Eva Jurenikova - orienteering & adventure racing

OLD NEWS >> September - November 2005

2005-11-29 Young people do not like to move their body

At my job as a substitute teacher at primary school I teach most of the ordinary subjects like Swedish, maths, natural science etc and sometimes I am also responsible for physical education lessons for kids/young people from the age of 10 to 15. You might think it is the easiest subject to teach since I have a lot of experience from various sports and also because kids usually like PE more than other subjects. The truth is that it's actually a big challenge to get the pupils moving a bit. Many of them are in a very poor shape and they try to find every possibility to skip the PE or to get through the lessons with as little effort as possible. The older the pupils are, the worse condition and attitude to training they have. According to my experiences boys are often less motivated and less fit than girls.
About a week ago I got disappointed after I tried to carry out a kind of an easy strength training with two classes of 15-years-old pupils. In the beginning of the lesson many of them came with different excuses. The most common one was: "I have forgotten my sport clothes" followed by: "I have pain in ..." or "I have been ill recently" etc. Also to see how week most of the remaining pupils were during the strength training was no fun at all.
I have read several articles about the decreasing physical activity and health of young people in Sweden. In one report from Swedish National Institute of Public Health it is mentioned that over the last 15-20 years overweight and obesity have doubled in the 10-24 age group.
I have been asking myself many times what to tell those young people, how to convince them that it is a great fun to train and how to get them care more about their health.
Do you have any suggestion?


2005-11-18 AR world championship

MTB training at LänsanThis week Adventure Racing World Championship is being held in New Zealand. The race started on Monday and today the first team - Balance Vector - crossed the finish line. Four strong Swedish teams (Cross Sportswear, Halti, Lundhags Adventure and Herkules) came to New Zealand to fight for the medals. At this moment Halti and Cross Sportswear are still on the course not very far from the finish. Lundhags Adventure and Herkules have withdrawn. I was happy to see also one team from Czech republic among the participants. I think it is the first time a Czech team takes part in such a big adventure race. The course is over 400 km long and disciplines are trekking, MTB, kayak paddling, white water rafting, caving and rope works. Trekking has been the decisive discipline. Bushy terrain and difficult navigation has been a real challenge for all of the teams. I have spent a lot of time following the race via Internet. See the site of AR World Championships with the course description, photos, teams, results etc.
The photo here is taken during today's MTB-training. I try to train biking 1-2 times/week as long as there is not enough snow for skiing.


2005-11-06 Cross-country running

Last Saturday I participated for the first time in a cross-country race in Sweden. It was a 10,3 km long race in Örebro called Kilsbergsleden. A few weeks ago I made a decision to take part in several races like this during the coming months. Not because I think competing in cross-country running is so much fun but because I believe that it is a good training and a way how to became faster.
I think I had a good run on Saturday. At least I pushed hard and made myself pretty tired. In the evening I got a headache and felt sick, probably because of the race. Luckily, I felt fine again on Sunday morning. Results (class "Ksen").

Last week the Czech national team in orienteering for next season was selected. I am one of the six women in the team. See also my new training diary (written from 2005-10-31).


2005-11-01 More scanned maps

I have added almost 20 maps I have used for my training this year. See maps. Some of them are with my route but not all of them.


2005-10-31 New "training year" starting

Yesterday it was the last day of the training year 2004/2005. During the last weekend I spent some time analyzing my training diary (excel-file 374KB) and thinking how to improve my training for the coming year. Here is a short summary of my training (November 1, 2004 - October 30 2005):
287 days of training and 337 training sessions
40 races (30 o-races, 4 xc-skiing marathons, 4 ski-o, 1 xc-running, 1adventure race)
56 days of limited training because of illness/injury (most of the days due to my toe injury in August/September)
420 hours of training totally
213 hours of all kinds of running (64h with map included)
207 hours of something else than running (95h xc-skiing, 60h MTB, 35h other activities -kayak and aerobics, 17h strength)

420 hours is not much. I guess that the best o-women train about 600 hours/year and some even more. It is obvious that if I want to be a better orienteer next year, the first change must be to increase the number of training hours. However I do not think that one should focus too much on the amount of training (might it be hours or kilometers). It is more important to know the purpose of every training session than to train with a goal of reaching a certain number of hours every week. Almost half of my training was alternative (= something else then running). One of the reasons is that I did too little running in 2002-2004 (when I trained for adventure racing and worked full time during certain periods). Too big increase of the running part of my training in 2005 would not be good for my body (risk for injuries etc.). Another reason for so much alternative training is that I enjoy xc-skiing, biking and kayaking a lot and it is often more fun to train than running. I can also train much more if I train all these different sports and not only running. For example I know that 1-1,5 hours of biking in the afternoon/next day after a hard running training (intervals, tempo, up-hill) often helps my legs to recover better than if I went for jogging or had a complete rest.

