It’s now just one week until the first race at WOC, the Sprint Qualifier, and all the athletes will be in their ‘taper phase’ of training. This is really just a fancy name for reducing our training and resting up, but it’s a period which, for some of us, can feel quite uncomfortable. We’re familiar with doing hard training weeks, but less experienced when it comes to planning to do not very much!
We are the British
Athletes selected to run the World Orienteering Championships in Estonia at the
beginning of July, as a team and as individuals we are athletes aspiring to the
top, building on our 3 podium places from last year and continual upward trend
in results. However recent funding cuts mean things are
about to get very tough. Last year an
athlete competing at an international level as part of the GB team personally committed
around £2500 in pursuit of delivering top performances at international
competitions, this year this will at least double. This does not include any training costs,
training camps, races to improve world ranking or selection races, this was
purely to compete at International Championships. Most of us have positioned ourselves in jobs
which allow us to train and more importantly compete with those athletes at the
top, maintaining this athlete-life balance whilst covering a competition bill
of £5000 will price a number of us out of t…
Before the excitement of Jukola and Venla Jess took the opportunity to do some final preparation work in Estonia.
In 2 weeks’ time, I want to be standing on that start line, knowing what to expect from the forest and ready to race hard. I will know the places to be careful, where to push on, which are the good routes to take and above all that I have the belief in myself for this terrain.
For any orienteering race, it is always good to have spent time in relevant terrain. The GB test races were in Estonia in May, so the whole team is already in a good place having raced there. I had heard all the stories about how summer in Estonia is quite a different challenge to the rest of the year, so I wanted to experience this for myself before the WOC week.
Last week, I spent 5 days out in Estonia before travelling across the Gulf of Finland to Jukola. A long enough time before WOC to do some hard training sessions, but close enough to find out about what the vegetation will be like. I was lucky …