T-minus five weeks

With a little under five weeks to go to the World Orienteering Championships, I’m just about ready to start thinking about final preparations. I’ve had a good block of training since the European Championships, but a lot can happen in five weeks. A lot still needs to happen in fact!

One of the things I think when I enter races and set goals is: ‘What if I were to stop running tomorrow?’ That might sound a bit dramatic, but I find it helps to get to the crux of what I want out of the sport. It helps me aim high, but it also keeps me grounded in doing things that I enjoy. As a result of this thinking, I have a bucket list of things which I would love to do, which may one day get turned into goals or targets. It felt great to tick two things off this bucket list in the last two weeks. First, I won the first leg of Jukola, one of most the iconic orienteering relays, and second, I ran under 14 minutes for the 5000 metres. The 5000 metres was more of a definite goal than winning the leg at Jukola, but both were bucket list moments which have given me confidence that my training is working.

Taking a medal at the World Orienteering Championships is also a bucket list goal. It’s right at the top of the pile in fact. I know that I am capable, but then so are a lot of others. If I were to hang up my running shoes tomorrow, I would have a lot of great memories, but I would wish I had managed to achieve this goal. Motivation to get the next five weeks right is not in short supply, but I enjoy chasing goals, so the pressure doesn’t feel too much.

I’m ending this update with a couple of plugs, so if that isn’t your sort of thing, feel free to stop here.

First, for Sprint Scotland; a weekend of sprint orienteering in Scotland on the 19th-22nd July. I’m involved in the organisation, although there are a lot of people doing a lot more than me this year, and I’ll be using the races as part of my preparation for the World Championships. It’s a packed weekend, and if you enjoy sprint orienteering, you will find a lot to enjoy during the weekend. Entry fees for this year’s races increase in one week’s time.

Second, for a crowdfunding campaign for this year’s World Orienteering Championships team. The campaign has been set up by the people behind On The Red Line, a website set up this year to cover British international orienteering. I’m incredibly grateful for the support that they have already shown the team and spearheading this campaign is just another way that they have rallied behind the team. You can find the crowdfunding page here. There are so many good causes out there, I’m not going to give this the hard sell, rather I’ll leave it to you to decide if this is a worthwhile cause. If you don’t feel you can donate, the team also appreciates any message of support, be that on social media or in person. Elite sport can be a very individual pursuit at times and it’s so nice to know that there are people out there supporting.

The next five weeks will fly by, and there is still a lot of work to be done.