Skills Matrix

Running skills are those skills related to running economy or form, including travelling on trails, through various types of terrain, and going over, under, and around various obstacles. Skills developed in early stages such as agility, balance, and coordination are also considered here as they lead directly into more obvious running skills. The physical capacities (endurance, speed, power, etc.) involved in running are not considered here.

Active Start FUNdamentals Learn to Train
Seeing and Picking Lines in the Terrain

Seeing and picking lines in the terrain involves a variety of skills involved in looking ahead into the distance and picking the best imaginary line through the terrain to run from where you are to that point. 

Picking a point in the distance towards which you want to run
Looking ahead and seeing what areas of the forest are most runnable
Punching Technique

The punching technique category includes the physical coordination and technique in physically punching controls with whatever timing system you are using be it traditional SI, SI Air+, Emit, or pin punching. 

Wears / carries timing chip correctly Keeping your eye on the control as you approach it
Know about punch confirmation indicators Reaching out to the control as you approach it
Consciously looking and listening for confirmation from the control
Returns quickly to repunch the control if you did not register confirmation
Getting Over Obstacles

The getting over obstacles category is a category of skills that is a major physical skills focus of the physical literacy stages and incoorporates agility, balance, and coordination together as they are required for getting over man-made and natural obstacles in the terrain.

Climbing up onto (low) rocks and fallen trees, etc. Flexibility (particularly in hips) to get legs over obstacles
Climbing down off of (low) rocks and fallen trees, etc. Explosive power to get clearance when hurdling obstacles
Climbing over fallen trees and other low obstacles Generating explosive power in potentially soft uneven terrain
Jumping or hopping down off of (low) rocks and fallen trees, etc.
Going Under Obstacles

The going under obstacles category is a category of skills that is a major pyhsical skills focus of the physical literacy stages and incoorporates, agility, balance, coordination, and flexibility, together as they are required for getting over man-made and natural obstacles in the terrain. 

Quickly/smoothly going from standing/walking/running to ducking or crawling under a fence or barrier and getting up on the other side.
Ducking under things while carrying forward momentum
Running while hunched over
Running Over Challenging Ground

Running over challenging ground is a category that incorporates all of the running skills relating, directly and indirectly, to running over uneven or challenging terrain as opposed to running on grass, pavement, or other smooth surfaces such as foot placement, and using your arms for balance. 

Placing feet precisely while running on technical trails while looking at your feet/the trail
Placing feet precisely while running on technical trail while looking around
Placing feet precisely while running off-trail in physically challenging terrain while looking at your feet/the ground
Placing feet precisely while running off-trail in physically challenging terrain while looking around
Arm Control

Arm control is a category that groups together the skills related to using your arms while running on smooth surfaces and in challenging terrain. This incorporates using them for power generation and balance while running and for helping traverse challenging terrain such as through thick vegetation.  

Using arms to push through thick vegetation
Postural Control and Stability

Postural control and stability is a category that is all about the control and stability of the torso while running. Having good postural control and stability improves running economy or efficiency and allows runners (with the appropriate core and strength training) to get less tired and maintain that efficiency through loger races. 

'Standing tall' while running and keeping the spine in a neutral position with little tension on the spine itself
Running with the chest open and shoulders in a neutral-back position
Running Stride

Running stride is a category that includes skills related to stride rate and foot strike. One's stride rate and foot strike will vary greatly based on the terrain but a good stride is a fairly standard element of running on smooth surfaces. 

Visual Acuity

Visual acuity is the category that has to do with vision and vision abnormalities, in this instance as they pertain to orienteering and map reading. 

Participating in normal vision screen and get glasses or contact lenses as prescribed by a vision specialist Orienteers should be tested for colourblindness
Colourblind athletes should learn about their form of colourblindness and begin learning compensatory mechanisms for distinguishing colours on orienteering maps