Three Shires Fell Race results

Simple Race Results are here.

Splits are here.

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South Lakeland Inter-schools #2 Team Results

The individual results are on the LOC website.

The team results can be found here.

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Multi-jumps / plyometrics

Just watching the UCoach module on Multi-jumps / plyometrics available here.

I like the look of the Hop and Stick diagonal exercise for use with fellrunners and orienteers.  Lateral landings are a normal part of that style of running and this looks like a good exercise to reinforce the legs for these.

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Scottish CPD Aviemore

I had another fun session up in Aviemore, Scotland at the invite of the Scottish Orienteering Association.  I covered a number of aspects of fitness for orienteering:

  • Developing a model for the range of areas of fitness required for orienteering
  • How to coach the High Knee Drill, from standing, walking, to extending into running
  • Up hill technique
  • Down hill technique
  • A strength and conditioning circuit that doesn’t need a gym

Generally people were pretty tired at the end of the session.

The S&C circuit can be found here as a Word Doc and here as a pdf.

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Hurdle Drills

Key coaching points:

  • Excellent shape – tall and braced
  • Stable, level pelvis
  • Dorsiflexed ankle
  • Midfoot strike

Hurdle size and placement should be appropriate to athlete size and mobility.

Coach from head on and side on from 3m away, perhaps from behind.

  • Basic walkover
  • Lateral walkover
  • Over and under
  • Basic walkover with skip
  • Lateral skips
  • Lateral scissors
  • Loaded basic walkover
  • Loaded walkover with skip
  • Advanced walkover
  • Advanced rotation backwards
  • Rattler basic walkover
  • Rattler lateral with skip

Interesting drills, but as I never have access to high hurdles I can’t use them.  I might try using them with lower plastic hurdles.

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Running drills

Powerpoint slides here.


Arm swing (don’t over stress the need to keep the arm at 90 degrees as lower arm movement is normal)

Common mistakes: shoulders tense up; poor posture, rounded shoulders and upper back (may need to be addressed by stretching and strengthening programme); movement around elbow joint too large, particular problem if rear arm movement too large; movement does not come towards midline.

Walking High Knees

Common mistakes: knee too high; don’t worry about height of knee; stepping too far in front of body; pointed toes rather than dorsiflex; on toes weight should be through big toe not little toe

Skipping high knees

Common mistakes: forward and backward movement of chest/trunk; knee too high

Running high knees

Example doesn’t emphasise speed of knee recovery, as I would.

Common mistakes: lift knee too high; landing on toes rather than dorsiflexed foot (may need strengthening and stretching);

Scissor bounds (straight leg, dorsiflexed foot)

Common mistakes: leg goes too far forward, use small amplitude to start with; land on ball of foot rather than toes (suggest to land on heels as queue even though this is wrong);

Flexed leg scissor bounds (uses a slight knee bend) otherwise like Scissor bounds), this is more advanced than scissor bounds

Dribble drills (look a bit like exercise above)  low ankle lift (step over ankle then calf tehn knee), dorsiflexed foot

Common mistakes: knee doesn’t go high enough when



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Specific Preparatory Exercises, suspended and resistance band

The following are a good set of exercises.

Body weight suspension exercises

Shoulder, trunk and pelvic stability for endurance.


  • Suspended chest press (like press up but at an angle and going further)
  • Suspended pull (like inverted press up but at an angle and finishing further up)
  • Single arm pull (as above but with one arm, other hand by the head)
  • Squat (squatting holding straps at an angle) Is this easier than a standard squat?
  • Single leg squat (as above but with one leg, hold on with both hands)
  • Suspended hamstring curl (a bit like a bridge using a swiss ball, perhaps easier to control)
  • Suspended single leg hamstring curl (as above one leg)
  • Overhead squat (hardly stressing the straps)
  • Bulgarian squat (back foot in cradle, sort of lunge position but on one leg)
  • High external rotation movement
  • Y, T, W sequence (very slight forwards and back movements whilst in three positions)

