Training timetable for 2020/21
Club members have the opportunity to attend a series of quality training sessions, socials and competitions each week, as well as a couple of weekend trips each term. Members are welcome to attend as many or as few of these sessions as they like, and our friendly committee are open to modifying the timetable to best suit the needs of our community. However, both the technical and the physical training sessions are carefully designed to fit together in a yearlong plan to optimise performance (and joy), so members wanting to make the most of their training should try to attend as many as possible!
See below for a typical week with the orienteering and fell running club:
|Monday||19:00||Easy Pub Run||
Downs Water Tower
|Sat/Sun||AM||Orienteering & fell running competitions||e.g. Bristol, Forest of Dean, Mendips|
The first session of the week is the much-celebrated "Pub Run", so-called because it finishes at a different pub every week for an informal social and an (optional) drink. We usually start from the Downs Water Tower so turn up here at 19:00 and one of the more experienced club members will lead you on an easy run that winds around the many interesting streets and parkland of Bristol. Since the route is different every time, it's a great chance for newcomers to get to know Bristol. The easy pace also makes it easy to chat and form new friendships within the club. Oh, and don't worry about going to the pub in your running kit - everyone does it!
Intervals / Hill reps
Many newcomers to the sport are surprised to hear that the best way to improve your running isn't just to go on long runs. Occasionally some members of the club will join to do intervals or hill reps. This are shorter sessions where speed is the name of the game, often repeatedly running up Marlborough Hill or The Zig Zag.
This is the main orienteering session of the week, and comprises of a range of short courses and drills designed to improve your navigation at speed. Each session takes place in a different location and focuses on different navigational skills, such as Rough bearings, Attack points and Aiming off. Don't worry if these sound intimidating at the moment: the sessions are designed to gradually build up from core skills in September to advanced race techniques before BUCS, and there will always be experienced orienteers waiting around the start to give you feedback and help sharpen your technique between courses. The location of the training is announced in the weekly emails, so be sure to sign up below! However, we normally meet at either the Clifton Suspension Bridge or Downs Water Tower and jog to the training areas together.
Our weekends away are most members' highlight of the club. We meet up with students from other universities for two packed days of orienteering training and racing, with a quality social on the Saturday night. Past trips to Sheffield and Oxford have become legendary within the club and this year we have been training in the Lake District and Dartmoor, raced the English Universities Orienteering Cup in Sheffield and took part in some championship races before the year was cut short. You don't want to miss out! The club organises transport and accommodation, so all you have to do is turn up. We try to keep costs as low as possible and weekends normally cost around £30-40. In 2016 we had the privilege of hosting the BUCS Inter-University Championships, which is always a fantastic weekend, and this year we hope to host the EUOC. If Fell Running is more your thing, on weekends away we now give the opportunity to go for a long and hilly adventure while the rest of the club work on their orienteering skills.
The club competes in local competitions on the weekends in-between. The hallowed orienteering areas of the Forest of Dean, with its hills and mine-workings, and the intricate sandunes of South Wales, are regular venues which are close by, while the Mendip Hills are a little to the south. We normally use members' cars or arrange lifts with members of Bristol Orienteering Klub which keeps the cost down. At competitions there are courses planned for all abilities; the length gets longer and the navigation harder as you improve. Total cost is normally around £5.
There are often fell races happening in nearby in Wales or the Mendips. We advertise these in our weekly emails so you can sign up to find a lift there. Some of them are shorter and open to everyone while others require more experience. Some of the most popular races we do are the Mendip Muddle (20km, 400m climb), TACH races (summertime in the Mendips), and Skirrid, Blorenge and Sugarloaf around Abergavenny (5-8km each with up to 600m climb).
On top of the Pub Runs we have regular pasta parties, nights out, bowling trips and have even been known to hit SCORE sport nights sporting our finest superhero costumes. At Christmas we make an effort to dress up a bit for a good Christmas dinner which is always a great way to end the term.
When we have time we like to organise a few random things. We might organise a Saturday training session, go on little touristy excursions on the way back from trips, or stage our own competitions to raise money for the club. And of course there's our Good Pub Guide.