During the past season I participated only in 30 o-races. It is probably less than most of the other elite runners. Each race requires a lot of mental energy. I am convinced that I have to keep the number of races low in order to be able to concentrate properly during each race. Also my training would suffer if I competed too much. If I competed every weekend then I would have to reduce both the quality and quantity of the training. I am going to have the same approach also the next year.

So what are the plans?
I want to train more (number of hours), especially running, but the main focus must be on quality. From November to February I want to have at least two "quality" training sessions every week. Those can be either some kind of intervals (flat or hilly, even on skis or bike) or a tempo (fast run 20-40 minutes in a steady pace). I keep in mind that WOC in Denmark is in a hilly terrain so a great part of my training will be in a hilly terrain as well. I also want to include more plyometric exercises (in Swedish "spänst" - which means various kinds of jumps) and also running drills ("löpskolning).


2005-10-24 Winter is here

First snowIt was snowing a lot here in Borlänge during the last weekend. Now the temperature outside is -5 degrees Centigrade and it looks like it is middle of December...
It is not very common that we get so much snow in Borlänge already in October. However, there is no big chance that we could start with cross country skiing now and it is quite sure that the snow melts down in a few days. The photo is taken after a long run with Karolina and Patrik on Sunday morning.
I like winter and and I hope we are going to have a lot of snow this time. The last winter was a disaster. Vasaloppet could be held only because an enormous effort was made to create artificial snow and to transport natural snow from the mountains in order to cover the whole track of 90 km. Many other cross-country skiing and ski-o races had to be cancelled. Despite the lack of snow I managed to carry out a great part of my training on skis (about 90 hours/1300km). This winter I plan to ski even more but I want to concentrate more on quality training (intervals and skiing in hilly terrain) and not only to use cross-country skiing for "collecting hours" in my training diary.
I have experienced very different winters here in Borlänge. The last one with the huge lack of snow was very unusual. I remember that I was training orienteering in January a few times. There was almost no snow in the forest. However, the common situation is that it is possible to practice cross-country skiing more or less from December until middle of March. We can have a lot of snow still lying in the forest in the middle of April which is not so great because orienteering season starts already at the end of March.
Most of the orienteers living in this area are like me - they train a lot of cross - country skiing in the winter. I think it is more fun than running on bicycle paths and roads, or trying to run in the deep snow in the forest. Of course, you cannot stop running completely but I usually reduce the number of running training sessions to 2-3 per week if the skiing conditions are good. This winter I want to train more often in the indoor track in Falun (200m track) with a group of athletes from the university. Many orienteers are afraid of injuries and they avoid running indoor, but I have never had any problems there. I have also done running on treadmill. It might be the only possibility to run fast if the temperature outside is -10 degrees or lower and the indoor track is closed. Actually there is another way how to prevent cold air from coming into your lungs. I have seen two different models of a "mouth heat/moisture exchangers" in Sweden, one is called lungplus and the other one airtrim. It looks a bit funny but it helps many people, especially those with asthma, to train outside in the winter. During winter I also train spinning once a week or once a two weeks and strength one or twice a week.

WOC2008 logaFew days ago the Czech Orienteering Federation published the embargoed areas for WOC 2008. Some of the areas are pretty large. Two of them (number 1 and 2) are intended for sprint and are located in centrums of two big cities - Olomouc and Prostejov. The WOC -center is going to be located in Olomouc. I have trained and/or competed in about half of the areas. The area number 8 Hady-Ricky was my "home-forest" during 10 months in 1998-1999 when I lived in Brno. Hmmm... The terrain in the different areas varies a lot but if I try to find a common description then it would be "hilly", except for the sprint areas in Olomouc and Prostejov. There are no sandstone rocks in any of those areas. Few of the areas are located in mountains. I think the WOC 2008 will be technically and especially physically demanding.


