Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club


Coaching & Training

ESOC has a number of UKCC (United Kingdom Coaching Certificate) and British Orienteering qualified coaches, who are all active orienteers. They provide coaching for the club on a voluntary basis and are ably supported by other experienced club members to provide a coaching pathway from newcomer to experienced competitor.

The main coaching activities are:

For newcomers, an introduction to orienteering is best obtained by attending a local event where friendly club members will be on-hand to explain the basics and suggest a suitable course to run. (See the Events page of this website for details of forthcoming events in the Edinburgh area.) When you arrive, be sure to explain that you are new to orienteering and wish to receive an introduction to the basics.

For junior members of ESOC, there are monthly coaching sessions during school term run by ESOA (East of Scotland Orienteering Association), along with juniors from other clubs. These sessions are aimed at juniors with some experience of completing courses in a family group, as well as more experienced juniors. They are taken by qualified coaches from both within and outwith ESOC, and are designed to help juniors complete courses on their own and improve their orienteering skills. The sessions are usually held on Saturday afternoons (1pm - 3pm) and the groups are structured in such a way as to provide the progressive development of skills and confidence to successfully complete an orienteering course - from the easiest to the most difficult junior course.
All sessions include a warm-up, followed by exercises in ability groups, and are held alongside a local orienteering event. Juniors can take part in this after the coaching to practice the techniques they have been learning. For the younger juniors, the exercises are planned to be done by a parent & child, and the exercises are often preceded by a group map-walk with a coach. 
Most of the sessions are held outdoors and juniors should wear appropriate clothing and footwear for conditions on the day. Whilst most juniors have their own compass, spares are available to borrow for those who don't.

For adults and accompanied juniors (12 years and over), ESOC Club Night Training Sessions are held most Wednesday evenings throughout the year, starting at 7:15pm and finishing around 8:30pm. The sessions are open to all adult members and older juniors  accompanied by an adult. It doesn’t matter what your level of orienteering or fitness is, you will be warmly welcomed and exercises can be adapted for all. 
At present the training is held at various locations around Edinburgh, such as Bonaly, Blackford Hill or Corstorphine Hill. They start with some warm up drills, then interval running and technical orienteering exercises. On the first Wednesday of the month, the session is dedicated to strength and conditioning and fitness with Circuit Training rather than orienteering.
All you need to bring is a compass, a head torch and some enthusiasm. Details of where to meet are sent out to club members via the weekly email "ESOC Matters" from our secretary, and are also available from a link sent out to members. There is no need to book, just turn up and join in but if you have any queries or want further details please contact    

Training isn’t just for the aspiring champions – but for everyone. Everyone has different aims from these sessions, for some it is to improve fitness, for others to improve their orienteering skills and finally they are a great way to meet other club members. The sessions currently attract about 20 club members who, as a group, have a variety of experience and fitness levels; new members are encouraged to come along and are assured of a warm welcome.

Other training opportunities (further details in 'Capital-O', the club newsletter):

  • ESOC Ladies training – Monday 7:30pm. Informal training, open to all ESOC ladies, which involves running/jogging/walking to suit all speeds, starting from various locations around the city. In the winter meet at members houses, and in the summer go further afield. Contact to find out more.
  • Parkrun – Saturday 9:30am. An informal, free, timed 5km road run. There are parkruns all over the world, with five in or near Edinburgh: on the Cramond foreshore (Edinburgh parkrun), Figgate Park (Portobello parkrun), Vogrie Country Park (Vogrie parkrun), Tranent (Meadowmill parkrun) and Riccarton campus (Oriam parkrun). The Cramond course is flat but it can be a wee bit breezy at times; Figgate Park is more sheltered but has some slopes; Vogrie is undulating through woods and open areas; the Meadowmill course runs around sports pitches; the Oriam course is along a woodland path around the perimeter of Heriot-Watt University grounds. All offer a regular opportunity to improve, and measure, physical fitness. See the parkrun website for more details.
  • Interløpers training – most Thursday evenings, a terrain run organised by our friendly rivals and open to ESOC members.
  • EUOC Fight with the Night (FWTN) – alternate Thursday evenings during the dark winter months. An opportunity to experience, and practise, night orienteering; organised by students (Edinburgh University Orienteering Club) but attended by all ages from accompanied & experienced juniors to 70+ year old seniors. Further details are on the FWTN page of the EUOC website. 

last updated: 11 October 2018