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Pais in POM 2011

I’ve rarely looked forward a training-camp so much I did for Team Finland’s camp in Portugal last week. I was packing my bag one week prior to the trip…The long, cold winter and good training through the winter contributed to this eagerness to do some quality training on the ranges of Evora. By the way, there is no misspelling in the title – it just reflects the pro-conditions Portuguese have to offer us (according to POM –entries some 237 Finns and 213 Swedes had made that conclusion as well).

However, the start of the training-camp wasn’t easy for me. Maybe due to a chiropractical manipulation session before the trip, I faced a painful problem in the very first o-training. All the other maneuvers done to me have been really beneficial ones, but this time something went wrong and I lost my mobility for a short period. Fortunately Kalevan Rasti had a doc and physiotherapist in the group and they observed the condition and helped me – thanks! The rest of the camp was actually a success and I was able to perform quality training. Check out the whole training week on training-page.

POM 1st day

The competition season was opened on last day in Portugal O-meeting. My technical performance was a decent one (could have done 2mins faster) and the problem with the sacrum-region was not holding me up too much. I was fifth in the rankings and lost 1½min to Philippe. This is a good start for the season. The next three weeks I will spend at home, doing some cross-country skiing, writing my thesis and tuning in to the competition season. Have a nice end of the spring – summer is not far away anymore!

Weekend in Denmark


Juha, Anders, Pasi ja Jonne

Vaajakosken Terä's weekend in Denmark was both sweet and successful. We took the victory in the Spring Cup day relay with a good team performance and got the desired cross on the Hall of Fame.

The relay map

More details about the happenings you can find on Terä's international pages. The maps and HR files have been updated here on my pages as well. My own performances were really good during the weekend and I also managed to win night-sprint on Friday eve. Without compass, of course ;-).


Anttolanhovi & Icebug


Anttolanhovi and Icebug will continue to support me in the future as well. The long-lasting co-operation with Anttolanhovi started already in 2002. In the photo below we are enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Anttola.

Icebug and Ikonen "married" themselves 2008, and on this year I'll be running with spirits again. This year's shoe will suite the WOC 2011 -terrains very well. Check out the new cross-country running shoe Anima as well!

Our club's sponsors you can find on the shirt below. Their support is important in reaching the high goals' of this season. BTW, season starts on next weekend in FinnSpring! 

Pais in Anttola

The sky is brightening


(c) Timo Joensuu

After a difficult 4wk period, things are starting to go well. During last week, my running started to feel good and as a result I won Kaakon Rasti's race (photo above). The whole weekend-trip in Salpa-Jukola training terrains was splendid!

For some strange reason my right leg (buttocks and back thigh) was facing some big problems during the last month. I had quite a lot pain in rest, but was able to run the races. Those were not so nice to do, as the leg wasn't functioning properly. I got some massage, physiotheparist consultance etc. but nothing really worked before last week. On Monday I visited a man who "fixes failures" and he managed to "untwist the knots of my muscles". In the end he even "updated the hip's operating system". As I have visited many of them, and these guys seem to use rather interesting language...

Even if I had planned to rest for a while, I was in need for testing "the new operating system". After a short lottery event we choice a training event some 30km from our place. That turned out to be a jackpot - really nice terrain and course! The legs were feeling totally different than on previous trainings and races. I was really enjoying this one.

More hype was coming up as Terä travelled to Hamina for Salpa-Jukola training-camp. The terrains back there are nice - you can run pretty fast and still you face some tricky challenges all the time. The main aim was to do high class trainings and to do well on that regional event already mentioned. Already in the first training I was feeling comfortable with both running and technical activity. And of course the euphoria was all the time "too high", so in the end I was forced to do some mistakes as well. I'm sometimes enjoying too much...


My performance in the race on Saturday was as it should be: unhurried, light to execute and still fast even hard running. Only in one place I decided to push, in fact just before my only mistake. Then I got humble again, and the rest of the race was perfect again. Do I really have to try to change something, which is already working really well? I'm asking this, because I was leading the race with a big margin at that point and was only 3s behind the "optimum".

But summa summarum: the situation with leg is starting to get better and the mentally this week was relieving. More briefly, the man is back on track. Check out the latest updates in the diary!

Relaxing in Anttolanhovi and FC on Ultra-long


Pais Lyökin SM 2007 -maastossa

One week of quality sportman-life is once again history and I'm sitting on a computer and preparing myself for tomorrow's examination (one article of 15 to read). Wonder why I'm always starting the reading too late and have no time on this evening either..?

Well, last week was effective regarding to studies as well, but I had time to enjoy the pleasures of Anttolanhovi and Finnish Champs on ultra-long distance as well. We ate well in Anttolanhovi and I did some good training in nice terrains as well (map below). On the other hand, Minna was sick all the time and the spirit was not that high due to that. On Friday, we had to face the fact that it's only me who travels to eastern Finland.


Finnish Championships on ultra-long distance is a nice case. Especially this year, because the terrain was beautiful, map perfect and the courses (by Simo Martomaa) challenging. And interestingly, the physical side of the performance - the inevitable fatigue - is in some sick way enjoyable, at least beforehand and now, one day after the race. And finally, this type of exercise often gives you a big supercompensation for some reason.

You can find some words from the race on the training pages, so I won't tell more here. Just that, it was a nice trip, two guys were better than me and I'll try to win again on next year in Kortesjärvi! Now its time to quit and do some real studies again. The next happening on o-scene is Finnish Team's WOC training-camp in France and we'll have two "showing races" on next weekend as well. They should be very relevant regarding to WOC 2011. Rock rock!

Latest leaps


Pais ja MM-maastot taustalla

This time my story over the last few weeks can be found on an orienteering blog of YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company). Here are some photos from France, some maps and more you can find on the training-pages.


Meidän hotsku

Our hotel on the top of a mountain.


Aamulenkkimaisemaa vikalta aamulta

We got some snow for the last days...


Vika treeni

It ain't gonna be easy in this year's WOC!



This year's best training so far.

Jukola and NORT


Jukola 2011

The first important competition period is over. In Jukola we did quite ok, and got 4th position and in Nordic Orienteering Tour I achieved 7th spot. Both results are "quite okey", but maybe it's just that what pisses me off. Where was the fighting spirit and the precise actions needed at the crucial points of performances, tell me man! As my buddy said: "Nobody can be that bad, can he ;-)?"

NORT started on Thursday some days before Jukola with "sprint middle distance", in which I had planned a great charge beforehand. 2nd spot only 24s behind Lundanes felt really good. Also the physical form (I didn't have to push at all) and mental feeling (excited, but still relaxed in technical way) were close to the optimum.

In the evening's final I was maybe out of both mental and physical energy, so lazy were both running and orienteering. Silly route-choice on the second long leg cost me the position among the 15 best - and so were some crucial bonus-seconds and WC-points lost as well. Feeling was a bit disappointment after the race, but good run in the morning slightly cheered up the melancholic mind.

In Jukola I did rather ok job, meaning that I didn't miss in big time. Mostly I was just unhappy with my passiveness when running with Valentin and when choosing the other route-choice when battling of the 2nd and 3rd spot. On the other hand, the physical fitness was not high enough, and I would have had only slight chances competing of the podium places. I still have one big problem when running Jukola: 20min of sleep during the night is not enough, even if you'd feel relaxed.

After Jukola we travelled to Göteborg already on Monday, where my primary goal was to do well in the morning's qualification. It was in fact a good race for me, as I was 11th and lost only 37s to the fastest time. In addition, I lost 20-25s on two legs, so the race could have been better. Before the quarter-final I felt really good, put it didn't help a much as Mr. Müller was running really fast all the time. My best ability - running uphills - was "killed" during the high-paced downhill legs on asphalt. After running long time on the last spot, I decided to flush the performance down the toilet by doing a stupid route-choice and getting lost. This was really stupid, because by running behind the others would have given more bonus-seconds and WC-points. Well, a masochist seems to know that it's not wise to put yourself into too good position before the final...

Before the NORT-final in Oslo we did two o-sessions in Göteborg, which helped to avoid "the hotel death" during the days between races. After Friday's model event I was feeling really good and self-confident.

Göteborg training

In the final my performance didn't last to the end after all. The performance got broken. My biggest mental problem - too high expectations concerning my o-performance, took over. The start of the race was good and when checking out the speed of other runners, I felt confident. But somehow I let the grip slip from my hands, and started to miss. The last loop after visiting the competition center was kind of via dolorosa. Too much misses and bad mental feeling. When approaching third last control, I hurt my leg (nice sportmanship by Mr Kyburz there by the way, thanks!) and on the next control we missed too much.

Well, it felt good to unload the mental burden here. Some bright sides are coming up to my mind now as well, and my honest estimation is that the goal of reaching a WOC-medal is still realistic. What is needed now, is a good physical training period accompanied by some precise training for the mental strength in orienteering. I will update the last preparations from the camps (Ylläs & France) frequently. Have a nice summer!



Bugs in throat, horseflies biting ass and calves eaten by mosquitos! That is how summer is on my homeland in the beginning of July. But it's also evening training sessions in "spectacular terrains", this time two times per week (Kalajoki- and Pyhäjokilaakso). Seutu-rastit map was used in Kalevan Rastiviesti 2009:

Seutu-rastit 29.6

The summer is also long runs on Alpuanharju-ridge and swimming in the clean water of Lumijärvi.

Pitkä lenkki 30.6

And finally today we ran a fantastic Kalevan Rastiviesti! Now it's nice to travel to Lapland to do some rough training...

Kalevan Rastiviesti 2011

Ylläs training log - updated


Pais Ounastunturilla

Let’s check out this summer’s most finest (and hardest) training week in detail. Principals for the training are these:

1.Training much (old-fashioned way). >200km, >20h and as a bonus I have a goal to visit all the fell tops near Äkäslompolo and as a result get >5000m of climbing this week.

2.Two important trainings are uphill-intervals. First one 4x1km on rocky hillside of Kukas-fell and the second one by running to the top of Ylläs.

3. Couple of downhill o-sessions with rocky ground. Aim is to adjust the biomechanics a bit and technically find the right way and time to read the map.

+ while travelling to/from Ylläs some nice o-session near Ylitornio.  This one we already did:


Daily diary:

MON 4.7: Uphill-intervals in terrain!

6.50 AM: 24min morning run in Nilivaara. 50% in forest. 4km.

9.10 AM: 101min running and intervals in Kukas.4x1000m (120-130m uphill) 5.30-4.50. 18km.

15.20 PM: 60min orienteering/running.To the top of Kuertunturi and downhill-o. 8km.

TOT: 3h 5min, 30km and 1100m climbing.

Kaukana Ranskasta


TUE 5.7: Long, Slow, Distance!

7.30: 16min morning run and finding the interesting swimming place. 3km.

9.25: 190min running/hiking on Ounastunturi. Pretty damn nice exercise! 28km.

17.15: 65min running to the top of Kesänki. 11km.

TOT: 4h 31min, 42km and 1080m climbing.

WED 6.7: ”Rehab-day”

10.20: 50min running/hiking. Checking out my dad's new map in Ylläsjärvi. 7,5km.

