20 March 2015


It's time to end this unannounced hiatus, from one spring-camp-in-the-south post to another  this time near Murcia and Alicante, Spain.

But first, besides the restart of this site, there have been other "restarts" lately. Like the restart in cross-country skiing for example. Since last winter the conditions for skiing were bad, I didn't spend any time on skis whatsoever, zero kilometers, a big round bagel. So after an almost two year long break, I had a decent amount of easy and longer workouts done on skis. At around the same time the snow arrived, I also had to do a slow restart to running again. Since mid-November I struggled a bit with the so-called Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome, which caused pain on the outside of the knee and disabled any kind of running from the programme. The main rehabilitation period lasted for about six weeks, when the first weeks I did mainly swimming and strength sessions, after which I could more or less hike in the terrain with and without a map. Slowly, but steadily I could include jogging and eventually normal running on soft ground, then later on paths and roads again. Thankfully after the snow arrived, I could ease the stress on the knees with skiing. Now I've been back on track for some time and have been able to do some solid preparations.
Shady days
Another restart, which most probably know already, is my new club Koovee. And speaking of my new club, I'm in Spain with my new mates right now. Orienteering possibilities here offer more than enough for a three week long camp. Of many maps, I've already raided the famous Guardamar dunes and the fantastic Coto de las Maravillas, where the World Cup was held last year and which I chose to be last year's best terrain on World of O's Course of the Year. Some maps already visible on the maps page!

Timo at Coto de las Maravillas
And something else, since this season I got a new sponsor and will be using Icebug's great footwear! I've run with Icebug's orienteering shoes before and am very satisfied with their products. What has been new for me, are dubbed running shoes called "Icebug Ardor", which were irreplaceable during the very icy and slippery winter months at home. Thanks to their grip, there was virtually no compromise needed regarding outdoor running! Also, the Icebug team took part in Nike Winter XDream using these shoes and can all agree that it was a good choice!

Now these boys are going on hiatus instead!

7 March 2014

Early Season in Portugal

The season is approaching fast, it's just a month left now until World Cup second round in Spain and European Championships in Portugal in the beginning of April. An unusually early start for top competitions, for me at least.
While the first World Cup was already held last week in Turkey, I was leading in the season in Portugal, Viseu. For me it was the first time to orienteer in Portugal and I was amazed by the quality of the terrains. The orienteering hunger, that has been building up during the winter, finally found a release. Twelve days in technical rocky terrains and two organized multi-day competitions with strong starting fields (also featuring the O-Wizard) made the camp definitely worthwhile! First weekend, right upon arrival, the 3rd Mediterranean Championships with all individual WRE disciplines. And secondly, starting on the following weekend, the 4-day Portugal "O" Meeting with one WRE middle distance. Since I was in training camp and not on a competition trip, I chose altogether three races where I wanted to run fast: 1) MCO middle distance WRE; 2) POM 1. day intermediate distance; 3) POM 3. day middle distance WRE. I was not concentrating on the competitions, but rather on making the best of all the trainings and have a beneficial camp on the whole. What I was expecting from the competitions though, was that I should get a better flow with each race, so the last one would have the best performance.

Viseu countryside with a hint of spring in the air
The first O-start this season at the MCO middle went quite well. It was good to see that I had not totally forgotten orienteering, but was just very rusty at it. "Lots of small misses" pretty much sums it up. +4:27, 9th place.
Map, results, GPS tracking (excluding me)
The second day's long distance terrain was very challenging in many ways, even for someone who was taking it easy...

