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Updates from International Orienteering Coaches Conference 2015

Here updates will be posted from the International Orienteering Coaches Conference 2015 during the three days the conference lasts.

From Monday August 24th until Wednesday August 26th representatives of seven of the leading orienteering nations – Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland – will gather in southern Austria to talk about how elite orienteering is developed in their country.


  End of conference – thanks to all!

Thanks all contributors for a great conference here in Faak am See in Austria – especially to the organizers for a great initiative.


  Wrap-up discussions

Below is a recap of the wrap-up discussion. There might be some things which I did not catch 100% correct here as it was a complex discussion – so please take that into account when reading.


What was the most important information you got out of these presentations?


  • The first is that if you don’t know where you are you will end up in the wrong place. The first thing is that it is important to know what you have to work with.
  • You have to know why you do things – all have presented why they do things. Have to talk to researchers and people who are eager to develop training to do the right things
  • I think this conference is great for international orienteering – a great initiative, and we will all go home and take with us the energy


  • Orienteering is maturing as an elite sport. If we look 10-15 years back it was more based on feelings on what one should do, but now there are so many countries who work with all the resources possible within their country. You really need to step up and deliver a huge effort to win medals.
  • Looking at economy; it is not a necessity to have the best funding, but more with what you do with what you do. The important thing is to put in the effort – and which routechoices you do. France is one of the best examples – a huge inspiration for many.
  • It looks like the systems around the national teams is very much based on how many runners you have on a high level. If you have few runners like we have it you do it one way – if you have a lot of runners you do it in a different way.
  • Important to reflect that the world is changing all the time. Have the possibility to adapt – always be open minded.
  • Comment about budget: A budget cut may be an advantage; what is really important – you can then look at what is really important with regards to the budget.


  • Learning from each other is very important. Both from different nations like here – or within the country or within the team, like the example of Susan yesterday.
  • Almost all countries have some kind of training centers – that is maybe one of the keywords – either centralized or several.
  • Holistic philosophy in some way is important


  • I think that we have had a very good system in France, and now we need to capitalize on it. But we have to remember that it is important to have a good philosophy, but on the same time it is important to take care of the individual athletes needs.
  • Remeber that this is an adventure


  • You have to be open minded, and take out the best for you. E.g. OL-PISTE was not invented by us – it was coming from the federation.
  • There are different routes to Rome – e.g. about the regional squads. Not even in Switzerland it is equal from regional squad to regional squad.

Czech Republic

  • We got an evidence that orienteering is not where it is during the 90ies, it is really developing. It is important to have education (which we don’t have in CZE).
  • Nice to see that we are using different ways and tools, but we still come to much the same conclusions. Even if we are “amateurs”, we do nearly the same things.
  • With regards to economy: The regional centers are very important – on the other hand the “huge” budgets are a challenge to use all the money in an effective way.


  • Training environment
  • Education – structured approach like SUI

What would you take with you:

  • Sweden:
    • Would be good to take with us: The Swiss education system
    • Might not work: The Danish way with one center would not be good for us (but it is a good way for Denmark).
  • France
    • Would be good: Not have too many slow, long sessions (inspired by Denmark). Education system from Switzerland
    • Not work: Can not trust the clubs – partly due to lack of education
  • Czech Republic
    • Would like to take with us the idea with training centres; this is something like we really need
    • Would like to put the human being more in the center of our work (Swedish approach)
    • Would not work: Long training camps; can’t afford to waste such long time (nowadays)
  • Denmark:
    • I bring home that even if we are very professional in our elite work, we have a lot of work for the youth. There it is more about recreational. The regional centres in Switzerland are working “in a elite way” – they are more about “learning to compete” and to improve over time – a very important thing
    • Another thing: Finland had some full time junior coaches. This is an inspiration. Maybe not possible to do, but an inspiration.
  • Finland:
    • Already when establishing training centres, France and Switzerland were good examples. The next step in the regional centres will be to put a little more commitment into the centres. Example: French Frederic Tranchand is attending nearly all trainings at training centre in Finland (more than Finnish athletes)
    • We have to improve knowledge within the clubs, and try to speak the same language when talking about training philosophy
  • Switzerland
    • What I would like to implement in Switzerland is the Swedish sports gymnasiums
    • Would not work: Mandatory, centralized system; all have to move to one place
  • Norway
    • Structured mental training approach (Switzerland)
    • Long training camps (Denmark)