15.30: 24min circuit + 100min running/hiking.To the top of Lainio and back. My ankles start to get tired... 16,5km.

TOT: 2h 54min, 24km and 600m climbing.

THU 7.7: More rehab

9.14 AM: 78min running + 32min orienteering. 18km. Warm-up to Kaulavaara and downhill-o to Velhon kota. Really nice slippery & rocky terrain! And Minna is beating me now when I'm running at low pace (HRavg 126)!


17.30 PM: 15min circuit + 10min running + 16min running technique. 4,5km.

TOT: 2h 31min, 22,5km and 500m climbing.

FRI 8.7: To the top of Ylläs by interval running!

9.17 AM: 130min running. 22km. Including 7 x 4min uphill-intervals from Äkäslompolo to the top of Ylläs. Total climbing in the intervals over 500m and lactate was developing well enough... In the cool-down I climbed to the tops of Keskinen laki and Kellostapuli. Last 100m in the intervals is starting:


17.30 PM: 26min running. 4km. I had once again sore ankles and downhill-running was painful. So I decided to cancel the training and did a considerable amount of rehabilitation in the evening...

TOT: 2h 36min, 26km and 850m climbing.

SAT 9.7: Recovering body and mind on Äkäskero

9.00 AM: 166min jogging/hiking. 21km. We finally did a true recovery training, which means that we didn't run too much during the first hour of training. It was wise as it was hot (+28C) too. The area of Äkäs- and Linkukero was pretty much optimal for this kind of training.

17.00 PM: 100min running. 16km. I had to go mad in the evening, because I noticed that there is a possibility to climb on Kauppi's back (Kaupinselkä)...

TOT: 4h 26min, 37km and 900m climbing.

SUN 10.7: Travelling & training the rest

7.20 AM: 19min running. 3,5km. Last "waking-up" at Ylläs.

9.50 AM: 26min running + 44min orienteering. 11,5km. 6 x 0,6-1km orienteering intervals in Kivirova. I was quite tired, but managed to run some faster sections. Training included some tricky parts:


19.30 PM: 20min running. 4km. BTW, it's not easy to make the first running steps after travelling 800km...

TOT: 1h 49min, 19km and 300m climbing.

THE WHOLE WEEK TOT: 21h 53min, 200.5km and 5330m climbing. Mission accomplished ;-).

WOC simulation is on


Breikki & Pais

Hi from France! Our trip has started well and after four days we've done already 7 sessions in terrain. Today we had the first final - the long final - in Le Revard. Le Revard starts to be quite familiar to me, but still good performance and " a medal" makes the man smile ;-).

Pais medalli

As I'm in a hurry now, I have time to post only two maps. My coach Jarmo Heiskanen has helped a lot and the courses rather difficult. These two courses - Long Final 10km & yesterday's hilly-o 4,3km - represent the easiest trainings. It took 77min to complete the long distance ((10km and running distance)  and yesterday I spent 39min in the forest. Those were perfect performances, so you can imagine that these terrains are pretty extreme ones!

Long Final

(3rd control was excluded due to fallen trees)


Finnish selection races


Today's performance on Finnish Team's middle distance selection race wasn't exactly very good. I got lost on the first control (3min) and made another big mistake on "easy" 4th control (2.40min). Hovever, those mistakes didn't kill my racing humour and I enjoyed Mr. Salmi's excellent course till the end.

Lowering of the intensity is one key element for successful performances in these terrains, and I haven't yet found enough courage to take it easy enough at those crucial points. On the first control we had a new clearing and I got confused with that. When the map has changed like that, you really have to take it easy and I didn't do that well enough today. Well, I know that I surely can do that and tomorrow is the next chance to find the right rhythm. I will add the long distance map tomorrow as soon as possible and here you can see our course today. I think 33min would be a nice time:

Keskarin katsastus 27.7

In the long distance selection race I chose a safe tactic: do not run too fast ever and have a full contact with the map all the time. I didn't use a magnifying glass today, which forced me to walk in some places, but this was only a good thing. I didn't do mistakes over 30s and totally I could have made only about 3-4mins faster. On this course I consider it as a rather excellent performance:

Long selection race 28.7 

Some more analysis from the selection races. You can see from these that the speed was high in the middle, but you achieve far more better result with the pussy-tactics I used on the long distance ;-):

Selection race analysis

6,9 x 690m and other WOC-preparations


HR file 31.7

The summer has reached the point where preparations for the World Championships take place. This last two week period is interesting: the last hard trainings are extremely hard and even painful (check the HR-curve above), but on the other hand you are able to enjoy them because the running feeling is so good. I haven't been easing my training too much this summer either (maybe I should do that a bit more..) and from that point of view these last hard trainings with fresh legs are beneficial both physically and mentally. You can "spare" these methods and use them only at the last moment.

6th interval

Speaking of which...training and coaching is exact art, as you can see from my "training numbers" (6,9 x 690m) ;-). 6,9 x means that six intervals were exactly 690m and one was shorter.  Terrain was France-simulating Hitonhauta (JWOC 1992 by the way), where you can find some nice steep hills, fallen trees and rocky surface... Physical feeling was really good!

The next week I'll spend at home and before travelling to France we'll run a regional event in Mäntsälä on Saturday. The course setter says that it will be a heavy competition...


On Sunday, six days before qualifications take place, we'll travel to France. First we acclimatize at high altitude (alt. 1700m) for couple of days and the two last days we'll spend in Chambery (alt. 300m). The it's time to start the World Championships in France!

Finally back on WOC-medals!


(c) Hevoskuuri

Ten years of waiting is now over and big goal reached in the form of WOC-silver medal! WOC long distance in France was not the feared via Dolorosa for me - on the contrary, it was one of the most enjoyable runs I have had. On Monday I was rather disappointment after missing the final in middle distance, but on the starting line - on the western cliffs of Massif de Bauges - I was already feeling strong, but humble.

I got more humble by struggling with the early controls of the race, but it helped me to find the last safety routines needed later on during the course. After that all was easy in my performance, it was in fact like in the sport psychology books ;). Actually, every time I have done a really good performance, the general feeling has been extremely light. All the stars were in right positions today and I made the right moves. 

(c) Hevoskuuri

But without friends and co-operators this would not have worked out at all:
- Minna and my familyi - great support, in every turn!
- Jarmo Heiskanen, Eino Havas ja Juhani Palonen - hey guys, we did it!
- Vaajakosken Terä - Terä viiltää!!
- Finnish orienteering folks, friends, relatives - thanks for the marvellous spirit!
- and finally co-operators Icebug and Anttolanhovi

THANKS TO YOU and now the story goes on to further adventures. On Saturday we'll fight for World Champs medals here in France. The results can be found here.

Below you'll find my exact routes and analysis of yesterday's race. By running a totally perfect run, I had still lost 2s to Thierry ;-):

WOC long, part 1

WOC long, part 2

WOC long, part 3

1st in World Cup race in Liberec!


WC middle Liberec 24.9

It has been a while since I last time stood on the podium as a World Cup race winner (2002; Belgium, Norway or Sweden), so this win feels rather nice indeed. I haven't updated any news after WOC, so short description what has happened since: I've been training quite well, but some minor sicknesses and injuries have been bothering every now and then. The results in Finnish Championships were not really good, and only in FC-relay I was pushing hard enough. After a good team performance, we got the gold with big margin.


Yesterday's victory was really an unexpected one. Running feeling was all the time easy, but nothing spectacular and orienteering mainly perfect. (check the GPS-tracking by clicking the map above). But still I missed 1½ min totally and it was hard to believe when the organizers told me I would win. I can only guess the reasons behind good physical performing yesterday. One reason could be the big amount of continental orienteering this year, despite the French terrains which were not so continental in every place.... In Finland I haven't felt so good physically this year. On the other hand, when you are in shape, the terrain type should not make so big difference. Maybe this has something to do with mental aspects of o-competition performing, and it has only been hard to find the right attitude in Finnish Championships after getting the silver medal in WOC.


BUT BUT, some Job's post as well. I'm not running today's chasing start race, because I got sick yesterday some hours after competition. It's the basic Eastern European stomach-ache which struck me, and maybe I got it from some people or the food yesterday. After sleeping 12h I'm already feeling a bit better, but totally powerless. I guess I would have lasted for 2km of competitive orienteering speed today, so there was no sense to start for a 16.7km course...I'm of course very pissed off, as I would have had chances to get among the three best in the World Cup totals. But, in the end, I am also very happy to get the 1st place yesterday. I have still some chances on middle distance as well ;-).

It's time to work!


JuoksKurko 12.10 (c) Touho Häkkinen

The season is over and hard everyday life is on - but this time the feeling is strong. My Master thesis study is about to start with an information meeting for the subjects. A lot of time has already been spend in the preparations. In our faculty, the Master thesis studies are usually really big ones and finally I faced the truth, and started to do the final hard work. It might be, that during the 480h of measurements and the same amount of analysing and the writing itself the feeling is not always so strong as here in the enthusiastic starting phase...Anyhow, this means that next year I'll be working with this project the same amount of hours as I use yearly for the physical conditioning (training, muscle maintenance and massages). In other words, this winter i won't be able to check every orienteering news and maps in the internet. This might be a good strategy on some other years as well, if you ask Minna ;-).

Well, some time is left for orienteering still. In the photo (by Touho Häkkinen) above, we are chatting about the route-choices last night in a KurkoCup event. It's easy to forget studies and other stressful things, when you´ran in the wilderness, on a course with some really tricky controls and legs. Concentration is pretty much in the map reading: how to do the next leg and how in the hell I am going to find the next control. This  "survival-strategy" has worked well in the first two KurkoCup events and of course the good season helps on the psychological side. In both of those night-o-races I have faced pretty ugly situations, but somehow you just do well even though the uncertainty is the most fundamental feeling ;-). It would be nice to investigate this phenomenon more, as now I am able to orienteer "without limits", which was often the case when I was a young stud...

JuoksKurko 12.10

Right now I am too busy to write anything about last season. But I will surely do it after the training season really ends in the beginning of November. Maybe I'll find some wisdom about the training and orienteering done during last year? Until that, only the map trainings will be updated on the training-pages.

Peaceful autumn for everyone (at least for those who have the chance to take it easy...)!

Training Figures 2011


Training hours 2011

Training year 2011 has now ended. Total training amount was 650h. Running, orienteering and hiking 5500km, cross-country skiing 800km and cycling 800km. 13% of total time was either in maximal HR zone or between thresholds. If you take training effect (HR goes down by volume-training) and short spurts (HR is too slow) into consideration, speed-training covers some 15-20% of the whole training. Maybe it's already enough? *I'll add one more analysis, regarding sports I've done. Interestingly, almost all of the faster training results from o-sessions:

Sports 2011

Probably the same goes with running kilometres. On the other hand, training could be increased and intensified by inreasing running, but you have to have a point in it. Maybe I'll emphasize even more this polarized training ideology - easy trainings are EASY & tough trainings are TOUGH. Some of the long runs have been already done with "the aspect of rehabilitation" (using also hiking) but maybe I should strengthen this ideology even more. Then I'd had more power in those 2-4 "developing long runs" weekly. On the other hand, if I prefer some faster movements, I should skip some of the long trainings as they might kill some of the beneficial effects of the REAL TOUGH AND FAST trainings.

