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Tweet Monday 5th February 2018

Elite Athlete Winter Training Series - Interview #3: with Alice Leake

Winter Training and Motivation: Athlete Focus

The temperature is cold, and the days are shorter. Struggling to maintain the motivation for training or orienteering regularly? You're not alone. Getting yourself out on cold dark mornings and evenings takes a lot more motivation than it might do in July.

Pick up some tips and see what makes up a typical training week for some of our top elite athletes this winter with our elite athlete focus feature series.

Athlete name: Alice Leake

Athlete's club: Airienteers

Athlete's age: 26

Alice Leake in training

Athlete's biggest achievement?

British Orienteering Elite Sprint Champion 2017, and competing for Great Britain in the last 3 World Championships (22nd best result).

Typical training week over winter (including mileage, terrains, etc)?

Monday: An easy run (~40mins on road) and a Hot Yoga class.

Tuesday: Training with my athletics club (Leeds City), rotating between road, track and hills. Typical sessions include 5 x 5mins (75sec) road loop, 10 x 70sec (50sec) on the track, and 10 x 90sec hill reps with jog down recovery.

Wednesday: Orienteering (usually a 1 hour night score event run by AIRE). I use this as a combined tempo run and technical session.

Thursday: A 60min steady road run, plus some core/strength work.

Friday: Either a rest day or an easy run.

Saturday: Training on grass with my athletics club. A typical session: 12min threshold (2), 6 x 2.5min (90sec), 6min tempo, plus strides or hill sprints.

Sunday: Orienteering or a long run (90min), depending on what’s available locally.

Over winter I aim to run approx. 80km a week.

Technical training over the winter?

I try to orienteer at least once a week. Usually, this is night or forest orienteering over winter and then I’ll switch focus to sprint in February.

Top 3 tips for staying motivated in winter?

  • The hardest part of winter training is getting out of the door - go training on your way home from work/school before you get a chance to sit down
  • Arrange to meet other people - training is always more fun with others and if you’ve committed to meeting people then it’s harder to back out
  • Incentives - I always look forward to my big post training brunch on a Saturday!

Athletes favourite motivational quote.

“What if I fall?”

“Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”


Thank you, Alice.  British Orienteering and members would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the very best with your training throughout the rest of the year.


Read more

Elite Athlete Winter Training Series of Interviews
More information - here.

Interview #1: with Charlotte Ward - here
Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteers, Sheffield University Orienteering Club

Interview #2: with Kris Jones - here
Forth Valley Orienteers, Swansea Bay Orienteering Club, Lillomarka OL, Swansea Harriers, Dundee Hawkhill Harriers