Free discussion

  • France: First it was very good to be here – already to prepare the presentation was very interesting. It is good to know why you do things. Now I have a good overview of both our own system and on the other systems.
  • Question: Will there be differences due to a split WOC?
    • France: We are already considering to have different types of training camps.
    • Denmark: Highly dependent on how the implementation of the decision is. If organized close together: Focus the athletes for one or two. Harder if 2-3 months between a forest championship and urban championship; could then be a challenge. I don’t think we will split our team in two. Next year we will specialize our athletes again, but in the training camps now all will do all types of trainings.
    • Finland: It won’t change a lot in our system. There are three kinds of athletes in our team: Those focusing on terrain, on sprint or on both. Our national team have had a couple of 3-4-5 days camps only for sprint (and similar for terrain). A few years ago we didn’t have so many sprint competitions in good quality, and we decided a few years ago that we would increase the number of national sprint competitions – we have now 10-15 sprint competition with good quality (and we also have separate rankings now). In the junior team, most are focusing on both, and that is the way we are going to do in the future.
    • Sweden: Training plans to avoid injuries is something we have to think about (too many injured runners; due to sprint focus?).
    • Denmark: It seems like more problems with stress fractures the last years. Could it be due to sprint? Or due to shoes which are lighter and lighter? Or due to running more on harder ground? Or other reasons?
  • Q Gernot: Three specific key trainings during the winter time which you would give your runners (for the Nov – Feb period)?
    • CZE: (1) Terrain intervals. (2) Between threshold run, preferrable in terrain. (3) Night-orienteering sessions – really good for the orienteering technique
    • FRA: (1) Night orienteering – a good point in our technical skills. (2) Don’t forget intervals. (3) Core/strength training; ankle and so on. Time to work on it to avoid injuries later
    • DEN: (1) Looking at an orienteer as a runner, we are not running very efficiently. Should work on “releasing brakes”; make sure that you are able to run efficiently when the season starts. (2) When it gets winter/cold the ground gets hard – more proned to injury. Be smart and focus on not doing too much intensive work which increases risk for injury.
    • SWE: (1) Some kind of training which prepares you to train all of the year (2) Night orienteering corridor; because you get self esteem, running economy, technical knowledge (3) Some strength/flexibility training and some kind of intervals (4) All type of surfaces, all type of speeds
    • FIN: Versatile training; Core stability training and sprint intervals/sprint training. For a sprinter: Short or a little longer, speed intervals. For the forest: 90 minute o-technical training in terrain.
  • Q Binder: Do you have some people in the federation responsible for core/strength training where the athletes can go and get help, or is it on their own?
    • SWE: Yes, we have Helena Jansson’s trainer who is really good at it and can give you a good plan.
    • DEN: Yes, monday morning 0800, friday morning 0800. Feedback from Team Danmark twice a week. For juniors they have a personal 2 hour session at the start where they go through the athlete and get an evaluation and personal program (elite; each year).
    • SUI: Strength training guided by experts. One weekend per year for juniors 3-4 days only focus on running and core stability
    • FIN: Yes, experts on core stability, running etc. in the training centre.
    • CZE: We have hired coach for strenght training in Brno for our top athletes (most live there). This is quite expensive for us. The idea was that they learn a lot from him – which they did. Also our physioteraphists.
    • FRA: Coaches of training centre education in strength training with an expert.
  • Q: Do you have a pause in training at the end of the season?
    • DEN: There has been a break since WOC – will start up again now. After World Cup there will be a two month break where we only try to keep level.
    • FRA: We say to athletes that they should take a two weeks break. One week totally off, one week little training. Often we see that the athletes don’t want to do this.
    • SWE: You should have a period in end of Oct and start of Nov. Not only physical break, but also mentally/reflection. When you start again you are full of energy. Is an important period – use it to think over things.
    • FIN: Most top level athletes have a rest season after competition season. Not only physical, but also rest mentally. Can not afford to have two months “rest” – would be too much. Know that many “national team runners” focus on Jukola, and the season is over after Jukola. Some of the best think that the season if over after WOC; at least mentally.
    • DEN: I think not having a break is a lot due to tradition; physiologically there are very good reasons to have a break
    • SUI: People see very different things in a break. “Simone Niggli had 5 days off training in 5 years.”
  • Q: What would be your recommedation to the IOF?
    • DEN: Start thinking.
    • FIN: Now that decision to have split WOC, I would like to say to have knockout-sprint as one of the disciplines in sprint
    • DEN: Main recommendation; how about thinking about what is now and having a clear strategy instead of changing from time to time.
    • FIN: International calendar is not good today. We need fixed slots/periods for races.
    • FRA: Before dreaming about Olympics, maybe we should make a good World Champs and good World Cup. There are so many things that we could improve based on what we have now instead of thinking of the Olympics in the short term.
    • FRA: The IOF must take care of the national teams; we are going in the marketing way, and forget that the stars are the human beings.
    • SWE: (1) Good plans, many years before. (2) Communication
    • SUI: Agree with FRA; forget about Olympics, establish the sport.
    • CZE: Forget about Olympics, employ experts, rewrite the constitution. Not good decision making process within the IOF; let commission do the choices.


  Team structure & future plans

Now have a (regional) youth squad (25 athletes), junior squad (20 athletes) and elite squad (18 athletes). For the future want to focus on the regional structure (youth squad). Want high quality training in all regions and well educated coaches in all regions/many clubs.

In addition we want to develop training centres (currently 2 -the  military training center in Seebenstein and a training center in Graz).


  Coach structure in Austria

Total of the equivalent of around 3 full time coaches (incl. support staff). In addition comes the 2 full time coaches in the military.


  Austria: Financial situation

Income of 268.000 Euro from ministry of sport – 28.000 Euro from own resources and ~2000 Euro from sponsors.

Military training center for orienteering:

  • Around 0.5 Million Euro when calculating actual cost (2 full-time coaches, up to 6 paid athletes (each athlete can stay up to 9 years, possibly also longer if special arrangements), accommodation (full board basis), cars/travel expenses, training camps, special facilities).
  • Big possibility – get well paid and you get the possibility to focus on orienteering. However does not work perfectly as of now.

Total budget when including military is not far behind the best nations – potential if this is exploited in a best possible way.


  Goals for Austrian orienteering (foot-O)

Goal of Austria (fot foot-O) is to be among the best 12 nations in Foot-O (1-2 podium-places every year; relay among top 10). Also to achieve the amount of runners who achieve top results. And to be able to have medical and mental support for all squads in training and competition.


  Short extra session: Austria

We will have a small extra session about the Austrian orienteering federation – on request from the other participating nations.


This concludes the presentation of France and the main part of the conference.


  Example: Lucas Basset development of training


  France: Train orienteers to be technically stable


  Analysis + tools in French team


French orienteers are used to technical courses and expect/want it. As a coach we have to set challenging courses – even if competitions are often easier. If it is low speed – make it harder.


This is already a challenging course, but athletes would not be satisfied.

We had to deliver this:


  Plot to “catch” the best nations

Training setup in weekend training-camps 2000-2010:

  • Prepare for the weekend
  • Extremely tough weekend
  • Recover after the weekend


  French Orienteering Philosophy & strong points

Very high priority on technical aspects to gain consistency. A maximum of the training sessions had to include map reading (orienteering or “simulation”)


  Main “templates” for training in France

Two different training “templates” in the French team:

  • The “old” template: Thierry, Francois, Philippe: High volume, nearly half of the training orienteering, almost all intensive sessions with a map
  • The “new” template: Frederic, Lucas, Damien. Less volume, a bit less orienteering, 1 interval per week on the track

Question: How do you compare these two “templates” with respect to orienteering technical abilities?

Answer: Thierry is special – he is able to be 100% concentrated on each orienteering session. For others it is difficult to be be 100% if you have that many orienteering sessions. So with so many orienteering sessions some may even break something as you are not 100% concentrated. For the future, focus more on the “new” template. In St-Etienne we have tried to do the same for everybody (contrary to the Swedish “individual approach”) – maybe this was a mistake?


  France: What happens after the studies?

Challenge: Difficult (or nearly impossible) to get a part-time job in France. Frederic Tranchand had to move to Finland in order to get a part-time job as engineer.

Earlier you could have a “full time job” at the military do to orienteering; Gueorgiou and Gonon had this type of arrangement. Unfortunately not possible anymore.

E.g. Vincent Coupat full time job, 3 week extra vacation.

E.g. Adamski had special arrangement as teacher where could do a lot orienteering.

-> Very difficult to keep high level after studies are finished.

-> Note: This is same situation as was described in CZE yesterday.


  Elite Center in St-Etienne


  Where are the national team athletes?

  • U18 team: 2 are in the training center in Fountaeinebleau, 5 are in recognized clubs, 8 in secondary school offering extra o-training, 5 “personal”.
  • Junior team: 1 in elite center in St-Etienne, 7 in training center in Clermont-Ferrand,  2 in recognized clubs, 4 in secondary school offering extra o-training, 5 “personal” (of which 3 in St-Etienne who will enter elite center)
  • Elite team: 9 in elite center, 1 in junior center, 10 “personal”


  Personal training structure

Around half of French teams’ members are not in an effective training structure; i.e. have to train alone or with athletics clubs.

Thus both the team structure and activity in Scandinavian clubs is very important for them.