Running kilometres 2011

That is to say, next year I might be focusing on middle distance again. At least the last performances in World Cup showed that the potential is still there and rising. Psychologically, next year's WOC-middle in Switzerland interests me a lot already. Doing good in WOC-middle you don't need to make too many of those long and slow runs (at least those useless ones), rather you need fast and even powerful legs. Regarding that, I am about to start a maximal and explosive strength campaign this winter. Lots of interval-training will take place in conjunction of course. But the question goes: you always have these great visions this time of year, but how to actually engage into this new kind of thinking (I'll have to also wait what my coach says...)? It's rather easy to say and plan, but how about the execution..?

I am very pleased with this season, both in training and success. I didn't do too well in Finland but on the other hand some really cool runs took place abroad. Big thanks goes to background people and especially to Jarmo Heiskanen, whose great trainings, presence and ass-kicking made it all possible!

Obsessed by orienteering


To Mullikurko-course 27.11

I became ill. In fact, I got the disease long time ago. But there seems to be no cure for this obsession. Even though the autumn has been really busy, for some reason I've had the time to orienteer. One fifth of the average weekly training (2h/10h) has been quality o-training. I just realized that it's already December soon, and the speed hasn't slowed down at all. Strange winters of present are pretty good for nordic runners, as now we are not so much handicapped because of the circumstances compared to Middle European runners.

Mullivuori GPS 27.11

The official reason for today's training in Mullivuori was to test next year's Icebug-shoes, but on the other hand I am now keen to make some speed-improving orienteering sessions. KurkoCup has been really good for that, but I have also made quite a lot own trainings since the weather is so good. Today I made Janne Salmi's favourite training - 3 x over-speed o-intervals. The speed was really high and the new shoes bit really well especially in the last interval in Mullivuori  - orienteering speed was 4.40min/km (check the map & data)!

O-sessions in October/November

I have come to a conclusion, that when the weather is so good for orienteering, you should not stop doing o-sessions at this time of year. In theory, improvement should take place also during the early winter months (even though it might be only a fantasy, if you are not able to do orienteering because of snow). Well, that's for sure that the break from orienteering won't be too long anymore - doing 2h of quality orienteering training per week helps a lot during the oncoming cold months. And soon it's already spring ;-).

Have a nice "winter"!

PPT.com & other training news


(c) Touho HäkkinenHello all you X-mas elfs!

As the photo on the left shows, the real training has started also here in Jyväskylä. The sprint-intervals done on the University Campus area were far from "submaximal" and the spit reached all the way to the ground after finishing the last set - new PB!

I have now done over 300h of work for my Master thesis, and it means that from now on I will be ready to do some training-camps as well. Only 150h of work is left and that will be much easier during 4 months in the spring - compared of doing 320h in 2½ months in autumn. Next step is to book a last minute flight to somewhere warm after Christmas - hopefully we'll find a suitable trip!

17.1-31.1 I will be in Portugal and at the start of February we'll have this traditional TC with Team Finland in Vierumäki.  The rest of the February I will spend working with the mid-measurements of my Thesis. Probably I will ski a lot then, and integrate my strength-training to these long and easy skiing sessions. In the mid-March Team Finland travels to Hungary for one week and in April the same gang will spend some 10 days in the WOC 2012-camp in Switzerland. These are the notes for this spring.


Training 20.12.2011

 But yeah, I had some news about the current things. Polar's PPT.com has been slightly updated and as you might know, I have transferred my training diary to this web-based application. Now my coaches are able to check the training on-line. Time shows, when the training diary will be public for all. That is my dream.

On the right hand side there is an example of one session in PPT.com. I was running around Jyväsjärvi (partly quite slippery) at rather good pace (4.19min/km) and I felt good. But, as usual, now I am quite jammed and happy to have a massage today...

Integrating the new piece (strength) to other trainings has worked pretty well until now. In the sprint on Saturday I felt really strong and during that Jyväsjärvi-training I felt that also the running economy is at least at the same level as before. We'll see what happens when "the real strength-training" (max-, speed-, explosive type of strength training) starts.



 Training Load 21.12.2011

One more picture from the PPT.com. I have used the Training Load -feature to objectively monitor my training state. This pretty simple feature seems to have quite a good relationship between your own feeling and the actual training load.





(c) Touho Häkkinen

Lastly one photo by Touho from last Saturday's Terä-meeting, where I presented my training during the 2011-season. Nothing more about the training anymore, as you can find the already-published news about it here.

But on the last slides there were some competitive goals for the 2012-season. They are in right order ;-)!





Merry Christmas 2011 and have a Happy New Year 2012!

The Warmth of South


Pais Nastola 31.12.2011Happy New Year!

Our plan to make a training-camp on last-minute-call -basis didn't work exactly as we had planned. There were other people escaping the darkness of Finland as well and we didn't find a suitable trip. So, the warm south means here Southern Finland and some degrees above zero.

I planned as many o-sessions as possible, because the terrains were snow-free and in that case it was reasonable to do as much as possible, even though the musculature wasn't in it's best shape... So, the training wasn't done "exactly by the book" when it comes to physical consideration but in the other hand it doesn't have to be like that always. The eagerness to orienteer was the main objective and as we had the means to fulfill the orienteering-hunger - why not do it? The winter seems to be coming afterall, as you can see from the last training's photo on the left.

These seven o-session on snowless terrains give me more power to outplay the Nordic winter. Now I have only 2½ weeks before the first real training-camp, so there won't happen any big downturn in the physical performance level in orienteering running. Concerning this, one important coaching question popped into my mind again: what do you benefit from those nice sessions done in the gym or track during the winter (related to fast power production and running technique) if you can't transfer it to the real performance in the woods? I can see the point doing these kind of trainings, and I can totally agree with that when it comes to sprint-orienteering. But the traditional orienteering is in my opinion different case: as we are still waiting the complete scientific analysis of physical orienteering performance - I can only state this cruel realistic fact: orienteering is a slow sport for slow, but tenacious people ;-).

That might have been a bit provoking and to be honest, I really enjoyed when looking at the results from yesterday's traditional New Year runs in Finland. Many orienteers did fine and that shows good attitude. Finally, let's get back to this training-camp in south, as the coach of the camp (Minna) recorded some material from the Inkoo-woods with her camera. You can check the video from Youtube. The leg on the video (15-16) can be found on the map below. Have a nice start of the New Year!:

Inkoo 30.12

Hungry in Hungary


Gant views

Views from Gánt hills

Sport is a drug. And a hard one. I realized that once again during our training-camp in Hungary. Once you get caught, there's no way out. And in this case, the more you get the more you want. When everything goes as in movies.

In fact, when I was travelling to the camp I was somewhat lost, depressed and owned working heart rate levels of a teenager. I was once again thinking that what the hell is the reason to do this job. It's strange, because not more than month before I was on the track and beating like the swiss clocks in NORT2011. Towards new and new success, and having constant smile on my face. Well, then I got jammed. First physically, and then mentally. Finally both of them at the same time! My work (450h REAL working hours in four months...) with Master thesis finally took it's toll.

Towards ass

Occasionally things are from the a... Fortunately, in Hungary this was literally spoked, and only positive.

After I got tired, I stayed in bed for some days and slept well. After I felt strong enough, I started training but with really, really slow speed. That kept on going for three weeks and my only goal in life was just to "be". Pretty nice goal in nowaday's life actually, you should try too! I was physically active some 16-20h /wk, but as I said, the intensity was ridiculous low. I noticed hardly one positive thing: I had no pains in my body. In fact, I may have lost some irritations I have had for loong time.

During those weeks I didn't use too much time of thinking professional sports or my goals. Well, to be honest, I may have had some of my melancholic thoughts about losing everything and this is it. I should avoid that, because I am not very truthful to myself when thinking negatively. I didn't have too positive picture of my situation before travelling to Hungary, but once we got there...it started to go all well..:

First training: could run in forest

First race: could run all the uphills

First hard training: could run the same speed as the others

First taining-camp (summa summarum): I am hooked on orienteering again.

Race GPS

Route choices are not yet perfect...


Next: own EOC-camp Mora/Falun 28.-31.3 + visit on Stockholm region 1.-4.4 (Solna OK's Aprilskämtet on 1.4). And then 7.-15.4 WOC2012 -camp in Switzerland...I am so hooked.

Best spring regards,


PS. It's not always good to be hungry...

På svenska från och med nu


Fin tallhedterräng

Vårt mini-träningsläger i Mora är nu slut. Totalt gjorde vi 5 träningar och 50km med kartan. Fyra av träningarna
körde vi i gropterränger relevanta för EOC-skogfinaler (se nedan) och en i relevant terräng för EOC-kval. I Mora var omständigheterna bra - nästan ingen snö!

Ämåtjärn 30.3

Idag ska vi tävla i Solna OKs medeldistans (3,67km för Minna och 4,62km för mig). 105 deltagare i H21! Sen ska vi träna några dagar i Stockholm-området, för att njuta av de roliga terrängerna här.

Sverige har varit så kul att jag har bestämt att byta språket här på nätsidan till svenska. Det ska vara lite
jobbigare att förstå för några, men jag tror det går bra. Hurra!

Du har kanske sett att min nätaddress är nu pasikonen.net, så skulle du uppdatera dina bokmark att hitta sidan bättre. Och träningsdagbok ska bli uppdaterad oftare från nu och med, så åka dit också! Jag har laddat ner alla kartorna från den här resan och skrivit också ganska mycket små saker om träning och vardag.

Du hittar resultaterna från dagens tävling här, om det finns en tävling (man ved ju aldrig när det är den första april ;-)).


Training with Jouni Kahelin


Same weather in Switzerland and Finland

Last month has been pretty much professional in terms of orienteering training and we have seen a bit of world also. The tour started one month ago with the training-camp in Hungary, which was followed by a short preparation camp for the European Championships in Mora, Sweden. In addition, we spent couple of days in Stockholm-region and after only couple of days rest, we were ready to start the last trip of the hard preparation period, this one heading to Switzerland. The return to home was of course nice one, and Jouni Kahelin's invitation to an interval session made it even better.

Let's go back to Switzerland for a while though. As you can see from the photo above, the weather was totally different than last year at the same time. I was constantly checking the weather forecast, and it promised some sunshine in addition to the rain showers. Well, the crude fact was, that the sunny moments lasted for minutes, but the rain showers for hours. Or was it days? Alltogether, trainings were good and service pretty much high standard.

No brains at all

My own orienteering performances aroused some critical thougths indeed. In summary I would say: who in the world who is preparing himself for the WOC2012-middle distance can be so bad, damn? And on the other hand, long distance seems to be piece of cake. I should probably learn to take it a bit more carefully on middle distance. Well, there is plenty of time before the champs will take place.