Viseu countryside with a hint of spring in the air
Between the weekends, I was using the trainings offered by O-Portugal, here are some of the trainings:
Sr do Crasto contours and control picking map
Mangualde dangerously slippery night middle map
Sr do Crasto middle distance map
Gestoso fell terrain long distance map
POM 2012 middle WRE (course of the year) map

Gestoso, the sun came out eventually...
At POM 1. day, most of the course went well, except for controls 10, 11 and 18. Early season amateur mistakes, I hope. +4:44, 5th place.
Map part 1, map part 2, results
The second day was a tricky one. Even for me, who was running at easy pace, it was often very hard to understand the map in the totally black parts (the printing quality didn't make it any easier either).
And so the day to test the technical abilities and get some feedback came at last. The partly extremely detailed terrain was a surprise, fortunately I could ease in to it quickly after the first leg. It went well until the 9th, when I lost the flow I had and started to lose seconds here and there. The culmination was the 16th control, I suddenly jumped too much ahead in reading the map and made a 2-minute mistake. After that it was an okay race, but not the same as the beginning though. Even if I had no expectations concerning the results, it's still frustrating to ruin a good performance with one major miss. Who is pleased with mistakes anyway?
The POM concluded on Tuesday with a very enjoyable long distance, which also marked the end of the camp.

Osku in nice Portugese forest
Now, getting to the causes of the mistakes... The problem at these races seem to be more psychological than technical. I usually started well, then caught somebody and if I'm stuck with him, I seemed to be unable to ignore that and I couldn't fully concentrate on my own performance. I'm also somewhat glad that this happened, now I know better what I need to work on before the season really begins.

So what's next on the agenda? I'll be preparing for European Championships of course, but it looks like there won't be any official competitions before the World Cup in Spain, Murcia, just less than a week before EOC. At least while the competitions in Turkey for me seemed like a joke, the World Cup terrain in Spain looks very promising in offering real challenging orienteering competitions. Too bad that the races are less than a week before the EOC, making me choose only the middle distance race in Spain for an optimal preparation. Nevertheless, looking forward to it!

5 February 2014


Winter training is getting along nicely and going pretty much as scheduled. There's definitely been more emphasis on running this year, mainly on the account of poor cross-country skiing conditions. I'm enjoying the running very much, but also somewhat missing nice snowy winter with skiing and tough snow-running. Anyway, as I said, it's going well and I feel that the overall physical condition is good. Although there were some hectic times with my studies when I had to reduce the training load for a while, I can now at least be satisfied that I've concluded my bachelor studies at Tartu University. This is also one of the reasons why it has been quiet around here. I won't have to worry about school now and can fully concentrate on my preparation for another orienteering season. As for the near future, looks like I won't be very sedentary concerning my residence and can perhaps get about on a more open schedule than during the previous years. Furthermore, as of the upcoming season, I will be representing the Estonian Defence Forces Sports Club (KJ SK) on home ground. The Defence Forces offer me great support and being a part of this club, for me, is another step forward to being a professional orienteer. As is, I will try to be one for the time being - these opportunities can be hard to come by and I'm grateful that this opportunity has presented itself. I hope I'm striving in the right direction. The 2017's highlight event, WOC on home ground among home audience gives extra motivation and confidence for doing this.

To be a professional athlete, sponsors and supporters have an important part in it. As before, I'm glad that my good sponsors remain: 

As of this season I'm also glad to present a new sponsor of mine: Science in SportSiS are award-winning leaders in endurance nutrition and has been my favorite for years. The GO energy, GO electrolyte, REGO rapid recovery and GO isotonic gels are some of the fantastic basic supplements I've found very useful during my career. There's also some more innovative stuff that I've started to use, like the GO hydro (for hydrating without carbs) that's been missing from my pouch so farI'm very happy that the SiS team is helping me reach my goals.
And to quote themselves: "SiS - our mission is to deliver superior nutrition so you can train harder, race faster and recover quicker! When you commit so much time, energy and determination to being the best you can be, you want a sports nutrition partner you can trust to provide the best products and expert guidance." 
I can only agree, they do provide the best products out there and I dare you to try if you already haven't! Check out the products at their global website.

Right now I'm going to carry on and enjoy training full time at home. Taking part in the planned Tartu skiing Marathon this winter is under great doubt. Maybe if it will be held in normal conditions and I will be able to complete at least a few training sessions beforehand and if I feel up to it, I might just participate and do a nice long training. Shortly after that, in the latter part of February, I'm going to open the O-season in Portugal, where I'm expecting good orienteering conditions and well organised events: MCO and POM!

That's it for now, over and out.