  Training centers in France

Late 90’s: Pole France Elite training center established in Saint Etienne. It was our flagship which has been very important – maybe not that important anymore. – This was maybe even an inspiration for elite training centers in Denmark and maybe also Finland?

Now there are 3 national training centers

  • Fountainebleau,”Youth training center” 16-22 years age. Mainly MTBO but also FootO.  Live and train together. 2 from the U18-team are at this center.
  • Clermont-Ferrand, “Junior”. 18-22 years. Live and train together.
  • St-Etienne, “Elite”. Used to live and train together, now only 3 live in St Etienne, from next year only 1. All others in Lyon (learning, engineering with adapted studies; studies is the reason for going to Lyon). Idea behind training center is that athletes should train together on all trainings if they are not injured/sick etc. (but this is a challenge now with many living in Lyon, only o-training is obligatory now). There is no special accommodation – the athletes live in their own appartment. The center is only about training.

Question: – How will the “problem” at St-Etienne center with only one living there be addressed in the future?

Answer: – We have to consider that. Maybe more focus on Fountainebleau training center? Maybe move partly to Lyon? Now coaches go partly to Lyon to organize the trainings. Challenge: 40 kEUR local support.


  Regional groups in France

There are regional groups in some regions (more coming)

  • Focus on 14-18 years old, sometimes younger
  • Not for daily training as the regions are large – mainly for holiday training camps – sometimes weeks ends
  • There are 3 times a year off-season meetings by “a quarter of France”

-> This explains why we need a youth team the way we have today. Maybe in the future we do not need anymore?


  Clubs in France

Clubs not able to offer high level training – they can only (a few of them) prepare youth for training.

  • Competitive sports concerns only a few. Almost no employees because on interest vs cost and a law that you need a diploma to work in a club.
  • 87 clubs have official “O’school” which means 1 o-training/week for youth. Only a few clubs organize any other training (this includes physical training!)
  • (Only) 5 clubs are recognized by the federation to organize at least 4 trainings a week (of which 2 technical trainings) for at least 4 teenage orienteers


  Teams focused on competitions & training camps

– Teams are focused on the competitions + specific training camps to prepare the athletes. The daily training is not the responsibility of the teams – this is the responsibility of the training centres and clubs (?) +athletes themselves.

– Still important part of the elite team is to be together many times to make sure things are done in a good way.

– Coaches check training of each athlete, and if necessary advise.

– Individual contracts set objective and training focuses of each athlete. For some who are in the training centre, the contract is made with athlete+coach+training centre. For some only between athlete+coach.


  “Everything about WOC”

With the elite team there is 19 days of competition and 38 days of TC each year.

“Everything” is about preparations for WOC. For the sports ministry the World Cup does not matter – only the World Champs count and maybe the European Champs. This is why we will not go to the World Cup final. If the athletes are prepared to pay everything, it might be OK to go to a World Cup. Instead of World Cup we prepare for next years WOC.


  French Elite Team

Elite team = 6W + 14M, 131 kEUR (problem that fewer and fewer women when going up through the age system).

A lot of tasks to prepare, just like Radek for CZE:

– When I arrive at the competition it is almost like to be on holiday.

– Some times I think I am too much in the present. I have to think about the future [strategic choices etc.], but it is seldom that there is time.


  French Team structure – youth/junior/MTBO


  • Junior team = 7W + 12M, 18-20 years of age (41 kEUR). Two sport professors Olivier Coupat + Simon Leroy + 1 volunteer. 13 days of competition + 30 days of TC. In winter 6 x 2-4 day training weekends together with the senior national team – important. Observe that mixing junior+senior at the TC is very good; see what is required at the top level. Summer TC is in Scandinavia to get used to this type of terrain. Goal in JWOC: Top 30. This represents what is deemed necessary to be good at the senior level.
  • U18 team = 10W+10M, 15-17/18 years age (41 kEUR). One sport professor Benoit Peyvel + 1 assistant paid 130 EUR/day at TC + 2 volunteers (incl. 1 woman). 6 days of competition (EYOC) + 13 days TC. Main focus is training camps; all of them within France. No results goal at EYOC; the important thing is to learn. Looking at the U18 team, 2 are in the training center in Fountaeinebleau, 5 are in recognized clubs, 8 in secondary school, 5 “personal”.
  • MTBO-Team. 6W+16M all ages (58 kEUR). One sport professor + 3 volunteers. 22 days of competition + 13 days of TC.


  Budget and Funding

High level budget is of 421.000 Euro/year (including MTBO).

Support from the sport ministry is 329.000 Euro/year – from this 247.000 Euro/year for high level orienteering (combination of FootO+MTBO). Significant part of budget due to athlete license. Total budget is 1.1 MEuro/year (including the 329.000 Euro/year from the ministry of sport).

There are 9 “sport professors” (soon 8):

  • 1 Technical director
  • 1 National coach
  • 7 Technical advisors

The goal is to be among the 6 best nations (according to medals).


  Overview of orienteering in France

8.300 orienteers, 215 clubs, 614 Foot-O events per year (of which 244 recognized for national ranking), 420 orienteering maps in 2014 (but many access problems).

Orienteering is “almost unknown” in France – and there is “almost no media”. But during the middle school orienteering is starting to go into the schools and orienteering gets a big known – although only as a school subject.

French orienteering was “almost nothing” 25 years ago – but a few climbed the steps to gold, “and now we are invited here”.

Challenge now: How to capitalize on the know-how of those few so that we can remain with the top nations.


  Day 3: France & wrap-up

France’s Charly Boichut starts the day by presenting France’s approach to elite orienteering. Boichut is a young coach – aged 29.


  End of day 2

This ends the presentation from Switzerland – and also the second day of the conference. Tomorrow there is France’s presentation and a wrap-up session.


  Technical Mental training “PsychOL”

Motivation: To be aware of your technical application (compared to the scheme). Mental training is always combined with basic technics of orienteering (compass, relief reading, route planning etc.). Has been used in Swiss orienteering for around 10 years – is used actively among junior national team members today. Elite national team athletes have used it earlier, but may have a somewhat different approach today.

How to execute it:

  • The first year the main theme to concentrate on for the juniors on the PsychOL program is compass
  • The goal is to develop and apply a script to read a better technical stability and to apply this stability in critical situations in competition. It doesn’t help if you are stable at 18 control and get lost at 2 controls – you can’t win a competition that way
  • How to get there?
    1. Description of status-quo of your general technical process. Have to write down how you orienteer; you process (in general; not for specific forest/case). For some this is hard work, even if they do it every weekend. Some have not reflected how it works. Typically on 1-2 A4-pages.
    2. Now they make a strength/weakness profile, and based on this choose a topic (e.g. compass running or route-choice)
    3. Write down how the “as-it-should-be” technical process. Might need more than one attempt to get this right
    4. Shorten this down to only 3-4 sentences. Shorten further down to only a few words – “an anchor”
    5. Development of a “script” based on the description
    6. Internalize the script (visualization, “monologise”)
    7. Apply the script in training and competition

-> Looks easy, but hard work to get this to work in a critical situation.