Another thing, I have been wondering about this spring is the performing on homeground. Now I have had better preparation for them (and EOC) than before, especially in sport-spesific way. How dum can you be that you can't figure that out sooner? It's not too much off from the primary goals, if you train a bit more in the slow terrains to get better results in the beginning of the season? Well, I can't say it yet - whether I will get more self-confidence from the early spring races in Finland or not. Omega (=results) tells it soon.

Halssila 18.4

Halssila verifying 18.4

To the main issue: really nice training we did today. The devil's son, Mr.Kahelin, had planned an interval-session for Terä-runners. I checked it out yesterday and my conclusion was that it is a crabby one. Lots of snow and harvester had been eating all the trees (probably due to Kahelin's will). But the truth was different, route was challenging, but mostly snow-free. Also the speeds (5.00->4.00min/km) were high enough. Thanks for the company and the spirit for the guys.

Next stop Silja-rastit on Saturday. Vi ses där (even if the last news was only an April 1st joke)!



Kevättä Muuramessa 19.4

The Finnish Orienteering Spring really started one week ago in superhyper-feelings. I had not the best feeling physically, and made even one bigger mistake. Still, I could catch a clear win. This was sensible before the start as well. After all, during the last week I caught some fever two times and even tough I had the legs of a-1500m-runner I was pretty much faced with the situation that I cannot tolerate the hard terrain. Even if the legs were so soft, they were even too soft.. And then same goes with the whole body. Even softer.

Previously this week I wrote some hearings on YLE blog, but they killed all the links for some reason. It's a pity, because it killed the whole idea somehow. That's the reason I am now attaching all the links to this news.

After having a short race by myself, I have had more time to figure out how the other people did. My Minna is starting to perform pretty well in the woods. Even though now we saw some real mistakes in a race. In fact, during this spring, Minna has made mistakes only in trainings. Well, terrain and course were really demanding. Jani made also a performance good enough for him to qualify for the EOC. The other club-mate of mine, Timo Joensuu, got a second place in H21E, which promises good things to happen on next weekend's Tiomila.

I will now concentrate on following the races and recovery. The form is still very good, I just need to wait.

Still alive


Kivivaara 7.5

I have spent the last few days at my home and now I am finally getting healthier. I have enjoyed the nice moraine terrains and the training speeds show, that the situation is not too bad after all. At least today's intervals showed some positive kilometer-speeds:

Alpuanharju 8.5

The story goes on a bit more in the training diary and you may find there some maps/photos more. I think I will update the diary more often from now on...


And now the final intervals have been done. The speed was even higher :-)!

Qualified :) or just qualified :| ?


Pais towards finish in middle qualification

Greetings from EOC!

The qualification races of forest distances are now over and my performance was good enough to achieve only 10th place on middle distance. The result does not satisfy, but the performance was good (45-50s misses). Which makes me wonder, is that heart rate has been really high during the last few days. I don't know if it is because of bad sleep during the last 4 nights or does it come from other stress factors.

 EM-keskarin karsinta 15.5


What comes to today's long distance qualification, I can say that I qualified :). The performance was good, heart rate already clearly lower and running felt easy all the time. And even the placement was better: 5th. I think I will have a good finals in these champs after all. Tomorrow's rest day will be needed and most probably the physical level will be higher in the next race on Thursday!

The start of the long qualification was pretty stable (except 2nd leg):

Good start!

The rest was a bit slower and included some minor mistakes as well (9-11 & 14):

Slower end

Freaky things



At the top edge of my pages it says: "for freaks mainly". That hasn't held true very much, so I think I have to correct the situation. This came up to my mind on Monday when I was checking my old maps from years 1985-1995. I check those up often to get some amusement. In fact, I found Tuesday's training map from Nahkakallio in one of the folders and was surprised that how in the hell I haven't used that pearl earlier. Since it's located only 30km from my homeplace, it's very close. The same distance from home in Jyväskylä region would be something like 5km. In Finnish Lapland that "mental distance" would be maybe 100km...

In that Tuesday's training I had a groovy feeling, because when I was running on road to the start I could follow the map pretty easily. But when I went to the forest I was instantly lost. Totally the training consisted of 18 controls, and I can say for sure that I visited 4-5 of them correctly ;-). Despite of good planning of the training I wasn't sure that I am in the right terrain...

Then some more stories from the old folders:

Hollanti 1993?

Hollanti: This may be a map from a regional event back in 1993 in Kannus. Unfortunately the course planning wasn't perfect since only the first control was on fine area and of course the whole 1st leg was spectacular. I can understand that even then (20yrs ago) children's start could not be far from the competition center, but I must say a 13-year-old was already a bit jealous that we didn't reach those beautiful areas in the western part of the map...

Pellon pakkaset

Pello: This was my first night-orienteering and since it was organized in Pello, we had to drive some 320km for this great competition. Temperature was couple of degrees minus and the forest wet. But it was worth it: look at the perfect course and how beautiful terrain, aaahhh!

Vihannin Perukoilta

Perukka: I wouldn't like to be too proud of my home county, but we know how to do things as well! Vihanti's Perukka situates only 10km from my home in Lampinsaari and still has remained totally unused during the last years. As was the case with the two earlier examples, this one was also organized most probably in 1993. In my opinion, the course planning on this course is pretty much perfect, since this incredibly detailed area in north-west would have been too difficult for the b-course...


Next time some real news. Maybe ;-).

Ylläs Online



Ylläs seems to be the number one still. Training facilities are great and even the weather has been rather good. After one week of good training, my heart rate starts to find the right rhythm and my physical form is getting better all the time. I was testing it yesterday in a training session and more tests will follow during the weekend at Torniolaakson rastipäivät. Too bad I couldn't run the selection races in Tampere but I really needed this trip in order to do well in the WOC.

More detailed information about the TC can be found in my training diary. Lots of material (maps&photos) there!


Ylläs finished


Aavasaksa 9.6

The training-camp in Ylläs is now finished. This time I succeeded to exercise more or less reasonably than on last summer's Ylläs-camp. Back then I had such training goals as banking up climbing meters by running to the top of the fells and that resulted in big pains in muscles. Nevertheless, even after this camp this afternoon's massage will be enjoyable event (or really painful...).

During the weekend I ran Tornionlaakson Rastipäivät. In the first race I was pushing like in a real race, even though the training mileage was pretty high during the week. It was special that this time I did well in the uphill-orienteering, and when the course started to decline I couldn't use the brake. Well, it was a fine competition still:

Ruskola-map 9.6

On the second day my body felt relaxed as an iron bar and HRavg was only 168. Also the orienteering performing was somewhat mediocre. The start in Etunen Rovavaara and Jyppyrä surprised me in terms of orienteering challenge and rocky underground. Tha last part in Ainiovaara was a lot better and there I both ran and orienteered slightly better. Even though the muscles were already pretty tired, the races were fantastic (and I won them both after all). It's a pity that you can't really run these small, but fabulous competitions more often.

Pais in Ruskola 9.6

Next in program is Forssa Games in Jokioinen. I have to admit that I have some butterflies in my stomach already. Of course because of Jukola also, but especially because it would be nice to catch the fifth win or to get the first place in the marathon-standings. It's pretty odd that sometimes these smaller seem rise the same nervousness as the World Championships!

Week to the Final!



The car has again left from Jyväskylä and next stop is, again, Vääksy. Tomorrow we'll have the usual press-conference, flight to Switzerland and accomodating ourselves there. On Thursday some last tunings in Swiss forests. And when excited the same thing happens on Friday. And most probably on Saturday ;).

One way to ease up the nervousness is to follow up all the o-races going on in Finland. In the best cases our main focus has been in classes H90-95.

Well some things about my preparation: I got into form in Kalevan Rastiviesti and legs have been light since then. on the other hand I was on the edge last week. Finally, today my masseur said that the legs are better than ever. I don't know what you can conclude from this, but I surely will enjoy this trip.

A lot and with heart.


The last o-session in a very non-relevant terrain:


Musta vuori


Mustavuori 5.9

For the first time on Musta vuori (=Black hill/mountain). It's true in de facto and when it comes to mental issues. I printed the training Lasse had organized in the forenoon and headed out for the training. When I arrived at the training place, I noticed that I had forgotten the map at home. Weeelll, I won't spend gasoline for picking it up. Instead, I used some 10mins to learn the course from my phone's display. Then I did a 2km warm-up and decided that maybe I should have the phone with me if I get lost. Already at the first control I was lost, and tried to search my phone from the back pocket. Well, yeah, I forgot it at my car...After a careful reasoning, I went south and found the control. After that the rest of the course went pretty well. Physically it was very dark, why not mentally as well. Fortunately the terrain offered some nice places for the broken mind:

Towards last control 5.9

Towards the last control.

2nd last control 5.9

2nd last control from the east. Lasse, damn you!

You may laugh!


Pais in Lumijärvi 8.10

Here you can see some typical Vihanti-terrain. This is a good location to start preparations for next year's WOC-long, don't you think? I am actually serious about this. With two o-sessions done on fast (but wet) moraine terrains, I was able to run 5min/km on today's training. Maybe I am not in that bad shape after all. But yeah, the main focus is to make long trainings at easy pace.

Laser-scanned map 7.10

On Sunday I tested to orienteer with laser scanned material. The map was pretty harsh version, as you can see.

Real Vihanti 7.10

This same training included also some other funny features, especially when the temperature was +7C and it was raining like hell. Maybe this the real truth about Vihanti's terrain-type. Wild rosemary (the stuff on marshes) truly grows up to your balls.

Ilveskorpi 8.10

Yesterday I made also third training - easy one - to check how the best open rock terrain in Vihanti looks like. Unfortunately our scanner somehow deleted all the gray from the map, but I assure you that there are rocky areas. Outstanding experience! When you would run top speed, you would definetely go under 8min/km. Well, let's say probably.

Linnastenkangas 6.10

I will continue my trainings here at my home for a while now. I will most probably orienteer a lot, because I missed the whole autumn-season from competitions. It's maybe weird to do lot of orienteering and training (2-4 hrs/day) at this time of year, but as I said, I have a good reason. And maybe one should remember the cruel fact of endurance athletics: the progress continues all the time. There is no such thing as off-season (in terms of training).

Kuuhkamonneva 9.10

Kuuhkamonkierros 9.10

Have a nice autumn!



Pais Gebiz 4.12



The last two weeks I have spend in Antalya, Turkey, for the bad times' honour. In fact, this trip was planned to do with Minna, but now it turned out to be only a one-man trip. Shit happens. I knew that the organizers are good and maybe not so busy at this time of year, so I just booked the flights and went off.

Antalya beach

I am really surprised why only few people head their ways to the south coast of Turkey. Because the climate is always nice, costs low, people are friendly and service more than good. Only thing which wondered me in the start of the trip was the traffic. You have lots of speed limits and lane markings, but they don't really mean anything ;-). But somehow it just works, and I didn't see accidents - even though the passings and maneuvers reminded me from Formula 1... 