2005-10-10 25-manna: my last orienteering race of this year

25-manna 24th leg25-manna is a huge but a bit special relay race for teams of 25 runners from the same club. The 1st, 2nd and the last 3 legs (23rd, 24th and 25th) are run as in a normal relay race while the 4th-7th legs are parallel legs with 4 runners on each of them. Each team consists of both men and women, young and old runners and there are special rules about who is allowed on each leg. For example no D19-34 or H15-49 is allowed on the 23rd leg, only women are allowed to run the 3rd and 24th leg etc. The team is made up of a maximum of 9 H21-39s runners and at least 7 women must be in each team. The last 3 legs are without any gafflings. 25-manna is always held in Stockholm area. Swedish teams are in majority but there is also a great number of Finnish and Norwegian teams participating. About 340 teams started in this year's race and it was won by Kalevan Rasti from Finland. I actually have one 25-manna victory - it is from 1999 when I competed for IFK Lidingö from Stockholm.
Our club Domnarvets GoIF had only one team and still it was not an easy task to gather 25 runners of right age and sex. Many phone calls were made during the last week... 25-manna is not an important race for our club but it is still fun to compete together with so many others. I got the 24th (second last) leg. When I started our team was on 98th place and when I came to the change-over 36 minutes later we were 81st. Still I am not very satisfied with my run. It took a while to find the right speed and concentration. There were many paths in the terrain and it was easy to continue in the same speed even after leaving them. A few times I did not manage to slow down enough and lost time at some controls especially in the beginning of the race. See my map. The best time on my leg was 32 minutes. I ran in VJ Sarva shoes and not in my normal orienteering shoes in order to protect my painful toe. It is slowly getting better. I read about this kind of injury (toe fracture) and found that it could easily take 6 weeks to heal. It is about 7 weeks since WOC and my little toe is not completely OK. At least I can train almost without restrictions now.
Our team finished 79th which is almost the same result as in the last year.
See also 34 pictures from 25-manna.


2005-10-05 Plans for the next year

JWOC 95After WOC in August I started to think about my plans for the next year. Should I concentrate on orienteering again and try to prepare for WOC 2006 in Denmark? Or should I give priority to finding a proper job?
If I am looking back at this year's o-season it was better than I expected. I got selected for the WOC and my results there were better than my results in the two other WOC I participated in 1999 and 2001. Also the victory in Tiomila with my club Domnarvets GoIF in May was a great achievement. I have enjoyed orienteering a lot this year.
The next year's WOC in Denmark is held in my favourite terrain (look at the map here on the left side). I am convinced that I can run even better there than I did in Japan.
Why do I have doubts about the next year then? The reason is that it is difficult to manage with the little money I make in my job. Since the beginning of this year I have been working as a substitute teacher at primary schools in Borlänge. I do not have any job-contract. I work only when that schools need me - when one of their ordinary teachers is sick or on a vacation. Some days I know at which school I am going to work and which subject I am going to teach but some other days I only receive a telephone call between 7 and 8 a.m. telling me where and what I should teach that day. To be flexible is quite necessary... I work 80-90% of all working days, usually from 8 a.m. until 14-16 p.m. and I am paid by hour. If I am going to a training camp or have an exam at the university I only inform the schools that I am not available at the particular day/days. I like working with kids more then working with money even if I have an university degree from business administration and not from pedagogy. However, sometimes the teaching is quite tiring and I need a lot of discipline to get myself out and train in the evening . At the same time I learn more at my work then I have ever learnt during my university studies.
I am sure that many other orienteering runners have similar thoughts. It is not easy to combine working and elite orienteering. To participate in World Champs, World Cup and a few training camps and to work full-time at the same time is possible only if you sacrifice a lot of other "activities" in your life. To find a part-time job in Czech republic is almost impossible and some of the members of the Czech national team simply have to concentrate on working and give up orienteering.
I hope that I can manage the next season with some help from my boyfriend and my Swedish club. I have made decision to go for the next year's WOC in Denmark.