-> Usually do this in winter time to have it ready before the spring season and be able to test it on first training camps

-> Takes quite a lot of time to learn doing this in a good way – and especially using it in the forest

-> Important to use this technique in the areas where you are weak

-> Most say 2 years later that “it has supported me in the technique”


  Swiss Orienteering: Budget

Budget for Elite in Switerland is 800.000 CHF (740.000 EUR); Youth 400.000 CHF. 23% of the budget for Elite+Youth comes from Swiss Olympics.


  Physical training guide

Training recommendations from the Swiss orienteering federation. Interesting to see the high amount of mental training recommended; 150 hours at a year at the age of 23. But Okle highlights that he seldom sees mental training reported.

Question: Why so little training with map?

Answer: Because when you live in Switzerland, you have little demanding terrain, and therefore o-technical training typically in training camps and competitions.

Some discussion here about the low number (only 100 hours orienteering recommended for 23 year old athletes)

Note! When you are in a regional squad, you have to use Swiss Orienteering’s online training reporting tool. Here they can also compare themselves with averages etc.


  Coach education

  • Swiss Olympic coach education program (2 levels) – Note: Need for coaches on high level in order to get funding from government, extra motivation.
  • Irene Müller works as “coach scout” and coaches the coaches
  • Yearly education sessions (2 days) with all regional squad coaches. Goal: To spread the knowledge and guarantee that all squads have the same approach and same “language”
  • Average “lifetime” of an orienteering coach in Switzerland is 5 years
  • No full-time employment


  Swiss talent scouting process (PISTE)

Combination of physical test, theoretical o-technical test, questionaire about technical skills. Also a tool to find out about weaknesses and strengths of the athletes.

This test is done every year for all athletes in the regional teams and all athletes who want to join a regional team (different map every year in the cognitive test).

“Swiss olympic talent card” based on this test. There are three levels of “Swiss olympic talent card”; typically medium level when you are in the regional team.

Also did a test at the junior team with respect to the questionaire about technical skills: E.g. “Good at contour reading? Good at compass running?”. Runners and coach fill out independently, compared afterwards.

Based on the testing, you get a talent assessment; Weaknesses, strengths, profile.

Sample of evaluation:


  Regional squads – maybe one of the best things that exist in the Swiss orienteering landscape

“Regional squads” – maybe one of the best things that exist in the Swiss orienteering landscape.  Training to train – training to compete. Try to have employment of well educated coach in each region (first level of Swiss Olympics coach education).

Members of regional squads have typically good o-technical base and knowledge of mental topics (but may mix up the mental topics). Not everybody understand the concept of contours and not all have capacity for high training loads.


  Switzerland: Athlete pathway


  SUI: Long term goals – no medal goals at JWOC/EYOC

– We don’t go every year to the JWOC terrain to make an optimal preparation – we have long term goals


  Goals for Swiss elite orienteering


  Switzerland: New youth development plan based on requirement from Swiss government

New law for sports promoting from the Swiss government: More money for youth development, but each federation must make a plan for how it should be implemented. Based on this a project group headed by Matthias Niggli was formed.


  National Training centers in Switzerland (NZL)

  • There are 2 national training centers (NZL); 2 – since 2011
  • The National training centers are open for all with elite focus.
  • Located in Zürich and Bern.
  • 5 trainings each week (2 strength, 1-2 o-trainings, 1 physical training on the track)
  • The coaches are paid for organizing the trainings (relatively small amount; around 80 Euros for a o-technical training)
  • 3-4 times a year: HTHS trainings (High technical high speed training)
  • The athletes have to pay an annual fee to be part of the national training center. It you are not in the squad around 450 euro/year. Half for member of squad.


  Team structure – Switzerland

(To the right: number of athletes. At the bottom: age)


  Switzerland: Tasks of national coach & personal coach (junior level)

Looks very ambitious – but we are lucky to have a lot of former elite runners as personal coaches.



  • Employment of coaches: 270% (i.e. 2.7 full time)
  • In addition: Regional squads where there are about 25 coaches; some of these are paid, some are paid for each day they work. Every regional federation is free to do it as they want. Estimated: ~200% (i.e. total of 2 full time)


  Switzerland: Military service

National team athletes can go to training camps and do it as military service, and get some payment for it. This is also possible for women from next year.


  Switzerland’s Beat Okle is next up

Beat Okle is coach for the Swiss Junior Team and responsible for MTBO


This finished the session of Czech elite orienteering by Radek Novotny. In 15 minutes Switzerland has the last session today.


  Example CZE session: Start moment session

Good effect of this training; you really train on the start moment. The runners also really liked this training. Takes little time to put out controls.


  New horizons: Effective o-session on computer generated map

– Map made in the evening before the training based on LIDAR data in OCAD + satellite pictures to input some roads (total 2 hours?)

– Was possible to have a good training on this map


  Stress handling training sessions

  • We do a lot of relay training because this is good for stress handling (and the runners enjoy it)
  • “Paralell slalom” example of a stress handling training which can be done on limited space


  Czech selection process for WOC – and example selection races


  Example: Shading session – men follow men

Men shaded by men who already did the course. It was again interesting that the men who were being shaded did less mistakes. “Forced to be more serious when shaded”


  Example: “Shading sessions” -> Men follow women

We have started with the women being shaded by the men. The men first run their middle distance, then they go back to start and shade (run behind) the women.

It was quite interesting that many on the men agreed on the same advice they gave to the women afterwards; e.g. wasted map reading, speed adaption, looking more around etc.

Interesting at the second session (competition), the girls did really well in the competition when being shadowed.


  Cooperation with other teams on training camps very favourable

– Cooperation with other teams on training camps very favourable

– Can find some decisive moments for our results at WOC due to the cooperation with other teams at the training camps

– Examples: Relay sessions (both sprint and forest) at Scotland training camp this year


  Czech team: Contract to use GPSSeuranta since 2015

Czech Federation has a contract with GPSSeuranta since 2015. Believe it will lift the quality of what is done. 27 national team trackings in 2015.


  • Getting used to discomfort (harness…)
  • Getting used to be tracked and observed
  • 100% serious approach to tracked sessions
  • Analysis data easily available
  • Inspiration, fun

Sample analysis: http://repreob.hyperlink.cz/index.php?pozice=23&pomp=755


  Combination trainings: Pure running + technical parts

Part of the training is pure running, part of the running is technical. Use this in order to highlight the importance of the running part.


  Practical example: Sprint preparations (CZE)

– Too few sprints in CZE (routine = important). Usually only two high quality sprint races in CZE

– We have many sprint training session before WOC (last month before WOC => 9 properly prepared sprint sessions) -> visible at WOC that we really had the routines

– A lot of work to make high quality sprint trainings


  Navigation under control (2)

Another technique to help gaining control over the race (inspired by Danish approach): “Moment handling -> TTS technical tactical stop -> restart”. Very important to have this type of technique, but difficult to learn to use it at the correct time&place.