Especially for an orienteerer the place is ideal: maps are good and numerous. For a sprinter place is also good as there are many good maps and the old towns can be rather kinky. Examples from my trip:

Gebiz (forest orienteering). Extremely nice running surface and from time to time some deeper canyons. Now we got some heavy rain just before the training, so I got to even swim ;-)). Map and photo:

Gebiz 3.12


Antalya old city (sprint). Tricky old alleys featured with rather big height differences. And couple of those really "kinky" places. Map:

Old city 2.12

It's not only about orienteering, and you can for example visit the Tahtalı Dağı (Olympos) -mountain (2365m). Photos:

Olympos 2.12

Olympos 2.12

Olympos 2.12

BIG thanks to Veysel Guler and his mates in Eon Tours, which is the main organizer in Antalya. They offer for example accomodations with all meals (rather unusual on orienteering trips) and of course high class orienteering trainings (read more). I got also a lot of help from Veysel in my personal problems and comprehensive introduction to the wonders of Antalya. Brilliant guy, as were also the other mates in the Eon team.

In March 2014 World Cup-races will be run near Antalya, so I expect that the interest towards Turkey arises in near future. We drove beside the WC-terrain, and it looked really promising. But now the trips are done and very cold Finland is reality. Waiting for the next trip to a warm place, but that I have to wait for a loooooong time :(.

Process finished


Aakonvuori 5.2.2013

Howdy ho!

Finally I have been able to deal with all the issues and new course has been set. It took only six months, my dearest one, lots of money and reputation. So, I survived with little damage ;-). Light in the end of the tunnel started shine while the divorce process finally ended in my head also. Pretty miraculous this life!

You might have seen that my series of alternative psychology didn't carry on too long. I was pretty close to publish the third part, but then changed my mind. I got some wise feedback and started to think, should I really make everything in my mind public always? I came to a conclusion that sometimes it's better to keep the thoughts inside yourself and write only to yourself.

Barbate 2008

Next in process: still one month of easy and long trainings here in Vihanti. Then I will travel to the south coast of Spain - Barbate. I am going to spend some 5-6 weeks there in great conditions, like back in 2008:

Relaxing in 2008

Then the competition season starts. We'll see what is my program in the early spring, but probably I'll have to show some balls to get into Terä's classy team in Tiomila...

Bachelor Boy


Bachelor boy at bunny break 25.3

The spring is showing it's first real signs here in Lampinsaari as well. Due to a certain misfortune I had to stay here for a extra month. My operated arm became inflamed some ten days after the successful operation and I had to postpone my trip to Spain. It took one week to survive from big pains and some fever, and I had to visit hospital every now and then to clean up the opened wound and see how the progress proceeds. At first the healing process was slow, but I have got used to live with problems during the last year. After I was able to start training again, it felt surprisingly good and I figured out that February was just so good training month, that even this kind of setback didn't affect too much physics or the mental side (even if it was severely tested once again). A new hobby - related to maps of course - helped me pretty much during the healing process.

Namely it's called playing with LIDAR data and making use of it's possibilities with OCAD Pro. It was so interesting that I've done some 100h of studying and work with it during the last two weeks. I reasoned that it is wise to produce some new maps for the summer trainings already now, so that I would have time to forget them during April ;-). Some examples can be seen below with the diary from last week. Basic job of a Bachelor Boy!


Monday 18.3

I woke at 5 AM once again and started to work with the maps. The main focus has been on producing nice and exact base material for my father. And when those have been done, I've been concentrating on my own maps and trainings. Days have been simply long and loaded with work. But I have done some real training as well:

8.01 AM morning run 21min + circuit 14min. 4km. The basic morning session.

12.47 PM classic skiing 101min. 21km. I skied all the tracks in Alpuanharju with GPS. My idea was to check how much all the features imported from the database of NLS of Finland are erroneous compared to GPS & LIDAR. Much.

Classic skiing without ski-poles 18.3


Tuesday 19.3

You don't need to guess my doings at the morning. Some three to four hours go really fast when playing with this kind of material... It's really liberating to get some time without worrying things too much, even if I recognize my situation too well also when doing trainings and for example working with this map project. But the progress towards more relaxed thinking has been started, in fact most likely already some time ago.

8.50 AM morning run 16min + circuit 24min. 3km. Morning run was planned to be longer, but the cold weather forced me to return home. I have still some slime in my throat and I wanted to play it safe by adding some aerobic circuit again.

15.26 PM skiing 114min + running 17min. 21 + 4km. Easy skiing with my father on the small tracks in the woods and after that some faster running, including 1,5km at 3.15min/km -pace. Not too easy feeling after the training because of that "cool-down" run.

After the training I took the daily cold-hot -treatment in the bathtub. This maneuver starts to be quite ready now: if the legs feel "hot" after the session (like after the previous session), it is wise to wash yourself first and then - even if it hurts - make the legs cold by showering them with ice-cold water. After that I add some hot water at the bottom of the tub, so that my jammed back gets some relaxation meanwhie the legs rest at the wall.

At this point you can here a sound from the legs - the sound of recovery. During the treatment I usually read the local newspaper and reading it takes the time my back usually needs. In the end I shower my legs again with ice-cold water for some minutes or sit in the water. And actually the real ending phase is putting the recovery socks on and solving the sudokus of the local newspapers.


Wednesday 20.3

You can now really guess what I did in the morning...

8.29 AM running 66min. 12km. I ran a longer morning run for a change on skimobile tracks and beside the minor roads. Training included about 20 x 50-100m with quite fast speed. And after the training this tub-ritual followed again. I have to admit that this treatment is not se beatific as I previously described. But at least you get a good feeling for some hours. During those hours I produced new map from Haapovuori without any field work ;-). The best piece of it:

Piece of the production from the map factory 20.3

15.24 PM skiing 30min + running/walking in snow 66min. 6 + 10km. My plan was to ski longer on the snowmobile tracks with the GPS, but now I got a small inflammation in my healthy hand. So I had to go home directly and change the running shoes on. In the end of the training legs felt pretty heavy after running on soft surface, but this is how the strength is gained!


Thursday 21.3

8.38 AM circuit 20min + running 12min. 2km. In total coma. Quickly back to home to rest and treat the muscles.

14.26 PM running 136min. 21km. After some hours of treatment, rest and work I can feel that a miracle has happened and I am ready for a long training. Training is almost too long since I got lost in the southern part of the old Alpuanjärvi -lake (it's nothing special, because I am there for the first time, and of course without map...). After ending up to two dead ends, I had to follow my steps back to center of the old lake. The wind was heavy and there was 15-20cm of snow on tracks and it made me to think how wise this training really is. If someone would have shooted some videomaterial from that kind of running, it should be forbidden for people under age of 18yrs.

After crossing the road to Alpua I had an idea that if the sun doesn't show up, I won't walk before I am at the top of the old mine's waste area. Well, it didn't show up and at the top of the small waste hill legs were like concrete. I kept my promise to myself, but after the session I also promised to myself that this session will not be repeated tomorrow.


Friday 22.3

9.44 AM skiing 60min. 12km. Skiing as morning training for a change, again without ski poles.

After the session I was wondering why the literature or other kind of relaxing freetime activities doesn't interest me during the day, but only in the evening before falling asleep. Then I have the only longer phase of the day without sport or orienteering related issues. The news, sport news and 20-50 pages of Ulkona -book (by Hannu Raittila) has been this week's evening program. Only exeption was yesterday and the reason was the TV-series Mentalist. The best thing about using so much time for these maps is that I don't get any money from it. But I and couple of other people get a smile on our face. And it is just so damn funny!

16.31 PM running 84min + walking in snow. 7km. I had an idea to make a map from the best (and only...) "open rock terrain" of Lampinsaari. At least my sisters' kids can use it some day for a treasure hunt activities? I wandered in woods with the GPS for a while and the aim was to find some rocks, cliffs etc. It was especially funny to find rock in pairs and make "eights" around them.  Pleasures of a weirdo are this cheap!

Kiviharju 22.3

Saturday 23.3

8.07 AM running 23min + circuit 17min. 4,5km. This time I ran a bit faster on the snowmobile tracks and my stride starts to feel strong again.

11.25 AM skiing 158min. 35km. Visiting Kalajoki with my father. I skied all the tracks there, weather was incredible and man had lots of power left in the end. Below you can see piece of Kalajoki-terrain with 50cm contour interval and vegetation image made from the LIDAR data. It looks almost as great in real life as well.

Processed LIDAR contours and vegetation from Kalajoki 23.3


Sunday 24.3

8.03 AM running 47min + circuit 13min. 10km. I got more stupid from yesterday and prolonged & added speed-play approach into it. 30s fast (2.50-3.30min/km) and 30s easy running (5.30-6.00min/km) is a simple system, which I didn't plan or execute practically very carefully. But something like that it was. Basic treatments after session so that I can have a good skiing exercise during the day. Weather is very beautiful.

11.43 AM skiing 150min. 27km. Skiing in the woods in Rasvakoski-hiihto. As I said, again an incredible weather and easy skiing on varying track had also similar effect you get from massage. At least for the legs, because my mom had to massage my back in the evening. It worked, because in the Monday morning's skiing (6.25 AM, 31km) the feeling was great. Obviously this long morning session without having a proper breakfast before was too long, since in the afternoon's running session (15.09 PM, 9km) the legs were lazy. Towards the end the feeling got better and I felt strong again. Now I will knock the wood.

Starting the skiing 24.3

At some point I would have to take it easy, but I don't know when I will have the time ;-). In any case it needs to happen before Saturday, when I will finally travel to Spain for the remaining 2 ½ wks. Second gear will be put on there. My competition season starts when the wound is safe. Properly.



Youtube-video 7.5

The spring is getting warmer and warmer! In today's forest-interval session both the weather and speed were at the top. Actually the training weathers have been rather okay during the last three weeks because few rainy days melted the snow quickly. But it didn't get too warm after that and since I've done high mileage in forest, it has been challenging to deal with my problematic muscles.

Veteli 5.5

Nevertheless, the last three weeks have been really good: > 40h training, running about 400km and running in forest almost 250km. Meanwhile I have participated in some small competitions (my Tour de Keskipohjanmaa) and I will be doing that a bit more. Kalajoki 2-days, Kalajoki training event and national race in Veteli are already history and at least Kärppäjahti is still coming up after Thursday's Huippuliiga. Then it's time to visit Vuokatti for the first time this year.

Veteli 5.5

It's probably pure madness to run the Finnish Champs in ultra-long distance, but what can you do when it's too tempting?Exact plans after that are still to be decided, but most probably we will visit Lapland, maybe 2nd trip to Vuokatti and for sure some great trainings nearby (like on last Saturday) will be executed:

Korkatti 4.5 



Jari, Jani, Pais and Mom 11.7

Damn it feels good to be in Kainuu and enjoy some great company. Sun is shining, Finns are doing great in WOC and it's nice to do some races without any goals (except finding the controls quickly). As a bonus I was second a bit over one minute behind my friend Mr. Andersson (have to see you David!).


And the terrains & courses - just great:

Piece of the route 11.7

Bronze Medal from Finnish Champs Middle Distance and Gold from Relay!