JWOC 1995I have many nice memories from Denmark. I participated in my first JWOC here in 1995 (see the picture to the left - it is from the Czech team's presentation brochure). It was probably my most successful JWOC even if I was only 16 years old then. I was the last-leg-runner in the relay team who won the gold medal and I finished 10th in both classic distance and short distance. JWOC 1995 was held in the the same area as the next year's WOC - in the forests near Silkeborg. I took out my maps from the JWOC 1995 and from Euromeeting 1994 which was also organized in the same area. I like the terrain - it is rather hilly but fast with easy orienteering. Route choices will be important again which I like. I know that I have to become a faster runner if I want to succeed next year. I decided to start to compete in cross-country running and generally train more running and some specific strength. I have scanned my old maps from Denmark:
Silkeborg Nordskov (Euromeeting 94 clas. distance + results D20) - WOC training area
Silkeborg Vesterskov (Euromeeting 94 relay) - WOC training area
Grund (JWOC 95 short distance)
Velling - Snabegård (JWOC 95 classic distance)
Rye Sønderskov (JWOC 95 relay) - embargoed area - reserve

WOC 2006
JWOC 1995 (with all results and maps with courses)

On Saturday our club participates in 25-manna (relay with 25 runners in one team) in Stockholm. We do not have any big ambitions but it will be fun. I have started to run again but on asphalt only - then I can run without having pain. Yesterday I ran intervals for the first time since WOC.


2005-09-26 A lot of biking last week

Paddling SvärdsjöAfter the Swedish champs I decided to avoid running as long as my little toe would hurt in order to give the toe chance to heal. Last week I did a lot of cycling, most of it in hilly terrain and on small paths. Yesterday I and Patrik were cycling along Finnmarksturen trail. Finnmarksturen is the biggest MTB-race in Sweden, held every year at the end of August. Patrik has participated couple of times but I have never done it. The trail is 112 km long and consists of single tracks, gravel roads and very little paved roads. Both the start and finish are situated in Ludvika, 40 km S from Borlänge. The trail is not marked so it might be difficult to find it unless you have ridden Finmarksturen a few times before. It took us little bit over 6 hours, inclusive a few small breaks and problems with finding the trial. Check the map with the whole track (pdf) and profile.
On Saturday evening we went for a kayak trip from Toftbyn to Svärdsjö and back. It was one of my best paddling experiences ever. The nature around the lakes, autumn colours, sunset... It was great!
See pictures from the paddling and MTB-ride along Finnmarksturen trail.


2005-09-21 Two days full of activities with the university sports group in Säfsen

Säfsen -coreSince the beginning of this year I have been member of "Idrottshögskolan" = university sports group at Dalarna University (Högskolan Dalarna). Members of this group are students who want to combine elite sport and studies. Even if I have been working most of the time as a substitute teacher I have also been a part-time student. In spring I studied a course called "Tests for Athletes -Strength, Flexibility and Motor Skills" and this autumn I have just started to attend "Sports Medicine for Athletes". Both of the courses are web-based, which means that it is possible to follow the lectures via Internet. I really appreciate this way of learning. I can sit at home and watch the video from the lecture when it suits me. I can also stop it or watch it more times if I missed something. On the other hand I understand that it is not so much fun for the teachers to hold a lecture only for a camera, without any immediate feedback. During the course the teachers and students meet also 2-3 times in Falun to devote a whole day to more practical parts of the course. There is a special web site for the course with many interactive functions like forum and chat. Both courses are in Swedish. If you want to know more check this site.
What does it mean to be a member of the university sports group? The purpose of the whole project is to help elite sportsmen and sportswomen to combine the sport and studies. There are 6 groups (orienteering, cross-country skiing/ski-orienteering, downhill skiing, track & field, cycling and triathlon) and each group has a couch who organizes training, training camps, is an adviser for the students and helps in many other different ways. Each group has a minibus at its disposal and the students also have a free access to a gym, swimming pool and indoor track. I should also explain that the members are enrolled at different courses and programs at Dalarna University. There are many other advantages of being a member of the group. I was member also in 1999-2002 and this possibility of combining studies and elite sport was actually the reason why I chose Borlänge and Dalarna University when I made the decision to move to Sweden.
Last Monday and Tuesday we had a kind of kick-off with the students and coaches from the university sports group. We went to Säfsen (apr. 100km SW from Borlänge) where we did some team building activities, got tips on strength and flexibility exercises and also where we got the possibility to get to know each other better. I enjoyed the the two days in Säfsen a lot and I already look forward to a next training camp which will be in Idre in December.
See the pictures.
Check the site of the orienteering group www.orienteringshogskolan.com


2005-09-19 Relay championships - why so little gaffling?