If this would have been exercised more accurately, the orienteering would have been more stable. Challenge: Not that necessary in Czech terrain.



  Navigation under control: Important!


  Importance of calmness

Novotny tells a story about Daniel Hubmann in a WOC selection race where Novotny was sitting in the forest observing. Hubmann “dared” to stop for several seconds, calmly, and not continuing until he was in control.

Lindstrøm: Do you need to have a flow all the time, or is it OK to stop? Important point: It is important to do what works for the individual. Many saw Emma Klingenberg at WOC who stopped at many controls. This was deliberate.


  Personal goals & motivation

Important that the runners have goals & motivation. Absence of clear goals & visions has destructive impact on training focus (and thus effectivity)


  3 km track test: Long tradition – part of WOC selection

Face-to-face test as part of the WOC/EOC selection. One day, one place, everyone.

This has no direct relation to orienteering performance, but still valuable and trustful feedback with long-term effect. Also stimulated to work on this factor. We tried to find alternative tests which were more relevant to orienteering, but could not find any.

Note how the women improved a lot from 2014 to 2015 – think this is due to change in training system/approach (with higher intensity on the slow trainings).


  Czech Republic’s challenge: How to get better in terrain?

The Czech runners mostly stay on the roads in the winter training – need to change the training focus in order to improve.


  – We thought that we were not good enough technically for middle distance

We thought that we were not good enough technically for middle distance races and always focused on the navigation part to get better. But then we realized that the problem was not the navigation, but that we were not physically strong enough. When this was improved, the results also got a lot better.


Example: Runner replaced track intervals with terrain intervals, and could really see the improvements


  Examples of good key sessions


  Key sessions in the training system

Often problem that the key sessions have been missing/not thought through in the training plans.


  Training system: Change inspired by Bührer/Switzerland

The most important difference between CZE and SUI was that SUI ran the “slow sessions” a lot faster + shorter. Made changes inspired by Swiss approach.

  • Started in 2011-2012 to change training program to shorter sessions with higher intensity for selected runners

    Instructive session at the national team camp in autumn 2013

  • Lab testing of team; treadmill test autumn 2014. Result from treadmill test was that the runners had far too little training with “medium intensity”. Liked the long slow trainings, not the medium long on hard surface. Convinced that needed to change the system.
  • New treadmill test in march 2015: Generally visible improvements
  • 3km test in june 2015: Big progress of the tests of the women



  How do Czech elite athletes finance their sport?


  Funding for CZE

Quite good funding from the state (80.000 EUR for senior team + head coach salary from the federation).

When spending the money in CZE, this is “quite good money”, but when spending it abroad where everything is expensive there is not much left. It is very expensive at international events. The organizers don’t understand how low standard eastern European teams would accept – for some it would even be OK to sleep on the floor. But often only hotel is offered.


  National Team & Elite O-structure in CZE

Even if very low budget, there are quite large national teams. And most athletes in the national team attend all national team activities. For now 27 runners in the three senior national teams.

Many days with team activities: 90 days of team activities is 1/4 of a year. The main work for head coach is at the training camps. Not much time to develop things between the training camps during the season. “During the season it is crazy”


  • Tradition and good position; we are respected among the other nations. We also have runners who have decisive legs in the Scandinavian clubs in the big relays. Important part of this is that we are invited to cooperate with other teams on the training camps.
  • Many well organized competitions; level of competitions in CZE is high and stable. Often the World Cup level is lower than our average quality competition level. This is sad.
  • Devoted people
  • Good national team economy (comparing to all other countries in eastern Europe)
  • National team activities


  • Lack of elite personal coaches
  • Absence of “stable methodology”; Example: Impressive to see how coaches in Switzerland always use the same methodolody, even at lower level. This is not present in CZE
  • No access to state sport centres, no proper support (medical care, psychology etc.)
  • Still too narrow focus on EYOC/JWOC when young + insufficient support in age of 20-23 inside national team
  • Low ability to develop sufficient running strength


  No elite training center -> more frequent national team training activities


  Full time youth coordinator since 2015


  Czech Elite structure

  • Three teams
    • Senior national team
    • Junior national team
    • Youth national team (temporary)
  • There were regional training centers in communist times, and there is interest to build them up again. Challenge: Not enough coaches at high level
  • Support from Scandinavian clubs is of critical importance. For a Czech runner it is very important to be in Scandinavia with a Scandinavian club for some time.


  Overview of Czech Orienteering Federation

  • 4 employees in the Czech O-Federation – one of them working with high performance sport (senior team head coach Novotny working 100%)
  • Less money = different environment from the big nations DEN, SWE etc.
    • The national team has also “club” tasks, basic development to be fixed first
    • It is challenging to create professional-like environment (lack of human resources)
    • Have been trying to find a woman coach nearly every year, but difficult to find somebody willing to put in that much time for travel etc.


Novotny: – It has been very interesting to hear the different nations here – from Denmark’s system approach to Sweden’s setup. My presentation will be very different, because “we have no system” – so I can’t really talk about the system. For me it is more the “daily work”


  Czech Republic’s Radek Novotny up next


This concludes the presentation from Sweden at the International Orienteering Coach Conference 2015. After lunch Chech Republic’s Radek Novotny will continue.


  Orienteering Coaches in Sweden

  • 25 paid orienteering coaches in the orienteering gymnasiums (2 main gymnasiums Eksjön and Sandviken, 9 other orienteering gymnasiums in addition). The coaches are paid by the schools, not by the federations. Almost all of these coaches are full time coaches, working only with orienteering. Orienteering is a subject at the school where the pupils get grades.
  • 8 paid orienteering coaches in the universities (8 universities). Coaches paid by the universities.
  • Coaches meet 3-6 days a year – close cooperation betwen national team coach and coaches in orienteering gymnasiums and university coaches

The sport gymnasiumns in Sweden are part of “The Swedish sport wonder” with many different sports. Orienteering is one of the sports – and it very important for Swedish orienteering. There is a selection process to get into the orienteering gymnasiums; especially Eksjön and Sandviken are very popular.


  From good orienteer to world class orienteer: The Swedish way


  Swedish high performance team / National team organization

  • Håkan & Susanne 100% job (head coaches)
  • Use coaches from gymnasiums etc.
  • Doctors, physiotherapheuts
  • High performance team


“A plan for each individual, and the athlete is in the focus”


  – All about the individual athlete & to be in control

  • It is all about the individual athlete: “You have to find your way”
  • And to have a plan and be in control: “You have a plan.” Look over the plan, change it, and keep on working.


  Training: Big differences in the team

Very individual how the training is set up. “From 400 to 800 hours a year”. There are so many factors – the secret is how to do the right for you.

A lot of the athletes in Sweden try to take the endurance training in different ways; skiing, aqua-running, cross-training etc.

