Fine Tuning in Estonia

Before the excitement of Jukola and Venla Jess took the opportunity to do some final preparation work in Estonia.

Jess heading into the Estonian Forest (Credit: Brigitte Huseby)

In 2 weeks’ time, I want to be standing on that start line, knowing what to expect from the forest and ready to race hard. I will know the places to be careful, where to push on, which are the good routes to take and above all that I have the belief in myself for this terrain.

For any orienteering race, it is always good to have spent time in relevant terrain. The GB test races were in Estonia in May, so the whole team is already in a good place having raced there. I had heard all the stories about how summer in Estonia is quite a different challenge to the rest of the year, so I wanted to experience this for myself before the WOC week.

Last week, I spent 5 days out in Estonia before travelling across the Gulf of Finland to Jukola. A long enough time before WOC to do some hard training sessions, but close enough to find out about what the vegetation will be like. I was lucky enough to be able to join in with other teams who were out there training. There were plenty of athletes taking part in the training sessions each day, which made post-training analysis all the more interesting and useful. We did a simulation long and middle race, as well as relay training and other easier sessions. The terrain had changed quite dramatically since the test races, with vegetation changing the visibility drastically. Mistakes were made, but for each mistake there’s a lesson. These lessons will be with me on that start line as part of my game plan for each race. WOC is going to be the ultimate test of physical, technical and mental strength, and all of Team GB will be ready for it.

Lining up for the start of the relay training (Credit: Brigitte Huseby)

GPS tracks from the relay training.


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