How do you prepare mentally?

We asked three of the best orienteers in the world: Daniel Hubmann, Anne Margrethe Hausken and Olav Lundanes.

How do you prepare mentally?

Daniel Hubmann: "I do not much specific for the mentally part. Good results help me building up the self confidence."

Olav Lundanes: "I can divide the mental training in three parts: - Unorganised thinking during training and the free time I have - Organised mental training for special situations that can occur during competitions - Selv-confidence through good results and good training process"

Anne Margrethe Hausken: "The best mental preparation is to be well prepared, technically and physically. If you have done your homework (trained well & avoided injuries), you know that you will be able to perform well - and be quite hard to beat. I do my mental preparation mostly by visualization; either during training or when I rest; with or without a map (e.g. when studying old maps covering competition areas). I have cooperated with Anne Marte Pensgaard (Sports Pedagogue at Olympiatoppen) since 2005, and during my two years in Halden SK I have also had some contact with Kjetil Bjørlo (WOC 97 medalist)."


And another interesting question: All the best orienteers train lots of physical training, and good amount orienteering training in addition to participating in competitions. But how much orienteering training is enough? And what is the best way to prepare technically?

Daniel Hubmann: "I had 148 orienteering-hours last season. Most of it is just normal orienteering, but of course I do some specific sessions like compass-training, route-choice, contour lines. Low speed as well as high speed."

Olav Lundanes: "Last season I had 208 hours and 246 orienteering trainings, totally 31% of my training time. I had some elements of orienteering on 46% of my training sessions in the 2008/2009 season. I don't have any statistic on how much of this is normal orienteering and how much - special trainings, but after looking in my map archive, I can say it's approximately 2/3 on normal maps and 1/3 on modified maps. On the normal maps there are many special excersizes, like O-intervalls, Score-O etc..."

Anne Margrethe Hausken: "I did 140 o-sessions in 2009, compared to 203 in 2008. In hours that meant 128 hours in 2009 and 179 hours in 2008. The level from 2008 is what I would like to be on. This year there has been to many knee problems, meaning less running and orienteering during Jan-Feb-March and June-July. The sessions are a mix of traditional courses and sessions with a certain focus - sometimes on "OCAD manipulated" maps."

Hubmann's mental preparation - win and get the selv-confidence!