Resistance band exercises

  • Squat (band under feet and around lower neck)
  • Overhead squat (band under feet then stretched wide over head)
  • Overhead split squat (band stretched over head with arms wide behind head) I don’t like the knee being forward, beyond the ankle.
  • Overhead walking lunge (band stretched over head with arms wide behind head) Extreme lunge forwards.  I don’t like the knee position forward of ankle. Do like the exaggerated “high knee” whilst going into the lunge.
  • Walking lunge with rotation (partner holds the band whilst athlete lunges then rotates away from partner, right foot step, right arm rotation)
  • Romanian or stiff leg deadlift  (band under feet held at sides in hands) hamstring and glutes lengthen eccentrically in first phase
  • Single leg Romanian deadlift (band under foot, free leg goes to rear)
  • Good morning (band as for squat, hands hold band at hip hieght) bends forwards, legs stiff and back straight
  • Single leg good morning (band as above)
  • Single arm horizontal push (anchor band and push forward)
  • Single arm horizontal push with half lunge (band as above)
  • Single arm horizontal pull (anchor band and pull at waist height)
  • Single arm horizontal pull with half lunge (anchor band and pull at waist height)
  • Trunk rotation exercises (square stance, anchor band to side and rotate away, like russian twist shape)
  • Trunk rotation exercises with half lunge (as above)


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Endurance Specific Concepts


stride length x stride frequency

These are the product of

  • Amount of force (physical conditioning + technique)
  • direction of force (technique)
  • timeframe for application of force (physical conditioning + technique)

Endurance – maintain speed for a long time

Physiology pdf

Training will increase stroke volume of heart, shows in reduced resting heart rate and increase VO2Max.

VO2Max is maximal rate of taking in O2 and delivering it to muscles.  It is unclear what types of training improve VO2Max.  Perhaps slow endurance + near maximal heart rate intervals?
World Class Males VO2Max above 70, females 60.  But running economy also has a big effect.


  • Phosphogen system  – phosphocreatine system – few seconds of energy
  • Glucose/glycogen – breaks down to produce lactic acid then ATP

Lactic Acid

  • key energy pathway for middle distance e.g. 400/800m
  • lactate doesn’t cause fatigue, associate Hydrogen ions might

Lactate threshold

  • around 70% of max heart rate
  • talk test – if below LT then it is possible to talk easily

Lactate Turn Point

  • above this point is the “Tempo Zone”

Types of training – benefits

  • Long run – exercises aerobic system and improves economy, e.g. cardiovascular, peripheral capilliary improvements, speeds up access to fat, movement efficiency
  • Interval sessions – still cadiovascular improvements, can run at higher speed – so higher anaerobic effect
  • Speed sessions – improves neurological aspects to improve biomechanics for running at high speed
  • Tempo run – practice running at sustained pressure for a continuous period of time

Muscle soreness

  • part of adaptation process
  • worse with eccentric training, e.g. downhill or gym work
  • take care when training if sore, may reduce proprioception
  • no evidence that lactate is the cause of muscle soreness, more likely to be due to microscopic damage, e.g. tears, swelling

Sessions per week/month

  • It depends on all factors
  • 2 x hard sessions per week, or 1 session + tempo run per week

Strength training

  • Right level of strength for event (what level is right for orienteering?)
  • Plyometrics and gym work can be useful

Training Adaptations

Are energy systems in 800/1500 races different for men and women?  Sometimes women may be less responsive to generating the anaerobic energy system.  May need to differentiate training by gender.

Should a 12 year old run for 90 minutes?  Is 30 minutes long enough to generate training adaptation?  Concern over overloading bones/tendons etc as they grow.

How can you tell when an athlete develops the anaerobic energy system?  Look at how they run reps.  There when they go off faster but can’t maintain this.

Speed pre-puberty!

Why time runs – to assess progress; need session to be run at a specific pace (can they achieve that?); stop athlete running for too long or too short.

Fell shoes – don’t think the example is still in circulation.

Safety – when training on the roads always have enough adults around.  Reflective clothing is important.  Head torches.

Safety – off road – beware of trip hazards!  If it is cold it may be icy and hard.  Snow covers up rough ground.  Nothing about navigation.

Steeplechase barriers are solid and don’t fall over.  Don’t put your foot on an ordinary hurdle.  Train with people around when hurdling barriers.  Seem to imply that athletes will try to clear the water jump?

Tactics – try different tactics; try to race against different people.  Try to run at an even pace.


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Female Athlete Triad

Relationship between energy availability, menstrual function and bone mineral density.

Deals with various eating disorders, amenorrhea and low bone density.

Slides for this are available here.

Men can suffer too.