Pais rastilla 11

Photo: Tuomo Puskala

More story (in Finnish) at my online-training-diary on My-O -pages and the maps you can check from the right. Now I need to get some sleep before the relay (last night I slept 3h due to my neck problems...).


Finnish Orienteering Federation

Touho Häkkinen's photos from the middle distance

And we took the first two places in the relay! I was the last leg runner for the 1st team and did quite good time, but my performance was surprisingly poor technically (3min mistakes!). Still, I enjoyed all the time and didn't stress about the others. One thing more: probably the best moment of the day was to see Tue leaving the last control before Kalevan Rasti's Thierry and taking the silver for us!


Finnish Orienteering Federation

Touho Häkkinen's photos from the relay

Actual Agenda


Pais 2013

Photo: (c) Touho Häkkinen

Yesterday it happened. Precisely at two o'clock on a skiing trail towards Ampujien maja. I noticed that I was running at 4½min/km pace, even though I had once again promised before the training that all of these long runs should be as easy as possible. I slowed down and started to wonder what was the cause. It didn't take long to realize that I had been thinking about next season. Italy had entered my mind.


In fact, the meaning of that episode is two-fold. On the other hand it means that even if I want to "live this moment", I am still unable to make it. The future and the past have effect on the present. It's maybe not so big deal with this particular issue, cause you need to have dreams in sports. But the other meaning was more interesting: I have always consider myself somehow handicapped when it comes to ambition (excluding those years before becoming World Champion) and wondered why I am doing this stuff so vigorously year after year? I have admired other top-athletes when they want to win and "want to be better than others" and seen myself as a person who just "makes interesting things with skills" and has a goal of perfect orienteering. Maybe I have just sneaked behind that skill-goal and want to "crush other competititors" like others. Open questions indeed, but for sure that speeding up on a single training session tells me that the ambition is there and it hasn't diminished...

What the hell 2014?

I still love what I do and I do things with the same eagerness what I had when I was 16yrs old. In fact, in that training session I was 16, 33 and 49 at the same time ;-). But I hope I won't be doing this stuff at the same level in 2029...Some of the sharp edges of the young adulthood have been polished away, but most of the idealism is still there. For example training analysis: when I was 16, I used to measure all the legs with a ruler and count km-speeds and used HR data also to produce some ideas over my orienteering. It was slow, but beneficial work. Nowadays it's so much easier with the help of all the hard- and software and more time is left for the real thing, my own discussion. To be honest, I don't get big ideas so often anymore (sometimes I have these moments, when I invent the wheel again...), but if I see something new and interesting I use all my skills, strength and every possible technical system to learn something new from a particular case. This year, I have used a lot lidar-data to understand the new lidar-based maps better (see the map piece above, even though it's from next year's race ;-)).

Italy middle 2014

Some words about next season: I approach every challenge from discipline analysis perspective. What is needed in every single race next year? How are the tours in general? Then I plan the dates and places, when I execute these special trainings. Next year's challenges are pretty clear: hilly middle distances in Turkey, Spain, even in EOC?, Norway and in Italy. Going up and down, making the best route-choices. Economical running on the slopes and on roads, paths and flat areas. The most important thing is to get the body as aerobic as possible in the hills, and on the other hand to recover from the inevitable anaerobic phases and then combine these to aggressive and "anticipating" o-thinking. Today I am in a good situation, because my body is very suitable for those hilly middle distances. And my mind is not too bad in those, too.

France 2011

But hills are also the biggest challenge, when it comes to long distance. For some reason, I have had diffulties in those (excl. France 2011) and it may have something to do with the genetics, because my fater suffered from same kind of problems when he was a top cross-country skiier. But with very good preparation it's possible to do well in those races too, and that's what I saw in France. But how to execute careful preparation for long distance when the season is long and full of competitions? Well, what I can do is to skip all the unnecessary races (incl. sprints) and start to do hard long distance trainings already early in the spring. This year I will do them, even though they would harm the overall training, because it's so damn important issue to me. I don't want to find myself insecure with my long distance physical condition ie in EOC. I have learned that it has negative effect on other races too. 

New Diary

I won't publish exact plans here, because my plans change so much all the time. You can check my new training diary to see how things are rolling. Unfortunately, I have changed the language to Finnish. During the autumn I will exercise quite a lot (this week and next week are good examples) and orienteer much until the snow falls down. Then I will try to reduce my running mileage (to 100km/wk)  for a while and hopefully do cross-country skiing a lot before christmas. The christmas holiday I plan to stay in South Africa. Other camps in program: Turkey in the end of February and Spain in the early April. Italy comes to picture more in May and probably during the summer holiday as well. I am so old and experienced that I wouldn't need to spend so much time down there, but if it's possible, I'll do it. The most important work, 200-400hrs of playing with the maps I will do during the winter already. In the end, orienteering is the same everywhere. When you figure that you are already at top level ;-).

Stay tuned and have a nice autumn!



Mylly-Kurko 11.12

The night-o series Kurko-Cup ended last week in snowy conditions and the hectic autumn is ending in any case. At the very moment (6.30 AM...) I am sitting at the office and starting the last workday before holiday, or in my case, before my training trip to Israel. For couple of times I 've been thinking if there is any sense with my breathtaking timetables and neverending stress, but I have now come to a conclusion: you can push on hard work for a day or two without negative effects on training, but I don't want that to become a habit. Since I have been able to execute almost all my daily plans, I consider that I have taken my first tiny step to handle with recovery.

Training in NovemberTraining in December

Running kilometres in the autumn

Yeah, training is good. Both physical and technical preparations are now done. Physically I've done quite a lot running and some strength training, and technically I've been working with the terrain-analysis and o-thinking models. Basics are now done and over, and it's time to enter the real training phase. In Israel I have excellent conditions to do that stuff, without work- and studying stress.

Guy's hard program...

I have no crazy plans (Guy's plan above looks maybe a bit crazy!) and I'll try to keep the speeds down in the basic trainings. The number of close-to-race-speed -trainings will rise to weekly 3-4 for the TC, but I'll do them so that it won't make me feel too tired. Meaning that I won't do too much training near lactate threshold and will use interval-type of trainings in order to maintain fast leg speed. And for this camp, I will make a come-back to the world of total heart rate monitoring. After a 6-month break in using HR monitor, it's interesting to see how my HR is in trainings, nocturnal recordings and in orthostatic reaction tests. Actually I've done, despite the daily rush, "pro-stuff" quite right lately: visits to physiotherapist, "human repairer" and ordinar massager. I counted yesterday that I am using some 450€ to these things monthly.

Team Finland's 1000€ for massages etc. and financial support for training-camps is nice addition for my athletics, but you always need own supporters as well. Especially now, when my situation is changing. My club, Vaajakosken Terä is of course important and for Terä's support I will work with our Skill School -project through the winter. Some of the negotiations are still in progress, but I can already thank Kyösti Kakkonen for support, and Veijo Mononen for making that possible. I appreciate. Noname will continue for sure and that's a great thing! As I said, couple of other things are still in progress, so I'll inform about them later. Finally, I want to thank Anttolanhovi for the great and long lasting friendship during the years!

Most likely small news will pop-up from Israel every now and then and at least training-diary with the maps will be updated as frequently as possible. Now it's time to wish you all a Nice Christmas and Happy New Year!

PS. Hopefully the snow-situation eases in Israel. My skiing training hasn't yet started, so I might be slightly slow in the first ski-o sessions. See Guy's photo from Israel on Monday below...

Israel 16.12

Start of the Training Camp in Israel


Taaborinvuoren kupeessa 21.12

Our second day in Israel is now finishing. We have had pretty perfect weather, as you can see in the photo above, check out more photos from the race) . Yeah, we participated in a local competition of something like 300 runners and I was also running bit faster today already. It was nice to orienteer in a runnable terrain (running speed under 5 min/km) and mostly I did quite ok orienteering. But once I forgot totally one control and had to go back - 500m of extra running.

In todays second training we had some more hill-orienteering and I was counting that total climbing has already now exceeded 1000m. So, Israel is a great place to do hill-o-training, that's for sure! We'll see what else we get here, but so far everything (especially people, food and culture) has been really nice to experience.

And one bonus photo from our cool-down run...Mt. Tabor on the background:

Taaborinvuori taustalla 21.12

Israel part 2: o-maps added


Tzippori 24.12

Yesterday evening we had an o-technical meeting here in Shimshit. For me, it was a little surprise how skillful the young guys here are and it is now obvious that thinking in orienteering is processed here as well. The Tzippori map above has been the best so far and we went through that in yesterday's meeting quite deeply. I had an idea after the training that these kind of high class maps & terrains would be really suitable for night-o relay training for the Scandinavian top class o-teams at this time of year - if the teams would know they exist!

So far I have added most of the maps to here.

Honi 22.12.2013

For me the most important terrains are the great slope forests, because I will be running those in races duing spring and summer. I have never felt myself so confident with them, except in uphill-running, in which I am a devil ;-). During this trip I have also seen that running the uphills is strong, but orienteering not. I am of course very sensitive to observe the errors and corrections to my o-technics are already in progress...

Ein Zeitim 22.12

You will find some technical terrains here as well, like Ein Zeitim above. It was pretty slow (but beautiful) terrain and my performance reminded me from the fact that even I can still get lost while just hiking and jogging in the forest. The last days I have done quite a lot training (with low speed yesterday), and things are going well here. On Friday and Saturday we will run the Winter Championships and today is kind of a rest day. Only 15km of running maybe?

Shimshit 25.12

Akko 24.12

Israel - Unlimited Edition


Competition in Og 4.1.2014

Photos by: Bar Zrihen

Prologue: During this autumn I've been facing a new situation every now and then - I should be able to deal with many important when it comes to my work, sports and studies, but there's not just enough time to do them all. Before going down to Israel, I had two weeks of really hard work and I had to be even selfish in many cases. That I wouldn't like to do ever, but in order to be good to other people, you need to be sometimes even selfish. Anyway, I could do most of the things "right" before the trip and today I can say that everything went good, as the trip was successful and splendid in every way.

1. "On vacation" 20.-23.12 (Modi'in& Tuval)

  • 20.12: Training 1h 17min, orienteering- and running mileage 12km and climbing 260m.
  • 21.12: 2h 31min, 25km and 655m
  • 22.12: 2h 42min, 20km and 600m
  • 23.12: 2h 24min, 26km and 425m

We arrived at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, pretty tired but hopeful. What shall Israel offer as on the first day, how is with orienteering and how good is the food? Is Guy Sabo Bar totally crazy guy or just a gread dude who organizes great adventure in Israel for us? Nevertheless, while traveling down there, I finally eased up with my thoughts of working or studying there. During the first days, I already confirmed that for the first 2-3 days I am "on vacation" and then, the last two weeks, professional athlete.

At Guy's place (a 15min-drive from the airport) we got some nice service to recover from the flight and after that it was time for first o-training in Ben Shemen forest. I was totally tired and I couldn't really enjoy the 10 different forest types we were introduced in a single session at Gimzo. But, sometimes you are tired and compared to things I've been through, this is totally fractional and it's useless to complain about one day's tiredness...

