Physical Training

From the surveys I’ve done over the last few months, many Juniors have asked for help with their physical training.  And ultimately there’s no replacement for miles, or KM’s. I asked John Riordan to help me with this, as it is not my area of expertise.  He has very kindly put a lot of thought and effort into generating the below Physical Training outline, with some caveats:

  • No one right formula for anyone … the key is to adapt to what YOU feel is right for you given your own ability, limitations, ambition etc.
  • Review maps regularly you have already run on (remind yourself of mistakes / see what you might do differently / what went well)
  • Try to do a race or equivalent training session minimum every two weeks (ideally every week). Be careful not to lose sight of technique
  • Assume Saturday is ALWAYS a rest day (if race on Sunday)
  • Important to have another sport (just to get away from running) but WARM UP and DOWN is critical to injury prevention. Use this as one of your training days (eg ball sports)
  • Swimming one per week great for muscle rest / toning but also for cardiovascular fitness. It’s great the day after a race too
  • Try to get one of your training runs in with a pal and/or other orienteer (avoids monotony)
  • Caution running the same way round a pitch or on a road (effective camber of both can cause knee injury)
  • Try to get one of your runs on terrain of some sort (ie not just roads) but be safe out there and don’t stray into the wild alone !
  • If you don’t have a race then the training alternative should be your typical race time + 20% with intervals (change of speed) built in
  • It must always be FUN … never lose sight of that 🙂 And there will be days when it might not feel great and other day when you on top of the world, that’s allowed too




As I said many thanks to John Riordan, I will put together some other notes in blogs over the next few weeks.  Feel free to comment or ask questions!


Orienteering in Ireland
Orienteering Ireland, Irish Sport HQ, Blanchardstown
D15 DY62, Ireland