Place of Residence: Shipley, Yorkshire
Experience: When did you start/ How did you get into Orienteering?
“I started when I was a kid going with my mum and dad on the weekends. When I was around 15 or so I decided that I wanted to take it more seriously and began training with a bit more intent.”
Clubs: What orienteering clubs have you been part of?
“I run for Octavian Droobers and Lidingö”
Oli Johnson (South Yorkshire Orienteers)
“I try to make my training emphasise key sessions each week. This season it has focused on quality speed sessions and orienteering sessions - especially sprint. As a result, my overall mileage has been lower than in recent years when I've tried to race everything, so it's been important to remind myself what I am aiming for and that specifically has been important. Physically I'm self-coached though so I'm always learning and enjoy trying out new things in training and following the World Orienteering Championships I'm looking forward to pursuing some new goals and approaches.”
“It's taken me a long time to find a routine that works for me. Anyone who's known me for a while knows that I used to really stress myself out about doing everything perfectly to a routine around races, meaning I was tense and probably not a lot of fun to be around. For a variety of reasons, I've really changed my approach to trying to feel as relaxed as possible before a race, regardless of the level or perceived pressure, and try to focus on and remember the reason I'm there. Obviously, I want to do as well as possible, but ultimately, I really enjoy racing competitively and orienteering in cool terrain, and thinking about this lets me focus a lot more on my own technique and race. I also think it's important to contextualise your own race, especially internationally, and not be too hard on yourself when you're racing professional athletes or people who might be 5 or 10 years older and more experienced. A good habit I've found is that if I can finish a race and think I'm happy with it as soon as I cross the line, even before I've downloaded, then that's a good outcome.”
Favourite terrain/venue/event in UK/World:
“I really enjoy sand dune orienteering and technical campus sprints.”
“Thai food, though I'm really not fussy as long as it's vegetarian and doesn't have mushrooms in it!”
“I'm currently converting a van into a campervan which is really fun!”
“I think it's a really good time to take inspiration from the current GB sprint squad. There are so many great runners competing together and everyone has a really good team attitude which means we can all really celebrate each other's successes. I think seeing how fast Kris and Ralph are running and the results Meg is putting out there is really inspiring at the moment. Having Oli coaching me is also a big source of inspiration given how successful he was for so many years.”
What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
“Enjoy it! Everyone gets told this as a junior but it's really hard to actually listen to and act on it when there is a lot of focus on EYOC/JWOC only. As soon as you're out of that bubble, you realise how many incredible opportunities orienteering can give you so the earlier you can realise the things this sport can let you do and focus on those the better.”
British Orienteering wishes you all the very best Nathan with your final preparations.
Ahead of the World Orienteering Championships 2022 in Denmark, British Orienteering is posting interviews of the GB athletes selected to compete so that all members can get to know the GB team. Please keep an eye out for these interviews which will be posted on the British Orienteering website this week, and follow all the action live here throughout the World Orienteering Championships which start with the Sprint Relay on Sunday 26 June!
Good Luck to the British Team