“I should train at all surfaces at all speeds”


  Team & financial structure for high performance in Sweden

3 national teams in Sweden – total of 40 athletes:

  • A team with 18 athletes
  • Younger senior team with 12 athletes (started one year ago)
  • Junior team with 10 athletes

Some thoughts about the team structure:

  • 40 athletes: Some think 40 is too many. But we have WOC at home ground in Sweden next year, and we want it to be open for as many as possible as long as possible.
  • Younger senior team: We wanted to have extra effort on these younger seniors who could disappear. I think this is a good idea.
  • Take care of injured athletes: Olle Boström was on the podium at WOC long in France in 2011. Injured for several years, but we really believed in him. Still want to take care of injured athletes in the national team for some years. This year Boström took a medal in Scotland.
  • Why is the junior team so small? We have “open camps” (max 30-40 athletes) where the main activity is done. The small (10 athlete) team is for the very top junior athletes. They ones in the team get training camps for free, support from medical team/expertise team and coaching. Last week in Switzerland 41 athletes (which all had to pay for themselves)
  • Why is A-team so big? – We asked the athletes, and they think it is good with a large team. There are so many good athletes. Then they get pushed at the training camps. Note that also for the A-team there are open camps.


  • The budget is half of what it was in 2011. From 2011 the budget has gone down step by step – we hope we are at the bottom now
  • We have 580.000 EUR/year for high performance, all inclusive (this is excluded the money athletes pay for the open camps)
  • We do not get a penny from the Olympic Commitee.
  • We get some money from the Swedish Sports Federation (RF). They have changed the way they give out money, and we are the big losers. Also some money from O-Ringen – not much money from sponsors.
  • We are proud that even with half of the budget we still manage our goals.

Athlete income/costs:

  • A few of the best get 5.000 EUR/year from RF
  • Athletes have their own sponsor contracts; medal bonuses
  • Athletes get WOC, WC, JWOC for free – the rest they have to pay


  A broad set of goals for the Swedish Team

– Important overall goals are “happiness and inspiration”, “security and community” – and we feel that this really works. We want the athletes to feel happy and be in control.

– “Get to know themselves to do the right decisions”

Process goals: 

– All runners have different things they have to work with. Maybe faster on hard surface, strength up/down etc.

– Process goal for everybody: “Run 5 seconds faster per kilometer”. The way to do it is very different for different runners. Can be about recovery, about technical issues, about concentration etc.

– We have worked hard with physical and mental recovery the last years. Done some studies on this with a professor who was with us in Turkey.

– Jansson, Billstam and Eliasson have been mentors for the younger runners.

– Some of the experienced runners have been on the junior training camps. For example Billstam was at the JWOC pre-camp – and it was perfect for her WOC preparations. Helena Jansson was in Switzerland last week at the JWOC training camp.

Performance goals:

– Make the best performance of the day I want to (for example at WOC)

– Talk a lot with the juniors about “you have to get to know yourself”. How do you function in this special competition?

– In Sweden we start the national team when they are 17 – we have no teams for younger runners. We think that they are too young before. If you look at studies at talents, you can not really see before they are 18 which way it is going to go. Example: Simon Hector wan the Swedish League in H18 when he was 15 – he had to wait. Tove Alexandersson beat the older girls when she was 16 – she had to wait.

– It is important for us to analyze what happens when athletes compete for Sweden.

– We never talk about medals (maybe in November, when it is cold and raining outside) – we always talk about performance goals. “What is the plan? What were your thoughts?”

Result goals:

– Juniors: We want to win the team competition at JWOC (but getting experience is more important)

– Goal for the senior tema: 6 medals – two gold. This is the goal we have had for the last years.


  34 WOC medals between 2011 and 2015

– We have had some good years, but we can not relax. We have to keep on working.


  – Best national team in the world, now and in the future

– It is very important to see the whole person – both before and after the career. We believe that if we let the whole person grow, that will affect the results. We like to give the athletes something to work on where they can socialize – this time (ahead of France 2011) it was nitting socks.

– It is important to know why we do things, and that what we do is right. Not just do things just because we did this last year.


  Orienteering clubs are very strong in Sweden

The orienteering clubs are very strong in Sweden. Swedish clubs are good at doing the right stuff at the right age. There are a lot of social activities around the club – and the coaches are very knowledgable.

Most of the coaches in Sweden’s clubs are volunteers. Most of the hired trainers are in the orienteering gymnasiums and in the universities. There are some clubs which have hired trainers, and that is good – we want more of this.


  Different ways to attract new orienteers (on recreational level)

Naturpasset“, “Hittaut” and “Motonsorientering.se” – three different ways to attract new orienteers. O-Ringen is also an important event.


  – They start pretty young in Sweden

Most in Sweden start orienteering when they are under 6 years old.

– Note also the age of 14 where most drop out of sport. We want to try to get more to start at this age.


  – Orienteering is one of few sports in Sweden that is growing

The figure of 75.000 registered orienteers impresses the audience here. Wiklund Björk is especially proud of 26% of the orienteers being under 16 years old.

The goal for Sweden (apart from having the best national team in the world) is that 1% of the Swedes are registered orienteers by 2021 – an important step on the way is that orienteering is now obligatory in Swedish schools. Also having 300.000 starts in public orienteering events, development of coaches on all levels.


  Day 2: Sweden first on the program

Sweden’s Susanne Wiklund Björk starts the second day of the International Orienteering Coach Conference 2015. Wiklund Björk is one of two head coaches for the Swedish team.


  End of Day 1

This ends the first day of the International Orienteering Coach Conference 2015. We will start again tomorrow at 09:00 CET with Sweden’s Susanne Wiklund Björk, Czech Republic’s Radek Novotny and Switzerland’s Beat Okle.


  Some test results of Finnish athletes


  Test times 3000/5000 meters of Finnish athletes




  How much should you train according to Finland?

Note: Training = physical exercise. For an 8 year old this is being outside and playing.


  Average training hours Finnish athletes 90ies + 2005


  Finland: – Many cooks in the kitchen

– In some cases an athlete may have up to 7(!) different coaches (when at age 18-20). “Many cooks in the kitchen”. Who is in charge? National team coach? Personal coach? In our system we decided it is the personal coach.


Finland: 80% of our juniors come from orienteering families.


  Finland: Holistic training philosophy in orienteering


  Budget for elite sports in different federations (2011 numbers)

Sweden has the largets budget followed by Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Denmark. Note that since 2011, for Denmark the green part (“assistance”) has been doubled. For Sweden the green part has reduced.

Q: Does somebody know Russia’s budget? Comment by e-mail: Very small budget for national team. Only air-tickets and (sometimes) accommodation during WOC/EOC is covered by Russian orienteering federation. There is no money for National coaches (all of them are volunteers), there is no funding for training campsThere are some stipendiums for runners and administrators from the Ministry of Sport. Runners have support from Scandinavian clubs, regional governments (very different levels!) and some have a contract with Militaries. 


