In addition to the high level of skill required to compete in orienteering, to be successful you need, among other things, good endurance, agility, and low body fat! However, which of these are more important? Below is a discussion about the fitness requirements for orienteering, which can help with developing training programs for this sport, and for interpreting fitness testing results and determining the relative strengths and weaknesses of a competitor.
You Need Endurance
We have a poll about the component of fitness most important for success in orienteering. Out of the options of Body Size and Composition, Muscle Strength, Muscular Endurance, Power, Speed / Quickness, Agility, Flexibility, Balance and Coordination, and Cardiovascular Endurance, the two factors which are considered most important by the readers of this site are cardiovascular (60%) and muscular endurance (20%). You can add your vote too, and see the latest results.
You need to aerobically fit, with good skills, analytic and tactical ability
In a similar poll, we have asked people to rate the 12 factors of success for sports. Visitors to this site have rated each of these factors for the sport of orienteering, and the most important according to them are: aerobic endurance, and good skill/technique and analytic & tactical ability. You can also add your ratings of Which Factors Make Successful Orienteerers, and see the latest results.
Most Important Factors for Success in Order of Importance (data from 2018)
4.7 Aerobic Endurance
4.5 Skill and Technique
4.5 Analytic & Tactical Ability
4.2 Motivation & Self Confidence
4.0 Coping with Pressure Situations
3.8 Speed / Quickness
3.6 Balance & Coordination
2.9 Strength & Power
2.6 Reaction Time
2.4 Body Size and Composition
Are You an Expert?
I have found that asking all site visitors for their opinion, while it is interesting, does not always lead to accurate results. We want to know what the experts think. If you consider yourself an expert in orienteering, go here to add your opinion.