Ein Dor 21.12.2014

On the second day we headed to north, close to Mt. Tabor, where we participated in local competition. It's something between regional races and "Iltarastit" in Finland. 500 orienteering friends gathering together to enjoy good maps and real controls in the forest. I don't know if I was competing or training, but I almost forgot one control. Decided to pick it up anyway, and probably I should do that also in my trainings, in which I sometimes realize that I haven't in right place and just continue the training...In the competition area I met quite a lot new friends, did a cool-down run with others and social approach was going up. I started to get excited...

Karen, Davidi, Alexei, Guy and Miika 21.12

In the afternoon I realized that sometimes our recovery times will be short. The day is shorter in Israel too at this time of the year. But the time between the trainings can be also fun (check the photo above). The second training was a hilly middle on Ilania-map and I already started my transtion from a holiday-guy to a professional. This is pretty typical for me: if I feel a bit stronger and see an opportunity to make a good training like this, I will change my plan. Very rarely I can run courses like this.

Ein Zeitim views 22.12

Our accommodation in north was in Tuval at Segal-family. Nice place & people, even if the maps weren't so close. On Sunday we visited "a technical map" in Ein Zeitim (photo above), where we had even some snow. I was again pretty much tired...But after and during a short break at gas-station, my back felt better for some strange reason (cold asphalt wasn't maybe the cure?). In Honi-training I had a job of a coach (planned to run after Guy, if I have the speed to do that), but after the downhill-section of the course I decided that now I will push hard the whole uphill back to the finish... Impulsive-Ikonen. In the cool-down I understood that now I am ready to do some good training.

School-orienteering 23.12

On Monday we were in a school-o-happening in Migdal HaEmek. Little work combined to pleasure and training in Rabin Park. Our day was finally so long, that we couldn't go to our o-training, but did a basic running session instead.

2. Christmas in Shimshit 24.-26.12 (Akko& Shimshit)

Davidi, Miika and Guy in Akko 24.12

  • 24.12: Training 2h 58min, orienteering- and running mileage 30km and climbing 405m.
  • 25.12: 3h 12min, 28km ja 685m.
  • 26.12: 1h 16min, 13km ja 195m.

As we left Tuval, we got a chance to test Davidi's new sprint-map in the historical city of Akko. The sprint course was 2,8km, but running distance 5,8km ;-). It was so fun to run in the narrow market-streets and this is great area for sprint in general. My legs were really sore, but tha'ts the case when you run on asphalt in the middle of rough o-training-camp. In Akko we ate some great food again too! Small pleasures every day was the theme in this training-camp!

Tzippori 24.12

After this quick visit to the coast, we headed towards Shimshit where some good o-trainings were again waiting for us. Already in the afternoon we enjoyed the Tzippori-map, which will be used in MOC 2015. Really nice terrain, map and course!

Pizza-party 25.12

The Christmas-day was filled with training this year. I did a long morning run towards Nazareth and at the noon very easy speed o-training close to the Yasur-family's place we were staying at. In the evening we did night-o with Miika. Thanks for organizing and cheering up: Guy, Yuval and Nitsan! And in the evening, we had a little pizza-party...

3. Hilly O-week in Central-Israel 27.-31.12 (Modi'in & Shoresh)

Finish area in the Winter Cup 27.12

  • 27.12: Training 2h 16min, orienteering- and running mileage 24km and climbing 540m.
  • 28.12: 2h 52min, 26,5km ja 640m.
  • 29.12: 2h 24min, 22,5km ja 485m.
  • 30.12: 3h 25min, 30,5km ja 950m.
  • 31.12: 3h 50min, 36km ja 1000m.
  • From Shimshit we travelled to Modi’in and Winter Cup. On way we did one session in a coastal terrain, but I felt tired and lazy and decided to make a really easy day before the races. That was wise, since the races were really demanding physically with some 500m of climbing in both (1st day's map). The second day was better for me (except those two controls, but that was not my fault..):

    Winter Cup 2nd day 28.12

    Especially this second day was really good training for the international races (like Turkey World Cup in two months already!?) After the race we even had some time for tourism and I saw Jerusalem!

    Jerusalem 28.12

    On Sunday we had also a very good o-session in Neve Shalom. Instantly after the training, I came up with a idea, that you should organize World Cup here... My legs started to be out-of-order after the training. That was maybe a bit frightening situation, because some 200km of running was planned for the next week and we would be climbing even more in the oncoming o-sessions...

    Shoresh 1.1

    In the evening we moved to live in Shoresh (village on the top of hill between Tel Avivin and Jerusalem) and it meant also more climbing meters in the morning runs and other short runs.

    Mashua 30.12

    The hard week started with two really tough days in the end of the year. They reflect pretty well my present training-ideology: rough basic training 3½-4h, 30-35km and 1000m climbing daily. Many times I had a feeling that there's no sense doing this kind of training, but I have now such understanding of training that you need to do this kind of heavy phase in order to meet our discipline's needs. It's of course important to do maximal interval-trainings, but that's current when peaking up the maximal capacity. At this time most important thing is to follow the discipline analysis and train "the whole of the performance". We'll see later how this approach works.

    Mashua (map above) with some cactus was great, in Bet Gamal I lacked the idea a bit, Srigim was again superb (and exhausting with long warm-ups) and in the afternoon in Angel Forest we mainly enjoyed the nice forest with Miika.

    4. Arad and the Dead Sea 1.-3.1 (Arad)

    Views from Arad to Dead sea valley 1.1

  • 1.1: Training 3h, orienteering- and running mileage 31km and climbing 520m.
  • 2.1: 2h 39min, 26km ja 725m.
  • 3.1: 2h 23min, 20,5km ja 345m.
  • From Shoresh we travelled to the south, which meant one training near Gaza and living at Uri Kotzeri -family in Arad. In the forenoon session in Beeri I was trying to push hard, and I don't know how it was possible with those legs? We humans get probably used to almost anything?

    Yatir 2.1

    Yatir Forest 2.1

    On Thursday we checked out the Planted forest of Yatir. And again we were close to the West Bank, and strangely you couldn't imagine a place more peaceful! After Yatir's hilly session I was for the first time really happy, that I won't need to exhaustive training for 1½ days. It was nice to enjoy the trip to the Dead Sea and spa-visit there! Splendid time in Arad in general.

    5. Win-Wingate 3.-6.1 (Wingate-institute)

    Wingate-beach 26.12

  • 3.1: Training 2h 23min, orienteering- and running mileage 20,5km and climbing 345m.
  • 4.1: 3h, 30km ja 660m.
  • 5.1: 3h 44min, 33,5km ja 670m.
  • 6.1: 1h 55min, 20km ja 440m.
  • After morning run in Arad we drove from the "southern District" to Wingate in less than two hours. We had beds in Wingate for the rest of my trip. It was nice to run on more flat routes and to get some sauna and swimming after the sessions.

    Competition 4.1

    After this one day of only mild training, I had my last competition. The race was great with good (LIDAR-based) map, course and organizing. Some stones on the ground and generally very hilly, but that didn't really bother me. Of course I started to feel pretty exhausted in the uphills, but that's no wonder. As a result the race was the best in Israel and my orienteering was mainly on the right track. Check out more photos here. I kept a lecture about orienteering technique and during that 1½h meeting I went through the race also. Great meeting, thanks to you:

    Lecture 5.1

    Before the lecture I had still one training day to complete. In the mountains there are several great maps, and this one needed to be checked (Gilboa). Clearly worth of a visit and think about WOC in Italy at the same time...

    After on more running in the evening with Guy I reached my goal of 200km with 207,5km. And when I cound everything together, the training summary tells nice numbers: Training 45h 52min, 454,5km running & orienteering and 10200m of climbing. Pretty much, but not too much... I was testing the Polar Training Load -feature with my HR-files and it resulted with funny curve:


    Summa summarum: really GREAT trip, probably the best training-camp of my life, and despite of that Training Load -curve, I know I did right things and enough of them, for sure. I can recommend Israel for adventurers, those who love orienteering and good food and enjoy the social surroundings these great Israeli people can organize!

    Not Quiet on the Training Front


    Jani helps Pais in Pilates 24.1

    Photos: Touho Häkkinen, Terä

    As you can see, I have started my Pilates-career! Well, Pilates might not fit into my tight schedule yet, but AI-stretching already does. I even got a manual about this stretching method, which seems to suite me and already eases my ever-lasting sciatic nerve pains. On the other hand, it may take some more time to get some mobility to that jammed back (photo above) ;-). So, I don't expect anything spectacular, but it's really nice to get familiar with some new methods in the muscle maintenance business!

    Treenailujen sisällöt

    Tomorrow it will be 12 wks of training in this training season and it's maybe reasonable to point out some general things. Weekly average of training will be about 13,8h/wk and running mileage 129km/wk. The amount of orienteering represents rather big slice of the pie and my opinion is, that it should always look like that. Running is the main training method of course and as skiing hasn't been possible, I've been running maybe more than usually.

    The strength-project is going quite smoothly, mostly because I am able to execute two strength sessions at my work - one with weights and one harder circuit. They are "real trainings" now and not just maintenance, and it means that I can't do so many exhaustive endurance training at the same time. But, sometimes I mix all the training methods within one week, and in these circumstances I have to be careful with overall stress. I have even done some agility & coordination trainings in order to be quicker in the demanding phases of some tricky middle distance races. With the help of these sessions, I hope to be able to get my "middle distance potential" to work fully again. After my back started to be problematic, it has sometimes been difficult to go under and over trees in full speed ;-)

    Superkompensaatio 25.1

    The photo above illustrates "the aerobic super-compensation of Israel -training-camp". Last weekend we were running a mass-start training in Peurunka and in the second "heat" I was running the last kilometer at 3.55min/km pace. It was a very good 4-min training stimulus both physically and technically.

    Eka vedolta maaliin 25.1

    I have been running quite many fast orienteering sessions also here in Finland and it has been a pleasure. The light snow doesn't really slow you down and the icy ground beneath makes the terrain even faster than in summer at some places. The possibility to get some injuries is maybe a bit higher, but it's just useless to be afraid of that kind of matters.

    Taitokoutsi paasaa 24.1

    Such was the news this time. Generally speaking, it's nice to be "a coach who does top athletics". In January I have noticed that I am enjoying every day, and there are clearly more positive things in life than negative things. Some days can be exhaustive of course, but that's just life. Speaking about just life, check out the marketing video of Hankasalmi Orienteering High School - made by the students. Have a nice winter!:

    Hankasalmen Suunnistuslukion esittelyvideo 2014

    Prior to the EOC


    After Hanksu-camp in Alicante 7.4

    The coolness and peacefulness of the hotel room feels odd and new. At the same time it feels I am missing something and that I "have it all". Pretty nice feeling! Training-camp with my high-school youngters and the training-camp-integrated World Cup races in Spain was quite a hectic package. But I have got so used to the daily coaching that I couldn't really imagine better preparation than it was before the Murcia World Cup races - thanks to the great group!

