How Olympic finals were won and lost

I have recently found this interesting article by BBC Sport that is worth a look. It analyses the tactics that were used by the last Olympic finalists in each 100m. You may find it here.

I haven't been training well lately. Before NAOM, the hamstring stiffness prevented me from training well 1 week. Sunday after the race I was streching at home and felt a needle in the Achilles tendon. Fortunately it was nothing serious. This week I was able to do 30min per day and I hope that tomorrow I will be able to be back to the game with specific trainings again.

Fortunately this 15 day pause ended to be nice. The portuguese selection races were withheld to a period closer to WOC.

You're All Welcome.

Norte Alentejano O'meeting

This weekend was the Norte Alentejano O'meeting. Between the portuguese runners there was Michael Smola, Darius Sadeckas and Zsolt Lenkei. I was afraid of how my legs would feel, after 1week and a half jogging. Fortunately, after warming up, they did well. You may find the results and Splitsbrowser of the 3 races here.

DAY1- 5,4km (310m - 22c) - The beggining was fast and in the middle of the race we entered the rocky area that was more technical. I did well until the 16th control were I did a 1'20 mistake. In the 17th another 30''mistake. Despite being a bit tired during the last part of the race, I did well.

Day 1, night - 3,5km (35m - 21c) - A race by night. The first part in 1:5000. In the 11th control we had to flip the map over and did the rest of the course in 1:1000. I did it fast but didn't do my best once it was an extra course and I was afraid of how my legs would feel. I enjoyed it a lot, mainly the second map where only a few steps led us to the controls.

Day 2 - 12,5km (300m - 29c) I should have learnt some time ago that I am a thin guy with only a few reserves of fuel so I easily enter an hypoglicemic state (last time was in the long distance of the WUOC in Estonia). This race, it happened again. To the 12th control (the blue circle) I started to feel weird. To the 20th I started to feel really bad. I was able to painfully end the race even if I had to walk in some parts. Our brains only "eat" pure glucose so it's the first organ to suffer the consequences: I started to feel dizzy and it was really hard to focus in the map. This was a painful and easy avoidable situation that I hope won't be repeated. Before this happens, I was doing a more less good race without any major mistake.

To learn to the next time:
- The middle distance, I should focus more in the map in the lat quarter of the races. Even if I'm tired I should focus on it! I have to put this in my mind! No space to luck!
- The night sprint, even if I wasn't pushing me to the limits, I did some bad options and errors. I should try to antecipate the long legs in the previous ones. No stupid running without reading the map!
- From the long distance, I have to eat more in the previous days. My stomach isn't that big so I have to eat less in more times.
- Power gel!! I won't start any more long distance race without a glucose gel in the pocket.




Daddy's Girl



You pressed my fingers really hard against the metal strings, so a more confident B-minor would come out from my strums. Now my fingertips have grown thicker and I'm no longer bothered by how abrasive the strings can get.

My fingers would race against yours. You strum the strings in the right tempo, while I panic on how fast I could shift the chords. Now the words of my favorite song go together with the chords they were meant to be sung with.

Your hands never let go of mine until they finally learned how to hold and touch a guitar.

And I remember more.

You would sculpt my fingers as if they were embracing the ball-point pen. Your hand used to be on top of mine, and they'd glide onto the canvas, plotting lines and colors. You would point to every detail I should've paid more attention to - if the eyes were not symmetrical, if the corners of the creases had enough shadow. Now my hands can sway to the way I see the world.

I would usually wonder why your thumb had long fingernails, you'd always tell me, "So I can clean up the mess when you color." And indeed, you would clean up my mess, when I color my sketches and when I try to splash stronger hues into my life.

Your hand let mine go, but it never left. You always let me try to build the lines up on my own, but you'd always be there make my lines stronger and bolder.

And I remember something much more important.

You held my hand when it was shaking in anger. Your hand felt like a heavy block of ice pressed against a bleeding open wound. It wouldn't really heal it but at least it would let the blood all clot.