Map - SM -relay Yesterday I participated in the last important race of this season - the Swedish relay championships. Despite the problems with my painful little toe I decided to run. I got the second leg in our first team with Eva Elfving on the first leg and Karro on the last one. At the first change-over it looked really great - all our three teams were in the leading group. I am satisfied with the first two thirds of the race but the last third was a disaster. I lost 4-5 minutes at 4 different controls. It was frustrating. A few times I managed to run away from most of the other women in the pack but every time they caught me again after my mistakes. What I did not like about the race was the gaffling system. The gaffling was used twice!! only at our course (the first 3 controls plus one control at the second part of the race).
See the gaffling alternatives D21. Moreover, the gaffling controls were very close to each other. If you looked around, you were able to see most of them. The goal of the course setter was to make a very tight race, but I did not like this way of setting a course at all and I hope that this is not how relay races are going to be organized in the future. There is a discussion on this topic on alternativet.
Karro did not have a good run either and finally we finished on the 7th place. It is a disappointment, especially after our Tiomila victory this year.
Results and my map.
SM-relay was the last important race of this season. I am not going to run the World cup in Italy. Instead I plan to start training for the next year as soon as I get rid of the pain in my little toe. I have already decided the goal for next year. I will try to improve my results from Japan at the WOC in Denmark.


2005-09-13 Too much pain - no final

Map SM longLast weekend the Swedish championships week started with the long distance in Smedjebacken. It is actually tougher to make it to the final at Swedish championships than at WOC. There are 4 heats and 10 bests runners qualifies for the final. It is the same system as at WOC but there is a greater number of good runners who run only a bit slowlier than the world´s best. A few of the Swedish WOCs' participants actually did not make the final last weekend.
I had a similar tactics as at WOC - to run a bit slowlier that I would do in the final and to navigate extra carefully. I had a good run apart from a smaller boom on the way to the second control. See the map. However, I did not feel well physically. It was no surprise since I have been running very little since the WOC because of pain in my left little toe. The pain was not that bad during the race but I got another problem. My left leg´s hamstrings (back side of thigh) and gluteus muscles (butt) got very stiff. Immediately after the race I was not able to get them relaxed and even a slow jogging was impossible. There is an obvious connection with the painful little toe. In order to avoid the pain I use a bit different running technique and put an extra strain on some parts of my body. On Sunday morning I got up early and went for a short run to test how it feels. The pain in the little toe was much worse and I finally made a decision not to participate in the final. I would probably be able to run the whole course, but it would not be fun and the problem both with the little toe and the stiff muscles would only get worse. So I stayed at home and followed the race via Internet. It was great to see Karro winning the race. This week I will run only the relay championships on Sunday. It is going to be the last important race of this season.


2005-09-05 Worst mistake of this year

DM -relay 3rd place Last Sunday I participated in the relay district championship in Grangärde. The most positive thing about the race was that my little toe was better this time. It seems that I can start to train normally again, after 3 weeks of very little running training.
I got the second leg as usual. Eva Elfving did a very good performance on the first leg and came to the change-over in the leading group together with two other girls. If I had any tactics for this race then it was probably to "run away" from the other girls and to come to the change-over in a big lead. Now I realize that it was not a right way to think. I was not concentrated enough and I did a huge parallel mistake at the second control. I thought I knew where I was but after same time I did not get it right. I went some hundred meters back but it did not help. I guess this mistake cost me about 10 minutes! See the map. It was for sure the worst orienteering mistake of this year. After the second control I managed to improve my concentration and my orienteering was Ok again. I hope I have learned something from the race. Our team finished third, long after our biggest rivals Stora Tuna and a few seconds after Leksand. Karro on our third leg was a bit unlucky with longer gaffling at the very end of the course. See some photos.

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