One of the reasons I have moved to Århus, is to be a part of the Elitecenter in orienteering and the training environment here.
2 years ago the Danish Orienteering Federation decided to make an Elitecenter in Denmark, in an attempt to make the possibilities for development for danish orienteers better. Earlier there were two elitecenters in Denmark, in Hillerød (north of Copenhagen) and in Århus, but after World Champs in Denmark 2006, they slowly died, because a lot of runners retired or moved to either Sweden or Norway (myself included). The talentwork in danish orienteering has always been good in my opinion, and even though we're not many orienteers in Denmark, we have had and also will have very big talents in the future. Just look at the results at JWOC, JEC and EYOC. But not many of the runners have succeded as a senior...
The decision about making only one elitecenter is a good idea, because we're so few senior-runners in Denmark right now, and we need to gather us and make use of each other to become better. The choice of Århus is difficult and there have been and will be a lot of different opinions. Let's just hope that the clubs north of Copenhagen, which was the other option, keep up the good work, because a majority of the talents in Danish Orienteering comes from that area. But for a young student, the possibilities in Århus are quite perfect. You have the University (10-15min biking) and the Marselisborg-forest close, with very varied forest and parts with hilly and quite technical demanding terrain (in Denmark...). For me, the school (Institute of Sports Science) and Team Denmarks facilities are very close, and it makes me save a lot of travel time each day. And when I start almost every training from my home, the travel time is minimal, and I have much more time for recovery. So for me, the physical surroundings makes the possibilities for training very good. The only thing I miss, is Oslos beautiful and demanding terrain, but after 5 years in Norway, I feel that I have quite good understanding of the orienteering and running technique in Nordic terrain. And luckily I will go to Sweden, Norway and Finland several times next year, to maintain what I've learned in Oslo. Besides the terrains around Silkeborg (45min drive) offers some of the best O-terrains in Denmark.
But good physical surroundings is not enough to make a good training environment. You also need a good trainingprogram, a coach and some other runners to push and motivate you all the time. And the possibilities for that are also very good in Århus right now, with help from the Elitecenter (EC) and the local club Pan Århus (Pan), who starts trainingsessions from their club house Silistria, 4,5km southeast from my home. I usually run back and forth to get some longer trainingsessions.
Ex this week I have following trainingpossibilities:
Monday evening: EC O-technique/longrun in terrain from Silistria - 2h15min
Tuesday morning: EC Intervaltraining from TD training center, 5x8min - 1h30min
Tuesday evening: Pan VinterCup from Silistria - 1h45min
Wedensday morning: TeamDenmark strengthtraining - 1h
Thursday morning: EC longrun in terrain from TD training center 1h45min
Thursday evening: Night Champs middle distance near Silkeborg - 1h15min
Saturday morning: EC O-intervaltraining near Silkeborg 1h15min
Saturday afternoon: EC Longrun in terrain near Silkeborg 2h00
Sunday morning: EC O-training near Silkeborg 1h15min
Sunday afternoon: EC O-training near Silkeborg 1h15min
In total more than 15h of high-quality traningoptions! This week I just have to do 2 extra strenghttraining-sessions (monday and friday morning) and some low-intensity running (wedensday and friday afternoon) to have a quite good and tough program. And when most of the danish senior-elite orienteers (and also some good juniors) live in Århus now and take part in the trainingsessions, the quality of the sessions are high. Besides, the EC-program are planned and coached by Torbjørn Gasbjerg and Lars Lindstrøm, who are also coaching the national team, and makes sure that the sessions in the program are focusing on the international championships, both technically and physically. So there are good possibilities for developing world class orienteers in Århus right now, and I wanted to be a part of that both for my own development, but also to inspire and motivate other runners. I hope that I will succeed in both ways :)
Training is going really well for me, since I started training for the new season 1st of october, and I'm running and orienteering more than ever. On saturday I took part in the Nordic Championships in cross-country runnning, and did an okay race and finished as the 12th-best danish runner, 2min down on the danish winner. Results here.
Sunday I ran Jættemilen, the final stage of the danish ranking 2012. I had a good race and was running with Claus Bloch most of the way, until he got tired, and I won both the race and the danish ranking 2012. Results here
So things are going well. Right now I'm only studying 33%, so thats quite easy, and gives me all the time I need for training and recovery. The life with my girlfriend in our new appartment is good, and its very important for me to have her with me all the time, because she means a lot to me, and makes me happy. I'm optimistic about the future :)