Your fingers caught my tears and let them all crash into your skin. They were heavy raindrops crashing into the mightier ground. You showed me that no matter how the pain staggered, forgiveness would straighten things out.

Now, even though my hands are shaking from the cold, they would never feel lonely. And even though my hands are sore from constantly trying to get a hold of something, they shall never get tired. I can always wave at you and you never fail to wave back.

***

Thanks so much Dad. I never really told you I love you, but I do.

Sick of the cold weather? POM 2009!


This year my O'club is organizing the biggest portuguese O'event of the year, the Portugal O'meeting 2009, on 21-24th February 2009. With 4 days of competition, 1 WRE, lots of training camps around, one O'night and an OriShow with prizes money, it will be an event to mark in the calendar (for more information click here). One month before, the entries list is already huge with teams like Kalevan Rasti and the Swiss OTeam making their entries (you may check it here). So if you don't want to miss it, the second entry deadline is on the 6th of February. See you in Portugal this year!

Ways to Say Goodbye


You made it all easier for me to choose.:)

Hamstring stiffness - overuse signal

Yesterday I went to a regional O'competition near my hometown. It was really cool to run in the maps where I learned to Orienteering during my childhood.

However
I've not been training well since Thursday. The posterior muscles of my both legs became really stiff and hurt when I run. It doesn't prevent me from training but shortens my training sessions. I went to the National sport medicine center and they told me that is minor and easily recoverable overtraining signal. They also told me that I needed to have massage more frequently and to stretch more... I have shortened my training sessions from Thursday till now and I hope that tomorrow I'll be able to train normally. I've been having some massage, hot immersion baths, recovering gels, magnesium... everything I have to get it better! And it's much better now! Today I was supposed to go with my O'friends to a 10k race but I thought it was better to rest. I even woke up at 7h, did a small test run around my house and returned home to sleep. =)

So if you ever experience this:
  • Tenderness and swelling over the bit where the tendon inserts onto the bone (tendonitis).
  • Pain when you try to bend the knee against resistance.
  • Stiffness after exercise.
I've learned it by the though way, slow down...

Ori-Alentejo (map and course)


Today I went to Coruche to a regional competition. It was a good 10,5km training. The race took place in a fast and open terrain where I was able to run under 5min/km. I did some minor mistakes and a major one to the 23rd control. I passed close to the control but thought it was in the greens in the south. You may find the results here.

We have a new training plan now with intervaled uphills at Thursday, instead of the weekly 5k course. We first did it this Thursday and it was really exhausting (I almost vomited during it to what my coach answered "If you didn't vomit, you didn't push hard enough" =) ).

It has been really cold to the portuguese weather last days. We're not used to 0/-1ÂșC which difficults the breathing while training. However we have still managed to make 120km/week in the last weeks. Now that the exam season at faculty is starting I'll have to slower the rythm. Next weekend a 10km athletics race and maybe a short regional O'competition. We'll see...

Mondego Trophy (maps and courses)

Today, me and Paulo went to Figueira da Foz to participate in the second day of competitions of the Mondego Trophy. I would have done a good race, if in the 4th control I hadn't made a major mistake.There is a path that leads to the area of the control. However in the terrain there was another path to the right of the map one, made by a vehicle. I thought that I was in the left path and did a bad attack to the control that was in a really closed area. When I realized that I wasn't in the right place I returned to the path and realized where I was. That error costed me about 4'30 (You may find the results here). In the end of the race, me and Paulo took the map of the previous day of competitions and did another 7,5km course. The total was around a 20km train with map in a terrain where the progression is really difficult. (You may zoom the maps in the little upper right button on the web album).


Some photos of the training camp...

Here I leave some photos of the training camp. The album was made by Rafael and Gildo and you may find it here. Tomorrow I'll probably travel to Figueira da Foz with some friends in order to participate in a regional O'competition.