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LTAD for Endurance Athletes


  • Athlete development model (ADM)
  • coaches are dealing with changing individuals, especially young athletes
  • ADM is an awareness of the progression and development of young athletes
  • Generic vs event specific model – how does the model apply to my athlete?
    • Biological development – maturational process
    • Training
    • Conditioning
    • Training and Competition requirements
  • Chronological age vs developmental age (physical, psychological state of athlete)
    • is the athlete emotionally/psychologically ready for the type of training
    • is the athlete physically developed enough for the type of training
  • Coach/athlete relationship will mature/differ over time
  • Stages
    • Pre-puberty
    • Puberty – changes in hormones
    • Post puberty
    • Adulthood
    • Key figure is the rate of change of growth
    • Different between male/female

UKA Develoment Model

  •  Alactic – changes little over age
  • Lactic – changes over time, doesn’t mature fully until after puberty
  • Aerobic – dominant in young athletes and switches on more quickly
  • Biomechanical Energy Return
    • Muscle Cross Sectional Area (CSA) – related to force muscle can produce, puberty allows increase of muscle mass (more in males than females – testosterone).  As girls mature earlier it may be possible to start strength training earlier
    • Neural Recruitment – can the brain control the muscles?  Best trained before puberty.
    • Tendon and bone – muscles do not exist in isolation – bones, muscles and tendons grow at different rates
    • Can challenge females earlier
    • Female talent may appear earlier, but may not extend
    • Growth in hip width can effect knee angles in female
  • Coordination
    • Pre-puberty – easier to train coordination
    • Puberty – mass gets bigger and moves towards extremities, limbs get longer, coordination can decrease and may need re-learning
    • Post-puberty – refine skills, more event specific
  • Mobility
    • Often compromised around Peak Height Velocity (PHV)/puberty
    • Due to unequal growth in bone, tendon and muscle growth
    • Mobility reduces and may not return to earlier levels

Training considerations

  • Choose training regimes based on developmental age
    • Alactic changes little over time – can be used to progressively challenge athletes, train speed all the time, explosive nature of training is acceptable
    • Lactate – training may not be appropriate for pre-puberty athletes, concentrate on skill activity – learn to express force in most efficient way – balance fatigue vs coordination
    • Aerobic – pre-puberty training may not be as efficient as high-intensity training for skills acquisition
    • Better to concentrate on skills acquisition as this may have a better effect for later in life.
    • High intensity work (10secs fast, rest repeated) will develop aerobic
    • Use variety of approaches
  • Biomechanical energy return
    • Leg as spring storing and releasing energy (free energy if efficient)
    • Learn to develop energy return through coordination and improved strength as CSA increases
    • CSA – females develop CSA earlier than males – muscle hypertrophy – females will not develop as big muscles as males (testosterone levels are different) – increased hypertrophy will tend to leas to women becoming leaner
    • Neural recruitment – develop better pre-puberty, but body shapes change at puberty, so re-visit after puberty.  Refinement at adulthood, use body weight but focus towards event specialism
    • Tendons – repeated and progressive general base load pre puberty, in adulthood move to specialised high load
    • Bones – bones change dependant on stimulus, so use range of developement, link between bone density post-puberty and osteoporosis in later life, direct link to nutrition, must have enough calcium etc.  Strength training develops bone density, may use this effectively in young athletes , diversity is important
  • Coordination
    • General coordination, running, jumping, throwing, strength shapes pre-puberty.  Begin to do some event specific coordination, then post puberty reinforce general coordination and then begin to refine for specific events
    • Learn to run when you are young (example of rugby players not learning to run – applies to orienteers too)
    • Girls have issues with pelvic width, specifically knee and ankles and with increased body mass with increase body fat, muscles have to work harder to move mass
    • Girls coordination lag may put them off their event before their coordination catches back up
  • Mobility
    • during growth phase use fundamental movement patterns to maintain mobility, e.g. squats, drills etc.

Training and Competition Requirements

  • Sports focus – moves from multi-activity through multi-event, event group to event specialisation
  • Training frequency – increases from 2/3 to twice a day 5/6 days a week
  • Total physical activity – 12+ hours per week up to 21, then specific training only
  • (All a bit obvious and video goes on a bit too long)
  • Still possible to train world class athletes without the best facilities


  • Start with technical work rather than loaded work, then progress loads
  • Conditioning orientation – multi-lateral, progressing to unilateral then bi lateral , early emphasis on single leg movements, later emphasis on bi-lateral to allow greater power acquisition (don’t drop uni-lateral)
  • Loading focus – mainly bodyweight, through comfort loading, then progressive and performance


  • Younger athletes focus on skills rather than energy systems and general coordination
  • Event group stage, athlete going through growth spurts, so beware, especially females
  • One chance with an athlete





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