’m running both in winter and summer and I try to make intervall trainings all over the year. To be ready mentally before a competetion I do always the same warm-up. Then I know I’m used to it and that’s good for my self confidence. During a competition I just try to control the concentration by reading the map.

  • Question for Simone: For how many years to you plan to continue running on high level?

Simone: That’s a difficult question and I really have to admit that I don’t know yet.
Trondheim was a big goal after the birth of Malin and I’m very motivated for the next year. If I look forward there are some nice WOCs coming like France and Switzerland… you see, it’s hard to say but I just listen to my body, my head and my family which are telling me the truth.

  • Question for Daniel: How much hours per week do you train now at the winter?Can you describe one of your training weeks?

Daniel: During the winter I train about 14-16 hours per week. That means 11 times running, 2 times strenght and twice cycling or cross country skiing.

  • Question for Simone: What is your pre-race food? And do you change your diet at all in the days before an important race?

Simone: Before a competiton I like to eat Müsli, bread and tea. I’m used to it and I know that I get the power of it. I use to eat breakfast about 3.5 hours before my start.
I do not change my diet specially before an important race. Of course I look that I eat regularly and enough and that there is enough carbohydrates especially before a long distance race.
With my sister I have a favourite meal before the competitions: lasagne. We use to eat it together if we have a competitons together and it’s always a good preparation…

  • Question for Daniel: Do you think you can beat Thierry in the middle in Norway? And can he beat you in the long distance?

Daniel: Thierry is really good in middle distance, but he is not unbeatable. Of course I belive I can beat him next year. But I guess he is doing the same looking to the long distance. If we are both on a high level next year again, everything is possible…

  • Question for Simone: How many hours do you train each week now in winter time?

Simone: The last few weeks I have trained between 15 and 17 hours. I hope there will be snow in Switzerland soon and with some cross country skiing training I can train even a bit more.

  • Question for Daniel: I guess running is your strongest side. Do you still enjoy technical terrain more, or easier terrain where you are more dominant?

Daniel: I’m not sure if running is still really dominat, at least I did improve my technical skills in the last years. I really like the demanding courses, because I like to keep the concentration over the whole competition.

The complete Live Chat is embedded below:

About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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