    Lets get back to this hotel room. Today I did model event for the finals and got some important massage. Even recovery from the weekend seems to obey nice schedule, if someone would have made any schedule. In fact, I feel I am now really relaxing, and it feels just great! Soon the races will offer some stress for the mind & body, but now it is time to live this day and moment and share my naive stories here on my homepage ;-).

    My races start on Thursday with middle qualification, followed by long qualification on Friday. It seems that you need to run rather fast already in the qualifications, if you want to be close to the top. It also seems, that you need to be close to the top to run well in the finals, as there will be tracks. On the weekend I will in any case rest - and hopefully relax too - and follow the sprint races. The start of the next week will be rough: all the finals in a row on MON-WED (7,9km, 20,6km and 7,3-7,6km). After that I will notice that it is a wise decision to spend the Easter in Central Finland and not competing in Southern Finland...

    Spectator control 5.4

    Kuva: Karo Ukskoski

    In the last weekend races I started to get some really positive signs in my orienteering performance. Especially the leading of the middle race feels good and those 13 legs I did well from the start, felt easy and fast. But I have still some steps to take, as we saw from the results. One key step is that I can't quit the race after I have realized that the perfect performance is not possible anymore. I should just remember that nobody is perfect, and on the other hand, nobody is a perfect loser too. You should just live in the present and enjoy that most of the things are running pretty damn good. This is the conclusion I have reached so far and with it I will go for these champinships to show some "muscle" ;-).

    Long 5.4

    Kuva: Karo Ukskoski

    FinnSpring 2014: Good speed, but no results ;-)


    Pais in finish 26.4

    FinnSpring is history and I did two good performances in this year's races. Pity that I didn't get any results...In Saturday's shortened long distance my EMIT didn't register punching in the 2nd last control and as my security paper had vanished during the course, there was no use of my club mate's testimony that I did punch with him in that control. And this is how it should go always, so no hard feelings. I got what I came for, confirmation that I am in a good condition. Especially during the first half of the course I was playing some "rock'n'roll" and split times look very good. I even did have time to lose two minutes on some bad route choices and my back offered some severe sciatic pains in the last kilometers. But that's the case with my back sometimes and I would really must prefer some IV-discs near my spondylolisthesis...

    FinnSpring individual 26.4

    Pais finishing 27.4

    In today's relay I was more careless with my orienteering, but did top performance today as well. But we got disqualified today as well, since Jonne didn't see one control at all and ran from 6 to 8. Next week I will do some sprint races on Thursday and of course Tiomila in the weekend. And because of the back problems I am going to get three treatments in the next 5 days. Thanks to AngA for the great races!

    FinnSpring relay 27.4

    Some Success in World Cup before Jukola!


    On the podium 7.6

    Photo: WorldofO (Kocbach)

    In last weekend's World Cup in Kongsberg I reached 2nd place only five seconds from victory. My performance felt as good middle does always - easy feeling all the time and time to make extra checks whenever needed. I had done many rather good races previously, but none of them was excellent. Fortunately, at some point that kind of performance just pops up. I have still some work to be done before the World Champs (got selected to run two individual distances), but first I will finish my "WOC -race-preparations" in Jukolan viesti by running the last leg for Vaajakosken Terä.

    As an elite-orienteerer it would be easy to state that World Championships are clearly the most important races of the season. But one day prior to Jukola this "fact" starts to feel ridiculous, as it is very difficult to imagine this kind of excitement on 10th of July, two days before long distance final in WOC... Most of the excitement is only positive psycho-physical preparation for my own performance, but for a brief moments I feel like a little boy once again. It's in fact quite inspiring. Quite a few guys can be little boys when they are almost 34 yrs old - it's actually a privilege. After all, once I get the map in my hands, I am once again just a boring control-killer ;-).

    During the week the bigger media has shown some interest towards me, but that doesn't build up the stress anymore. Stress and pressure is build in my own head, and my own means will help to cope with it too. When it comes to performance, I am pretty stressless. Still, I wanted to go for a short preparation camp to do some trainings in Leppävirta and Vehmersalmi. Like the whole-year-lasting training in relevant terrains, planning the Jukola-training packages, working with Skill-School training in Terä/Hankasalmi and my own crazy work with Jukola-terrain would not have been enough. And actually they are not enough or at least it doesn't guarantee anything in Jukola. It just eases "a bit" ;-).

    I wiss you all great Jukola jubilee! Excitement and uncomfortable feelings are part of life, even in sports, but pleasure and gratitude will be the leading themes in the end. Miraculous is the world on this wonderful Friday. And, GOOD LUCK!

    Last o-session before Jukola 12.6

    Probably the end of the season


    First I broke my back, then the ankles and finally my head. Long rehabilitation coming up.

    From a club to another - why?


    Pais Lampinsaaressa 1983

    "Why do we competitive athletes tend to change our clubs from time to time? What makes us break the old and start something new? One can easily find several explanations, or dozen and maybe even hundreds of great answers. In these kind of situations, I've looked at the history to find a solution."


    Sinkki-Sepot, Lampinsaari 1984-1993, 1996-1997 (Vihanti, Raahe 2013)

    A foster club is the most dearest one. In my case it's especially true, because Sinkki-Sepot was the club of my birth place Lampinsaari. Sinkki (=Zinc) refers to Vihanti mine (located in Lampinsaari), which was one of the biggest zinc mines in the whole Europe in 1980's. Village is within one square kilometre area and surrounded by swamps. There used to be three shops, big school, track and field arena, ice rink, football and tennis-courts, swimming pool and great running opportunities in summer time.

    I was simply born to be the member of Sinkki-Sepot. Only in my adulthood I started to realize how big was the meaning of my childhood surroundings, people, club - to my athletic ego. It has only grown when I get older and I can't still yet express it by words. The effect if so unbelievable huge.

    Pyhäjokiseudun Suunnistajat 1994-1995 (Vihanti, Oulainen, Haapavesi, Ylivieska etc.)

    In this Pyhäjokilaakso -area there were other active clubs than only Sinkki-Sepot (Oulaisten Huima & Taru, Haapaveden Urheilijat, to name some) and it was maybe in the autumn 1993 when they decided to gather the power of the clubs into one club. It was fun time, but as usual it collapsed pretty soon. So I represented Si-Se for two more years.

    Pais Hiisi-Jukolassa 1999

    SK Pohjantähti 1998-2004 (Oulu, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, Lappi, Kainuu)

    I started to race in H21 already in 1997 and as I was doing those races in Northern Finland, young top-club SK Pohjantähti got interested in me. Especially Juhani Palonen and I found myself on the club's training-camp already on the same year. Very encouraging time back then! Old top runners like Karppinen and Parkkinen were still very good and the baseline of the whole club was high. Back then I was also happy that all the runners had roots in northern Finland.

    1998 I started to be successful individually and also had my chanche to break into the first team in big relays. These were pretty boosting phases to my psyche. At that time other clubs weren't fishing out so much from other teams and probably I was considered as "a boy from the north". I indeed was even if I had lived in Keski-Suomi already from august 1996 (went to Hankasalmi Orienteering High-school).


    Pais SM-keskarilla 2013

    Vaajakosken Terä 2005-2015 (Vaajakoski/Jyväskylä, Keski-Suomi, Finland and finally whole Europe)

    When the old starts to get old in Pohjantähti and many other runners scatter all over the Finland, I started to wonder whether we could build up a strong team in Jyväskylä. That happened actually pretty fast during the autumn 2004. We all were really excited about that new team, but my mind was suffering for leaving Pohjantähti for two years at least. As my spondylolithesis was revealed on the first year of Terä, it didn't make things easier.

    First Terä years were cool, as the "Kortepohja boys" lived within one square kilometer and whole squad in Central Finland. I was very active in the club during those years - both in good and bad. In fact, my career as a player-coach had started already in 1995, when my sister Mervi started to make the first (and the last ;)) training programs for me. I was applying them to my younger athlete friends, of course :). Bit by bit my own problems started to affect my athletics and coaching duties in the club and this had an effect on how I felt my role in the club. It's hard to be the saint when you are sometimes also the satan. Somehow I survived from the load, because I surprisingly was able to know myself. But I understand very well, if you couldn't see from the outside...

    During the last years there has been many changes in the positions inside the club and unfortunately also in the spirit. Nothing lasts forever, as my good friend Anders Nordberg would put it. I am not saying that the spirit is bad nowadays either, but it's not the same anymore. This was recognized many years ago, we have made many efforts to change it, but nothing really good happened. Some day good happens to Terä-spirit again.


    Paimio kutsui!

    Paimion Rasti 2016-> (Paimio, Turku, Finland, Europe)

    Losing some of the spirit wasn't after all the key reason for the next chapter in my competitive orienteering life. There isn't a single reason for that, but many small things. In the end of July I moved to Turku to be a National Olympic Coach in Turun seudun urheiluakatemia and in Kerttulin urheilulukio. I have been wondering my own role in the orienteering sport from many angles and come to a conclusion that I will most useful for others, when I am also part of something every day. These kind of social surroundings I have due to my work as I am meeting Kerttuli high-schoolers, adult athletes of the academy, my coaching colleagues and orienteering friends from the whole Varsinais-Suomi -area every day. Even when I have the worst day of my life, I can't say that I am lonely.

    But something is profound in representing a club, being in contact with your club-mates in every day life and regional sense of community. I want to be PART OF SOMETHING. In Varsinais-Suomi there are many good "gangs" and during the last month I went through all the choices many times. Paimio was the choice finally because I have known almost all the athletes and background people long time and I know they share the same ideology towards the sport as I do. Financial aspects and chances to make some success came always after that social core in my considerations and are then just a nice addition. Future seems now bright and it's nice to be part of something again. Every day.

    Filling THE application 20 yrs ago


    Cheers from Spain!

    Coaching in Sun!

    I have been seeking for snowless conditions with beautiful scenery and found them here in Barbate. If I count right, for the fifth time. This trip is partly work, partly training and mostly - for fun."

    But my issue was this time education. Just at the moment young athletes fill applications for entering high-schools specialized in sports. This is close to my heart, as I was high-schooler in orienteering high-school (as my older sister too), and worked in the same place two years ago and now I do my daily coaching in same kind of surroundings in Kerttuli, Turku.

    So I will now publish my own application, dated "exactly" 20 yrs ago. It's funny, naive, bit scary but so genuine:

    Pais Hanksuun 1996 osa 1 Pais Hanksuun 1996 osa 2 Pais Hanksuun 1996 osa 3

    I had NOT EVEN THE SLIGHTEST IDEA that I would be here in Barbate to do some serious training & coaching 20 yrs later:-))). But here I am, feeling great and heading for my morning circuit & run along the Atlantic sea...

    Barbate 19.2.2016

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    New e-mail address and Pasi Ikonen O-camp 2017 in Pikku-Syöte


    Hi from Vihanti!


    My new e-mail -address is paisikonen@gmail.com. Old hotmail -address just "passed away".


    Furthermore, if you are attracted to Northern Finland training and competing, please view some info of the camp (only in Finnish). Services available also in English and contact information you will find pretty easily at Pikku-Syöte Pasi Ikonen O-Camp -pages.Pasi Ikonen O-camp 2017 in 28.6-2.7