  Athletes paying more and more to Finnish federation

(but part of the money the athletes pay is National Olympic Committee support)


  Finnish WOC results 2006 – 2015: It is going down

– “We have to do something”


  JWOC success the last years – new golden Finnish generation coming up!?

– Trends look very good. Seems quite promising that they will succeed in the senior class. “The same way it looked promising for the Danish team some years ago


Petteri Kähäri: – Reason for no Finnish success in WOC 2015: No success in JWOC 5-10 years ago.

– A few years ago the system “discovered” that you can not have good WOC results if you have not got good juniors. And you can not have good juniors if you have not got good youth development.


  Strategy indicators for Finnish Orienteering related to elite orienteering

(1) Success in WOC/JWOC all 3 disciplines, (2) volume in coach education, (3) amount of professional hired orienteering coaches


Is Finnish elite orienteering attractive?  “Minna Kauppi is on TV every week” (in commercials or in other ways) -> shows orienteering as attractive sport


  Finland: 4 full time coaches

Until 2005 no full time coaches emplyoed by the federation. First full time coach Janne Salmi in 2006. Now 4 full time coaches for foot-O – in addition to one 50% employed coach for ski-o.


  Finnish competition system



  Coaching system for juniors (M/W 15 – 20)

  • Improvements
    • 2 full time coaches for junior team.
    • More training camp days.
    • My-o training diary and competitions analysis
    • Commitment and devotion improving; athletes and coaches are about to understand what it needs to reach the international level
    • Enlarged team (from 15 to 25 athletes; more 17-18 year old) – long perspective progress; young learn from older
    • Personal coaches attending part of national team camps – very good feedback from these coaches
    • Young orienteers attend running competitions. E.g. Raitanen: 9:02 3000 meter steeples one week ago (ran solo). [Actually 9:04.1 -> see comment below]
  • Weaknesses:
    • “Black hole” outside Helsinki-Tampere-Turku triangle (also for seniors)
    • Regional coaching system weak and does not reach all talents
    • The “system” does not have satisfactory impact on daily training
    • Crashes between junior and senior team programs
    • High fees for athletes when attending camps + EYOC


  Teams & Training groups

  • Structure with  A-national team, Talent group 21-23 years, Trimtex group 17-20 years and regional groups.
  • Most of the best athletes live and train at one of the 3 training centers (Helsinki, Tampere, Turku). ”The best athletes sparring each other in the best conditions with the best coaches.”
    • 3 full time ”olympic coaches” (receives 45.000 EUR/year funding) + network of experts
    • Good quality training and systematic testing
    • Centers are quite equal to the level of the Århus elite center, but we have not taken all our athletes to the same place
  • “Athletes are in the core, individuals are taken into account… too much?”

Challenges for coaching system:

  • Started health program a few years ago, but still have many athletes in the national team who have had serious overtraining or stress fractures.
  • National team activitites cover 1/3 of the year – training quality and commitment is in some cases not good enough the rest of the year.
  • High fees for talents – must pay nearly 90-100% of the costs, must even pay for coaching in the training centers. This may be one of the reasons why Finland has not managed to take the best juniors to WOC lately?
  • Athletes use to concentrate too much on physical trainings and too little on o-technical training (“- Kind of Finnish tradition; comes from 80ies and 90ies; training was counted in kilometers; some of today’s top athletes coached by best athletes from 80ies/90ies).
  • Cooperation between full time coaches, club and personal coaches a challenge
  • Strong clubs, but they do not support the athlete’s personal goals (KR excluded). Club’s training camps/trainings mostly focused on the big relays.


  Organization of Finnish federation

  • 40.000 foot orienteers / 1.500 ski orienteers / some MTBO’s



  Finland’s Petteri Kähäri about “Elite Orienteering in Finland”


  Norway’s presentation: More details later

No live coverage for Norway’s presentation (as that was held by me), but there will be a summary article later on. Now Finland is up.


  Denmark: Challenges ahead

Recruitment of talent: The future doesn’t look too good. Few new talents underway. Analysis of critical stages is currently being done.

This finishes a very interesting presentation by Danish coach Lars Lindstrøm.


  “Easy running” -> 80-85% intensity

Volume training for Maja Alm is at 80-85% intensity (denoted “easy running” – based on not producing lactate).


  Denmark: WOC 2015 preparations – Key factors in success

1. Team spirit

  • Started as a project in 2010. Value based. The athletes came up with the values themselves, BUT nobody talked about winning. Lindstrøm introduced the value of winning, and athletes accepted the value. The 4 values: “We are training to win, we live professionally, we make each other better, we are a team”
  • End every day by telling positive stories to eachother about the values. Done for 5 years now.

2. Training camps

  • Experience from 2014 -> training camps need to be longer (2-3 weeks). Never have time to recover and evaluate on “traditional” training camps of ~1 week. Longer training camps give less stress
  • 2015
    • Feb: 2 weeks in Spain -> Test out focused training schedule. Learned a lot, and found out that this is really good.
    • April: 2 weeks starting in Denmark, continuing in JK/Scotland -> Started the training camp in Denmark as more relevant terrains for middle/relay in Denmark then second part in JK + Scotland.This was a bad idea. Too much stress.
    • July: 3 weeks in Scotland. Worked very, very well.
  • “A lot of time to recover on the long training camps”
  • More focus on smart training than on volume
  • Skipped focus on long distance for everybody except Ida Bobach (as realized that she was the only one with real chances)
  • Avoid hotel style accommodation to simulate daily routines like at home (cooking etc. done by athletes, even at WOC).
  • Allow time for recovery! Even travel time is not recovery.
  • “Scotland was perfect – there was no internet connection”. For most of the athletes it was a relief, for some athletes it was a bit stressful

3. Physical training

  • “Training longer than 90 min = Waste of valueable time” – Lars Lindstrøm 2009 Coaching conference. Still behind this statement.
    • Ida Bobach has not run any sessions longer than 105 minutes
    • Maja Alm has not run any trainings longer than 90 minutes in as long as I can remember
    • Rather train twice a day
  • Any training should target a specific physical capability i.eg. VO2Max, local capacity, running economy, recovery, running technique, etc
  • Volume in it self is not a goal, but a measure of progression in training load (but remember volume is not the only factor of training load)
  • It is not about recovering from training, but preparing for training (change of approach)
  • Development monitored in testing lab
    • Starting speed 11 km/h (13 km/h for men). Each stage 4 min followed by 1min breaks
    • Speed increases by 0,5 km/h. Continue until exhaustion

4. Orienteering technical training

  • Observed that there would be a lot more controls in Scotland than in Italy (even for sprint) -> a lot of training with shorter legs
  • Lindstrøm: “- Sad that there were no surprises in the WOC Sprint” -> boring course, ended up in a running race


  National team coaches in Denmark

– Being a coach is about passion.

