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Training Tips

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While we aren't experts in Orienteering Training, we do have a little experience behind our belts. Below are few tips that you may find useful for improving your fitness and skill level for Orienteering.
Easy Steps to take:
1) Learn Map Symbols (Click Here for a PDF of International Clue Symbols)
2) Train for Fitness
3) Learn to read and run at the same time
4) Watch Youtube videos of the experts
5) Attend as many Orienteering Meets as possible
6) Utilize any permanent Orienteering Courses near you
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Learn Orienteering Map Symbols
The first step you should take in improving your orienteering skill is learning map symbols. If you click here you will be redirected to a site that will quiz you on your map symbol knowledge. (return to the top)
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Train for Fitness
Depending on the length of course you should run to get in shape for orienteering. We would recommend that you begin training for at least a 5 kilometer distance run. This will give you a good base to add speed upon. A great resource for knowing how far to run each day while training can be found by clicking here.
Try to run on varied terrain. If you do not live near a wooded area to run then run along the road and merge off into the grass and over obstacles as you see them. If you live near a wooded area, try to do most of your running off-road. (return to the top)
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Learn to read and run at the same time
I once heard it said that kids in Sweden learn to read and run at a very early age. When the kids learn to read comic strips from newspapers, they take off through the woods reading the comic strips as they run.
With orienteering, you must learn to read a map and run at the same time in order to improve your level of orienteering. Another good thing to do is work on Map memorization. This way you can memorize your attach route before you actually move from one control to the next. You should always be "looking ahead" on the map an know what to look for next.
At least once a week try to run with a map and compass or news feed you want to read. This will help you learn to concentrate on both running and reading at the same time. (return to the top)
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Watch Youtube videos of the experts.
One of the leading ways to learn any sport or to advance in any sport is to watch the experts. Check out youtube videos of guys orienteering and see how they attack controls and how quick they are at getting in a punching a control and leaving for the next control. Work on this same technique at your home.(return to the top)
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Attend as many meets as possible.
ALTOS hosts a fine array of events during the cooler fall and winter months. Other clubs in the area also offer meets that normally do not conflict with ALTOS' schedule. NTOA is one of the other clubs near the Ark-La-Tex that hosts meets as well.(return to the top)
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Utilize Permanent O Courses
ALTOS is working on setting up Permanent O courses and having the maps accessible from this website. In the meantime a good objective is to take your old maps from previous meets and study your route. Figure out where you could have saved time and what you could have done different. You can also take those old maps and go back out to the park and try to run the same course. (return to the top)