– Important that there is a close dialog with the junior coach. Information will flow by daily dialogue (Jeppe Ruud is both Junior national team coach and assistant elite center coach)


  Lindtrøm: – The best day in my life

– The result of 9 years of hard work. I have been pushing this girl extremely hard.


  Denmark: Role of regional training centers

  • 4 regional training centers
  • Goal is to motivate and inspire young talents to do elite training
  • Weekly technical training – coaching by qualified coach
  • Recommendations for young talents: High school in 4 years instead of 3. Not move to Århus.


  Denmark: What happens after the studies?

Question: – You have a very young team. What happens when the athletes finish their education and need to work?

Answer: – We basically want them to study as long as possible.


  Danish Elite Center Århus: Goal, training program and services

  • Elite center in Århus is key to Danish success: All national team athletes live and train with excellent conditions for developing high performance.
  • 3 coaches employed at the elite training center in Århus, two of them full time (Lindstrøm 100%, Gasbjerg 100%, Ruud 50%)
  • Weekly training program – training each morning and two evenings every week. Strength training done by the sprint coach of Team Denmark (orienteering coaches not always present at strength training sessions)
  • Interval training: Tuesday on hard surface; Thursday in forest. When getting closer to WOC split the group for more specific interval training.
  • Took time before “dared” to introduce morning training – now it works very well, even hard trainings
  • Most athletes live in elite sport appartements very close to the training center – extremely compact
  • No athletes from other countries at the training center, but “everybody is welcome”
  • Why Århus?
    • Elite sport program at University = flexible studies (you are not required to study 100%, possible to get exam moved or taken abroad, etc.. Interesting: Study says that students on the elite sport program take more study points than the average student. Note that elite sport program is also available to foreigners).
    • All education types present in Århus
    • Short distance to Team Denmark services
    • Everything within 3-5 km
    • Many terrains within 60 min driving from Århus (20 maps, no technically demanding)


  Roles and responsibility in Denmark: From clubs to national team

  • Clubs on lowest level: Recruit children and youth to orienteering, learn basic skills, no responsibility for training camps or elite development, pay fee to be in national team
  • Talent centre (Regional training groups – aim is to “create dreams” – motivate for elite sports)
  • Elite centre Århus: Main focus on senior athletes
  • National Teams: WOC/EOC


  Denmark: Many travel days for juniors

Jeppe Ruud:  “60-65 travel days each year for junior team”. – We need to travel to relevant terrains.


  Talent development philosophy

Focus for athletes U18 – U23:

“Focus on performance – not on results all the way until World Class athletes”


– Thor Nørskov ran the long distance at WOC – he was there only to learn how it is to run a WOC long distance for future WOCs.


  Training (only) to win at WOC and EOC

For us it is all about winning at WOC and EOC – everything else is training

Other races:

  • World Cups are used for testing race concepts and selecting the team
  • WRE are used for selecting World Cup teams. Do not look at WRE standing, but at individual races. Before scheme was changed a few years ago you needed race with 1200 WRE points to qualify for WOC. Now with new WRE scheme the WRE points don’t tell anything about level and can not be used.
  • No other races are important for Danish national team


  Specialization important in Danish team

Specialization very important in the Danish team (only from senior level). Focus on 1-2 specific disciplines. Less starts at WOC -> higher chance of winning.


– Ida Bobach has not done any sprint training. All training focused on running in the forest

– Maja Alm does all her training on hard surface. Just some training in the forest from “motivational viewpoint”


  How to achieve high class level?

Do you have to live in Norway, Sweden or Finland to achieve World Class? Until 2009: Yes. Now: No – daily training environment more important!


  Goals for National Teams

Senior team: World Class results required for Danish senior team

– Medal at all senior championships (WOC and EOC)

– Danish Orienteering shall be in TOp 8 of all nations using top 8 positions as standard measure (this measure is used for all sports by Team Denmark; natural to use it for orienteering internally as well)

Talent development goals: No medal goals at JWOC; part of development:

– Continuously produce talents with the potential of becoming World Class athletes

– Focus on long term perspective in athletes development


  Important steps for elite orienteering in Denmark

– Important decision 2009 (partly due to budget cut): “We will only support athletes who we believe can become World Champions” – important part of the road to success.

– Important decision 2011: Creation of elite center in Århus in 2011 has been the main driver behind the increase in performance for the Danish team at World Championships. From 2014 all national team athletes are required to live & train in Århus to get funding and be in the team.


  Budget for Danish High Performance program

– Big rise in funding for orienteering elite sports since the last conference in 2009. In 2009: 335.000 EUR/year. 2015: 584.000 EUR/year.

– Athletes or clubs pay 55.000 EUR/year. Financial support for national team athletes: 37.000 EUR/year. Only athletes living in Århus at the national centre can get support.


  Lindström about Elite Sport in Denmark & Team Denmark

– “Team Denmark” responsible for supporting elite sport in Denmark; contract with the ministry to guarantee medals. Only medals at World Champs and European Champs count. If not, difficult to get any financing (maybe Top 8).

– 7 main sports get support – orienteering is the only non-Olympic sport. Interestingly football is not one of these 7 sports. You have to perform every year; need to produce medals every year, ideally three medals per year. First time achieved in Italy last year

– “Team Denmark” has budget of 12.3 mio Euro/year. Funding for orienteering Euro 295.000/year.

– Monthly meetings with “Team Denmark”; group meeting including athlete representant which steers the project and also has the possibility to do changes within the budget.

– Just as important as funding is all the expertise, services and facilities available through Team Denmark which can be used for free. “Sports medicine, sports physiology, sports psychology (individual sessions available for any World Class athletes, sports psychologist traveling with team for WOC and some training camps), coordinated work (meetings between coaches and experts every 4-6 weeks), various research projects”

– Sample research projects: Effect of protein intake, stress during training camps (also during WOC), how is the focus during an orienteering race, test of cold bath after training, etc. 8-10 projects within the last 5 years. Mostly dedicated funding through Team Denmark or through universities – some necessary to use other funding (but very few). Some projects in cooperation with university.


   Denmark’s Lars Lindstrøm starts with the first session

Denmark’s Lars Lindstrøm starts with the first session. Lindström is National team coach for the successful Danish Team – National Team coach since 2011.


  International Orienteering Coach Conference 2015

There will be three intensive days here at the International Orienteering Coach Conference in 2015. Some updates on the presentations will be given here during the day. Summary articles will be published after each day.

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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  1. Interesting stuff! Sounds like a fab few days – I wish someone would send me there!
    Not so sure the long training data is sufficient to say the men needn’t train long distance/time. Would Ida have won if the race had been 20 minutes longer……????
    Keep up the great work Lars/Team Denmark & all.

  2. Is there any way to dowload these articles to read offline?

    • @Robert: The complete presentations will not be available to the public. There will, however, be several summary articles published here at World of O. In addition you should be able to save the LiveBlog content as PDF using your browsers “Print” function.